FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 12, 2009
Washington, DC – November 12, 2009 — Tudor Place Historic House and Garden received a special exception at a Board of Zoning Adjustments (BZA) hearing Tuesday morning to permanently operate as a museum in a residential neighborhood. Multiple unsolicited letters of approval from community members were sent to the BZA in support of Tudor Place’s 2009 application for permanent exception; however a preliminary hearing only granted Tudor Place an exception for 10 years. Executive Director, Leslie Buhler and Board Member/Strategic Planning Committee Chair Geoffrey Baker among other supporters, were not satisfied and appealed to the BZA for the full permanent exception.
Tudor Place is one of the only museums located in a DC residential area that has had to operate with this limited exception. Other museums such as Dumbarton House and the Textile Museum have operated in residential areas without restriction for years. In 2004, Tudor Place’s application for a permanent exception was met with widespread community disapproval. The hearing resulted in the requirement that Tudor Place re-apply for zoning permissions every 5 years. Now, five years later, Tudor Place has dramatically improved its standing in the community. Ms. Buhler notes, “Tudor Place takes great efforts to work with the community and to listen and respond positively to concerns.” The importance of a permanent exception to Tudor Place was stated by Mr. Baker, “Putting a time limit on the permission to use the property as a museum ties Tudor Place’s hands and makes its future uncertain. It does not make sense for Tudor Place to invest the millions of dollars required for improvements without any assurance that it can continue to operate beyond ten years.”