The study area includes garden apartments in the Westover neighborhood, bounded roughly by 16th Street North to the north, North Kensington Street to the east, Fairfax Drive and Interstate 66 to the south, and North Lancaster Street to the west.
The Historical Affairs and Landmark Review Board (HALRB) held its second public hearing on May 16, 2018 on the Westover local historic district designation request.
The HALRB passed two motions:
1) The HALRB moved to defer a decision on the local historic designation of the garden apartments in the Westover Study Area while the Housing Conservation District (HCD) study is still in process. This motion passed 8 to 1. Staff anticipates that the County Board will consider the HCD study before the end of the 2018 calendar year. The HALRB will not consider the Westover request again until after that time.
2) The HALRB also asked the Historic Preservation Program staff to initiate outreach to the garden apartment owners in the Westover Study Area, with outreach to the owners of the Westover Apartments Complex as the top priority. This motion passed unanimously 9 to 0. This effort will be initiated before the HCD study is completed and will provide the opportunity to educate owners about designation and discuss the designation process.
Previous: On November 30, 2016, the HALRB directed staff to study only garden apartments within this area.
About the Project
County Historic Preservation Program staff has analyzed the garden apartment buildings in Westover as part of a 2016 request for local historic district designation. Staff conducted an architectural survey and evaluation of the garden apartments to assess their physical integrity and historical significance.
With this preliminary analysis completed, the HALRB will decide next steps in the designation process at its May 16 meeting.
On June 23, 2016, the HALRB received a request to study the Westover neighborhood for consideration as a local historic district. Three public meetings have been held to discuss the request.
On November 30, 2016, the HALRB held its initial public hearing as a first step in the historic designation review process. After hearing public comments from many speakers, the board made two decisions:
- The study area meets designation criteria. Arlington County’s Zoning Ordinance requires that potential historic districts meet at least two of eleven designation criteria (Section 11.3.4). The HALRB found that the Westover study area meets at least two. In particular, the property is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and the property has character, interest, or value as part of the development, heritage or cultural characteristics of the county.
- Further study is needed of only the garden apartment buildings, including those listed in the Historic Resources Inventory (HRI) that was approved by the County Board in 2011. The HALRB directed Historic Preservation staff to conduct further analysis in conjunction with the ongoing County Housing Conservation District study to assess the creation of zoning tools and proposals for the preservation of market rate affordable housing.
About Local Historic Districts in Arlington
Arlington currently has 40 locally designated historic districts, ranging from individual single-family homes, churches, and businesses, to cemeteries, Civil War forts, and neighborhoods such as Maywood, Colonial Village, and Buckingham Village.
Status as a local historic district creates a protective zoning overlay that ensures certain exterior changes to historic buildings, as well as new construction, are compatible with the existing historic architecture. A set of design guidelines are crafted for local historic districts to help manage future architectural changes. The HALRB manages this special design review process for all local historic districts in Arlington.
The establishment of a local historic district is an extensive process that involves the careful evaluation of historic resources within the study area and a thorough analysis of their historical and architectural significance. The local designation process requires continual coordination with property owners and the community. Various meetings are held throughout the designation process to inform and engage property owners, residents and community members.
Historic Significance in Westover
The Westover neighborhood is a planned community that was developed in phases from 1939-1957, influenced by the dramatic increase of the federal workforce in Washington, D.C. and the need for affordable, quality housing.
The neighborhood has been recognized for its historical and architectural significance by its listing in the Virginia Landmarks Register and the National Register of Historic Places in 2006. These listings are honorary and do not impose any special restrictions on historic properties. A direct benefit of such designation is the ability for property owners to take advantage of state and federal tax credits for rehabilitating historic buildings The historic garden apartments in Westover also have been identified in the National Register Multiple Property Listing for Garden Apartments built in Arlington County between 1934 and 1954 (originally accepted by the National Park Service in 2003 and updated in 2012).
Additionally, the garden apartments and some of the commercial buildings in Westover are included in Phase 1 of the County’s Historic Resources Inventory (HRI). This planning tool was approved by the County Board in 2011 and ranks historic garden apartments, commercial buildings, and shopping centers into categories based on their architectural and historical significance. The HRI helps establish preservation priorities for these specific types of historic buildings.
May 16, 2018
HALRB Public Hearing
December 2, 2016
County News Release
November 30, 2016
HALRB Public Hearing
July 21, 2016
Community Informational Meeting
Related Plans and Resources
- Map: Westover National Register Historic District Boundary
- Westover National Register Nomination
- Multiple Property Listing for Garden Apartments, Apartment Houses and Apartment Complexes in Arlington County, Virginia: 1934-1954
- Section 11.3 of the Arlington County Zoning Ordinance
- Historic Preservation Master Plan
- Affordable Housing Master Plan