The District of Columbia is home to thousands of businesses that help shape its unique neighborhoods and influence residents’ daily lives. Some opened doors more than two decades ago and symbolize home, community, and connection for District residents. They are broadly defined as legacy businesses. In April 2023, the DC Preservation League (DCPL) explored the topic of legacy businesses through public programs. DCPL also launched a public webpage to collect legacy business submissions from the community. In less than six weeks, DCPL was able to compile a list with more than 75 local businesses that fit the following criteria:
- Business must be currently operating and located within the boundaries of the District of Columbia
- Business has operated and contributed to its community’s history and/or identity for 20 or more years
- Business is not franchised by or affiliated with a national, corporate chain
- Business has had no more than four years of closure
DCPL’s directory is a compilation of legacy business submissions crowdsourced from the local community and it is available as a reference for the general public. The directory is not yet complete and the page for submissions will remain open indefinitely. Click here to make a submission.
Disclaimer: Inclusion of a business in this directory does not constitute endorsement by the DC Preservation League or the DC Historic Preservation Office. This is not an “approved” list. Please direct questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Note: Some legacy businesses have more than one location. Please check individual business websites for the most up-to-date information.