Langston & Slater Schools referenced in WBJ editorial: “A clear case of design neglect in DC”

Landmarked Langston and Slater Schools are mentioned in the Washington Business Journal guest editorial from DC Preservation League’s Rebecca Miller.

The entire editorial has not been copied here, since it is subscriber content.

DC Preservation League

A clear case of design neglect in D.C.

 SUBSCRIBER CONTENT: Jul 31, 2015, 6:00am EDT
Rebecca Miller
A major issue that affects Washington’s historic landmarks and neighborhoods is demolition by neglect, a transgression rampant not only by individual property owners, but also by the District government that is obligated to enforce it.

Demolition by neglect is a tactic often used by historic property owners to circumvent preservation laws. This strategy — letting a historic property suffer deterioration to the point of irreversible disrepair over time — increases security concerns for adjacent properties and results in deleterious effects on the surrounding neighborhood.

D.C.’s local ordinance recognizes the harms and attempts to curb demolition by neglect by private owners through substantial fines and other penalties — when enforced. But who holds local government agencies responsible for this type of deferred maintenance?

The Crummell School is just one of many city-owned historic properties that sit vacant or, worse, are in critical disrepair. Others include the Langston and Slater schools in Ward 5, at 43 P St. NW and 45 P St. NW respectively, as well as the historic structures and Agriculture Complex on St. Elizabeths East Campus in Ward 8. While this is by no means a comprehensive list, these buildings exemplify derelict historic properties owned by the District government.

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