Some historic properties in the District of Columbia fall within review areas of the US Commission of Fine Arts (CFA) under the Shipstead-Luce Act of 1930. This federal law gives CFA authority to review exterior construction in areas around the city’s government and monumental core, along much of the downtown Potomac waterfront, and around Rock Creek Park.
Historic Properties Within Shipstead-Luce Areas
Both CFA and the Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB) review projects on historic properties within Shipstead-Luce areas. By law, the Mayor must refer proposed work in Shipstead-Luce areas to CFA for its recommendations, and may also seek advice from HPRB.
Design Standards and Guidelines
The design standards used by CFA and HPRB in Shipstead-Luce areas differ in some respects. In general, the purpose of CFA’s review in these areas is to ensure that construction is appropriate next to the adjacent federal properties. HPRB’s purpose is to ensure compatibility with the character of the historic property or district itself. Sign regulations and some other rules are more restrictive in Shipstead-Luce areas.
How to Apply
You apply for Shipstead-Luce review with the DC Historic Preservation Office (HPO). CFA and HPO coordinate on the intake and transmittal of applications for Shipstead-Luce review, as well as the processing of applications and permits after CFA review.