We've written about the threats to our Woodlawn historic property before, and wanted to keep you updated on the latest news about the site.
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is considering two alignment options for widening Route 1 in Northern Virginia, adjacent to Fort Belvoir -- and both of these alternatives would negatively impact the historic resources on the Woodlawn historic property, a National Historic Landmark site owned by the National Trust.
A privately-owned for profit business, Scanlin Farms, Inc., leases land and barns on Woodlawn -- and although Scanlin Farms’ current lease isn't due to expire until 2016, its representatives have asked the National Trust to commit to extending the current lease beyond 2016. The following is a statement by David J. Brown, executive vice president and chief preservation officer of the National Trust:
“The National Trust’s primary focus is to preserve the National Historic Landmark and to support the long-term sustainability of our historic sites, including Woodlawn and Frank Lloyd Wright’s Pope-Leighey House. As such, the National Trust must consider the best use of its property at the Woodlawn historic site in order to meet our obligations as stewards of the property and our buildings housed on the site.
“As a responsible organization, we are focused on Woodlawn’s future as a vibrant historic site, which includes consideration of all options for this land. Therefore, we will not renew Scanlin Farms’ current lease that expires in 2016. The lease is not sustainable and extending it would not be a prudent business decision. Once the effects of the highway project on Woodlawn are better understood, the National Trust will consider all options for the property, including proposals from public or private parties.
“The decision we ultimately make with this property will be consistent with the highest preservation standards, the public’s interests and the protection of the historic resources. The National Trust wants to work with the local community and county, state and federal government agencies to ensure the protection of the valuable historic resources in the Woodlawn Historic District and maximize the best potential uses of the Woodlawn property and buildings.”