Monday, February 13, 2012

Historic Preservation Hearing on Proposal to Demolish 1232-1236 New Jersey Avenue, NW, to be Held on February 16, 2012

1232-1236 New Jersey Avenue, NW
A hearing will be held this week by the Mayor's Agent for Historic Preservation on the proposal to demolish the three buildings located at 1232-1236 New Jersey Avenue, NW, and owned by the Third Street Church of God.  The church wants to demolish the buildings, which are located in the Mount Vernon Square Historic District, as part of a project to expand its parking lot.

Both the Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB) and Historic Preservation Office (a division of the Office of Planning) oppose demolition of the structures, although they support partial demolition of the rear of the structures.

However, the final decision (barring a lawsuit) will be made by the Mayor's Agent.

According to the Mayor's Agent notice, the church claims that failure to issue a permit to demolish the entire structures will result in unreasonable economic hardship to the church.

The Mayor's Agent hearing is scheduled for Thursday, February 16, 2012, at 10:00 a.m., at the Office of Planning, 1100 4th Street, SW, Suite E650.

A history of the raze permit request, along with links to prior HPRB documents are after the jump.

History of the Raze Permit Request
Parking lot adjacent to 1232-1236 New Jersey Avenue, NW
The church, as part of a June 2011 HPRB decision, originally agreed to retain the front portions of the buildings and only raze the rear portions of the buildings. After partial demolition began, however, the church, based on the condition of the structures, revised its request to seek permission to completely raze the structures.In November 2011, the HPRB staff recommended that the proposal to completely raze the structures be rejected, stating that the "rowhouses retain their historic integrity" and indicating that the deterioration of two of the rowhouses was due to the church's neglect of maintenance.  The HPRB approved the staff recommendation at its November 2011 meeting.

Links to Documents
Third Street Church of God
(small portion of existing parking lot visible to right)
The notice of the Mayor's Agent hearing may be viewed at

The November 2011 HPRB staff report is available at (the HPRB's approval of the staff report is noted in the HPRB actions report available at

The June 2011 HPRB staff report is available at

The June 2011 HPRB decision is available at


  1. A parking lot, heck no! Take metro or walk..and sell the lot. It's historic and should not be torn down.

  2. Why should a church get to break the rule? The church should be setting a good example for the rest of the neighbors. Shame for even asking, and for a parking lot?! Double shame.