At the latest meeting of the Advisory Neighborhood Commission 2E, officials approved revised designs by the Tudor Place Foundation for new small buildings on the historic home’s grounds along 31st and Q Streets. Such approval was a triumph of balance between neighbors and a historic home. While some did not like the proposed garage designs taking up their line of sight on 32nd Street, the argument did not devolve into a “not-in-my-back-yard” discussion. Tudor Place modified its initial designs after critiques by neighbors and government bodies, and the result was a better design overall.
We must find ways to maintain the historic homes within our neighborhood without going NIMBY on them. They are fragile and expensive to get. Likewise, owners of these properties should always engage the residents in their mission and future. Two historic Georgetown homes – Evermay and Halcyon House – are now under the umbrella of the same non-profit, S&R Foundation, which appears more than willing and able to preserve and protect them. Families, it seems, cannot hang on to such large properties.
As Georgetowners and bearers of the light of history, we must work with the persons or groups that own our historical places. We cannot make it all about us. At the same time, they may own it, but it is not theirs alone.