Neighborhood Preservation

Washington, DC has over 40 historic districts, including the Kalorama Triangle Historic District, bounded by Connecticut Avenue, Calvert Street, and Columbia Road. KCA successfully sponsored the application for the Kalorama Triangle Historic District, resulting in its listing in the DC Inventory of Historic Sites in 1986, and the National Register of Historic Places in 1987. Owners of properties in historic districts including the Kalorama Triangle who wish to make alterations to exteriors of their buildings must obtain a building permit approved either by the City’s Historic Preservation Review Board or by the Historic Preservation Division in the City’s Office of Planning. Residents of Historic Districts may also obtain a tax deduction through donation of a conservation easement. More information about these processes can be found at and
KCA has also led efforts to maintain the architectural character and livability of Adams Morgan, participating in Zoning Commission hearings to protect against demolitions of desirable buildings and the encroachment of commercial uses that might unnecessarily increase traffic, noise, and parking problems. KCA was also successful in preventing the continuation of a halfway house for Federal convicts, located directly across the street from an elementary school.

  • Future historic districts. KCA is currently exploring the possibility of obtaining historic district status for Washington Heights (roughly bounded by Columbia Road, Connecticut Avenue, Florida Avenue, and 18th Street). KCA was recently awarded a grant from the city's Historic Preservation Office to conduct a survey of Washington Heights to determine whether it merits historic designation. Lanier Heights (roughly bounded by Calvert Street, Columbia Road, Harvard St., and Rock Creek Park) might be another area for future designation.
  • Holt House and other Landmarks. KCA is leading ongoing efforts to save nearby Holt House, located on the grounds of the National Zoo, bordering Adams Morgan. Built around 1810, Holt House was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973. KCA also successfully sponsored the landmark applications for the Wyoming Apartments (DC Designation 1980, National Register 1983). KCA also sponsored a landmark application for the McDonald’s building at 18th and Columbia Road. The building was threatened with demolition, and the McDonald’s Corporation agreed to restore the façade to its original design by the prominent architect, Waddy Wood.
  • Reed-Cooke Overlay. KCA worked with the Reed-Cooke Neighborhood Association in 1989 to obtain the Reed-Cooke overlay zone. The regulations for the zone can be found at The Reed-Cooke neighborhood, named for the two elementary schools, Marie Reed and H.D. Cooke, is generally located between 18th Street, Florida Avenue, 16th Street, and Columbia Road. The overlay zone, covering certain portions of that neighborhood, seeks to preserve the moderate density and residential character of the neighborhood and ensure that non-residential uses serve the local community by providing retail goods, personal services, and other activities.
  • Other zoning cases. KCA and the ANC successfully worked on zoning cases to assure a 65-foot height limit and moderate density along 18th Street and Columbia Road, and to prevent the expansion of hotels into residential zones to save the housing supply.
  • Volunteer. Upon receipt of a building permit request, the Historic Preservation Division will seek input from the Advisory Neighborhood Commission and from community associations such as KCA. If you would like to volunteer to work on the committee to review these applications and make recommendations to HPD, or to work on other activities described above, please contact