We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us.
     — Winston Churchill

















Copyright © 2017
The L'Enfant Trust, Washington, DC

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Are You Considering Solar Panels
for Your Historic Property?

Many property owners in Washington, DC are looking to roof solar panels in an effort to green their buildings and reduce energy costs. As an owner of a historic property protected by The L'Enfant Trust and located in a historic district, you have special responsibilities and factors to consider before installing solar panels. Some of the questions you should ask yourself are:

  • What is the best type of solar panel for my property?
  • Can my roof handle the size and number of solar panels required to provide optimal energy?
  • Can the solar panels be installed and removed without harming the building and historic material?
  • Can the installed solar panels be easily reversed if I decide not to use them or if I sell the property?
  • How visible will the solar panels be from the front, back, and sides of my property?
  • What do solar panels look like and will there be glare from the sun?
  • Where will the inverter and conduit lines for the solar panels be located on the property?

For further information visit the National Trust for Historic Preservation's website at


There are several companies in the Washington, DC area that provide solar panels for residential and commercial properties. There are many styles and levels of solar power currently on the market so you should study the products available to determine the best system for your property. The list below is a sampling of companies that have installed solar panels on properties in Washington's historic districts.

Uni-Solar -
Solar Solution, llc -
Direct Energy Solar -
Solar Energy Services -


If you think solar energy is right for you and your historic property, please call The L’Enfant Trust to discuss what materials will be needed for the review process or visit our website at to download a Request for Change Form. Please remember that solar panel installation in a historic district must also comply with all legal and regulatory requirements.

Lauren O. McHale
Director of Preservation


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