FAIRFAX COUNTY ALEXANDRIA NEIGHBORHOODS
Fort HuntFort Hunt is in the Fairfax County portion of Alexandria (named for the former military base see Fort Hunt Park). The population was 12,923 at the 2000 census. It encompasses the 22308 ZIP code of Alexandria, composed of much of the most affluent section of southeast Fairfax County, close to the George Washington Memorial Parkway and Potomac River, including the neighborhoods of Riverside Gardens, Tauxemont, Herbert Springs, Waynewood, Plymouth Haven, Collingwood, Stratford Landing, Hollin Hall, Wellington, Arcturus and (in ZIP code 22307) Villamay, Marlan Forest and West Grove. Fort Hunt is not only a great local area to call home, but it is also where we call home. To that end, we have assembled some local community links that you may want to check out:
Mount Vernon Recreational Center – Enjoy fishing, swimming, tennis, and summer family camp-outs only a block away at the Mount Vernon Park and Pool, a more than 13 acre refuge from the pace of city living.
George Washington Parkway Trail – The Parkway boasts almost 18 miles of paved bike and running trails along the scenic Potomac River. The bike path connects to other trails leading to Georgetown, DC, Maryland and Virginia. It is also home to the GW Parkway Classic and a host of other running and biking clubs.
Collingwood Park –Collingwood Park has ball fields, a tot lot and tennis courts. Enjoy the day lounging in the sun or make this the launching point for an active day along the bike path.
Fort Hunt Park – Enjoy the free summer concert series at Fort Hunt Park and relish in it’s 195 acres of wooded and open space. Park pavilions are available for large and small social gatherings.
George Washington Recreational Center – Enjoy ice skating, aerobics, indoor swimming and a host of other recreational options at the GW Recreation Center.
Belle Haven Marina – Cast off from land on a Jon Boat, Sunfish, Canoe or Kayak at the Belle Haven Marina. Classes available for beginners and experienced sailors alike.
BELLA HAVEN and MOUNT VERNON COUNTRY CLUBS – Tee off at one of the two golf clubs serving the Fort Hunt area.
Sited on one of George Washington’s original farms, the opportunity for continuous learning about American history, horticulture and life in general never ends. Some of the many resources to draw upon include:
MOUNT VERNON MANSION – Step back in time and explore George and Martha Washington’s home at Mount Vernon with its numerous hands on exhibits, farm, gardens, children’s education center, museum and seasonal wine tastings. There is also a boat tour that launches from Mount Vernon and explores the areas around the Mansion from the Potomac River.
COLLINGWOOD LIBRARY AND MUSEUM – Explore some of the early American history that makes Fort Hunt so special. The Collingwood Library and Museum boasts a large collection of literature and artifacts of early American life in one of the most serene settings on the banks of the Potomac River.
AMERICAN HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY AT RIVER FARM – Fort Hunt is home to the American Horticultural Society’s River Farm and its’ vast resources on gardening and horticulture. Experience the gardens at River Farm or participate in one of the many volunteer or children’s learning activities on the Farm. River Farm was originally the northern-most of George Washington’s Five Farms.
SHERWOOD HALL REGIONAL LIBRARY – The Sherwood Hall Regional Library serves as a local resource for literature and community involvement.
Fort Hunt isn’t just a place to call home. It is part of a thriving community of involved citizens who cherish the special things that make the area unique. Some of the following community organizations and links will help you get involved in the community:
FORT HUNT YOUTH ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION – Participate in a wide range of youth sports from baseball to lacrosse. A nominal fee for sports programs for both boys and girls between the ages of roughly 6 and 18, sport dependent.
GUNSTON MICRO SOCCER and LEE MOUNT VERNON SOCCER – Get your kicks with one of the local soccer clubs which offer fall and spring teams, as well as summer camps.
NORTHERN VIRGINIA SWIM LEAGUE (NVSL) – Participate in competitive swimming activities through the one of the areas local pools. Most neighborhood pools have swim and dive teams for children between the ages of 6-18, all of whom compete in swim meets on Monday evenings and Saturday mornings. The season begins in June and runs through early August.
AGE-IN-PLACE – Read the Washington Posts story about why Fort Hunt is one of the best areas to call home for life.
Mount VernonWhile “Mount Vernon” — drawn from the Mount Vernon plantation, the home of George Washington located south of Alexandria — is often used locally to refer to the entire unincorporated area between Old Town Alexandria and Fort Belvoir, Mount Vernon as defined by the Census Bureau encompasses only the part of it coextensive with Alexandria ZIP code 22309, bounded by the Potomac River to the south, Fort Belvoir to the west, Huntley Meadows Park to the north, and Little Hunting Creek to the east.
Fort BelvoirThe Fort Belvoir site was originally the home of Thomas Fairfax, 6th Lord Fairfax of Cameron, the proprietor of the Northern Neck, which once stood on land now on the base. After the Revolutionary War, Fairfax County revolutionaries destroyed the building. Today, the Belvoir Mansion ruins and the nearby Fairfax grave site is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The base was founded during World War I as Camp A. A. Humphreys, named for Andrew A. Humphreys. The post was renamed Fort Belvoir in the 1930s to honor the historic Belvoir plantation, but the adjacent United States Army Corps of Engineers Humphreys Engineer Center retains part of the original namesake. Fort Belvoir was initially the home of the Army Engineer School prior to its relocation in the 1980s to Fort Leonard Wood, in Missouri. It was also the home of the United States Army Engineer Research and Development Laboratory.
Belle Haven & Belle ViewBelle Haven is found just south of Old Town Alexandria and bounded on the west by Richmond Highway (U.S. 1) and on the east by the Potomac River. It encompasses Belle Haven, a wealthy subdivision dating from the 1920s, and several adjoining neighborhoods. Some, particularly New Alexandria and Belle View, are among the lowest-lying residential areas of Fairfax County. Belle Haven is anchored by the Belle Haven Country Club on the East and the Belle View community and shopping area further south. The Belle View area is also home to a large number of condominiums in both high-rise and low-rise form and is highly sought after for its walkability and proximity to the George Washington Parkway and bike path.
HuntingtonHuntington takes the rough shape of a triangle, and is bounded by the city of Alexandria to the north, U.S. 1 to the southeast and North Kings Highway to the west. To the east is Belle Haven and to the southeast Hybla Valley. Its main component is the namesake Huntington subdivision, a late-1940s neighborhood of mainly duplex homes. This area remains popular with first-time home buyers due largely to its proximity to the Huntington Metro station, the southern terminus of Metrorail’s Yellow Line. There are also several high-rise apartment and condominium complexes on and near Route 1 where much of the remaining population resides. The area is included in ZIP code 22303.
GrovetonGroveton is located just south of the city of Alexandria, it encompasses numerous neighborhoods including Groveton, Bucknell Manor, Jefferson Manor, Virginia Hills and Stoneybrooke and is part of unincorporated Alexandria. Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County’s largest park, is located nearby. Groveton High School, which served the community since 1959, was renamed in the mid-1980s as West Potomac High School, which also serves Fort Hunt. It covers the largest portion of the northbound Route 1 Corridor commercial area south of Alexandria, including the Beacon Hill Shopping Center and surrounding retail stores all of which run right down to Huntington.
Hybla ValleyHybla Valley used to be a large group of dairy farms located just to the west of the Potomac River. It encompasses parts of the 22306 and 22307 zip codes south of Alexandria composing of several affluent neighborhoods including Hollin Hills, Hollin Meadows, Mason Hill, White Oaks, and Popkins Farms. It also includes the Woodley Hills and historic Gum Springs neighborhoods. The CDP covers a small portion of the commercial area of Route 1, serves as the district seat for Mount Vernon in Fairfax County, and is the location of Inova Mount Vernon Hospital. Hybla Valley was placed on CNN Money`s “Best Places to Retire” in 2006 and “Best Places to Live” in 2007 , and its nationally recognized neighborhood of Hollin Hills has won many awards such as the Revere Quality House award from the Southwest Research Institute in 1950, and two 1982 Test of Time awards from the Virginia Society of the American Institute of Architects. Many politicians and local notable citizens reside within Hollin Hills and other areas of Hybla Valley, including former CBS newsman Eric Sevareid, former U.S. Representative James G. O’Hara (1925-1989), and United States Senator Pat Roberts.
FranconiaFranconia is located just southwest of Alexandria, Franconia has existed as a community since the 1870s, when a station by that name opened on the RF&P Railroad; however, like most of the surrounding area, it only began to develop into its present, suburban form in the 1950s. The area extends further south to the border of Fort Belvoir, encompassing most of Kingstowne and other neighborhoods such as Hayfield, Manchester Lakes and Windsor Park. Street addresses have Alexandria ZIP codes 22310 and 22315.
CITY OF ALEXANDRIA AREAS
Old TownOld Town, in the eastern and southeastern areas of Alexandria and on the Potomac River, is the oldest section of the city, originally laid out in 1749, and is a historic district. Old Town is chiefly known for its historic town houses, art galleries, antique shops, and restaurants. Some of the historic landmarks in Old Town include Robert E. Lee’s boyhood home, the Lee-Fendall House, a replica of George Washington’s townhouse, Gadsby’s Tavern, the Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Shop, and the Torpedo Factory art gallery. Old Town is laid out on a grid plan of substantially square blocks.
On the northern limits of Old Town is the remnants of a historic, predominantly African American community known by its inhabitants as “The Berg”. Built in 1945, the 260-unit public housing complex covers several blocks in what is now Old Town Alexandria. Today the Berg’s most prominent landmarks are the James Bland Homes (built in 1954) named after an African American musician and songwriter, and the Samuel Madden Homes, named after the first African-American pastor of the Alfred Street Baptist Church.
Over the years the historic roots of the Berg’s name were lost, and many assumed it referred to the monolithic, iceberg-like buildings of this apartment complex. It was mentioned in the movie Remember the Titans, which dramatizes the integration of city public schools in the 1970s through the creation of T.C. Williams High School. Some remnants of the Berg remain today, but the majority of Old Town has long since given way to gentrification, beginning in the 1960s and The Old Town Alexandria Neighborhood Homeowner Preservation Association attempted to combat its effects.
Street scene in Old Town
Market Square in Old Town is the oldest continuously operating marketplace in the United States and was once the site of the second-largest slave market in the U.S. Today it contains a large fountain and extensive landscaping, as well as a farmers’ market each Saturday morning.
ArlandriaArlandria is a neighborhood located in the north-eastern portion of Alexandria. Its name is a combination of the words “Arlington” and “Alexandria,” reflecting its location on the border of Arlington County and Alexandria. The neighborhood’s borders form a rough triangle bounded by the Four Mile Run in the north, West Glebe Road to the south and south-west, and Route 1 to the east. Centered around Mount Vernon Avenue between the Four Mile Run and West Glebe Road, it is home to many Hispanic, Thai, and Vietnamese-owned bakeries, restaurants, salons, and bookstores. An influx of Salvadorean immigrants into the neighborhood in the 1980s has earned it the nickname “Chirilagua,” after the city on the Pacific coast of El Salvador. Arlandria is also home to the Birchmere concert hall, the Alexandria Aces of the Cal Ripken, Sr. Collegiate Baseball League, and St. Rita Church, dedicated in 1949 and constructed in Gothic style from Virginia fieldstone and Indiana limestone.
Del RayThe area to the northwest of Old Town, formerly in the separate town of Potomac, is popularly known as Del Ray, although that name properly belongs to one of many communities (including Hume, Mount Ida, and Saint Elmo) in that area. The communities of Del Ray and St. Elmo originated in early 1894, when developer Charles Wood organized them on a grid pattern of streets running north-south and east-west. Del Ray originally contained six east-west streets and five north-south. All were identical in width, except Mt. Vernon Avenue, which was approximately twenty feet wider. St. Elmo, a smaller tract, was laid out in a similar pattern, but with only four east-west streets and one running north-south.
By 1900, Del Ray contained approximately 130 persons, and St. Elmo 55. In 1908, the tracts of Del Ray, St. Elmo, Mt. Ida, and Hume were incorporated into the town of Potomac, which by 1910 had a population of 599; by 1920 it contained 1,000; and by 1928 it had 2,355 residents.
The 254 acres (1 km²) comprising Del Ray were sold to Charles Wood in 1894 for the sum of $38,900, while St. Elmo, made up of 39 acres (160,000 m2), was purchased for $15,314.
The community, while diverse, has experienced substantial gentrification since redevelopment began in Potomac Yard in the mid-1990s. The area has future development plans for condominiums, parks, and a fire station with affordable housing on upper floors. Del Ray now boasts many new restaurants and shops.
West EndAlexandria’s West End includes areas annexed from Fairfax County in the 1950s. It is the most typically suburban part of Alexandria, with a street hierarchy of winding roads and culs-de-sac. The section of Duke Street in the West End is known for a high-density residential area known to locals as “Landmark” and for its concentration of both strip and enclosed shopping malls. In more recent years, parts of Alexandria’s West End have seen an influx of immigrants from Ethiopia, Eritrea, Afghanistan and Pakistan, who have settled in the areas surrounding Seminary Road west of I-395.
The West End is composed of four main areas. All are west of Quaker Lane, the main north-south artery through Alexandria:
* Seminary Hill, a mostly residential, single-family dwelling area near the Virginia Theological Seminary and the Episcopal and St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes Schools off Seminary Road, ending in the area just west of the Inova Alexandria Hospital.
* “Lower Alexandria (LA)”, south of the Duke Street corridor are communities of small homes, row houses, town homes along with commercial and retail real estate including the Foxchase Shopping Center. The section between Wheeler Ave. and Jordan St. is also known as the “Block.” In the 60′s and 70′s, this section of Alexandria was also known because of Shirley Duke, a complex of 2,214 low-priced rental apartments, which became the Foxchase development in the early 1980s, after five years of stagnancy. There are also areas of industrial businesses south of Duke Street, primarily off Wheeler Ave, South Pickett St and South Van Dorn St. In the very southern part of this area is the Eisenhower Ave corridor running parallel to the Capital Beltway (I-95/I-495) which is industrial and commercial in nature. The Van Dorn Metro Station here provides access to Washington, DC.
* The Landmark area, which includes Seminary Valley, a large single family area developed in the 1950s, is largely garden style apartments and condo-converted apartment hi-rises as well as a number of townhome developments from the 1970s is west of North Pickett St bordered by I-395/Van Dorn Street on the west and Seminary Road on the north. This area also includes Cameron Station and the main branch of the Alexandria Library, the Charles E. Beatley Central Library. The Landmark Mall, developed in the mid-1960s and redeveloped in the 1980s, was Alexandria’s primary retail area for decades. It now includes Sears, Macy’s, and Lord and Taylor department stores.
* The Seminary West neighborhoods are the communities west of I-395 but within the city limits of Alexandria. Beauregard Street is the primary artery running north & south to a mix of development from town home communities, single family neighborhoods, three large senior citizen living centers, garden and hi-rise apartments and condominiums. The Mark Center office development is a large commercial area in this community, which also includes the Alexandria Campus of the Northern Virginia Community College and its Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center.
NORTH RIDGENorth Ridge, in northern Alexandria City, borders Arlington County and includes the very busy Braddock Road/King Street corridors. North Ridge takes its name from the high ground west of Russell Road and south of West Glebe Road. It is a residential area with homes of numerous styles (mostly single family houses) that were largely developed in the period of the 1930s through the early 1960s. This neighborhood includes many houses of worship as well as one of Virginia’s eight Scottish Rite temples, a Masonic order. North Ridge students attend George Mason and Charles Barrett Elementary Schools and feed into George Washington Middle School and T. C. Williams High School. The Lower School of private St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes School is located in the Jefferson Park neighborhood of North Ridge.
It is a neighborhood of walkers, joggers, and bicyclists, known for its friendliness and its profusion of crepe myrtles. Parks there include Monticello Park, Beverly Park and Robert Leider Park. All of the North Ridge community lies within the original 10-mile (16 km) square of the District of Columbia, ceded back to Virginia in 1846.