Capitol Hill Restoration Society records
Collection Scope and Content
This collection consists of material gathered and created by the Capitol Hill Restoration Society as a function of their work as an advocacy agency in the Capitol Hill neighborhood. The type of material in the collection includes newsletters, correspondence, photographs, treasurer reports, maps, reports, and studies. This material dates from 1904-2012 with the majority of the material falling within the dates 1958-2012. Topics of interest include Eastern Market, Barney Circle Freeway Modification Project, Yost House, House Tours, and Traffic.
- Capitol Hill Restoration Society (Organization)
Restrictions on Access
This collection is open for research.
Restrictions on Use
Some material may be copyrighted or restricted. It is the patron's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections.
The Capitol Hill Restoration Society (CHRS) formed in 1955 as an advocacy group with the goal of preserving the character and architecture of the Capitol Hill neighborhood. Prior to 1955 citizens' associations had existed including the Capitol Hill Southeast Citizens' Association and the Southeast Civic Association. The CHRS, however, filled a specific role as a public forum for residents to promote and protect the predominately residential character of the community. One of the most significant achievements towards this goal was the placement of the Capitol Hill neighborhood on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976. Thereafter residents were required to obtain permission to make changes to the exterior of their houses. This ensures that the physical look of the houses reflect the historical integrity of the time period in which they were built.
Prior to 1791 when Pierre Charles L'Enfant was hired to design the city of Washington D.C., the land now known as Capitol Hill was farmland. Many of the neighborhood's first residents were the construction workers hired to build the Capitol. In 1799 the building of the Navy Yard brought in additional jobs and residents. Following the Civil War, the population of the Capitol Hill neighborhood increased steadily as the Federal Government grew and the Navy Yard became the world's largest ordnance producer and engineering research center. The growth of the Federal Government and its need for building space led to the demolition of many of the original buildings in the Capitol Hill neighborhood. Fortunately, many of the late 19th and early 20th Century buildings, especially the homes, remain. The Capitol Hill Restoration Society (CHRS) story begins with the restoration movement that followed World War II. The CHRS mission is a good summary of the type of work done by the organization. The mission includes protecting Capitol Hill's residential character by challenging threatening and inappropriate development and incursions into the neighborhood by increased cross-town traffic, helping residents to protect their property values, and offers advice on the maintenance and repair of historic buildings, ensuring that city-wide zoning regulations are applied consistently, in a manner that enhances the neighborhood, working to improve city services such as tree and park maintenance, street repairs, trash collection, and recycling and engages in community issues like public safety, surplus school disposal, and organizing activities like the annual House and Garden Tour that promote Capitol Hill as a fine residential community.
115 Linear Feet (Boxes 1-206)
Language of Materials
Collection consists of material gathered and created by the Capitol Hill Restoration Society as a function of their work as an advocacy agency in the Capitol Hill neighborhood. The type of material in the collection includes newsletters, correspondence, photographs, treasurer reports, maps, reports, and studies. This material dates from 1904-2012 with the majority of the material falling within the dates 1958-2012. Topics of interest include Eastern Market, Barney Circle Freeway Modification Project, Yost House, House Tours, and Traffic.
Organized into 20 series: Ad hoc committees and task forces, Barney Circle Freeway Modification Project, Directories, Eastern Market, Peter Glickert papers, Graphics, Historic district committee, Historical files, Leukhardt family papers, Gregory New papers, Presidents' papers, Arline Roback papers, Standing committees, Treasurer's office records, Yost house committee, oversize materials, minutes, Accession #2009.061, Accession 2004.001, and Beyond the Boundaries survey of Capitol Hill buildings.
The Capitol Hill Restoration Society donated the bulk of these records in 2000 with continuing donations made periodically.
Boxes 168-194, accession 2014.015, on May 8, 2014. Boxes 195-206, accession 2022.043, November 2022.
Reparative Description Projects
This finding aid was revised in 2022 to address harmful descriptive language. During that revision staff edited the aggrandizing description in the Collection level Historical Note. To see the Processing information note that discusses the revision use Leukhardt family papers, 1900-1995 . To see the description prior to revisions, please view the previous version of the Capitol Hill Restoration Society records finding aid.
In addition, later in 2022 for a separate reparative description project this finding aid was revised to address derogatory descriptive language identified in several folder titles. As this description was provided by the record creator(s) the description was not edited or removed, but additional information was provided in an Historic Context note at each folder level in order to add context. A copy of the finding aid prior to these reivsions was retained. To view that finding aid please use Pre-revision August 2022 finding aid of Capitol Hill Restoration Society records
Explanation for folder titles derived by staff
This collection was part of a legacy folder title creation projection in the early 2000s. The following is an example from a different collection, but one that matches folder titles found in this collection.
Example: Jan Van Dyke collection, folder title Performance Files: Marvin Center, George Washington University, Washington, DC, the portion of the title before the colon “Performance Files” came from a subseries in this collection that was eliminated as an organizational level. The former subseries title “Performance Files” was added to the original folder title by staff. For this example, the titles for the folders 1-21 in box 1 all have the “Performance Files” prefix. One important clue in determining if the folder title contains the former subseries title is to look for the colon after the word or words that are repeated for numerous folders. It is the portion of the folder title before the colon that is derived from staff and not the creator of the archival materials.
In 2004, Special Collections transitioned our collection management system from paper finding aids in our reading room to an automated system. This system, Re:Discovery, was designed for use in museums and lacked the capability to fully utilize all hierarchical levels in an archival collection (i.e. collection, series, subseries, folder, item). The Director of Special Collections made the decision to remove subseries from most collections and effectively collapse one level of hierarchy. In order to retain the description afforded by the subseries the title of the subseries was added as a prefix to each folder title that had been in that subseries.
- Barney Circle (Washington, D.C.) Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Capitol Hill (Washington, D.C.) Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Citizens' associations Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Eastern Market (Washington, D.C.) Subject Source: Local sources
- Express highways Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Historic preservation Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Maps Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- Photographs Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- Urban renewal Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Urban transportation Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Zoning Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Guide to the Capitol Hill Restoration Society records, 1904-2014
- Special Collections Research Center, The George Washington University
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note
- Finding aid written in English
Part of the Special Collections Research Center, The George Washington University Repository
2130 H Street NW
Washington 20052 United States of America