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Ellen M. McCarthy
Acting Director, Office of Planning

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December 06, 2013

DC Office of Planning Releases 2016 District of Columbia Historic Preservation Plan 

Plan Provides Historical Overview & Recommendations for Protecting Communities

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Learn a bit about local history and see how Washington's heritage is shaping the city's growth in the new 2016 District of Columbia Historic Preservation Plan, a generously illustrated and informative community guide.

2016 Plan Cover Final

(Washington, DC) – After a year-long planning effort with community partners, the DC Office of Planning has released Enriching our Heritage, the 2016 District of Columbia Historic Preservation Plan.  Developed by OP's Historic Preservation Office, the generously illustrated 92-page document is an informative guide to help District residents learn about local history and see how Washington's heritage is shaping the city's growth.  

Using timelines and graphics, the plan traces how Washington grew from modest beginnings into a dynamic multi-cultural city.  It describes how the city’s magnificent architecture and beautiful neighborhoods have been nurtured over the years through official protections and the contributions of communities and civic leaders.  Drawing on views expressed in public forums, it discusses current challenges in preserving the historic ambience and quality of life that is attracting so many new residents to the city.  It also identifies key opportunities to enrich the city’s environment with new vitality and an appreciation of an increasingly diverse cultural scene.

The plan proposes several innovations in the city’s approach to historic preservation.   It explores ideas about celebrating the upcoming 225th anniversary of the District’s establishment, and suggests how everyone can participate in community heritage events.  It proposes a pilot project to test the concept of conservation districts, and financial incentives to encourage reuse of the city’s older housing stock for affordable housing.  In all, the plan identifies thirteen key goals with specific action items and targets for each goal.    

The Preservation Plan was developed with the assistance of a steering committee of community and business leaders from across the city, as well as guidance from non-profit organizations working to engage District residents in local history and community heritage activities.  

Enriching our Heritage is available on the Office of Planning website. Hard copies are also available through OP's Historic Preservation Office at  or (202) 442-8835.