Historic Preservation

Arlington's historic places are important links to the past and contribute much to its character. Our work recognizes and protects these precious resources so we can explore, understand and appreciate our diverse history, architecture and people that weave the fabric of our heritage.

Once mainly farm land and a Washington, D.C., retreat, Arlington gradually transformed into a popular commuter suburb when trolley car lines emerged. The growth of the Federal government and the Pentagon spurred the creation of residential villages filled with modern bungalows, mail-order kit houses, Colonial Revival homes, and large garden-style apartment complexes that continue to define Arlington’s landscape today.



The Arlington County Public Library and master’s degree students from Virginia Tech’s Department of Urban Affairs and Planning (National Capital Region), in partnership with the Arlington County Historic Preservation Program, are collaborating on the Echoes of Little Saigon project to collect the stories of the Vietnamese community who immigrated to, shopped at or owned businesses in Arlington, Virginia’s Clarendon neighborhood when it was known as “Little Saigon” during the late 1970s and early 1980s. The organizers of this project will be interviewing and recording stories and collecting photos that will be archived at the Arlington County Library’s Center for Local History.

Historic Places in Arlington

We have more than 100 locally and nationally designated historic sites from Civil War-era forts to churches and cemeteries -- and even a rock formation. Learn about the County’s more than 80 historical markers. Review the innovative Historic Resources Inventory, a planning study that ranks specific types of historic buildings and offers priorities for their preservation.

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Owning a Historic Property

Find useful resources for property owners, including information about the historic designation process, historic property design guidelines, planning and financial tools and tips for researching a building’s history.

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Historic Preservation Master Plan

The Historic Preservation Master Plan, adopted by the County Board in 2006, establishes priorities, goals and objectives for Arlington’s historic preservation activities.

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Historical Affairs and Landmark Review Board

The Historical Affairs and Landmark Review Board meets monthly and helps protect Arlington’s historic resources by providing guidance, nominating potential sites for historic designation, reviewing historical markers and advocating on behalf of preservation interests and policies.

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