The Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB) voted Thursday to accept the Historic Preservation Office’s (HPO) recommendation to exclude homeowners in Langston and Carver from the newly created Kingman Park Historic District.
Residents had expressed concern over a variety of issues including added costs to homeowners and a lack of grant funding for low and moderate-income homeowners. When other historic districts have been designated in the city, grant funding has been made available. No such grant funding is currently available.
Residents also expressed concerns about the process and the lack of outreach for community input.
Although HPO's recommendations were largely followed by the board, the panel did make several additions south of Benning Rd. including:
The addition of St. Benedict the Moor
The addition of Rosedale St. between 19th and 21st St NE
The addition of the south side of Gales St. between 19th and 21st St NE
The only board member who voted to oppose the application outright was Andrew Aurbach. Mr. Aurbach has been a long-time member of the board and discussed several issues before casting his vote including his concern that community support should be a factor in the board's decision-making. He expreswsed his opinion that community outreach had been insufficient and urged councilmembers to change HPRB's mandate to reflect the idea that community support should be a major factor in considering future proposals.
Other board members echoed concerns about the process and lack of sufficient community input, but voted to support the designation despite their comments. One new member who sat in on the hearing, but had not been included in previous hearings abstained from the vote.
LCA is currently working to have our community included in other cultural designations that will more noticeably recognize the contributions of African-Americans to our city without the added expense to homeowners.
Please keep an eye on our blog for updates about these and other important community events.