As was expected, the Historic Preservation Review Board voted yesterday in line with the Historic Preservation Office recommendation not to designate the Car Barn on Georgia Avenue as a historic landmark. The site is the proposed location of the District's first Wal-Mart, and a historic designation would have complicated and slowed the path to development. Property owner Foulger Pratt will be able to continue demolition (abruptly halted) of the structure.
Several individuals and parties, both for and against slapping the Barn with historic landmark status, gave impassioned testimony as to whether preservation was important based on the structure's integrity, and ability to convey the meaning for which it was deemed significant.
One testimony in opposition to preservation declared, "It's a blighted area and it has been for many years... preserving [the Car Barn] would defeat the effort of the community to revitalize the area."
However, a historian in favor noted the existence of old windows, materials, original brick walls, trusses, original roof skylights, old doors, and original layout (service and storage bay). A community member added, "It's a garage that represents the entire Brightwood community."
HPRB said preservation was an issue only of "significant integrity," most of which was lost when alterations began to convert the structure to a Chevy dealership in 1995, and in the end, the Board felt there was not enough.
Washington D.C. real estate development news