Archive for the ‘Preservation’ category

Progress on the Old Arcade Sunshine/Linens of the Week Housing Project

April 14, 2017

The project to convert the old industrial laundry plant is progressing well. As you can see from the photos below, the foundation is being poured and the forms are starting to go in for the first floor. To see photos from February showing the excavation work, go here.

Inaugural Evelyn Greenberg Preservation Awards Includes Recognition of Historic Hebrew Home Building

August 4, 2016

On June 9, 2016, the Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington (JHSGW) presented their inaugural Evelyn Greenberg Preservation Awards — a tribute for Evelyn Greenberg, who was instrumental in re-discovering and saving the historic 1876 Adas Israel synagogue from the wrecker’s ball in 1969. The building is destined to be moved again as a result of the Capitol Crossing project.

Two Greenberg Preservation Awards were presented this year. I received one for my work that resulted in the successful nomination of the buildings at 1125-1131 Spring Road, NW — the former home of the Hebrew Home of the Aged and the JSSA (Jewish Social Service Agency). Both properties are now on the D.C. Inventory of Historic Sites and listed on the National Register.

I thought you would enjoy watching the video of the event, and my presentation on the history of the Hebrew Home, which was released yesterday by the JHSGW and view-able below.

Check Out the Ward 1 Heritage Guide, Great Overview of Ward 1 History and Neighborhoods

July 20, 2016

The Historic Preservation Office (HPO) finally has the Ward 1 Heritage Guide available on their Website (click on image below). It’s an interesting overview of Ward 1 history, culture, and neighborhoods. HPO’s Ward Heritage Guides and a fun introduction to what makes each Ward/neighborhood special. While I’ve posted it before, you can also check out the Ward 4 guide here.

Ward 1 Heritage Guide

Heritage Day at Pierce Mill is this Saturday (Oct. 10th)

October 8, 2015
Pierce Mill

Pierce Mill

If you were looking forward to the Soldiers’ Home Fall Fun Fest last weekend before the weather caused its cancellation, you may want to check out Heritage Day at Pierce Mill which is this Saturday, October 10th. It is scheduled to be a full-day festival that showcases local history, offers activities for kids, and a chance to step back in time to experience 19th century history, culture and milling … and it isn’t that far from the neighborhood.

According to the Friends of Pierce Mill Web site, “Dr. Stonestreet, a 19th-century “primary care physician” embodied by Corky Hickey of the Montgomery County Historical Society, will head up the list of attractions at the mill’s Heritage Day. Dr. S, based on a real Rockville practitioner, will explain the gruesome medical procedures in the good old days before effective anesthesia and antibiotics. Also on that day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.: music by local fiddler Kate Saylor and friends, demonstrations of the antique apple press, a blacksmith, stone wall building and a pork roast cooked over an open flame. Food truck will be on site.”



  • Lost in the Park-hike from the mill with a park ranger and learn mapping skills


  • Demonstrations in the arts of the blacksmith, stonemason, carpenter and family medicine;
  • Learn how to roast a pig and try your hand at working an antique apple press;
  • Nature crafts and old-time games for children;
  • Music by local fiddler Kate Saylor and friends;
  • Mill tours (10:00 on) and corn milling (11:00-2:00)

For information on Peirce Mill’s location & hours:

Armed Forces Retirement Home Repairing Its Fence

July 9, 2015

The old Soldiers’ Home is in the process of repairing its fence along Rock Creek Church Road again. There are currently two areas with damage. I recall that down trees caused this round of repairs, although it has been more common for damage to the fence to occur from car accidents that trees.




Bloomingdale Civic Association Hosts Historic Preservation Panel Discussion Tonight

June 23, 2015

The Bloomingdale Civic Association is has organized a Historic Preservation Panel Discussion event for tonight at St. George’s Church (see flyer below). I’ll be there and expect this to be an interesting discussion. Others may want to check it out too.

For those who can’t attend, or would like to know more about this topic and how it relates to Park View, I’m also in the process of organizing a similar event in Park View in the coming weeks.

Historic Preservation Committee Mtg Flyer 6 16 15

Painter Elaine S. Wilson’s McMillan Landscapes

June 19, 2015

During the Historical Society of Washington D.C.’s For the Record exhibition, I became acquainted with work of painter Elaine S. Wilson. I was particularly drawn to her paintings of the McMillan Sand Filtration Plant site. You can see a few samples of her work at her Website here.

449-McMillan-Filtration-Evening-sm(One of several paintings of McMillan Sand Filtration Site by artist Elaine S. Wilson.)

Having chatted with Wilson, I know that she has many more D.C. landscapes that one can see on her Website — and several others in progress. I look forward to seeing what her next paintings will be.

Checking in on the Park View Field House Renovation

June 16, 2015

June Park View Field House(View of the field house from the southwest, showing new first floor windows.)

The renovation of the Park View Playground field house is coming along great. Anyone looking at the west elevation of the building will a good idea of what it will look like when work is completed, especially since the upper section has been painted and new windows have been installed.

Here are some completed/forecast project milestones for June:

  • June 10 – Gyp board was installed and prep for paint
  • June 12 – Exterior doors were installed
  • June 12 – Dormer windows on second floor installed
  • June 18 – Exterior paint will be complete
  • June 19 – Central air conditioning condensing unit will be installed
  • June 26 – New baseboard and flooring will be complete
  • July 6 – First floor windows will be installed

Below are two photos showing work in the loft area and the current state of the staircase.

20150603_113922_resized(New drywall in the loft area.)

IMG_0935a(The stripped stairway and new drywall in the east room.)

Restoration of Park View Playground Field House Begins

April 15, 2015

The work to renovate the historic Park View playground field house began on Monday, April 13, 2015, after the contract with KADCON was finalized at the end of March. The work that began on Monday encompasses hazardous abatement which will continue until April 24. Demolition work is scheduled to begin on April 27th. The entire project is aiming for a completion date of July 31st, 2015.

Park View field house

Historic District Proposed for Petworth’s Grant Circle

February 25, 2015

Grant Circle Historic DistrictLast night, members of Petworth’s Grant Circle community met at the Petworth Methodist Church to learn more about what it would mean to live in a Historic District. The meeting was organized by ANC 4C09 Commissioner Joe Martin with ANC 4C07 Commission John-Paul Hayworth in attendance and in response to the filing of a nomination for the district on February 13, 2015. A hearing on the nomination is scheduled before the Historic Preservation Review Board on Thursday, April 2nd. While the historic district nomination has not been posted on the HPO Web site yet, you can learn some of Grant Circle’s history from my August 22, 2013 post on the topic.

Parade float on New Hampshire Avenue with Grant Circle in the background, July 4, 1921 (photo from author's collection).

Parade float on New Hampshire Avenue with Grant Circle in the background, July 4, 1921 (photo from author’s collection).

The majority of the meeting was devoted to Historic Preservation Office staff members Kim Williams and Kim Elliott walking through the basics of historic district designation and what property owners could expect in the permitting process. They also took questions, a few of which included:

  • Would a historic district prevent buildings from being painted? (A: No, not unless there was a Historic Conservation Easement specifically addressing paint.)
  • Would a historic district prevent a wheel chair ramp from being built? (A: No, but the HPO staff would work with the property owner to find a good location for the ramps/lifts.)
  • Would a historic district require current homeowners to restore/fix everything that had been changed over the years and was no longer original to the house? (No: properties are grandfathered in in their current condition. The HPO staff would only review the work triggered by new permits, at which time some of the more incompatible changes over the years ‘could’ be addressed if related to the scope of work.)

One of the things that was new to me was the handout below which breaks down the differences in the permitting process between properties not in historic districts and those that are in them. As the HPO staff pointed out, the vast majority (somewhere around 90%) of permits applied for for historic district properties are issued without ever going before the Historic Preservation Review Board, which generally reviews only larger additions or significant alterations.

ANC 4C will be considering support for the historic district at their March 11th meeting held at the Petworth Library, beginning at 6:30 pm.

HPO permit sheet


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