Background: In 2022, the DC State Historic Preservation Office (DCSHPO) received a grant from the National Park Services’ Underrepresented Communities Grant Program to underwrite the production of an historic context study on the District of Columbia’s Latino community. The DC State Historic Preservation Office promotes stewardship of the District of Columbia’s historic and cultural resources through planning, protection, and public outreach. DCSHPO is the staff for the Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB) and Mayor’s Agent for Historic Preservation.
The DC Preservation League (DCPL) is Washington’s citywide nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation and protection of the historic resources of our nation’s capital. DCPL’s mission is carried out through education, community outreach, landmark designation, and advocacy. DCPL has been contracted by the DC State Historic Preservation Office to manage this project that will catalyze nominations to both the DC Inventory of Historic Sites and the National Register of Historic Places.
The legacy of the District of Columbia’s Latino community can be seen in businesses, organizations, and public spaces across the city, especially in the contiguous neighborhoods of Adams Morgan, Mount Pleasant, and Columbia Heights. This community’s history in DC dates back to the early 1940s when Puerto Ricans and Mexican Americans arrived in the capital to obtain work in the expanding federal bureaucracy and fill in labor shortages in other trades during World War II. In the 1950s and 1960s, Latin American diplomats brought embassy staff to Adams Morgan, moving in alongside an influx of Dominicans and Cubans entering America for economic opportunity and an escape from political conflict in their home countries. By the 1970s, the city even considered rebranding Adams Morgan as “The Latin Quarter” due to the prolific number of Spanish-speaking and Latin-owned businesses, restaurants, and shops. The growing Latin-American community continued its expansion into Mount Pleasant and Columbia Heights through Salvadoran and Central American immigration in the 1970s and 1980s, as civil war and domestic unrest unfolded in various nations. This influx of immigrants throughout the years was not entirely without strife, most obviously demonstrated by the Mount Pleasant Riots of 1991, but the impact of the Latino community on the District is undeniable.
Today, the Hispanic and Latino populations combined make up 11.3% of DC residents (2021 Census). Yet, only five entries in the DC Inventory of Historic Sites represent this community in any way. They are: The Old Mexican Embassy (MacVeagh House); the General Jose de San Martin Memorial; the Pan American Union Headquarters; the Pan American Health Organization Headquarters; and the Washington Heights Historic District.
The DCSHPO’s proposed context study (organized by theme, place, and time) will provide a clear framework to evaluate resources and develop nominations for the DC Inventory of Historic Sites and the National Register of Historic Places. In addition, the context will provide a baseline to evaluate sites already listed on DC Inventory and National Register to also include Latino history. For example, the nomination for the Mount Pleasant Historic District, written in 1986, makes no mention of the neighborhood’s substantial population of Salvadorans (DC’s largest immigrant population) or the historic riots of 1991. DCHPO’s proposed project would amend that nomination to include this information.
The context study will be citywide, and the period of significance will cover 1943-1991—representing the initial surge of immigrants during World War II through the Mount Pleasant Riots.
Purpose: DCPL seeks proposals from qualified consultants (Consultant) interested in undertaking research to identify themes, establish associated property types, and create a preliminary inventory of significant historic resources associated with the Latino community in Washington, DC. The selected Consultant will: (1) produce a Historic Context Statement to thematically address the Latino community in Washington, DC; (2) produce two new individual landmark nominations and an amended nomination for the Mount Pleasant Historic District for submission to the DC Inventory of Historic Sites and the National Register of Historic Places related to the context study; and (3) present the context study findings and nominations to the DC Historic Preservation Review Board.
Scope of Work: Consultant must complete outlined tasks in an 18-month period. The entire project is expected to take 24 months, with the last 6 months reserved for community rollout and engagement, and presentations before the Historic Preservation Review Board.
Tasks for Consultant include:
Task 1: Project Management
Consultant will coordinate project activities and is responsible for carrying out project tasks while ensuring that tasks are completed within scope, budget, and schedule. Project kick off, schedule, and coordination of tasks and deliverables must be completed in consultation with DCPL.
Task 2: Background Research
Consultant will research important themes related to the Latino community in Washington, DC and identify associated resources. Research should be organized into thematic groups selected in consultation with DCPL and DCSHPO.
Task 3: Survey Documentation
Create an excel spreadsheet of resources associated with the identified themes in order to facilitate the evaluation of other properties associated with the Latino communities in Washington, DC. The list of resources will identify previously recorded and National Register-listed or newly identified properties that may be eligible for designation. At a minimum, this spreadsheet will include for each property its name, address, ward, owner, designation status and associated theme(s). Non-extant sites identified through the study should also be included and noted as demolished.
Task 4: Recruit an advisory board of local experts for review of Context Documentation
Consultant, in coordination with DCPL and DCSHPO, will identify and recruit an advisory committee of local experts to review and comment on the Historic Context Statement research and documentation.
Task 5: Complete Historic Context Documentation
Consultant will complete a Historic Context document based on guidance set forth in NPS White Paper: The Components of a Historic Context and Section III.E. of How to Complete the National Register Multiple Property Document. This document will establish an historic context for the history of the Latino community in the District of Columbia, and will facilitate the evaluation of individual properties by comparing them with resources that share similar physical characteristics and historical associations. The document will provide a discussion of associated property types and identify previously recorded and National Register listed, or newly identified eligible properties.
A complete list of identified resources should be completed in a separate excel spreadsheet that can be sorted by theme. Spreadsheet should include at a minimum resource name, address, ward, ownership, designation status and associated theme(s).
The Historic Context is based on the research and analysis from Task 2 and will highlight important themes associated with the history of the Latino community in the District of Columbia and properties that represent and illustrate specific themes should be identified. The Context Statement document should be submitted in a format that is graphically pleasing and able to be used for distribution to the public in both English and Spanish.
Task 6 – Preparation of two (2) new nominations and (1) amended nomination for the Mount Pleasant Historic District for submission to the DC Inventory of Historic Sites and the National Register of Historic Places.
Consultant will complete a minimum of two new nominations for submission to the DC Inventory of Historic Sites and the National Register of Historic Places using the National Register (NR) Nomination Form. The NR Form must be completed according to requirements and guidelines set forth in the National Register Bulletin: How to Complete the National Register Form. Sites to be nominated will be chosen in consultation with DCPL and the DCSHPO and require support of the owner(s).
Task 7 – Public Presentation
Consultant must agree to present the 50% draft results of the research and documentation project at one public meeting to receive feedback on draft report. The date, time, and location of the public forum will be determined in consultation with DCPL.
Task 8 – Consultation and Historic Preservation Review Board Presentation
To ensure final acceptance of the Historic Context Statement, Consultant must conduct ongoing consultations with DCPL and the DCSHPO (with a mutually agreeable schedule to be determined) to solicit feedback on the research and documentation to be delivered. Consultant must also agree to present, with visuals, the completed Historic Context Statement and associated nominations to the Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB) for approval. The number of presentations to the HPRB may vary dependent on feedback.
Timeline: Estimated start date for the project is November 1, 2023. Research and documentation must be complete by April 30, 2025.
Proposal Requirements: Experience preparing Historic Context statements or other National Register of Historic Places documentation forms is required. All Consultant responses must include resumes of all staff to be assigned to the project and demonstration that the project manager and applicable staff meet 36CFR61 Appendix A Historic Preservation Professional Qualifications Standards.
Budget proposal should not exceed $40,000 inclusive of expenses related to photo permissions, graphic design or other services required to complete the project. Please include proposed timeline with start/end dates for each task and an example of a Historic Context Statement, Multiple Property Document or National Register Nomination Consultant has produced in the past 5 years.
Deadline to Submit Proposals: Please submit electronically to Rebecca Miller (email@example.com) by 11:59pm September 25, 2023. Subject line should read “Proposal in Response to Latino Context Project.”
This project has received Federal financial assistance for the identification, protection, and/or rehabilitation of historic properties and cultural resources in the District of Columbia. Under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the U.S. Department of the Interior prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, or disability in its Federally assisted programs. If you believe that you have been discriminated against in any program, activity, or facility as described above, or if you desire further information, please write to: Office of Equal Opportunity, U.S. Department of the Interior, 1849 C Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20240.
This project has been financed in part with Federal funds from the U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service. However, the contents and opinions contained in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the U.S. Department of the Interior, nor does the mention of trade names or commercial products constitute endorsement or recommendation by the U.S. Department of the Interior.