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Thursday, December 8, 2022
ArlingtonReal EstateRouse estate another step closer to wrecking ball

Rouse estate another step closer to wrecking ball

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Plans by the trust that owns the Rouse estate on Wilson Boulevard to raze the buildings to the ground moved another step closer late last week, as the Arlington County government authorized the final permit needed for construction activity to take place.

County staff issued the paperwork permitting ground to be unearthed on the site, the last step in the procedural process.

The action, which was anticipated, appears to clear the way for the property owner to demolish the century-old main house and outbuildings in an effort to prepare the parcel for redevelopment. It also likely puts a stake in the heart of efforts to see the parcel be named a local historic district, at least in time to protect the house.

Arlington County Board members in February set a mid-April hearing on the historic designation, which most assumed would occur too late to save the property.


The parcel is located at the corner of Wilson Boulevard and North McKinley Road. It is what remains of a 26-acre tract purchased by sportsman Randy Rouse in the 1950s. Rouse owned it until his death at age 100 in 2017; his widow had been residing in the main house until recently.

In late January, the county government’s Historical Affairs and Landmark Review Board (HALRB) determined the 9-acre property met requirements for an historic district, sending the proposal to the Planning Commission and County Board for a decision. That vote came over the strong objections of the property owner, which wants nothing to do with preservation.

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