Graduate students in the University of Maryland's fall 2004 Historic Preservation Studio examined the tools available for preserving the neighborhood character of the H Street commercial corridor in Northeast Washington, D.C. The historically significant area was subject to the 1968 riots and ýwhite flightý to the suburbs and was largely ignored by investors for almost thirty-five years. Recently, however, there has been renewed development interest in the area.
Historically, the corridor has been commercially, demographically, and institutionally diverse. Current residents wish to see more commercial diversity but fear economic development will destroy the neighborhoodýs demographic diversity. To address this concern, the students looked at ways to manage the changes facing H Street. This study identifies policies that address the contributing elements to H Streetýs character, such as economic activity, historic structures, and urban design. Its recommendations focus on the integration of policies affecting historic buildings, land use and streetscape, new construction, and activities of local organizations as a tool to overcome long-standing physical and economic issues in the neighborhood and to encourage well-managed change.
Kimberly Claver Liz Creveling