Following a controversial proposal to build a duplex building in a neighborhood zoned for single family homes (see The Battle of 38th St) HCCDC undertook an effort to mount a proposal for a historic district in a portion of Chevy Chase DC. In 2006 HCCDC invested in a study of the history and architecture of Chevy Chase DC and decided to prepare a proposal to the District of Columbia Historic Preservation Office to establish an historic district in order to implement a set of exterior design standards in the designated portion of Chevy Chase DC. Material on this page describes that project and also makes available 1) the detailed neighborhood history prepared as part of the application and 2) the searchable inventory of 900 profiles of houses within the proposed district.
To prepare the application HCCDC volunteers conducted a survey of every dwelling in the proposed historic district – more than 900 in all. The group also retained professional urban historians – Traceries – to research and write the history of the development of the cityscape, the architecture and its relevance to the criteria for consideration for designation as an historic district.
As HCCDC conducted outreach to the residents of Chevy Chase, many neighbors expressed concern about the potential burden from an additional requirement for city review of proposed renovations to the exterior of their homes, additional to existing building permit and safety regulations.
ANC 3G hosted several public discussions where HCCDC proponents, representatives of the DC Historic Preservation Office and area residents could express views for and against the proposed historic district. Although historic districts are not formally subject to a community vote, in order to test community sentiment more closely, the ANC mailed a ballot to residents within the bounds of the proposed district. Opponents of the proposal were better organized and the returned ballots made clear that there was not community consensus in favor of historic designation.
As it became clear that the ANC would not support the district designation by the HPO, HCCDC then decided not to submit its application. The research and study are nonetheless a significant resource and are available through the buttons below.
Also available is the inventory of 900 separate home profiles, including basic data on year of construction, builder or architect, building materials, contribution to the architectural quality of the neighborhood and a photo. The pages are in alphabetical order of street name. We will be adding a search function to this document in the near future.