Poster Paper: Mixed Motivations: Historic Districts in the District of Columbia

Friday, November 4, 2016
Columbia Ballroom (Washington Hilton)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Riordan Frost, American University

Historic districts are an increasingly common form of historic preservation, but they have been criticized for the ways in which they limit housing supply and displace low-income residents. This paper examines the process and timing of historic districts in Washington, DC, which is found to come only after neighborhoods gentrify. Historic district designation occurs in waves shortly after the 'waves' or 'generations' of gentrification that several scholars have identified in the history of Washington, DC. To illustrate this timing, special attention is paid to the historic context, gentrification process, and historic districting of DC’s U Street and Shaw neighborhoods, using descriptive statistics of demographic change derived from the Neighborhood Change Database.