Historic Preservation

Our previous association president, Tanya Graham began the effort for Historic Preservation as the chair of the committee established in September 2018. With minimal support, Tanya has led us the remarkable achievement of award of a $25,000 grant from the Arlington County Historic Preservation Grant Fund! We are so appreciative of Tanya’s hard work and we look forward to working with her and the committee (join us!) to bring Historic Designation to our community.

About the Project:

The John M. Langston Citizens Association’s Historic Preservation Committee has been awarded a $25,000 grant from Arlington County, Historic Preservation to achieve designation of the Hall’s Hill-High View Park Community in the National Park Service’s National Register of Historic Places.

The HHHVP community has made significant contributions to Arlington’s history and it’s built environment has been under pressure for a variety of reasons. Securing placement on the National Register of Historic Places would cement the neighborhood as a historic place worthy of preservation.  As one of the three remaining “historically Black” communities left in Arlington, this recognition will allow the Citizens Association a greater ability to encourage the conservation of our neighborhood.

What are the Specific Project Goals:

  • Submit a nomination to the Virginia State Historic Preservation Office to request formal recognition of the Hall’s Hill-High View Park community’s historical significance. This will allow the John M. Langston Citizens Association to secure a certified nomination from the Virginia National Register Review Board to gain submission to the National Park Service’s National Register of Historic Places for final review and Listing by the Keeper of the National Register of Historic Places.
  • Build stronger connections between our community members, greater-Arlington, and the Washington Metropolitan area by educating people about the significance of HHHVP’s history from the post-Civil War era to the present.
  • Foster community partnerships through work with Arlington County Public Schools, Arlington Public Library and the Center for Local History, the Black Heritage Museum of Arlington, the Arlington Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Challenging Racism, and Courageous Conversations (Rock Spring Congregational Church of Christ and Calloway United Methodist Church) and the Langston Boulevard Alliance to multiple strategies to disperse the information from the research results.
  • Encourage longevity and preservation of HHHVP as one of the remaining historically black neighborhoods in Arlington as neighborhood “revitalization” and “upscaling” efforts continue across Arlington County. This is very important as there were once 12 historically black communities and enclaves in Arlington, and now there are only 3; and
  • Ensure that the John M. Langston Citizens Association has a comprehensive, documented, and published history that it “owns” to encourage historic preservation in the community for generations to come.

General Project Q&A

What is the National Register of Historic Places?

  • Was established in 1966 by the National Historic Preservation Act;
  • Is the official list of structures, sites, objects, and districts that embody the historical and cultural foundations of the United States;
  • Includes places of local, state, and national significance;
  • Is managed by the Department of Historic Resources in partnership with the National Park Service for properties in Virginia.

Permission of a majority of private property owners is required for an individually nominated property or a historic district to be listed in the VLR or the National Register. Both types of listing are treated the same under state and federal laws and regulations.

What Does Listing a Property or applying as a Historic District in the VLR or National Register Mean?

Listing in the Registers:

  • Is strictly honorary;
  • Officially recognizes the historic significance of a place, building, site, or area;
  • Encourages but does not require preservation of the property or historic district;
  • Offers limited protections to properties from potentially harmful federally- or state-funded activities;
  • May qualify owners for voluntary state and federal rehabilitation tax credit programs and DHR’s easement program

Listing in the Registers Does Not —

  • Prevent an owner from renovating or demolishing buildings;
  • Require an owner to restore or renovate property;
  • Restrict an owner’s use of the property;
  • Increase property values or taxes;
  • Regulate local governments or require creation of a local historic preservation program
    • Local governments have the authority to create historic preservation ordinances and historic district overlays; these and other such efforts are locally controlled, do not involve DHR, and are not part of the Register process.