Tag Archives: preservation

planning

Private Use, Public Image

The Post carried a tragicomical story this Sunday about a piece of property at 210 King Street in Alexandria. The three-storey building is a historic structure that had previously housed a sportsman store owned by Michael Zarlenga. However, when the capriciousness of the Board of Architectural Review stopped an apparently tasteful renovation, he was forced out of business, literally with tears in his eyes. He wanted to add an elevator, some new retail space, and a new bathroom, all in the local style. But the Board determined that the loss of his rear roof would have caused irrevocable damage to the physical history of the city. Zarlenga, disillusioned and losing money, just had to give up. 

So what happened to the property? He rented it to someone with less demanding needs: a store of erotica and other unspeakable modern things. So yes, Le Tache, a relatively local boutique for bachelorettes looking to explore their hidden places, has filled the gap in the storefronts, increasing the diversity of uses, adding to tax revenues, and still preserving the physical fabric of Old Town Alexandria.

But of course, this has gotten a few people upset. 

After the jump it gets a little NSFW. read more »