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Hyattsville CDC Wants to Expand City's Historic District

The city council supports the expansion of the Hyattsville Historic District to parts of West Hyattsville.

An expansion of Hyattsville’s Historic District, intended to unify the late 19th Century south and east parts of the city with the newer west side, will hopefully stamp the city as one community, removing the current stigmas associated with living on the west side of Queens Chapel Road.

The west side of the city lacks the architectural character that defines the former, said Stuart Eisenberg, executive director of the Hyattsville Community Development Corporation.

At a March 28 meeting, the city council authorized Mayor William Gardiner to send a letter of support to the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority for expansion of the Hyattsville Historic District.

Eisenberg presented the council with a draft of the mapped expansion of the district.

The initial estimate for the project is $75,000. The CDC will be requesting a grant of $37,142 from the MHAA.

“[The Hyattsville CDC] would like to see the largest expansion that makes sense and can be feasibly done, but we also respect the budgetary process it’s going through,” Eisenberg said, adding that without a grant, the CDC will not be able to pursue the project.

“Establishing the historic character of the western and northern portions of the city will be an inclusive action and will help to ease the sense of being in a different place and being treated differently–We’re all one Hyattsville,” Eisenberg told Patch.

The area CDC seeks to include “is ripe for inclusion on its own historical merits” and is something the community has been very supportive of, he said. Additionally, expanding the district will enable more residents to apply for historic house rehabilitation tax credits.

“I think it is good to recognize the history of the neighborhoods and commercial districts west of Queens Chapel Road,” Gardiner told Patch. “If the area is ultimately approved, then property owners may be able to take advantage of tax credits for some renovation projects.”

The CDC is seeking to expand further than what was originally drawn up in 2004. In 2010, the organization tried to apply to a program that was defunded during the grant writing process. Budget funds are now in place so that won’t be a concern this time around, Eisenberg said.

“We feel that it’s probably more cost effective if we do a larger expansion at one time while the logic applies,” Eisenberg told the city council. “Both local historians and residents of Hyattsville wanted a larger expansion.”

 

Chris Suspect March 31, 2011 at 07:06 PM
"The west side of the city lacks the architectural character that defines the former,: said Stuart Eisenberg, executive director of the Hyattsville Community Development Corporation. Which is the best reason why the Historic District should not be expanded under that name. If you want to give the Westenders tax credits for renovation projects find another name that suits their architectural style, like the Post-modern, Atomic, or Space Age district. All of which sound just as alluring as living in the Historic district to prospective home buyers.

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