Washington’s business district may become a historic business district. The National Road Heritage Corridor made a partnership with the Washington Business District Authority and the Washington Community Development Corp. This partnership aims to have the city’s central business district designed as a National Register Historic District. Moreover, the organization organized a workshop on Tuesday to talk about the benefits of the designation. The workshop had a discussion about this with business and property owners. Donna Holdorf, executive director of the National Road Heritage Corridor, said this is a competitive advantage when we’re trying to attract developers and new property owners.
The Heritage corridor hired a historic preservation planner with the independent Clio Consulting of Pittsburgh Angelique Bamberg. Bamberg did a survey on the business districts over the summer. Angelique found boundaries for the potential historic district register. Also, Bamberg submitted a draft nomination to the state’s Historic Preservation Office. Bamberg said the district would include a total of 162 properties. Out of the 162 properties, 138 are buildings. Moreover, the boundaries would primarily follow the lines of the central business district. This boundary will include the railroad tracks on South Main Street up to Walnut Street, and from Franklin Street to College Street.
Bamberg said that she would make the nomination available to the public after the revision. The nomination will then go to the state’s historic preservation board in Harrisburg. The national park service will review the nomination before declaring it a part of the permanent record of American history. According to Bill Callahan, the community preservation coordinator for the Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission, the Thursday meeting eliminated the myths about district designation on national registers. The stakeholders and property owners had a fear of losing the ability to do whatever they want with their properties. However, the designated historic district does not restrict the management of properties by owners. The meeting cleared many misconceptions about the historic property. Washington has a very long history going back to the 18th century. This program will be a great way to identify assets and create tourism areas within the community.