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The mission of the DC Preservation League is to preserve, protect, and enhance the historic and built environment of Washington, DC through education and advocacy.
The D.C. Preservation League was founded as "Don't Tear It Down" in 1971 to stop the destruction of many of the city's major historic buildings. The focus of the organization's initial efforts was the preservation of the Old Post Office on Pennsylvania Avenue.
After prevailing in that struggle, the League has gone on to save more than 75 individual Washington historic buildings that were slated for destruction. We have also surveyed and initiated the designation and preservation of several historic neighborhoods.
The League has also conducted six important thematic inventories of particular building types throughout the city, such as apartment buildings, banks, office buildings, schools, transportation resources, and warehouses. These surveys contribute substantially to a growing body of documentation on local history and provide the basis for landmark designation and protection.
DCPL sponsors lecture series, tours, and citywide preservation conferences that have attracted hundreds of people. DCPL has organized the Coalition of Greater Preservation Enforcement, a group of more than 30 civic organizations concerned with the city enforcement of existing laws and regulations for protected designated neighborhoods.
The League is a separately incorporated 501(c)(3) membership organization governed by a working board of 20 civic activists and administered by a small staff. DCPL's support comes primarily from the contributions of a loyal membership and from corporations and foundations concerned about the preservation of the built environment.
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