Old Georgetown Act (Public Law 81-808)

Public Law 808-81st Congress H.R. 7670
D.C. Code 5-801, 64 Stat. 903

AN ACT To regulate the height, exterior design, and construction of private and semipublic buildings in the Georgetown area of the National Capital.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That there is hereby created in the District of Columbia a district known as "Old Georgetown" which is bounded on the east by Rock Creek and Potomac Parkway from the Potomac River to the north boundary of Dumbarton Oaks Park, on the north by the north boundary of Dumbarton Oaks Park, Whitehaven Street and Whitehaven Parkway to Thirty-fifth Street, south along the middle of Thirty-fifth Street to Reservoir Road, west along the middle of Reservoir Road to Archbold Parkway, on the west by Archbold Parkway from Reservoir Road to the Potomac River, on the south by the Potomac River to the Rock Creek Parkway.

SEC. 2. In order to promote the general welfare and to preserve and protect the places and areas of historic interest, exterior architectural features and examples of the type of architecture used in the National Capital in its initial years, the Commissioners of the District of Columbia, before issuing any permit for the construction, alteration, reconstruction, or razing of any building within said Georgetown district described in section I shall refer the plans to the National Commission of Fine Arts for a report as to the exterior architectural features, height, appearance, color, and texture of the materials of exterior construction which is subject to public view from a public highway. The National Commission of Fine Arts shall report promptly to said Commissioners of the District of Columbia its recommendations, including such changes, if any, as in the judgment of the Commission are necessary and desirable to preserve the historic value of said Georgetown district. The said Commissioners shall take such actions as in their judgment are right and proper in the circumstances: Provided, That, if the said Commission of Fine Arts fails to submit a report on such plans within forty-five days, its approval thereof shall be assumed and a permit may be issued.

SEC. 3. In carrying out the purpose of this Act, the Commission of Fine Arts is hereby authorized to appoint a committee of three architects, who, shall serve as a board of review without expense to the United States and who shall advise the Commission of Fine Arts, in writing, regarding designs and plans referred to it.

SEC. 4. Said Commissioners of the District of Columbia, with the aid of the National Park Service and of the National Capital Park and Planning Commission, shall make a survey of the "Old Georgetown" area for the use of the Commission of Fine Arts and of the building permit office of the District of Columbia, such survey to be made at a cost not exceeding $8,000, which amount is hereby authorized.

SEC. 5. Nothing contained in this Act shall be construed as superseding or affecting in any manner any Act of Congress heretofore enacted relating to the alteration, repair, or demolition of insanitary or unsafe dwellings or other structures.

Approved September 22, 1950