In December 2015, a total of nineteen (19) demolition permits were applied for in Arlington County. Sixteen were for single-family homes and three for commercial buildings. Three of the sixteen homes are in South Arlington. Only one home is located in a National Register Historic District — 705 North Kenmore Street is in the Ashton Heights National Register Historic District. At least ten of the single-family demolition permits were for speculative developments. All the commercial properties are in North Arlington and part of major siteplans approved by the Arlington County Board.
Totals for 2015
– 43 are located in National Register Historic Districts
– 113 are speculative developments (owned by developers)
Commercial buildings: 12
Garden Apartments: 9
The looming demolition of these houses and buildings represents an incredible loss of history, architecture, time, energy, and materials. Many had the potential for renovation and additions or, at a bare minimum, reclamation/reuse of building materials. These buildings are often replaced with new construction that is out of scale and proportion to the community. Preservation Arlington urges citizens to adopt Local Historic District designations for their communities, with standards for design, height, and placement that could be customized to reflect community needs while still allowing reinvestment to occur.
Similarly, if you are a property owner and are contemplating a change to your property, Preservation Arlington encourages you to work with your architect or builder to consider how some or all of your house or building could be incorporated into a renovation, or the materials reused.