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Cedar Run
Firestation 40
Fort Belvoir
I-95 & I-395
James Bland
Julie Metz
Lake Audobon
North Fork
Residential Rain Gardens
Sequoia Farms
Sunrise Valley
Thomas Brawner Gaines
james bland redevelopment


City of Alexandria, Virginia
Owner: Eakin Youngentaub and Associates

The James Bland Development property comprises nearly five city blocks within the northern end of the City of Alexandria, Virginia, and is the site of the historic James Bland Homes, a public housing project constructed in 1954 and 1959.  The proposed redevelopment of the property will replace the existing 194 units of aging public housing with 245 market-rate and 134 affordable homes.  Thunderbird Archeology's (TA’s) archeological consulting services on this multi-year phased redevelopment project are ongoing.

The James Bland residential complex is considered a contributing element of the Parker-Gray Historic District, which is eligible for the National Register of Historic Places, and the proposed demolition of the existing structures was considered an adverse effect to the district.  TA directed the Section 106 consultation process for the entire project, which consisted of identifying, inviting, and meeting with individuals and groups that were interested in participating in the consultation process.  TA coordinated all aspects of the project review with the Virginia Department of Historic Resources, the City of Alexandria Board of Architectural Review, and other agencies, and also wrote the Programmatic Agreement (PA) for the demolition conditions, which were approved by all consulting parties and are currently being implemented. 

A Documentary Study of the history of the five city blocks was required as a condition of the PA.  With contributions from History Matters, LLC, of Washington, D.C., TA conducted the documentary research, conducted oral history interviews with some of the early residents of the housing, and authored the report.  Based on TA’s research, a Phase I archeological survey was recommended, and a research design was developed in consultation with the Alexandria City Archeologist.

TA subsequently conducted the Phase I Archeological Survey on the five city blocks, resulting in two archeological sites that warranted further investigation.  Phase II evaluations of the two sites are planned prior to the phased development of those city blocks.  Both the documentary research and the Phase I archeological work indicated that deep shaft features, such as wells or privies, may have been preserved beneath the urban fills, and archeological monitoring was recommended.  In addition, a Resource Management Plan was prepared for each of the city blocks, which incorporated the Plan for Unanticipated Archeological Discoveries (a stipulation of the PA).

TA has completed Archeological Monitoring for Block 1 of the James Bland Redevelopment project. 




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