What is a Conservation Easement?

A conservation easement, sometimes called a preservation easement, is a voluntary legal agreement between a property owner and a qualified historic preservation organization. The easement is an important preservation tool because it allows the organization to protect the property against demolition, neglect and insensitive alterations, and to ensure that the building maintains its historic character in perpetuity.

The L’Enfant Trust holds conservation easements on over 1,130 historic Washington, D.C. properties. The Trust also maintains a full-time, professional staff to assist owners of easemented properties with routine maintenance, preservation technical assistance, and architectural design review for proposed exterior alterations.

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