Office of Planning

DC Agency Top Menu

-A +A
Bookmark and Share

Shipstead-Luce Review

March 26, 2020) - Due to the DC government operating status, a temporary project filing process for CFA Shipstead-Luce cases is currently in place.


New CFA Filings
New filings for the Commission of Fine Arts (Old Georgetown Board or Shipstead-Luce) can be submitted electronically at [email protected]. Filings must include plans and a completed CFA application. We will provide further information by email to applicants regarding their responsibilities to provide public notice. CFA filing fees are not being collected at the time of filing but will be assessed by DCRA prior to the issuance of any building permits.

If submissions are too large to send electronically, please email us and we will make alternative provisions.

Download the CFA OGB application here.

Download the CFA Shipstead-Luce application here.

Information regarding changes in the permitting process at the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) and Department of Transportation (DDOT) was announced on March 24. Read the Press Release here .


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 at HPO, 1100 4th Street SW, located on the 6th Floor. CFA and HPO coordinate on the intake and transmittal of applications for Shipstead-Luce review, as well as the processing of applications after CFA review.