Press Release June 22, 2017
WASHINGTON, DC – The Board of Trustees of The L’Enfant Trust is very pleased to announce the promotion of Lauren Oswalt McHale to President and CEO, effective July 1. In her new role, she will lead organizational development, fundraising initiatives, and work to identify additional opportunities to enrich the region through historic preservation and community revitalization.
McHale succeeds Carol B. Goldman, who is stepping down after serving as President and CEO of the Trust since 1998. During her tenure, Goldman directed the Trust’s dramatic expansion of the Conservation Easement Program into a nationally recognized model and oversaw the launch of DC’s first Historic Properties Redevelopment (HPR) Program.
McHale has worked for the Trust for over a decade, previously serving as the Executive Director managing daily operations and programs, and as the Director of Preservation, overseeing the Trust’s easement portfolio. In 2012, she initiated the HPR Program which rehabilitates distressed historic properties where such rehabilitation will have the greatest impact on community revitalization and sustainability.
“I look forward to this opportunity to lead and expand on the Trust’s programming and to further our work with Washington communities that want to experience the economic, environmental, and social benefits that historic preservation can provide,” said McHale.
McHale has a B.A. in Art History and Historic Preservation and Community Planning from the College of Charleston and a M.S. in Historic Preservation from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She also serves as President of the Latrobe Chapter of the Society of Architectural Historians, and as a board member for both Preservation Action and the ACE DC Mentor Program.
As it approaches its 40th anniversary, The L’Enfant Trust now protects 1,136 historic buildings in the Washington, D.C., region through conservation easements—a form of voluntary preservation whereby property owners relinquish certain rights to alter the exterior of their historic properties, which may qualify them for a tax benefit recognizing their “gift to the street.” The Trust’s HPR Program has successfully rehabilitated two, long-vacant, and derelict houses in the Historic Anacostia community.
Press Release March 7, 2017
WASHINGTON, DC — The L’Enfant Trust was awarded a $75,000 grant from The 1772 Foundation to support its Historic Properties Redevelopment Program (HPR Program). This generous grant will be awarded once DC’s “Historic Preservation of Derelict District Properties Act of 2016” subject properties located in the Anacostia Historic District are transferred to the Trust’s HPR Program (a revolving fund) for rehabilitation.
The Trust has focused its HPR Program on endangered historic buildings in Anacostia. To date, the Trust has completed two award-winning rehabilitation projects on long vacant, blighted single-family homes and returned them to the Anacostia community as sorely needed DC affordable workforce homeownership opportunities.
Together and with the full support of The 1772 Foundation, the Anacostia neighborhood, and with the DC Council, the Trust looks forward to its next ribbon cutting ceremony and open house celebration in Anacostia.
The District’s executive and legislative branches do not see eye to eye on how to bring run-down, city-owned properties back into good use.
Amid a rash of bills considered Tuesday, local lawmakers gave final approval to legislation that would permit a D.C.-based nonprofit to take ownership of, and rehab, four such homes in Anacostia. The two-story houses, situated in the neighborhood’s historic district, have remained derelict for years, even as investment in east of the river communities has gradually flowed in. One recent marker of that paradigm shift: Busboys and Poets will soon open a location on a central stretch of Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue SE, where a furniture store used to be.
Neighbors have long bemoaned the sorry state of the four homes, especially because they are managed by the District government. The Department of Housing and Community Development holds them in a portfolio administered by the agency’s Property Acquisition and Disposition Division, or PADD, whose mission is to ensure blighted and vacant houses become livable again. PADD oversees more than 160 properties, just under half of which are in Ward 8, and more than a dozen of which are within the Anacostia Historic District.
On October 6, 2016 The L’Enfant Trust testified before DC Council’s Committee of Housing and Community Development on proposed legislation, B21-0837, the “Historic Preservation of Derelict District Properties Act of 2016.”
Advisory Neighborhood Commission 8A that represents neighborhoods East of the River, including Historic Anacostia, unanimously supported B21-0837, the “Historic Preservation of Derelict District Properties Act of 2016” at its October 4, 2016 meeting. To read ANC 8A’s letter to DC Council’s Committee on Housing and Community Development, click here.
WUSA 9 interviews residents of Historic Anacostia and The L’Enfant Trust on a plan to help revitalize four vacant homes.
Washington’s ABC7 reports on the proposed bill that would allow the DC government to give four blighted houses it owns in Anacostia to The L’Enfant Trust.
2016 AWARDEE – $100,000 FROM THE 1772 FOUNDATION
With this generous award in hand, and the Trust’s completion of its first two rehabilitation projects we invite our city’s agencies – who own or control deteriorating properties in historic Anacostia – to join us in taking action to reclaim these historic assets and to honor the protected status that city preservation laws bestowed on them.
Anacostia has a rich history and its historic district boasts some of Washington’s oldest buildings, but disinvestment in Anacostia over several decades has left many of its historic buildings in very poor shape. They are eyesores in the community, pose safety concerns, serve as magnets for criminal activity and drain city resources. So far there has not been an effective mechanism in place to rehabilitate them and return them to the community, leaving the impression in the community and beyond that the city is doing nothing and is purposely allowing the deterioration to get to the point of no return.
Allowing historic buildings to fall down is not an option for a city that respects its past.
To view press release, click here.
Want to see how other preservation non-profits help cities around the country address their vacant blighted historic properties? Watch here >