Call for Nominations
2020 Preservation Awards

Since 2003, the District of Columbia Awards for Excellence in Historic Preservation has honored more than 100 outstanding preservation projects and dozens of individuals and organizations for their exceptional contributions in support of historic preservation in Washington, DC.

Nominate a project or person who you believe exemplifies excellence in historic preservation!

Projects must have been completed after January 1, 2016.

The ONLINE APPLICATION  is due by 5:00 pm on November 22, 2019.

The next awards program will take place in May 2020 at DAR Constitution Hall.

Past Awards Programs

African American Civil Rights in the 20th Century in Washington, DC

The DC Preservation League (DCPL) is pleased to announce that we have been awarded a grant from the National Park Service’s (NPS) African American Civil Rights Grants Program* and a grant from the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Dorthea DeSchweinitz Preservation Fund for DC.**  The grants will underwrite the production of a National Register Multiple Property Document (MPD)—an official document that provides context for and identifies resources related to a specific theme—focused on the African American Civil Rights Movement of the 20th Century in Washington, DC. This project will catalyze local nominations to both the DC Inventory of Historic Sites and the National Register of Historic Places.

To assist in the completion of this document, DCPL has contracted with Prologue DC—a Washington-based, woman-owned firm specializing in DC neighborhood history, which will work in consultation with Preservation Architect Nakita Reed, AIA, and scholar Chris Myers Asch of Colby College, and co-author of Chocolate City: A History of Race and Democracy in the Nation’s Capital (2017)—to document historic resources and develop a historic context narrative outlining criteria for their inclusion.—to identify themes and document historic resources.  As specified by NPS, Prologue will use the 2008 NPS report Civil Rights in America, A Framework for Identifying Significant Sites as a reference for identifying properties to be included.

Image result for 12th street ymcaA first draft of the site list will be completed and shared with the public this fall and an open-invitation community meeting will follow on Tuesday, November 5th at 6:30 pm at the Thurgood Marshall Center, 1816 12th Street, NW. Please save the date!

Once the MPD is finalized, DCPL will submit it to the DC Historic Preservation Office for adoption by the DC Historic Preservation Review Board. It will then be forwarded to the National Register of Historic Places.

To receive email updates on the project and a special invitation to the Community Forum, please register here.

*This document is being produced with assistance from the Historic Preservation Fund, administered by the National Park Service, Department of the Interior. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of the Interior.

**This project has been funded in part by a grant from the Dorothea DeSchweinitz Fund for DC of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Photos:
1963 March on Washington, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Collection
12th Street YMCA, 1816 12th Street, NW, Thurgood Marshall Center

Donald Beekman Myer (1937-2019)

DCPL Trustee Donald Beekman Myer, FAIA passed away unexpectedly on August 8th. Don called the City of Washington home since 1963 when there was ample opportunity to combine his architectural training with an emerging historic preservation movement. Early restoration work for the National Park Service was combined with HABS study of Washington’s architecture. Later, serving as Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts, Don incorporated historic preservation experience with design review, including serving with the original Joint Committee on Landmarks and administering the Old Georgetown Board. He served on the faculties of the Smithsonian Associates and Catholic University teaching Washington architectural history and urban conservation. He also served as the Clerk of the Works for the Washington National Cathedral. Volunteer activities have included leadership roles with the American Institute of Architects and the Adams Memorial Foundation.

Don’s trusteeship with the DC Preservation League focused on its Project Review Committee, Don served on the committee from 2008-2019, serving as the from 2010 -2014. His leadership and participation have fundamentally shaped the character of Washington, DC through review of major development projects affecting historic landmarks and within historic districts.

Don was also a recognized Botanical Artist. His work is in several collections, been shown in a number of galleries and exhibited at the Corcoran Gallery and the Delaware Art Museum.

DCPL’s Trustees and Staff will very much miss his wisdom and guidance.

The Washington Post Obituary – August 14, 2019
Learn more about Don’s time with the Commission of Fine Arts

What Don’s colleagues had to say about him: 

“He was a unique and wonderful man and I am very glad I was able to get to know him and I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of his company.  He will be sorely missed.”  – Rob McLennan, Chair, DCPL Project Review Committee

“Don was such a generous, kind man, and I so admired his ability to acknowledge the good work of our presenters, while also letting them know we had concerns about their work…he was a master at that. We both attended the University of Illinois, and I always enjoyed sharing that with him.” – Elizabeth Milnarik, Project Review Committee Member

“I am so grateful I was able to serve with Don and will miss his graciousness, enthusiasm, and depth of knowledge. He was truly a wonderful man.” – Dana Litowitz, Project Review Committee Member

“I’ve known Don for many years and always treasured his friendship. He was a consummate professional – thoughtful, constructive, and fair, and a talented watercolorist, as well as a wonderful, warm person with a mischievous sense of humor and a twinkle in his eye. He will be greatly missed…” – Darwina Neal, FASLA, Project Review Committee Member

“I knew Don for many years and had the greatest respect for him. I always learned so much from him. He was a big reason why I joined the DCPL board. Such a pleasure to always see him. He will be missed. ” – Amy Ballard, DCPL Board of Trustees

“Big loss for us and our community.  His contribution and style will surely be missed by all.” – Gerard Heiber, DCPL Board of Trustees

 

Request for Proposals – African American Civil Rights in the 20th Century in Washington, DC

March on Washington, 1963 – Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Collection.

Background: The DC Preservation League (DCPL) is Washington’s citywide nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation and protection of the historic resources of our nation’s capital. DCPL’s mission to preserve, protect, and enhance Washington’s historic and built environment is carried out through education, community outreach, landmark designation, and advocacy. In 2018, DCPL received a grant from the National Park Service to underwrite development of a Multiple Property Document and associated nominations focused on the African American Civil Rights Movement in the 20th Century in Washington, DC. This project will be the first of its kind and will catalyze nominations to both the DC Inventory of Historic Sites and the National Register of Historic Places.

Purpose: DCPL seeks proposals from qualified preservation consultants (Consultant) interested in undertaking research to identify and document historic resources associated with the African American Civil Rights Movement of the 20th Century in Washington, DC.  The selected Consultant must also produce a National Register Multiple Property Document (MPD) to thematically address “African American Civil Rights Movement in the 20th Century in Washington, DC” and present the MPD and a minimum of two (2) individual National Register nominations to the DC Historic Preservation Review Board.

Deadline to Submit Proposals: Please submit electronically to Kelli Knox (kelli@dcpreservation.org) by 11:59pm March 1, 2019.  Subject line should read “Proposal in Response to MPD project.”

Click here for full text of RFP.

DCPL Announces New Officers!

A new slate of officers has been elected to lead the DC Preservation League Board of Trustees.

President

Scott DeMartino joined the DCPL Board of Trustees in 2012 and served as its Vice President since 2015. He serves on the Government Affairs Committee that pursues issues relating to government and its impact on preservation. The Committee monitors city and federal government planning decisions that may impact Washington’s historic resources, while advocating for sound historic preservation policy.

In his professional life, Scott is a member of Dentons’ Real Estate practice. He concentrates on real estate and renewable investments that yield economic, cultural and sustainable community benefits to investment partners. To this end, Scott teams with lenders, investors, developers and nonprofit sponsors to advise on how best to utilize historic rehabilitation tax credits (HTCs) and new markets tax credits (NMTCs), as well as renewable energy tax credits (RETCs), as sources of financing. These investment tools bring much-needed capital to construct and rehabilitate health care centers, charter schools and residential rental and commercial facilities, as well as historical arts and community spaces and renewable energy facilities, many in historic or underserved communities.

Vice President

Fay Armstrong joined the DCPL Board of Trustees in 2011 and is an active member of DCPL’s Government Affairs Committee. She came to Washington in 1976 to work for the U.S. Department of State. Over a thirty-year career, she focused primarily on legal and policy matters related to Latin America and the Caribbean. On the weekends, she renovated a 1903 house in Mount Pleasant, learning both what to do and not to do. She has been President of Historic Mount Pleasant since 2006 and is active in the Historic Districts Coalition and with other neighborhood preservation groups in the District.

 

Secretary

Kate Olson joined the DCPL Board in 2010 and serves as its Secretary. She grew up in the historic Hudson Valley with a deep appreciation for the interplay of history, architecture and landscape. After attending a Preservation League of New York State conference in college Kate knew she wanted to pursue a profession involving historic preservation law. At Vassar she interned at the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute and during her last year at Vermont Law School she interned both at the Vermont State Historic Preservation Office and the general counsel’s office of the National Trust for Historic Preservation (NTHP). Upon graduation she returned to NTHP and worked there for five years before moving on to private practice. As an associate at the law firm of Greenstein DeLorme & Luchs, P.C., Kate advises and represents clients on matters involving land use, zoning, and historic preservation. She represents clients before the D.C. Zoning Commission and the Board of Zoning Adjustment and other District and federal agencies involved in land use and historic preservation matters. In her spare time she can be found cycling with her husband.

Treasurer

Howard Berger is a longtime member and supporter of DCPL.  He began his second term on the DCPL Board in 2012 and now serves as co-chair of the Development Committee.  Mr. Berger is Supervisor of the Prince George’s County Planning Department/M-NCPPC Historic Preservation Section. He began his tenure there in 1988 and thus has extensive experience with all aspects of preservation planning

 

Please join us in thanking DCPL’s immediate past president John Sandor for his leadership and service.  Mr. Sandor will be rotating off the Board at least for the coming year, we are confident we will continue to see him at DCPL events!

We also extend our sincere gratitude to all the members of the Board of Trustees for their time and commitment to the preservation and protection of Washington’s historic and built environment.  DCPL’s Board is comprised of individuals who have a demonstrated interest in historic preservation and the work of the organization. Board members rise to leadership positions through participation on committees. If you have an interest in joining a committee, please click here to fill out the volunteer form. We ask that all volunteers have a current DCPL membership.

Finally, a special thank you to DCPL’s dedicated members and donors who support DCPL’s mission.  It’s with the help of supporters like you that we are able to protect the District of Columbia’s irreplaceable historic and cultural resources.

Bloomingdale Historic District Presentation

On December 6th, the Bloomingdale Historic District Coalition held a community meeting present the history and significance of the Bloomingdale neighborhood. A copy of the presentation can be viewed by clicking the photo below! Comments by Mara Cherkasky of Prologue DC can be found in the document by clicking the yellow pop up symbol in the upper left corner. If you have trouble viewing the notes in the pdf below, please click on this link that has smaller images with the associated text.

Tell DC Council to Support Increased Funding for HPO

Advocacy Alert!

As a supporter of Historic Preservation in the District of Columbia, we know you care deeply about the irreplaceable historic resources that make our city unique.

To protect these unique resources, the city must provide adequate funding to the DC Historic Preservation Office (HPO) in order to effectively review the issuance of city work permits, inspect work to ensure conformity with approved work permits, issue fines for illegal work that threatens the character of our historic neighborhoods, research and document undesignated landmarks and districts, and educate residents through city outreach programs.

Please send an email to your individual councilmember and the four at-large members asking them to support increased funding for the HPO!

DCPL has testified before the DC Council to request a $1,000,000 funding increase for HPO in the FY18 budget. This increase would enable HPO to provide:

  1. Funding for two (2) new full-time employee (FTE) staff members to actively participate with the inspectors to ensure effective enforcement.
  2. Funding to add information regarding enforcement status to the current online DCRA Property Information Verification System (PIVS).
  3. Training for Historic Preservation Review Board members on the Secretary of Interior Standards for Rehabilitation, criteria for designation of historic landmarks and districts, and the process and procedures associated with their mandate.
  4. Training for current and new ANC Commissioners to help demystify the process and encourage a better understanding of and appreciation for the historic preservation process.
  5. Increased funding to support outreach, educational programming, and research and grant programs including the DC Community Heritage Project Grant administered by Humanities DC, the District of Columbia Awards for Excellence in Historic Preservation, and research and documentation grants to further historic preservation in the District of Columbia.

Please use the links below to communicate with the DC Council. Please see sample letter here.
Not sure who your councilmember is? Click here to look it up by address.

Chairman Phil Mendelson
pmendelson@dccouncil.us
At-Large – Anita Bonds
abonds@dccouncil.us
Ward 1 – Brianne Nadeau
bnadeau@dccouncil.us
At-Large – David Grosso
dgrosso@dcouncil.us
Ward 2 – Jack Evans
jevans@dccounil.us
At-Large – Elissa Silverman
esilverman@dccouncil.us
Ward 3 – Mary Cheh
mcheh@dccouncil.us
At-Large – Robert White Jr.
rwhite@dccouncil.us
Ward 4 – Brandon Todd
btodd@dccounil.us
Ward 5 – Kenyan McDuffie
kmcduffie@dccouncil.us
Ward 6 – Charles Allen
callen@dccounil.us
Ward 7 – Vincent Gray
vgray@dccouncil.us
Ward 8 – Trayon White
twhite@dccouncil.us

Thank you in advance for taking the time to encourage increased funding for these valuable city-wide programs!

2017 Annual Fundraiser

Join members and friends of the DC Preservation League to celebrate its crucial role as the leading advocate for the preservation and protection of the irreplaceable historic resources in the District of Columbia. Revenue from tickets and sponsorships bolster DCPL’s ability to advocate for the preservation, protection, and enhancement of Washington’s historic and cultural resources. In addition, these funds will help underwrite DCPL’s outreach and educational programming throughout our community.             

Click here for tickets! | Click here to sponsor!

Thank You to Our Sponsors!

Beyer Blinder Belle Architects & Planners LLP
Bonstra | Haresign ARCHITECTS
Clark Construction Group, LLC
Eric Colbert & Associates, PC
Dentons US LLP
Kindy French
GCS | SIGAL
Quinn Evans Architects
Roadside Development
The Whiting-Turner Contracting Company
Winmar Construction

Shalom Baranes Associates
EastBanc
The JBG Companies
Lincoln Property Company
Long View Gallery
PN Hoffman
Wagner Roofing Company
Juliet Zucker, Long & Foster Real Estate

Fay Armstrong
Ballard Spahr LLP
Boston Properties
John DeFerrari and Susan Decker
EYP Architecture & Engineering
Federal City Caterers, Inc.
First Potomac Realty Trust
Grossberg, Yockelson, Fox & Beyda. LLP
Grunley Construction Company, Inc.
Keast & Hood
Donald Beekman Myer, FAIA
National Trust Community Investment Corporation
Ruben Companies
U.S. Bank Community Development Corporation

Support DCPL with a Year-End Gift

 ‘Tis the season for charitable giving and we hope DCPL makes your list! Donations from members and other supporters are crucial to DCPL’s work as they underwrite efforts to:
  • identify historic buildings, neighborhoods, and cultural sites that should be preserved under the DC Preservation Act;
  • offer a variety of educational programming that informs the community about preservation; and
  • advocate for sound historic preservation policy at the local and federal levels.
DCPL is a 501(c)(3) organization and all year-end gifts are tax-deductible.

Thank you in advance for your generosity!

DC Historic Sites App in the news!

Discover the history behind sites you pass every day and don’t notice.

By Holly J. Morris, Friday, June 3, 2016, Washington Post

>>> CLICK HERE to read the full article on the DC Historic Sites App and Website.

DC Historic Sites, a free iPhone and Android app created by the DC Preservation League, serves up the DC Inventory of Historic Sites with photos, blurbs and maps. Most of the app’s contents are far humbler than the big monuments (though those are in there, too): apartment buildings, churches, obscure statuary and more. Here are some of the sites we discovered when we tried it out.