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Historic Preservation Review of DC Agency Projects

Historic Preservation Review of District of Columbia Undertakings

The DC Historic Landmark and Historic District Protection Act was enacted to protect the District’s valuable historic and archaeological resources. One way the Act meets this goal is to require DC government agencies to take into account the effects of their undertakings on properties listed or eligible for listing in the District of Columbia Inventory of Historic Sites and to consult with and affort the DC State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO) a reasonable opportunity to comment. These requirements are to be fulfilled before an agency authorizes the expenditure of funds for design or construction or seeks the permit, license or approval for a DC undertaking.

The SHPO assists DC agencies to meet these requirements in as timely and efficient a manner as possible by identifying historic properties and by evaluating the effects of the project on historic properties. If any effects are considered “adverse” (e.g. demolition, inappropriate alteration or new construction,etc.), the SHPO assists the district agency to identify ways to avoid, minimize or mitigate the adverse affects.

The Historic Preservation Office has issued issued four documents identifying historic resources related to DC Government properties including Department of Parks and Recreation, Public Libraries, Public Safety Facilities, and Public Schools.

Archaeological Resources and District of Columbia Undertakings

Any District undertaking which involves ground disturbance has the potential to affect significant archaeological resources. Like historic buildings and districts, archaeological sites are considered “historic properties” and are protected by the DC Historic Landmark and Historic District Protection Act. DC agencies should consider the potential for archaeological resources as early as possible in project planning and are encouraged to consult with the SHPO to determine whether known resources may exist or if additional archaeological survey work will be required as part of the historic preservation review process. Additional information, forms and directions are accessible at the following link: