Demolition permits for a total of 159 homes, plus a number of other properties, were approved by the Arlington County government in 2019, according to an analysis by Preservation Arlington, which has tracked demolition in the community for a decade.
In addition to homes, three garden apartments, 11 commercial buildings, two civic buildings and several other structures also were being readied for razing. The total included 36 properties that are located in National Register of Historic Places districts.
“These are just permits for the complete demolition of a home, and not for ‘major renovations,’ which often resulted in near-complete demolition of homes,” the advocacy organization said.
The 2019 figure was slightly higher than 2018, in line with 2017 but lower than the numbers recorded from 2013-16. The peak year for demolitions was 2015, with 204.
“The pending demolition of these homes and buildings represents a lost of history, architecture, time, energy and materials,” Preservation Arlington said. “Many had the potential for renovation and additions, or, at a bare minimum, reclamation/reuse of building materials.”
The organization is urging residents to propose local historic districts, which provide protections for existing properties, for their communities.