Bruner Place featured in Preservation & Developed (Preservation Arlington)

Bruner Place was recently featured in Preserved and Developed on November 6th, 2013.  Preserved & Developed is a weekly series of articles by Preservation Arlington highlighting local development projects that have involved both development of a site and preservation of historic resources.  The projects featured on Preserved & Developed highlight a wide range of challenges and solutions over many years, but also represent a commitment by the developer and the community to embrace the future and preserve the past.  The Bruner Place was awarded a gold star, for its efforts in protecting historic resources within its particular constraints.

Bruner Place is a series of seven mixed-income residential townhouses on South Glebe Road in Arlington, VA.  Named after the late Dr. Roland Bruner, a prominent physician to the African-American community in South Arlington who practiced and lived on site from 1930 to 1978, the project serves the Nauck Community of Arlington County. Cunningham | Quill Architects developed a scheme involving the on-site relocation and renovation of two existing single-family houses and the addition of five new townhouses. The program includes four affordable and three market-rate townhouses, divided into two separate rows along a green space fronting South Glebe Road.

Taking advantage of the natural topography, rear-sloping driveways remove cars to individual garages at the back of the site. This space-saving strategy provides generous front porches that attach to each townhouse unit, fostering a sense of community among residents. Particular care was taken in the design to create a unified community where affordable and market-rate homes are virtually indistinguishable from the exterior.  At the October 2011 dedication of the historical marker, County Board Member Mary Hynes was quoted in the Sun Gazette saying that the historic preservation effort was “a wonderful confluence of preserving a place, and recognizing the person who made the place special.”

The historical marker that stands near his homesite states, “Dr. Bruner, who served greater Arlington for over thirty years, should not only be remembered for his commitment to medicine and generosity to the community and his patients but also for overcoming the limitations set forth by racism and segregation in an oppressive era of American history.”