: News

New Rules for Alexandria's Historic District

Play associated audio

In Virginia, homeowners in historically protected areas of Alexandria live with a lot of restrictions.

Now they have a new set of rules to clarify what's allowed -- and what isn't.

Some of the old rules were vague -- like the one that said homeowners must use "historically appropriate materials."

When one homeowner said that meant he should be allowed to use synthetic slate, planning officials decided they needed to create a better sense of certainty for members of the Board of Architectural Review.

"They do not want to be the Board of Arbitrary Review," says Al Cox, historic preservation manager for the city of Alexandria.

He helped craft the new rules.

"You can use a modern material on your building if your building post-dates when that material became commercially available," Cox says.

In other words, no synthetic slate will be allowed on any building constructed before the 1980s, when synthetic slate became commercially available.


'American Horror Story' Returns, With Twists, Thrills And A Chilling Lady Gaga

FX's American Horror Story returns for season five this week. TV critic David Bianculli says this season, which is set in a lavish old hotel, is "the most visually arresting and twisted one yet."

For Israeli-Born Chef, Hummus And 'Tehina' Are A Bridge To Home

Chef Michael Solomonov sees his mission as connecting people to the food of his homeland. "That, to me, is my life's work," he says. Solomonov's new cookbook is Zahav: A World of Israeli Cooking.

Supreme Court To Lawyers: Hold Your Own Place In Line

Rich lobbyists, lawyers, and contractors will no longer be able to pay someone to hold a place in line so to get a much-in-demand seat at a Supreme Court argument or a congressional hearing.
WAMU 88.5

Computer Guys And Gal: Taking Selfies To New Heights And More

Mobile ad blocking comes to iPhones, updated Android comes to new Nexus phones, and "dronies" -- video selfies shot by a GoPro on a drone -- come to Instagram. The Computer Guys and Gal explain.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.