Old & Historic District Information

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Old and Historic District (H-1 Overlay District)

King Street todayWith Leesburg’s suburban expansion brought on by the annexation of land in the mid-20th century, the Town Council created a Restoration and Redevelopment Commission in 1962 to study the potential for maintaining the community’s integrity. In 1963, the Council established the Old and Historic District, at a time when there were only 4 such districts in Virginia (Alexandria, Richmond, Charlottesville, and Williamsburg). When initially designated, the Old and Historic District’s boundaries followed the boundaries of the Town as displayed on the 1878 Gray’s New Map of Leesburg. Since that time, the Old and Historic District has been expanded to its current boundaries.  Additionally, the Board of Architectural Review has adopted a list of structures, sites and areas that have be deemed as possessing historic, architectural or aesthetic interest and eligible for local designation as a historic district or individual landmark.  Click here to view the BAR's Historic Resource List.

A permit must be obtained for all exterior changes on properties located within the boundaries of the Old and Historic District.  This permit, referred to as a Certificate of Appropriateness (COA), requires that a proposed project must be reviewed and approved before work begins.  For many types of smaller projects - including fencing, business signs, and changes in exterior paint colors, a COA can be issued administratively by Preservation staff.  Other projects - ranging from replacement of windows to the construction of a new building - must receive approval from the Board of Architectural Review (BAR) prior to the issuance of other Town and County permits and the start of work.

The Old and Historic District Design Guidelines (see below) provide property owners, designers and contractors the guidance necessary to plan a project and are also used by Preservation staff and BAR members in the review of COA applications. 

Application Form and Information

Old and Historic District Design Guidelines (2009)

Old & Historic District Design Guidelines by Chapter:


Related Links for Historic Buildings