Loudoun supervisors have expanded the Aldie Historic District to include the rest of the Aldie Assemblage, formerly the site of plans for a new fire station, tying up one of the last threads of the county’s turbulent stewardship of the property.
When county supervisors bought the three parcels the dubbed the Aldie Assemblage—which includes the property known as the Aldie Tavern—only one of those parcels was in the Aldie Historic and Cultural Conservation District. Nonetheless, the county’s plans to build a fire station on the property required supervisors to get approval from the county’s Historic District Review Committee, which the committee denied, as well as denying an appeal. Supervisors then set county staff to work to sideline that decision by removing the property from the historic district.
But when the county found a new property for the fire station at Gilberts Corner, the intersection of Rt. 15 and Rt. 50, they also reversed course on that and instead voted to expand the Aldie Historic District. That process concluded with a 7-0-2 vote July 14, with Supervisors Juli E. Briskman (D-Algonkian) and Tony R. Buffington (R-Blue Ridge) absent.
This time, it’s a move the Historic District Review Committee agreed to.
Chair Phyllis J. Randall (D-At Large) said the vote, which happened with little fanfare at a public hearing where nobody addressed the board, wraps up the years of discussions around Aldie.
“What we hope, and what we believe, and what I pray is that the issues in Aldie are now taken care of,” Randall said. “[…]Everyone who’s come to talk about aldie has also been more recently talking about St. Louis, and I appreciate that, because we wrapped this up and we can do more a laser focus on the St. Louis and Middleburg properties.”
Another historic village, St. Louis, is threatened by development plans nearby that residents worry will damage not only the historically Black neighborhood’s character, but the community’s already-unreliable water wells. The two villages were briefly intertwined when supervisors considered a tentative deal to trade the Aldie land to that developer for the St. Louis land; that deal fell apart.
Supervisors have also recently voted to sell the Aldie Assemblage to Aldie resident and Aldie Heritage Association member Guy Gerachis, who had proposed a plan for the property that enjoyed broad support from many of the people and organizations that had opposed plans for a fire station there.
This article was updated July 19 at 1:48 p.m. to correct the date of supervisors’ vote.