Before there was such a thing as Crystal City — when South Eads Street was a recently-filled canal known as Jefferson Avenue — a state-of-the-art transportation option helped spur the development of what is now the Aurora Hills neighborhood.
That transportation option was the electric trolley. More than 100 years later, Arlington’s leaders are moving forward with a $200 million streetcar project that will stop in some of the same places as its long-forgotten predecessor.
Aurora Highlands Civic Association president Michael Dowell recently wrote about the area’s transportation history in the group’s monthly newsletter.
From 1843 to 1896, present-day Eads Street was actually a canal that connected with the famous C&O Canal by means of an elaborate aqueduct bridge over the Potomac. Then in 1896, the canal was deemed obsolete. It was filled in and an electric trolley line took its place.
From Dowell’s article:
In 1896, an electric trolley line was constructed along the former canal towpath. The new Arlington trolley line allowed the Mount Vernon Railway to offer continuous service between Washington DC, near Federal Triangle, all the way to Mount Vernon.
The new rail line was instrumental in enabling the development of our Aurora Hills neighborhood in 1910, as the trolley offered quick access for commuters headed into Washington DC. Our neighborhood had four stops along what was then called Jefferson Avenue: Four Mile Run, the Car Barn, 22nd Street, and 18th Street.
By the 1920s, bus transportation had become preferable to the trolley line and the last trolley rolled down Jefferson Avenue in early 1932. In 1934, Arlington County changed the street name to Eads Street (there were too many Jefferson Streets in Arlington County).
Ironically, the county’s proposed streetcar line, which will run along Columbia Pike and Crystal Drive, is intended to be a quicker, cleaner and more rider-friendly alternative to the bus routes that seemed preferable in the 1930s.
There were other streetcar lines in Arlington around the beginning of the century, as detailed in this Wikipedia article. The Fort Myer line, pictured, ran from Rosslyn, through Penrose (a community whose logo is a trolley) to present-day Nauck (Green Valley).
If this all sounds like history repeating itself, there’s one thing that seems especially unlikely to happen that time around. Unlike in 1906, the new streetcar project will probably not result in the development of an elaborate, transit-oriented amusement park in South Arlington.
The Arlington County Fair is set to kick off this Wednesday and run through Sunday, Aug. 21. As usual (though it was not without some debate) the fair is being…
Hundreds of K-5 students at Oakridge Elementary School packed 200 gift boxes to seamen and Marines serving on the USS Arlington. The boxes sent to those aboard the 684-foot-long amphibious…
Meet Cannoli, the Arlington Pet of the Week who loves chewing his many bones and playing chase with friends.
When Marine veteran Brendan McElroy started working on the sales side of the consulting industry, he quickly realized that although he enjoyed the more interactive part of his job, he did not like the “typical consulting-sales model.”
15 year old Australian Shepherd went missing from her yard in Waycroft-Woodlawn on the evening of August 8.
A pet tracker hasn’t been able to find her, and despite roaming in a busy area, there have been no reported sightings. She is microchipped, and her information is up to date. It’s most likely someone has picked her up. If found, or if there is any information, please contact the Animal Welfare League of Arlington or her owner at 571-510-0508 or [email protected]. If spotted, please don’t approach or call to her, but take a picture and call her owner.
As the summer winds down, it’s a great time to look forward to a creative fall! Art House 7 has a terrific selection of classes, for preschoolers to adults. Our fall session, starting September 6, offers painting, drawing, sculpture, collage, ceramics (including the wheel) and sewing. We have specialty classes such as Suminagashi, the ancient art of Japanese water marbling.
If you’re looking for a shorter commitment, we also have a full schedule of workshops, Art Nights, and Morning Art Socials. If you haven’t discovered Art House 7, please check us out! We offer classes throughout the year, taught by a range of fantastic teachers. You can buy art supplies next door. We’re near the Lee Harrison shopping center, and free parking is outside our door.
Art House 7
5537 Langston Blvd.Arlington VA 22207
Have you ever considered purchasing a rental property but weren’t sure where to start? This free webinar will go over the basics of how to invest in real estate, how to choose rental properties, and a market overview. Our Director