Historic Preservation Architect

Alexandria, VA
$62,657.92 - $102,994.90 Annually
Nov 09, 2019
Nov 25, 2019
Full Time
Historic Preservation Architect

Established in 1749, the City of Alexandria is located in northern Virginia across the Potomac River from the District of Columbia and is bordered by Arlington and Fairfax counties. With a population of approximately 150,000 and a land area of 15.75 square miles, Alexandria is the seventh largest City in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Alexandria has a charming waterfront and is a unique and historic place to live and work. Upon its creation in 1946, the Old and Historic Alexandria District became the third locally regulated historic district in the nation. In addition to the almost 5,000 structures in the two local historic districts, there are seven National Register districts, and a variety of distinct neighborhoods throughout the City. We proudly embrace our rich history and seize the endless opportunities that lie ahead. If you are interested in working for the vibrant City of Alexandria, we invite qualified candidates to apply for this Historic Preservation Architect position.

An Overview
This position will serve as an Architect within the Historic Preservation Unit of the Department of Planning & Zoning (P&Z). This position will provide technical preservation and architectural design review services for the Board of Architectural Review (BAR) and is responsible for the review of additions and alterations to existing structures and for evaluating the compatibility of new development projects proposed within Alexandria's two historic districts. The position will also contribute to, or will assume a lead role on, special projects such as design guidelines. The position will provide design guidance, as necessary, for projects outside the historic districts and provide historic preservation consulting for City projects in other departments. The position will report to the Historic Preservation Manager or a designee.

About the Department
The Department of Planning & Zoning works closely with communities to carry out the City's Strategic Plan, fostering amenity-rich, service-oriented, equity-balanced and environmentally sustainable neighborhoods; protecting historic and cultural resources; and supporting diverse and creative businesses. In developing neighborhood plans, reviewing development proposals, and promoting economic vitality, we continue our commitment to collaborate with all stakeholder groups to honor the character of each neighborhood and to strengthen and sustain them, and Alexandria as a whole, for now and in the future.

What You Should Bring
The position requires an experienced design professional with a background in architecture, historic preservation, planning and urban design. The candidate should bring extensive knowledge of historic preservation philosophy and architectural design principles applicable to alterations, additions or new infill construction proposed within a historic district in an urban environment. The candidate must have the ability to evaluate the appropriateness of a project against the BAR's design guidelines and zoning regulations and suggest practical, collaborative alternative design solutions using freehand sketches, when necessary. The candidate should also have experience managing, producing, directing design illustrations and graphics. Related skills include project management, the ability to readily translate design guidelines, and philosophies into a narrative and graphics for a variety of audiences, proficiency in design and graphics software, experience working with local government and interacting with policy makers, interdepartmental/interdisciplinary teams, planning and development professionals, and the general public.

The Opportunity
  • Review BAR applications for new buildings or for modifications to existing structures located within the City's historic districts; ensuring compliance with Alexandria Zoning Ordinance provisions, the Virginia Construction Code, historic preservation and related land use policies and the BAR's adopted design guidelines and policies;
  • Meet with property owners, land use attorneys, contractors, design professionals, other City staff to review BAR applications and to discuss their appropriateness for the proposed site;
  • Coordinate with other Historic Preservation staff on the completion of the City's BAR Design Guidelines and policy documents for Alexandria's two historic districts;
  • Participate, or serve as lead, on other special preservation projects, urban design or architectural design projects in conjunction with the City, and/or with the historic preservation and design communities as may be required;
  • Provide design guidance to staff in other Divisions within Alexandria City for applications/projects that may be located outside of the City's historic districts;
  • Provide architectural conservation and technical preservation advice to other City Departments, including the Office of Historic Alexandria, Transportation & Environmental Services (T&ES) and the Department of General Services, etc. for City-owned historic properties and infrastructure;
  • Utilize a variety of design software to produce the graphics needed as part of the work of the Historic Preservation Unit. Such software includes but may not be limited to ArcGIS, SketchUp, the Adobe Creative Suite: InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, MS Office Suite and others;
  • Attend meetings including BAR meetings, Planning Commission, City Council meetings, civic association and other Board and Commission meetings as required;
  • Prepare analyses, staff reports and presentations for such meetings on projects with varying degrees of complexity;
  • Write, edit and produce graphics for staff reports, special documents, special projects and events;
  • Assist with research and review of administrative applications for minor alterations to structures within the historic districts;
  • Assist with telephone inquiries from property owners within the Historic Districts;
  • Visit project sites in the field to evaluate conditions and context or to follow-up on compliance with BAR conditions of approval; and
  • Other duties as assigned.

Minimum & Additional Requirements

To qualify for this role a candidate most possess at least three (3) years of experience in professional architectural work in local government; a B.A. in architecture; or any equivalent combination of experience and training which provides the required knowledge, skills and abilities. Must be a certified architect.

Preferred Qualifications

In addition to the minimum qualifications above, the ideal candidate will have a Master's Degree in Architecture, Historic Preservation, Urban Design or a related field and ten or more years of progressively responsible experience in private practice; experience in historic preservation and related regulatory and zoning guidelines and procedures; and ability to perform a full range of residential and commercial architectural/design services in the public sector. Proficiency in design software such as InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, MS Office Suite and others. Licensed Architect in Virginia is preferred, along with membership in the American Institute of Architects, American Institute of Certified Planners, and/or Project Management Institute Certification.


This position requires the successful completion of a pre-employment background check.

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