Friday, November 30, 2012

Historic landmark latest DC streetcar obstacle

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A Washington, D.C. high school Thursday was designated a historic landmark, adding one more obstacle to the city's proposed initial streetcar line.

The DC Historic Preservation Review Board added Spingarn Senior High School as a historic landmark , Thursday, honoring a request from the Kingman Park Civic Association, which has opposed plans for a trolley barn on the Northeast D.C. campus off Benning Road, to serve the H Street/Benning Road Line.

The streetcar line, already delayed, was to begin operating late next year, but the effect of the new designation could delay it still further, though local pro-rail advocates tell Railway Age the latest obstacle isn't enough to scuttle the project.

"We really just cannot speculate right now [on a startup] because we don't know how long the process is going to take," District Department of Transportation spokeswoman Dara Ward told local media. "Much of it is going to depend on how quickly we can get the Historic Preservation Review Board to sign off on the design."

The District's car barn plans already have been shown to the historic preservation office. "We think the design needs some work," said David Maloney, the state historic preservation officer.