by Donna Hanousek
At the end of September, ANC 6B nominated the Barney Circle Historic District to the DC Inventory of Historic Places. The nomination project originated with the Barney Circle Neighborhood Watch Association. A team, consisting of Beth Purcell (author) and Reuben Hameed and Antonette Russell (outreach leaders), worked for over a year to prepare the documentation and generate neighborhood support. Reuben (preservation architect) and Antonette (former ANC Commissioner for Barney Circle) moved off the Hill recently, but the Barney Circle Historic District will be a lasting legacy of their community involvement.
The CHRS Beyond the Boundaries Subcommittee provided photographic and editing support to the project. DC Preservation League (DCPL), the city-wide organization dedicated to preserving Washington’s historic environment, also supported the effort. This past spring, the Barney Circle Neighborhood Watch Association and ANC Commissioner Will Hill teamed up with CHRS to nominate Hill East to the DC Preservation League’s Most Endangered List. Last year, and in 2003, DCPL featured Hill East in its special Row House Month tours. Because of DCPL, Hill East is recognized city-wide as a neighborhood worth preserving.
If accepted for local designation as an historic district by the DC Historic Preservation Review Board, the neighborhood will be able to ensure that new development and building alterations are compatible with the existing building stock, and that the green spaces, so much a defining feature of Hill East, are not paved over. The nomination of the Barney Circle Historic District is a step toward gaining protection for the larger neighborhood.