Tysons, VA

A Vienna log cabin, which may or may not be historic, could be demolished soon as the plot its on is subdivided.

The Vienna Town Council is scheduled to vote tonight (Monday) on whether or not to approve the subdivision. Staff recommended approval, but the building’s historic value is still under discussion.

County tax records say the cabin was constructed in 1925, but the staff report notes that aerial photography from 1937 shows the lot being empty. In a letter to the Town Council, Michael Gelb, Chairman of the Planning Commission, said that Historic Vienna had expressed an interest in exploring more preservation or commemoration options for the site. According to Gelb:

No neighbors appeared at the Planning Commission meeting regarding the proposed subdivision, but Gloria Runyon, a representative of Historic Vienna, said the log structure may have historic value and that Historic Vienna wants to explore preservation/commemoration options. Ms. Runyon noted that the structure was erected by an African-American resident of Vienna. Historic Vienna had just learned of the proposed subdivision so did not have a specific proposal. She did not oppose the subdivision, but said Historic Vienna would like to work with the builder (American Signature Properties) and the Town on some type of recognition for the structure.

The cain is located at 307 Cabin Road Southeast. The one-and-a-half story building is bordered by five single-family detached dwelling lots. The applicant proposes making improvements to the property frontage, including a new sidewalk, curb and gutter.

Gelb also noted that while the Planning Commission voted unanimously to recommend approval of the subdivision, commission members had expressed concern about the fate of the log cabin. Gelb said Fred Eisenhart of American Signature Properties, the property developer, said that since the structure was not a registered historic property there were no legal restriction protecting it.

“Mr. Eisenhart said the company would talk with Historic Vienna, but some Commissioners voiced doubts about the depth of his commitment,” Gelb wrote in his letter. “Mr. Eisenhart responded that he did not mean to convey a lack of enthusiasm, but Commissioners agreed that the Chairman should note their concerns in this memo.”

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