Chevy Chase will not get historic DC neighborhood designation, at least for now

Chevy Chase in D.C. will not get historic designation, at least for now

One of D.C.’s wealthier neighborhoods, Chevy Chase, will not get the designation of being a historic district, at least for now.

With recent median home sale prices between $1,237,500 and $1,700,000, an application to create the Chevy Chase Historic District was filed in 2002, which would be D.C.’s 38th neighborhood historic district.

However, the District’s Historic Preservation Office said Monday, in a status update, that it will not consider the application, citing “the lack of community consensus.”

Proponents for the Chevy Chase Historic District have said it was needed to protect the neighborhood’s “small town in a big city” feel from future development.

“It is clear that public sentiment on the proposal is sharply divided,” according to the Historic Preservation Office update.

The proposed historic district included 41st Street, Western Avenue, Chevy Chase Parkway and Military Road Northwest as its boundaries.

The application was filed as the District sought to fill-in the community’s commercial corridor, along Connecticut Avenue, and redevelop the Chevy Chase Neighborhood Library and Chevy Chase Community Center to include affordable housing and new public buildings.

“Given the lack of community consensus and concerns about the proposed boundaries, as well as the need to conduct a citywide analysis in order to more effectively evaluate historic district nominations, HPO is not prepared to recommend that the current proposal for a Chevy Chase Historic District be considered by the [Historic Preservation Review Board] at this time,” the status update read.

Opponents of creating a historic district have said there are no distinctive architectural styles in Chevy Chase that require preservation, and making the community more inclusive should be prioritized over seeking the historic designation.

Beginning in fall 2024, the District’s Historic Preservation Office said it “will begin data collection, mapping, and equity analysis of historic resources across the District. This work will be critical in informing HPO’s evaluation of future historic district proposals.”

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Neal Augenstein

Neal Augenstein has been a reporter at WTOP since 1997. Through the years, Neal has covered many of the crimes and trials that have gripped the region. Neal's been pleased to receive awards over the years for hard news, feature reporting, use of sound and sports.

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