(Updated at 10:50 a.m.) A three-story, county-owned group home in Douglas Park is set for demolition early next year.
In its place, Arlington County will oversee the construction of an environmentally friendly home for six adults with disabilities, at a total cost of more than $5 million.
Built in 1924, the house at 1212 S. Irving Street has undergone several renovations and has operated as a group home since the mid-1970s, according to a county report. Today, the 3,800-square foot, seven-bedroom house accommodates five individuals.
But the county says the house needs to be rebuilt.
“This existing residence is aged and in deteriorating condition and will be demolished and replaced with a new two-story family home of approximately 3,000 [square feet],” according to the project page.
The $4 million construction contract for the net-zero group home was approved by the County Board in October. Demolition could begin in January 2022, as could the installation of a geothermal well field that will power the home’s heating and cooling systems, says Claudia Pors, a Department of Environmental Services spokeswoman.
“Right now the contractor (MCN Build) doesn’t want to begin demolition of the current structure until they have materials to build the new home, and demolition isn’t anticipated to begin for another 6-8 weeks,” she said.
The new home will have six bedrooms, including accessible bathrooms and closets, an area for staff and accessible communal living spaces with built-in furnishings and appliances, per the county report. It will be equipped with various audio-visual technologies to support individuals with complex medical support needs.
“Upon completion, the new home will provide a primary and permanent residence for up to six adults with developmental disabilities,” the report said. “It will be constructed to meet the changing needs of the residents across their lifespans, regardless of physical and behavioral support needs.”
Arlington’s Department of Human Services will operate and maintain the house, while a contracted residential provider will have the primary responsibility for caring for residents.
The new 1212 S. Irving Street will be a net-zero energy residence, meaning it generates as much energy as it consumes. It will also be the county’s first Viridiant Net-Zero certified building, Pors said.
“Some of the construction features include an airtight building envelope and high-performance windows and doors that prevent outdoor air from coming in, or loss of conditioned air; less than 50% of impervious area on the property, so stormwater can be absorbed by the ground naturally; and landscaping with non-invasive species,” she said.
Solar panels and geothermal systems will power the building, while energy recovery ventilators will recover heat or cold air, she said. The interior will also feature LED lighting, low-flow plumbing features and Energy Star appliances.
The project is $900,000 over budget, according to the report.
“The total project budget for the 1212 S. Irving St. Group Home project is $5,205,735,” the report says. “This amount is $900,000 over budget, due to the current unstable market conditions, longer construction duration from lagging supply deliveries, and the addition of a sixth bedroom and a kitchenette to satisfy DHS current programming requirements. The construction cost was over a $1 million more than the independent cost estimate received in November 2020.”
(Updated on 11/22/21) The way has been cleared for the demolition of a home built in 1889, near the East Falls Church Metro station.
The Fellows-McGrath House, located at 6404 Washington Blvd and profiled in the Falls Church News-Press earlier this year by local historian Charlie Clark, was home to Harry Andrew Fellows. Fellows was Mayor of Falls Church and in 1932 became the first chairman of the newly formed Arlington County Board. The home was later a bed and breakfast known as “Memory House,” according to a real estate listing.
There is also a 130-year-old chestnut tree on the site that may be destroyed in the redevelopment now that demolition permits have been approved for the site.
Earlier this year, Clark reported that the home was purchased by Manassas-based FNM Investments LLC for $1.1 million and determined to be “uninhabitable.”
A demolition permit has since been filed and approved for the property. A county spokeswoman said such permits for private homes are outside of the discretion of the County Board.
“On August 18, the County approved a Land Disturbing Activity (LDA) permit for the Fellows-McGrath House… and on September 3, the County approved a demolition permit,” said Erika Moore, communications specialist for Arlington County. “Both LDA and Demolition permits are approved administratively. Neither the County Board nor the County Manager has authority to stop their issuance when all requirements are satisfied.”
“Manassas realtor Masum Kahn, who bought the house after eight months on the market to build modern homes, has not set a demolition schedule,” Clark reported in September. “Though he would consider selling ‘for the right price.'”
Local preservationist Tom Dickinson, after an unsuccessful bid to save the Febrey-Lothrop, launched a similarly doomed effort to save the Fellows-McGrath House.
“This sad situation about the subject property only serves to reinforce the fact that the County Manager and County Board could not care less about preserving and conserving unique, significant historic homes and property in Arlington,” Dickinson said. “Unlike our neighboring jurisdictions in Alexandria and Fairfax, Arlington is completely oblivious to the civic, community, and even economic value tied to historic properties… [it’s] another sad and unjustified loss to the entire community to see a magnificent, totally restored, unique 1889 Victorian crushed and bits and pieces hauled to a landfill.”
Dickinson said he filed an application with the Historical Affairs and Landmark Review Board to designate the property as historic, but the application was tabled — and the fate of the house was likely already sealed given that the owner had already filed for a demolition permit.
Now, Dickinson said he is advocating for changing state laws so that Arlington County’s historic designation process no longer needs to race against its own administrative permit approval process.
“We are working to amend state laws in order to eliminate this Catch-22 that was also the death knell for the late, lamented Febrey Lothrop Rouse estate,” Dickinson said. “If passed, this amendment would prohibit the issuance of a demolition permit for any property under review for local historic district designation.”
Tesla Dealership Coming to S. Glebe Road — ARLnow’s scoop from February is all but confirmed: “Tesla Inc. appears to be filling the high-end auto dealership void left by Maserati’s closure in South Arlington. The electric automaker will convert the former Maserati and Alfa Romeo dealership at 2710 S. Glebe Road into a 63,854-square-foot auto sales, delivery and vehicle service center, per plans obtained from Construction Journal. The work is expected to be fairly quick, starting in November and finishing up by January.” [Washington Business Journal]
Long Bridge Concert Tomorrow — “Join us, along with Arlington Parks & Recreation, Saturday, September 25 for the Long Bridge Aquatics & Fitness Center Community Celebration featuring a festive fall beer garden and live entertainment including Virginia native and HOT 99.5 Rising Artist Winner, Jerel Crockett beginning at 5 PM. The night will include a diverse lineup of some of the DMV’s hottest DJs, Farrah Flosscett and King Iven, as well as the rock/pop/funk band, Up All Night, playing all your favorite songs from the 80s, 90s, and today.” [National Landing]
Big Crash on GW Parkway — “A reader sends this photo of the earlier crash on the GW Parkway, near Key Bridge, in case anybody drives by later and wonders what happened to the wall.” [Twitter, Twitter]
The End is Near for an Old Home — “A demolition permit has been granted the owner of the 130-year-old Fellows-McGrath home at Washington Blvd. near Sycamore St. It’s disappointing to Tom Dickinson and other preservation activists who had filed an application to protect it… Manassas realtor Masum Kahn, who bought the house after eight months on the market to build modern homes, has not set a demolition schedule. Though he would consider selling ‘for the right price.'” [Falls Church News-Press]
Caps Player Honored by ACFD — “Earlier this month the ACFD presented @Capitals @GarnetHathaway with a citizens award for his charity known as #HathsHeroes. This charity has given so much to local first responders and we are extremely thankful to Mr. Hathaway for his work in the community.” [Twitter]
Oddity of Arlington Transit History — “The Rosslyn-Ballston corridor is a famous example of early transit-oriented development because of the Orange Line, but the area was home to an innovative transit experiment long before Metro. From 1936 through 1939, a streetcar-bus hybrid provided service from the City of Fairfax to Rosslyn and into DC.” [Greater Greater Washington]
Arrest in Seven Corners Sex Assault Case — “Patrick Michael Chaloupka, 38, of Woodbridge has been charged with additional felonies for another sexual assault that occurred at a Falls Church hotel. Officers responded to a hotel on Aug. 26 in the 6100 block of Arlington Boulevard for the report of an assault that occurred three days prior.” [Fairfax County Police Department]
It’s the End of Summers — The former Summers restaurant in Courthouse was torn down yesterday, making way for a new apartment development. Video of the demolition shows water being sprayed to control dust as the building was razed. [Twitter]
Staffing Concerns At 911 Dispatch Center — “The head of Arlington, Virginia’s Emergency Communications Center is addressing concerns that its current setup is problematic and even potentially dangerous. ‘We are like every other 911 center in the country, which has traditionally struggled with staffing,’ center administrator Dave Mulholland told WTOP. ‘We’re going to be very honest in acknowledging not every shift has optimal staffing.’ However, Mulholland maintains that crucial positions have always remained filled, and that more people are being trained to fill needed roles.” [WTOP]
Lebanese Taverna Helping to Feed Refugees — “When word came that thousands of Afghan refugees would be landing at Dulles in late August after their country fell to the Taliban, World Central Kitchen mobilized to make sure those reaching the U.S. after a harrowing journey would be greeted with a hot meal. The nonprofit’s first call was to Grace Abi-Najm Shea, one of five siblings behind Lebanese Taverna… Of the 61,298 meals WCK served there between Aug. 25 and Sept. 10, 5,037 came from Lebanese Taverna.” [Washington City Paper]
County Board May Modify Hotel Tax — “Arlington County is weighing whether to tax hotel guests for the total cost of their stay, including fees and other charges, and not just the cost of the room. The potential change to the transient occupancy tax — the revenue from which has collapsed amid the pandemic, affecting Arlington’s incentive arrangement with Amazon.com Inc. — follows changes to the tax definition in the state code adopted by the Virginia General Assembly.” [Washington Business Journal]
Much of Crystal City Is Now Carbon Neutral — “JBG SMITH, a leading owner and developer of high-quality, mixed-use properties in the Washington, DC market, today announced it has achieved carbon neutrality across its entire 16.1 million square foot operating portfolio. Building on this accomplishment, JBG SMITH intends for its properties to maintain carbon neutral operations annually.” [BusinessWire]
Tucker Rants About Beyer — Fox News opinion host Tucker Carlson called Rep. Don Beyer “a fashionably radical car dealer from Arlington” on his show earlier this week, in a segment about vaccine mandates. But Beyer’s communications director says that the local congressman, who is actually an Alexandria resident, “does not own any auto dealerships and has not for years.” [Twitter]
Harris Teeter Stores Cutting Hours — “Harris Teeter stores nationwide will be reducing their store hours until further notice, citing the shortage of labor caused by the COVID-19 pandemic… Starting Wednesday, Sept. 15, all Harris Teeters will be open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Stores in Northern Virginia have previously been open 24 hours, or until 11 p.m.” [InsideNova]
The “revolution” in urban living set to take place in the Landmark Block in Courthouse is currently being fomented.
Residents who pass the site near the Courthouse Metro station can see preparations underway to tear down some of the low-slung retail buildings along the 2000 block of Wilson Blvd.
Demolition work is starting on the site’s aging brick retail buildings, as Bisnow reported earlier this week. John Clarkson, the managing director Greystar Real Estate Partners, told the site that work began last week, and the developer aims to deliver a 20-story apartment building by the third quarter of 2023.
The Landmark Block site is one of two projects — the other is a 220-unit building on the vacant Wendy’s lot — that Greystar is overseeing in Courthouse. Clarkson said the developer is focused on this neighborhood because it has the demographics, schools and walkability that make Clarendon attractive but less of the growth.
“We really want to establish a sense of place,” Clarkson tells Bisnow. “With some real density, some real scale it will feel like we have filled in that hole in the doughnut between Rosslyn and Clarendon, so we’re very excited about [the] upside of that submarket.”
Seven commercial buildings on the Landmark Block site will be demolished, including the former Summers Restaurant. The façades of the First Federal Savings and Loan Building (2050 Wilson Blvd) and the Investment Building (2049 15th Street N.) will be preserved, according to the county. The buildings, constructed in 1946 and 1948 respectively, are identified as “important” on the county’s Historic Resources Inventory.
The County Board approved the project at 2050 Wilson Blvd, featuring 423 apartment units, ground-floor retail and an underground parking garage, back in March. For proponents, the building and accompanying community benefits will make Courthouse Square “the civic and cultural heart of Arlington,” and will be “where the revolution begins,” as phrased in a county planning document.
One of the features the county said will usher in changes for Courthouse is a pedestrian promenade.
“The promenade was one of the addendum’s top recommendations for the area around Landmark Block,” the county said in March. “The N. Uhle Street promenade…will be lined with trees, and offer retail shops and plenty of space for community gatherings.”
Greystar will provide a portion of the Courthouse Square promenade that is envisioned in the Courthouse Square Addendum to the Courthouse Sector Plan. The full promenade would run between Wilson Blvd and 14th Street N. along N. Uhle Street.
The county said the promenade will be “the main gateway from Clarendon Boulevard into Courthouse Square.”
Meanwhile, the long-vacant Wendy’s site will no longer look on while other sites are developed around it. Greystar’s plans for the triangular site at 2025 Clarendon Blvd are going through entitlements, Clarkson tells Bisnow.
The developer expects to break ground on the 220-unit building by the second quarter of 2022. For the last two years, construction crews have used it as a staging area while building a condo project across the street at 2000 Clarendon.
The old Wendy’s site has sat vacant since it was demolished in 2016 for an office building that never came. Greystar acquired the property from Carr Properties in January, according to real estate firm JLL.
Manager: Say No to Rouse Historic Designation — “With much of the physical infrastructure on the site now a pile of rubble, Arlington County Manager Mark Schwartz wants County Board members to throw in the towel on designating parts of the Rouse estate parcel as a local historic district… While recommending that the County Board reject the historic designation, Schwartz also proposes that staff be directed to come back by October with a report on potential ways the site could be incorporated into Arlington’s historic-preservation and/or affordable-housing efforts.” [Sun Gazette]
Police Looking for Missing Man — Updated at 8:45 a.m. — The Fairfax County Police helicopter assisted with the search for a missing Arlington man Sunday afternoon. Early his morning, ACPD announced: “[The missing man] has been safely located. Thank you to everyone who assisted by sharing this information.” [Twitter, NBC 4]
DCA Noise Meeting Tonight — “An online public meeting on April 5 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. will discuss aircraft noise north of Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. The Aircraft Noise Mitigation Study meeting, to be hosted by Montgomery County (Md.) Council member Andrew Friedson and Arlington County Board member Libby Garvey, is a follow-up of a meeting held last year by those localities.” [Sun Gazette]
Amazon Cites Va. As Example for Voting Rights — “UPDATE: @Amazon says it opposes state efforts to limit voting rights, urges states to follow Virginia’s lead and make it easier to vote.” [Twitter]
Wakefield Makes Football Playoffs — “For the second straight season and third time in four campaigns, the Wakefield Warriors have qualified for the football region playoffs. Wakefield (4-1, 3-1) clinched a 6D North Region Tournament berth with a 13-0 home victory over the Falls Church Jaguars on April 1 in National District action. It was the team’s final regular-season contest in this condensed high-school schedule.” [Sun Gazette]
Reminder: Water Switch in Effect Today — “It’s… that time of year again: the time when your tap water starts to smell a bit like a swimming pool… On Monday, April 5 the disinfectant used in Arlington County’s drinking water will be temporarily switched from chloramine to chlorine.” [ARLnow]
Nearby: New Store Coming to Bailey’s Xroads — “Five Below is moving into the former Pier One space at the Bailey’s Crossroads Shopping Center. Pier One closed in early 2020. Five Below specializes in items for teens and tweens mostly priced at $5 or less. The stores feature toys, snacks, cosmetics, room décor, sports items, accessories, party supplies, and $5 t-shirts.” [Annandale Blog]
Photo courtesy Christina Schnoor
Brian Hannigan just lost a battle he’s been fighting for the better part of a decade, and all that’s left now is to hope the end result isn’t too detrimental to his neighborhood.
Hannigan, president of the Dominion Hills Civic Association, has been one of the voices for years telling Arlington County that it should purchase the nine-acre Febrey-Lothrop House, at 6407 Wilson Blvd, when it became available.
Formerly home to businessman Randy Rouse before his death in 2017, the property is also known as the Rouse estate. While the house has undergone numerous renovations and expansions over the years, portions of it are believed to date back to before the Civil War.
It’s now being demolished, in anticipation of expected single-family-home development on the site.
The County Board took up the question of whether to designate the property as historic, requiring preservation or, at least, greater archeological efforts and documentation to be performed before development could occur, but the discussion was too little, too late, and a demolition permit for the house was approved administratively before any historic preservation designation could be enacted.
Though disappointed, Hannigan says he’s at least hopeful that the site won’t be up-zoned for denser development.
“I think it’s a done deal,” said Hannigan. “We received assurances from the trustee, the owner, that they have no interest in pursuing a sale that would involve rezoning.”
The potential historic designation is still on the books for discussion at meetings in April, but the house is already partially torn down.
According to the county website, Arlington County Historic Preservation staff were able to access the property prior to demolition. Hearings on the historic designation of a portion of the property are expected to proceed as scheduled at the Planning Commission and County Board, despite the home’s demolition.
It’s unclear what would be targeted for preservation if approved, though some on the County Board previously said possibility of pre-Columbian artifacts on the site, based on records of Native Americans activity in the area, was more compelling than any historical aspects of the house itself.
The designation is scheduled to be discussed at a Planning Commission meeting on Monday, April 5, and at the County Board on Saturday, April 17.
“I’m disappointed Arlington County didn’t step up,” Hannigan said. “Personally, been advocating for the county to target this land and acquire it for years, but those pleas have fallen on deaf ears. Two years ago county did put the site on the Parks Master Plan as generational and unique opportunity for acquisition. The language they used was appropriate, that if it goes on the market it’s gone forever. Well, that’s what happened.”
Hannigan said he hoped the land would be acquired by the county and preserved as open space, but now those hopes have shifted warily towards advocating against any potential rezoning.
To the anguish of preservationists, the Febrey-Lothrop House — also known as the Rouse estate — is in the process of being torn down as of Wednesday morning.
A crew is using heavy equipment to demolish the aging mansion at 6407 Wilson Blvd, the origins of which are historic in nature, according to those that have waged a campaign to save it following the death of its long-time owner.
Built prior to the Civil War war, the original house on the estate was largely replaced by a new building in the early 20th century, though some parts of the original structure may remain. Aside from age, those arguing for the building’s preservation also point to the estate’s role in hosting Civil War encampments and some of its notable past residents: business magnate and aviator Howard Hughes, actress Audrey Meadows, and sportsman Randy Rouse, who passed away in 2017.
Rouse’s trust reportedly plans to develop the 9 acre Dominion Hills property, near Seven Corners, as a collection of single-family homes.
The demolition comes after the Arlington County Board scheduled a hearing in April — following a unanimous Historical Affairs and Landmark Review Board vote — to consider a historic designation for the property that could prevent such demolition, if approved.
County officials said recently they were still planning to move forward with the hearing, but they were unable legally to prevent the owners from demolishing the home and other structures on the property in the meantime. A demolition permit was issued earlier this month; some initial prep work was performed in January.
In a statement to the County Board this weekend, a local preservationist who was leading the charge to save the estate called it a “sacred site,” citing the probability that it was originally built by enslaved labor. The statement also said its demolition would be “equivalent” to destroying crematoriums at a notorious Nazi concentration camp.
County Still Prepping for Preservation Hearing — “Even though the razing of the Rouse estate may be at hand, the Arlington County government’s historic-preservation staff is taking the steps necessary if public hearings on preservation of the site go forward in April… But nearly all parties now expect that the buildings on the 9-acre site will be razed before those hearings occur.” [Sun Gazette]
Preservationist Compares Estate to Auschwitz — Tom Dickinson, who’s leading the charge to save the Rouse estate, directed the following statement to the County Board over the weekend, referencing the likelihood that enslaved people built part of the estate: “If you, the board, do not intervene to stop this destruction of this sacred site, your individual and collective legacy will be stained forever by a lack of honor and respect for those who labored and suffered to create these structures at this site, and the desecration of them… It would be the equivalent of allowing the destruction of the crematory ovens at Auschwitz.” [Sun Gazette]
Northam Further Easing COVID Restrictions — “Governor Northam has further amended Executive Order 72 to modify public health restrictions in place to prevent transmission of COVID-19. These changes come as Virginia’s vaccination rate is steady and case counts are fluctuating. Effective April 1, limits on social gatherings will increase from 10 to 50 for indoor gatherings, and from 25 to 100 for outdoor gatherings.” [Arlington County]
NAACP Head Receives FBI Community Award — “FBI Washington Field Office (WFO) Assistant Director in Charge (ADIC) Steven M. D’Antuono is pleased to announce Mr. Julius Spain, Sr., as the recipient of the 2020 FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award (DCLA) for WFO. Mr. Spain serves as President of the Arlington Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).” [FBI]
Arlington Free Clinic’s Vaccination Effort — “Officials and community organizations are scrambling to close this racial gap in vaccine access. One such organization is the Arlington Free Clinic, which serves uninsured adults, many of them undocumented immigrants, in Arlington County. The clinic is holding vaccination days twice a week and working with other local social service organizations to develop an alternate pathway for low-income communities of color to get vaccinated.” [WAMU]
Former AP Bureau Chief Dies — “Charles Lewis, a former Washington bureau chief for The Associated Press and The Hearst Newspapers who tirelessly advocated for the release of AP journalist Terry Anderson from kidnappers in Lebanon, died Saturday. He was 80. Lewis, of Arlington, Virginia, died at a hospital from complications from cancer.” [Associated Press]
(Update 5:15 p.m.) Demolition has begun on the exterior of the old Kann’s Department Store to make way for George Mason University’s Arlington campus expansion.
A University spokesperson confirmed to ARLnow that demolition of the interior began in November and the exterior demolition began this week. It’s expected to be completed in the fall.
Fencing went up in November around the mid-century building that has a long Arlington history.
First opened in 1951 as the suburban branch of a popular D.C. department store, Kann’s Department Store at 3401 Fairfax Drive became a gathering spot for many in Arlington. The department store featured three-floors, an escalator, a restaurant called the “Kannteen,” and monkeys.
Yes, the shoe department had a large glass-windowed monkey display with live monkeys from Brazil.
To this day, Arlingtonians hold fond memories of shopping at the department, as Charlie Clark documented earlier this month for the Falls Church News-Press.
In 1975, GMU acquired the building at Virginia Square.
For many years, it was used to house GMU’s law school (named after the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia in 2016) and became known as the “Original Building.” It was thought at the time that it was only law school in the country that had an escalator.
In an alumni remembrance from last year, many former students recounted how this building was where they bought clothes as a kid and earned their law degree as an adult.
In soon-to-be-demolished building’s place and on the same site will go an expansive, new, glass and steel building perhaps emblazoned with a distinctive green “M” at the top.
When demolition of the old building is completed, the university will begin design and construction work on the $250 million expansion. Money for the expansion, spurred by the arrival of Amazon’s HQ2, is coming from a combination of state funds and private donations.
The new building will have about 360,500 square feet of space, and is expected to be LEED Platinum-certified. It will house faculty from Institute for Digital InnovAtion and the university’s new School of Computing.
The expansion will help create “the Rosslyn-Ballston Innovation Corridor, an innovation district that will be the first of its kind in Virginia,” GMU says.
The university is expected to occupy about 60% of the space while private companies may lease other portions of it. GMU is predicting that the expansion will add 3,000-4,000 additional students to the Arlington campus by 2024.
Last month, GMU’s Board of Visitors authorized the university to begin negotiating with Mason Innovation Partners, a consortium made up of developers and investors, as the developer of the expansion project.
Following the demolition, construction is slated to start in the spring of 2022. The building is scheduled to open in the summer of 2025.
The Dominion Hills mansion, owned by sportsman Randy Rouse until he passed away in 2017, had also been home to Howard Hughes and actress Audrey Meadows. Of greater historic interest to County officials was the fact that the estate grounds, which had been a hunting ground and gathering place for pre-Columbian Native American tribes in the area, had been left virtually undisturbed for centuries.
The owners of the estate have been pursuing a demolition permit parallel to an effort from preservationists to try to give the property a local historic designation over the objections of Rouse’s trust. The designation would require additional archeological and preservation work before any development could take place on the property.
The County Board was amenable to the designation, unanimously voting to send the designation back to the Planning Commission on April 5 for approval, before returning to the County Board on April 17.
The house, which has sat on the hill in one form or another since before the Civil War — documentation suggests the original home was largely replaced by a new building in the early 20th century — may not live long enough to see that designation bear fruit.
The last holdup in the demolition permit process was a land disturbing activity (LDA) permit, but County officials confirmed that the demolition permit was issued last Friday after the LDA permit was approved. Previously, County Attorney Stephen MacIsaac told the County Board that the county could be hauled into court if it were to delay approving a properly-submitted demolition permit application.
The same day the permit was approved, a letter from Barrett Consultants P.C. was sent to neighbors informing them of the impending demolition activities.
“This letter is being sent to inform you that the owner of… 6407 Wilson Boulevard intends to perform the demolition of the existing home and/or structures located on the premises of the property,” the letter said. “The demolition and subsequent excavation of the structure will begin in the very near future.”
“In preparation of starting, appropriate tree protection measures will be installed, as well as proper silt fencing to help mitigate erosion and preventative purposes to adjacent properties,” the letter added.
With the permits in hand, there are no impediments under Virginia law preventing the owners from tearing down the house and thus preempting efforts to save it with a historic designation.
As of this writing, on Wednesday afternoon, the house was still standing.