Memorial Day Closures — Arlington County courts, offices, libraries, and schools will be closed for the Memorial Day holiday on Monday. Arlington’s three indoor public pools will be open on a holiday schedule on Monday. [Arlington County]
State Police Increasing Patrols — Virginia State Police say they’re increasing patrols statewide this weekend. “The additional patrols statewide are part of the annual Operation C.A.R.E., (Combined Accident Reduction Effort) to reduce crashes, fatalities and injuries associated with speed, failure to wear seatbelts and impaired driving. The state-sponsored, national program encourages law enforcement,” VSP said in a press release.
Bonchon Chicken to Offer Growlers – Korean chicken restaurant Bonchon is hoping to open its new Arlington location at 2201 N. Pershing Drive in mid-July. In addition to chicken, the eatery will have “a dozen beers on tap, including craft options, and growler service to cater to the restaurant’s carryout clients.” [Washington Business Journal]
Arlington’s Marv Albert Anniversary — On May 27, 1997, Arlington was in the news as sports broadcaster Marv Albert was arrested and booked by Arlington County Police, accused of sexually assaulting a woman at the Pentagon City Ritz Carlton hotel. [About.com, New York Times]
The 1960s-era “Blue Goose” building in Ballston has been named one of the most “endangered historic places” in Arlington.
The nonprofit group Preservation Arlington (the new name of the Arlington Heritage Alliance) released the Most Endangered Historic Places list this morning. Included on the list is the Blue Goose building at 1000 N. Glebe Road, which is currently home to Marymount University’s Ballston campus but is set to be torn down to make way for a new office building and apartment building.
Also on the “endangered” list are Arlington’s National Register of Historic Places neighborhoods, like Lyon Village, Cherrydale, Ashton Heights and Penrose. “The social and architectural fabric of these older neighborhoods is being threatened by over-sized and incompatible in-fill development,” Preservation Arlington says.
Other endangered places in Arlington include the Arlington House woods and Seneca Quarry boundary wall at Arlington National Cemetery, which are also on the Preservation Virginia endangered places list; remaining pieces of track from the Washington & Old Dominion Railway; low-rise commercial buildings from the 1930s-1950s; the Wilson School; and garden apartments on Columbia Pike and in Rosslyn.
Preservation Arlington, which says it is “dedicated to protecting and improving the quality of Arlington’s distinct architectural heritage,” will work to preserve historic places like those on the list through “education and advocacy.”
“Preservation Arlington hopes to influence the future of Arlington’s historic buildings, landscapes and communities,” the group says. It will also organize tours, events and lectures .
See the full Most Endangered Historic Places list, after the jump.
Photos courtesy Preservation Arlington
Arlington County is planning to designate the Fraber House at 1612 N. Quincy Street in Cherrydale a “local historic district,” then sell it to the highest bidder.
The house and surrounding grounds were purchased by the county from the Fraber family in 2002, for $537,000, with the intention of demolishing the yellow Bungalow-style home and using the land to expand adjacent Oakgrove Park.
The latter part of that plan was foiled when the Cherrydale neighborhood included the house and its detached garage in its designation to the National Register of Historic Places.
The home was deemed historically significant as “a classic example of the early-20th century Bungalow form… built and lived in by the types of middle and working class people who first established Arlington as a commuter suburb.”
“This presented a dilemma for the County’s land acquisition and historic preservation programs,” county staff wrote in a report this month. “For the last eleven years, the County has considered a variety of options to balance preserving the open space for Oakgrove Park and preserving the historic buildings on the site.”
That eleven years of contemplation has led to a plan to protect the home with a local historic designation, then try to sell it to someone who would presumably want to fix it up and live in it. The plan calls for the home to be offered for sale by a real estate agent starting this summer. It will be sold in “as is” condition — given that it “still retains its original building footprint, windows and doors, and nearly all of its exterior and interior materials and details.”
The parcels of land around the home will be retained by the county and used to expand Oakgrove Park, which consists of a youth soccer field, a playground and picnic equipment. The county says it will use proceeds of the sale to fund future park land acquisition.
In March, the county’s Historic Affairs and Landmark Review Board recommended that the historic designation be extended to the home’s detached garage. Earlier this month, the Arlington Planning Commission voted unanimously to also favor historic status for the garage.
County staff, however, is recommending that the garage, which sits on land the county wants to use for the park, not receive historic status. Instead, the county will encourage the buyer of the home to move the garage closer to the home, on privately-owned land. Or, if that fails, the county will “make the garage available to an interested part for relocation… at the expense of the interested party.”
“This would allow the County to retain the remaining parkland for open space (as was the original intent) and for future park amenities,” staff wrote.
The County Board is scheduled to consider the Request to Advertise the historic designation at its Saturday meeting.
Photos via Arlington County
(Updated at 12:00 p.m.) Non-profit organization Preservation Virginia has named Arlington National Cemetery to its list of the state’s most endangered sites.
Each year the group chooses historical sites it believes have become threatened due to neglect, insufficient funding, inappropriate development or public policies and procedures. The cemetery made the list due to the Millennium Project, an expansion project requiring the removal of trees on 12 wooded acres, and the removal of portions of the red sandstone Seneca Wall, which was constructed during the late 1800s.
Around 800 trees would be removed from the cemetery as part of the plan, although about 600 would be replanted. Preservation Virginia’s concerns surround not only the tree removal, but also the amount of soil being moved, the extent of the new retaining walls to be constructed and the road to be built across a stream that is “likely to irreparably alter the topography and run counter to the objectives of Congress.”
This isn’t the first complaint about the Millennium Project’s plan for tree removal. Arlington residents and members of citizens groups, such as the Arlington Urban Forestry Commission, have voiced displeasure with the plan. In March, a number of people spoke out against the tree removal during an open house at the site.
Preservation Virginia said the following in a written statement:
“Preservation Virginia respects the mission of Arlington National Cemetery to provide for military interments, but along with other partner preservation organizations believes that there is a better way to create additional burial space while also respecting the significant contributions of Arlington House Woods and the existing, historic boundary wall to this sacred place… Preservation Virginia urges the Army Corps of Engineers to revisit the Environmental Assessment and to seek an expansion alternative that respects the historic significance of Arlington Woods, protects its historic landscape, and provides for additional burial space.”
Preservation Virginia’s full list of endangered sites for 2013 can be found on its website.
The Marine Corps War Memorial will host a movie screening on Friday and a ranger-guided history lesson on Sunday.
On Friday, May 3, the memorial will host a screening of the 1949 film Sands of Iwo Jima, starring John Wayne (see movie trailer, above). The public is invited to bring a lawn chair to the reviewing stand to watch the film, which will start at 8:00 p.m.
On Sunday, May 5, from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., park rangers will give talks about little-known secrets of the statue.
According to a press release: “Rangers will host activities and offer short talks on the contents of the memorial’s cornerstone, graffiti inside the memorial’s base, and the amazing process by which workers climbed inside the memorial’s figures to piece them together in 1954.”
The events are part of the “Partners in Preservation Open House Weekend.” Partners in Preservation, a partnership between American Express and the National Trust for Historic Preservation, is currently hosting a contest that lets members of the public vote to direct $1 million worth of preservation funding to historic places in the D.C. area.
The Marine Corps War Memorial and Arlington House are both in the running. At the moment, however, they’re in 21st and 20th place respectively, out of a total of 24 entrants. The Memorial is seeking funding for a thorough cleaning and waxing.
“The Marine Corps War Memorial will compete for funds to carefully clean, wax, and re-gild the large outdoor sculpture at its center,” said a press release. “Each of the six giant bronze figures accumulates dirt, pollution, bird droppings, pollen, and natural weathering residues that must be removed with specialized pressure washing equipment. Because the statue is depicted with photographic realism, workers will need scaffolding and lifts to reach every angle and crevice of clothing and muscle, from the base of the memorial to its top 60 feet above the ground.”
Arlington House Rededicated — Arlington House, the family home of Robert E. Lee and an iconic symbol of Arlington County, has been rededicated by the National Park Service following a six year restoration effort. The ceremony was held on Saturday, on the 152nd anniversary of Lee’s decision to lead the rebellion in the Civil War. [Sun Gazette]
County’s Bond Ratings Reaffirmed — Arlington County has had its top Aaa/AAA debt ratings reaffirmed by rating agencies Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s. The ratings will allow Arlington to borrow money at a lower interest rate. “The Aaa rating reflects the county’s strong long-term credit characteristics including a sizeable and affluent tax base, stable and carefully-managed financial operations with sound reserves, and moderate debt position with manageable future borrowing needs,” Moody’s wrote of Arlington. [Arlington County]
Garvey: Streetcars Fail Cost/Benefit Analysis — In an op-ed in the Washington Post, County Board member Libby Garvey says streetcars on Columbia Pike “are not a good investment for anyone.” Streetcars would not solve transportation challenges on the Pike, and would instead “siphon resources away from other important needs,” Garvey wrote. [Washington Post]
Arlington to Help Train Vets in IT — Arlington County has accepted a $150,000 state grant that will help train military veterans for high-demand Information Technology (IT) jobs. The grant will go to a joint Arlington/Alexandria job training program, which is expected to serve more than 50 veterans over an 18-month period. [Arlington County]
Arlington Outpaced in Home Sale Prices – Falls Church, Alexandria, Fairfax County and D.C. have all outpaced Arlington when it comes to growth in home sale prices. Prices in Arlington increased only 1.1 percent year over year in March, and year-to-date prices are down 1 percent, according to data from RealEstate Business Intelligence. The median home sale price in Arlington hit $515,000 in March. [Washington Post]
O’Connell Defeats Stone Bridge — The highly-ranked Bishop O’Connell softball team defeated their closest competitors in Virginia, Stone Bridge, by a score of 3-0 last night. The Knights improved to 10-0, and remain ranked No. 2 in the region. The team will face No. 9 McLean and No. 1 Northern (ranked second in the country; DJO is ranked third) later this month. [Washington Post]
Kanninen Wants More Responsiveness — Barbara Kanninen says she’s running for Arlington School Board because she wants the board to be more responsive to the concerns of parents. “There’s a lot of parent dissatisfaction,” she said in an interview with the Sun Gazette. Of her opponent, incumbent James Lander, she said “it truly isn’t about him, specifically.” [Sun Gazette]
Remembering WEAM — “Our Man in Arlington” columnist Charlie Clark takes a trip down Memory Lane and remembers the Arlington-based AM radio station WEAM. The station used to play pop and rock hits from a studio located “above Minor Hill, off Williamsburg Blvd.” [Falls Church News-Press]
An Arlington resident lauded for her involvement in the civil rights movement during the 1960s, including a stint in jail, will be featured at a special free movie showing and panel discussion tomorrow (Wednesday).
The Arlington Public Library will host a free screening of the movie “An Ordinary Hero: The True Story of Joan Mulholland.” Following the film, Joan Trumpauer Mulholland and her son Loki, who wrote and directed the movie, will take part in a panel discussion. William Pretzer, senior curator of history at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, will also be a part of the panel.
Mulholland, who is white, grew up in the South during segregation and emerged as an activist who fought for the rights of others, much to the chagrin of her parents. In 1961, Mulholland flew to Jackson, MS, to take part in civil rights demonstrations and sit-ins. She was arrested, fined $200 and jailed for three months. Despite her punishment, Mullholland continued her activism, and in 1963 took part in the infamous sit-in at the Woolworth in Jackson, MS.
In some of the historic photos above, Mulholland can be seen at sit-ins and demonstrations that took place around Arlington from June 9-23, 1960. In one, she is sitting behind activist Dion Diamond (who was arrested later that day) at the Cherrydale Drug Fair store on June 10, 1960. The two were part of the Non-Violent Action Group (NAG), which is credited with helping to push most Arlington restaurants to desegregate on June 22, 1960.
Mulholland, a long time Barcroft neighborhood resident, later taught for almost three decades at Arlington Public Schools.
The film “An Ordinary Hero” tells Mulholland’s life story and contains rare footage from the civil rights movement. The film screening and panel discussion will take place at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 27 at Artisphere (1101 Wilson Blvd).
Historic photos courtesy of Arlington Public Library and Flickr photostream by washington_area_spark
Accident Shuts Down GW Parkway — The northbound GW Parkway was closed this morning before Route 123 due to a reported multi-vehicle accident. Northbound traffic was being diverted onto Spout Run Parkway. [WTOP Traffic]
The Origins of Broyhill Forest — In 1952, homes in Broyhill Forest, a planned community adjacent to the Washington Golf and Country Club, went on sale for $19,000 to $27,000. Falls Church News-Press columnist Charlie Clark, a resident of Broyhill Forest, recalls the Broyhill family and their impact on Arlington. [Falls Church News-Press]
Pistol Certification Class at Arlington Church — A local firearms instruction company is offering NRA First Steps Pistol Orientation courses at Bloss Memorial Church in Lyon Park. The course completion certificate can be used to obtain concealed carry permit in Virginia. While classroom instruction is conducted at the church, live fire portions of the class are conducted at the NRA headquarters range in Fairfax. [Liberty Firearms Instruction]
Energy Journey Game on Saturday — Arlington County is organizing an “interactive life-size board game” that offers residents a chance to “challenge yourself on everyday actions that have an energy impact.” The “Energy Journey Game” starts at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday (Feb. 2). [Fresh AIRE]
‘Georgetown Cuddler’ Conviction Overturned — An appeals court has overturned the conviction of Arlington resident Todd M. Thomas, 26, the accused “Georgetown Cuddler.” [Washington Post]
Javon Martin Trial Underway — The trial for Javon Martin, one of the men accused of killing Arlington resident Carl Diener in 2009, began on Monday. Attorneys for the Commonwealth spent much of Tuesday (January 29) presenting evidence against Martin. The other man accused of the crime, Martin’s cousin Roger Clark III, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder last year and is awaiting sentencing. [Washington Post]
Man Arrested for Attempted Rental Car Theft — Police arrested a man who caused a scene at Reagan National Airport on Tuesday morning. He was spotted running around the grounds of DCA and along the George Washington Parkway after allegedly trying to steal a rental car. Airport Police found 28-year-old Robert Cooper of Washington, DC in Crystal City a short time later and arrested him. Cooper has been charged with Attempted Grand Larceny.
Green Valley Pharmacy Receives Historic Designation — The Green Valley Pharmacy in the Nauck neighborhood has been approved by the County Board for designation as the 33rd Arlington Historic District. It is the first historically African American commercial building to be honored as an Arlington Historic District. The designation was granted not for the site’s architectural significance, but for the historical and cultural significance, as well as recognition for Dr. Leonard Muse’s lifetime of contributions to his community. [Arlington County]
New Recruits Sought for Civic Leadership Program — Arlington County is looking new recruits for its Neighborhood College program, which is a free, eight-session course to encourage civic engagement and help residents build leadership skills. Participants will learn how to become neighborhood advocates and how to bring about change for issues affecting the community. The sessions will be held each Thursday evening from April 4 to May 23. Applications for the 2013 Civic Leadership Development Program are due March 4, 2013. [Arlington County]
(Updated at 2:30 p.m.) The Green Valley Pharmacy (2415 Shirlington Road) property in Nauck is expected to earn a local designation as an Arlington Historic District. The measure was requested by long-time property owner Dr. Leonard Muse, and needs approval from the County Board at its meeting on Saturday (January 26).
Dr. Muse submitted a formal letter in 2009, in addition to a petition of support with 143 signatures, requesting the status. Since then, the county’s Historic Preservation Program staff has been working with Dr. Muse to conduct research on the building and on Dr. Muse’s contributions to the community.
The structure originally was built as a grocery store in 1942, and Green Valley Pharmacy was established in 1952. The county staff report states that the site’s significance is not due to architectural history, but rather its cultural history. An excerpt from the report reads:
Although the building itself is of modest construction and has undergone some minor aesthetic alterations over time, it is Arlington’s only surviving example of an African American owned and operated pharmacy that has remained in continuous operation for 60 years. The pharmacy is the second oldest business in Nauck (the oldest by only a few months is the Friendly Cab Company) and has witnessed six decades worth of cultural and social history under management by the same owner. Into the 21st century, the Green Valley Pharmacy continues to be a popular community gathering place, serves as an important anchor of the Nauck neighborhood, and is an important physical reminder of both the impacts of racial segregation and Arlington’s mid-20th century African American commercial heritage.
The staff report also noted Dr. Muse’s accomplishment of becoming a registered pharmacist in Virginia in 1954, during “the challenging era of racial segregation and inequality.”
In order to receive historic designation, a site must meet at least two of eleven criteria listed in the Arlington County Zoning Ordinance. The Historical Affairs and Landmark Review Board (HALRB) found that the property in question meets three of the criteria, and therefore is worthy of historic status.
Through the designation, the pharmacy building would be preserved. New construction may still occur on the site adjacent to or on top of the current building, but first must be reviewed by the HALRB to make sure it would be compatible with the historic district.
The staff report notes that the County Manager has agreed to use $2,000 in county funds for a historic marker on the Green Valley Pharmacy site.
Currently there are 32 buildings, sites or multi-property districts that have been designated as Arlington Historic Districts. The most recent addition was the Calloway Cemetery last year.
Photos via Arlington County
Noted American statesman Ben Franklin stopped by to give a short speech before County Board member Libby Garvey’s swearing-in ceremony on Friday evening.
Garvey, who was elected to her first full term on the Board in November, invited Franklin to the ceremony. Franklin, played by Arlington resident Barry Stevens, was modest about his presence at the event but spoke in grand terms about the ceremony itself.
“It is my great pleasure to be here this afternoon,” he said. “Actually, at my age, it’s a great pleasure to be anywhere.”
“Today we recognize a commitment by a local citizen to serve in our government [and] celebrate the voice of an electorate in bringing this citizen into public office,” Franklin continued. “And so today we consummate our republic and our democratic process.”
Garvey spoke after Franklin and noted that she and President Barack Obama, who also was re-elected in November, could never have been elected in Franklin’s time, since women and African Americans were not allowed to vote or run for public office in the U.S.
“We as a nation have come very, very far in a few hundred years,” she said.
The above photo on the left shows the Clarendon Metro station under construction, before it opened in December 1979. Clarendon first became part of a streetcar line in 1896, as a transfer point between the Rosslyn-Clarendon line and the D.C.-Falls Church line. The current Metro Orange Line closely follows the old Rosslyn-Clarendon route.
In 1920, the same year the Virginia legislature officially named Arlington (previously known as Alexandria County) to avoid confusion with the City of Alexandria, there was an effort to incorporate Clarendon as a town. The courts eventually prevented it from going through. Under current Virginia law, counties that have population densities greater than 1,000 people per square mile cannot create a new municipality within the county.
In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Clarendon affectionately became known as “Little Saigon” due to a number of Vietnamese restaurants opening in the neighborhood. Queen Bee is one of those restaurants, pictured in the late 1980s photo on the above right.
Below is a photo of how that section of Clarendon looks today. Spider Kelly’s now occupies 3181 Wilson Blvd, which is where Queen Bee was located until it closed in 2006.
Historic photos courtesy Arlington Public Library’s Virginia Room
Veterans Day Ceremony in Clarendon — Local VFW and American Legion posts jointly organized a Veterans Day ceremony at the Clarendon War Memorial on Sunday. At the annual remembrance ceremony a wreath was laid for Lance Cpl. Niall Coti-Sears, who was killed in Afghanistan this year. [MyFoxDC]
Reeves Farmhouse May Be Sold — The Arlington County Board is expected to decide whether to sell the historic Reeves farmhouse, at auction, for residential use. The county had been looking for ways to save the farmhouse for public use, but rejected a proposal to use it as a learning center, apparently due to the proposal not adequately providing for the high cost of needed repairs and renovations to the house. [WAMU]
Historic Status for Green Valley Pharmacy? -- Next month Arlington County Board members are scheduled to consider a proposal to designate the Green Valley Pharmacy a historic landmark business. The pharmacy opened in 1952 at 2415 Shirlington Road, in the neighborhood now known as Nauck. The county’s Historic Affairs and Landmarks Review Board supports the historic designation proposal. [Sun Gazette]
Shirlington Tree Lighting Two Weeks Away — Shirlington Village will hold its annual Christmas tree lighting event on Tuesday, Nov. 27. [Shirlington Village Blog Spot]
Flickr pool photo by Philliefan99
A failed restaurant. An impressive drain pipe. A popular home renovation.
These are some of the humorous and true observations of extremely local history that artist Timothy Thompson has turned in to a series of historical markers in and around the Arlington Arts Center (3550 Wilson Blvd) in Virginia Square.
Thompson’s historical markers are part of the Arlington Arts Center’s 2012 Fall Solos exhibition, which opened on Oct. 3 and features works by seven regional artists. The exhibit is set to hold its opening reception on Saturday (Oct. 20) from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m.
Four of Thompson’s markers are located inside the gallery. Two are within two blocks of the center on N. Lincoln Street. Another is adjacent to the center along Wilson Boulevard.
Thompson will be leading a walking tour of his historical markers from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 1. The Fall Solos exhibit will be in place through Dec. 23.