In September 2016, after much deliberation and community input, the BCA Board decided to defer exploration of historic designation (HD) until the new year. At the BCA annual meeting in November 2016, several neighbors expressed support for continuing to explore HD; others wanted information about alternatives, including zoning, conservation districts, or "custom zones" (the new term for a zoning overlay). The board subsequently agreed to the formation of a new committee (aka Neighborhood Study Group) comprised of homeowners with various perspectives to explore alternatives alongside HD. BCA VP Nan Bell, as a neutral board member, observed committee meetings and reported back to the board. The board also decided that the HD Committee would continue its hiatus, but that individual committee members of that group were free to express their opinions as Burleith homeowners and advocate for their preferred positions.

In May 2017, the Neighborhood Study Group conducted a survey to help the community decide what, if any, action to take concerning housing development trends in Burleith. The results were publicized in June and will be explored along with custom zoning at a "managing change" community meeting on October 25 at Washington International School. Contact the group at burleithdevelopment@gmail.com.


The Historic Designation Committee created this web page as a way to share information and respond to residents' questions, comments, and concerns.


Introduction

DC historic district designation protects neighborhoods of historic, cultural, and aesthetic signficance. The designation is made by the DC Historic Preservation Review Board if a district meets one or more of these criteria and the community supports the designation. More than 30 residential and commercial neighborhoods in Washington, DC, have already obtained historic status. Burleith, built primarily in the 1920s–1940s with a distinctive row house style and look, may be a candidate for historic designation.

How Will We as a Community Decide?

In early 2016 the Burleith Citizens Association formed a committee of Burleith residents to explore the pros and cons of historic designation and gauge the community’s wishes. The committee has organized opportunities for education and dialogue and was awarded (but has not yet accepted) a "seed money" grant from the National Trust for Historic Preservation for community outreach and the services of a preservation specialist. The BCA board has not yet voted on historic designation but is following the process closely. If ultimately the community is in favor of pursuing historic designation, the BCA will submit an application to the DC Historic Preservation Office. If the office determines that the application meets the criteria, Burleith homeowners will have 60 days to comment. There will also be a final hearing where opinions can be expressed before the Historic Preservation Review Board makes its decision.

Donate

To help cover historical research and community education expenses as the exploration process proceeds, please make a tax-deductible donation through the Burleith Community Fund. To make an online donation via credit card (or PayPal account), click the Donate button below. To donate by check, download the donation form, fill in the required information, and mail to the address on the form. Make checks payable to the Burleith Community Fund with "historic designation exploration" in the memo line. If you would like 100% of your contribution to benefit the exploration process, consider paying by check (or adding an extra 2.3% to your online contribution to defray the PayPal fee).

Community Meetings and Outreach

Get Involved and Learn More

  • Email hd@burleith.org with your questions, comments, and concerns.
  • Make a tax-deductible donation (see above) to cover historical research and community education expenses.
  • Get updates on the website and in the Burleith Bell.
  • Become a member of the Burleith Citizens Association.
  • Join the Burleith listserv.

Contact Us

Email the BCA Historic Designation Committee at hd@burleith.org.
(Carol Baume, Ann Carper, Alex Frederick, and Gwen Verhoff.)

Media

Resources