Historic Preservation

Download our brochure: A Guide to Historic Preservation Work in Georgetown

Visit the HPZ Blog: read the latest installments of a series authored by HPZ Chair Elsa Santoyo: Historic preservation in Georgetown and the work of CAG HPZ. 


CAG’s Historic Preservation & Zoning Committee

Founded in 1751, Georgetown became a nationally designated historic district in 1950 with passage of The Old Georgetown Act. This Act protects our village with federal laws including the creation of the Old Georgetown Board, a design advisory committee to the US Commission of Fine Arts. Designated a National Historic Landmark in 1967, Georgetown is in the Inventory of Historic Places and the National Register of Historic Places.
The Citizens Association of Georgetown (CAG), according to our by-laws, is “dedicated to the restoration, preservation, maintenance, and protection of the historic character and exterior architectural features of buildings and historic sites and landmarks in the area in the District of Columbia defined as the old Georgetown district and the streets immediately facing that district.”
The Historic Preservation and Zoning Committee of CAG has as its primary mission: "To preserve the historic character, to develop the aesthetic values of Georgetown as a place in which the Nation's Capital was planned, and to assist in making it a pleasant place in which to live." The Committee provides educational materials and programs to inform residents, monitors and frequently comments on proposed projects, and examines evolving rules and regulations affecting historic preservation and zoning in Georgetown.
More specifically, the Committee:
•    Promotes appreciation and understanding of historic preservation.
•    Educates the community about the responsibilities of living in Georgetown, a historic district and landmark.
•    Builds awareness of historic preservation regulations, laws, and guidelines.
•    Provides information about undertaking construction projects in the Georgetown historic district.
•    Supports neighbors when their concerns are aligned with CAG’s mission.

 In practice, it:
•    Works with the Advisory Neighborhood Commission 2E, Georgetown BID, Georgetown Business Association, Georgetown University, Committee of 100 on the Federal City, local and adjoining neighborhood associations, and more.
•    Reviews proposed projects each month by studying drawings in advance of each ANC meeting and by inviting developers to present their plans.
•    Follows projects through the months-long approval processes, commenting when needed.
•    Develops consistent positions for major projects in the historic district that can be applied, with the support of the CAG Board, to benefit the community in advancing CAG’s mission.
•    Testifies periodically before the Advisory Neighborhood Commission 2E, Old Georgetown Board, Historic Preservation Office, Historic Preservation Review Board, Office of Planning, DC Zoning Commission, Board of Zoning Adjustment, DC City Council, and other city agencies.
•    Pursues historic preservation or zoning changes that would be most beneficial to Georgetown, and speaks out against those that would cause harm.
•    Communicates our work regularly to CAG members through membership meetings and the CAG newsletter and website, www.cagtown.org.


CAG's Historic Preservation Guide

What every Georgetowner wants and needs to know about historic preservation is now summarized in a helpful brochure: A Guide to Historic Preservation Work in Georgetown.

The Guide explains the evolution and boundaries of Old Georgetown and presents suggestions about evaluating and respecting historic property, practical information on applying for permits, tips on working with neighbors, and guidance on applicable standards and zoning regulations.

The Guide to Historic Preservation Work in Georgetown outlines the process of project design approval and the roles of the Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB), the US Commission of Fine Arts (CFA), the Old Georgetown Board (OGB), and the Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC). What for many Georgetowners is an alphabet soup is concisely explained and useful links to more detailed information are provided.

Every Georgetown resident-and prospective resident-will find this a handy and useful booklet. The links below contain all of the information in the guide. Hard copies are readily available from CAG office (202-337-7313) or you can print the pages from this website.

Anyone considering construction or remodeling in Georgetown should be aware of their responsibilities. This brochure gives an overview of the permit review process and lists sources for more complete information. It briefly describes when you need a permit, how you apply for a permit, who reviews your application, and details the main steps in the process. It also provides some practical guidance designed to help you avoid common mistakes, and thereby expedite your review process.

Citizens Association of Georgetown is a non-profit civic organization representing the interests of Georgetown residents. CAG’s members, programs, and advocacy make Georgetown safer, more beautiful, and more connected.

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