Morning Notes

by ARLnow.com November 14, 2011 at 8:33 am 3,960 64 Comments

Arlington’s Historic Strip Malls — Arlington County is trying to convince owners of garden apartment buildings, one-story shopping centers and other properties deemed ‘historic’ to agree to be a part of new county-created historic districts. But some people are questioning whether the ‘historic’ properties identified by the county are really historic and worth the effort of preserving. [WAMU]

Another Candidate Joins County Board Fray — Arlington County Planning Commission member Peter Fallon has announced his candidacy for the County Board. Fallon, a 25-year Arlington resident, says he has “the experience necessary for the challenges ahead.” He joins fellow Democrats Melissa Bondi and Terron Sims on the official list of candidates hoping to replace to replace state Senator-elect Barbara Favola in an upcoming special election.

Yorktown Wins First Playoff Game — The undefeated Yorktown Patriots football team beat McLean 20-6 on Friday to advance to the semifinal round of the Northern Region playoffs. Yorktown will face the Lee Lancers on Nov. 18. [Sun Gazette]

  • novasteve

    That’s funny, the county had no problem when the historic strip mall where the Royal Lee was torn down to make room for another condo building.

    • NorthArlingTim

      I drove by there this morning and was appalled. I miss the Royal Lee Greasy Spoon almost as much as Whitey’s (before it became yuppified).

  • Haile Selassie I

    “Arlington’s history is so different than a lot of the history that surrounds us in the metropolitan area,” says Cynthia Liccese-Torres, the county historic preservation planner.

    “What makes Arlington, Arlington, are these types of buildings: the garden apartments, the shopping centers that were designed to originally serve them, as well as some of the early commercial buildings such as what we have in the original downtown of Clarendon,” she says.

    She is right. Just ask Alexandria.

    • Josh S

      Or Falls Church.
      Or Fairfax Co.
      Or Silver Spring.
      Or Rockville.
      Or etc, etc etc.

      garden apartments and one story strip malls are about as banal as you can get. Except in rare instances, not worth preservation.

      • Burger

        Exactly. Old doesn’t mean good.

  • ArlForester

    Everything old isn’t historic, Arlington.

    • CW

      Seriously. Arlington’s idea of “old” is really weird in absolute terms. One needs only to look at the census data, though, to see why (and frankly common sense would do in lieu of this as well). Population in 1930: 26,000. Population in 1950: 135,000. So, while it’s clear that our history consists of as much as they could throw up as fast as possible during the war and shortly thereafter, the question is, is it really worth preserving?

      • JamesE

        They are hypocrites for allowing the historic Taco Bell to be knocked down.

    • Juanita de Talmas

      Nor is everything historic necessarily old.

  • 1234

    And everything “old” isn’t really old, either. Saving the worst of 50 years ago helps nobody.

  • Haile Selassie I

    Arlington, throw-away society

  • MC

    Not only are many of these strip malls not unique and unworthy of saving, they actually lessen our quality of life, but attracting cars that have few insufficient room to park. The County should be encouraging the redevelopment of these sites to promote more pedestrian friendly buildings.

    • Michael H.


    • CW

      Of course, homeowners want these sorts of establishments kept, because their inefficient use of space continues to limit the amount of new housing that can be brought online, thus keeping property values high.

      • John Fontain

        Yes, it’s a big conspiracy by the homeowners. They have secret meetings where plot and plan things like this.

        • drax

          Yes, homeowners want their property values to be high so they can pay more in taxes.

        • CW

          Why is that a conspiracy statement? It’s NIMBYism and has been shown clearly by consistent, widespread opposition to any and all sorts of larger-scale modern development.

          • drax

            1. There is not “consistent, widespread opposition to any and all sorts of larger-scale modern development.”

            2. Even if there were, you cannot declare you know the motivation for it.

          • CW

            Sure I can; this is the Internet. 🙂

          • drax

            Oh, wait, whoops, you’re right, this is the Internet. Carry on.

  • GreaterClarendon

    Not a bad picture, but here is one I took yesterday in Clarendon – someone should take a real photo of this tree before it loses its leaves – it is striking due to all of its varying colors.

    • CW

      You wanna see trees with ridiculous colors? Check out the line of bright red maples between the Ballston Harris Teester and the adjacent American Service Center body shop. Ridiculous.

  • Haile Selassie I

    Luxury Highrise Condos are not unique and unworthy of saving, they actually lessen our quality of life.

    • drax


      • The increased poplulation:

        makes classrooms more crowded
        makes dinner lines longer and prices higher
        make subway cars and stations more crowded
        congests local streets more
        decreases air/water quality within the densly populated area

        That’s a start.

    • Choogirl

      Lessen our quality of life? By putting large groups of people in an area to walk places vs. drive? By building up and not out, leaving room for parks and other services? I feel my quality of life has increased since moving into the high rise as I now walk to everything. 🙂

      • Carl

        Being able to walk everywhere always makes people happier. Except when it doesn’t: http://www.wtop.com/?nid=41&sid=2627321

        • drax

          Maybe in Sweden.

          I love a story that starts with “This may be hard to believe….”

        • Josh S

          First of all, WTOP? Really? THat’s your source?

          And secondly, I had to stop and look at the date for the article cause I would have guessed it was April 1. How do you possibly conclude that sitting in your car driving for an hour is healthier than riding your bike?

          • Carl

            I think if you read the article and follow the link that talks about the study, you might find an answer to your question all by yourself.

          • Tabby

            Probably related more to the “wealthier” aspect, not the commuting aspect.

        • Glebe Roader

          This is a comment from the article:

          “Researcher Erik Hansson finds commuters with longer commutes tend to travel routes that are more tranquil and that go through the countryside. ”

          Yeah, this is a typical commute from Fredricksburg to K Street – HA!

        • Chris Slatt

          That study generally disregarded “Active Commuters”, those commuting by Walking or Biking. Information that might have been reported were WTOP not relying on Men’s Health Magazine for its analysis.

          Actual Study: http://www.biomedcentral.com/content/pdf/1471-2458-11-834.pdf

      • Haile Selassie I

        You needed to move into a high rise to learn how to get out and walk? Concrete Jungle, with a Starbucks and a Johnny Rockets. Bumbaclot Society

        • Choogirl

          Good luck walking to the grocery store from the single family home 2 miles away. Learn how to walk? No. Ability to walk to everything I need because it is centrally located? Yes. Americans need to stop building “out” and learn to build “up.”

          • Haile Selassie I

            Rat In a cage

          • Choogirl

            Wow. Do you always speak to people this way? You must be popular.

          • drax

            Yes, I do think people in cars stuck in traffic because they have no other choice are like rats in cages. I like to ride my bike past them and wave.

          • Carl

            And I love to blow by people on bikes because they can not pedal faster than my car. It’s so much fun being confrontational and #winning and then talking about it on the internet! Go me.

  • Burger

    — a 25-year Arlington resident, says he has “the experience necessary for the challenges ahead.”–

    Ah, the dreams of a millenial that has been handed a trophy for coming in last place figures his 2 years out of college equate to real world experience.

    Sorry, Peter, the adults in the room are talking.

    • sam

      Unless I’m missing something it says he’s a 25 year resident of Arlington, not that he’s 25 years old.

      • Burger

        sorry you are right. saw 25 and thought it meant only 25 years old. My apologies to simple comprehension but not to my point in hand.

    • AllenB

      Doesn’t that statement mean he’s lived in Arlington for 25 years? It doesn’t say he’s 25 years old.

    • nauckneighbor

      Um…how about reading that again. He is a 25 year Arlington resident. NOT a 25 year old arlington resident.

    • Hot Dog

      Some ‘adults’ need to learn how to read.

    • drax

      Hey Burger, ever figure out which Senate district you’re in? Hope you got it by Election Day.

      • Burger

        I know exactly what district I was in. But Forrest and Howell do not. In fact, Howell sent me something on Thursday after the election. As I said, the inability to read a map should disqualify them both.

  • Captain Obvious
  • Terry

    The Colonial Village Shopping Center in Rosslyn is an eye-sore. Not something worth saving.

    • John

      If they fix up/restore Colonial Village it it could be beautiful again–better than another highrise. The eyesore is the Garden City strip mall on Lee Highway at George Mason. That place needs to go, but the problem is that each storefront is individually owned.

      • NorthArlingTim

        I live in Colonial Village. For the most part, it’s a really nice place and I have loved living there for 14 years now. Colonial Village is divided into several different villages, and my Village works very hard to keep things in good condition – partly much to our annoyance right now as we are going through some major capital improvements. Not fun, but necessary.

        I rather miss all the old eyesores that were at least small local businesses. I find the Market Commons with the Cheesecake Monstrosity and all those generic blocks of generic stores far uglier.

      • Haile Selassie I

        Now we got people b*tching about individually owned stores in Arlington.That’s a problem??? Welcome to Babylon!!!!

      • Chris Slatt

        I believe they just “spruced” that place up a week or two ago by adding clashing teal awnings to all the stores. That’s what you meant right?

        • NorthArlingTim

          They sure did, Chris. I drove by there yesterday to double-check – at least the place has some color, character and personality, as Arlington used to eons ago. Not the same dull construction everywhere.

  • Loocy

    Is there somewhere I can see this list of ‘historic’ properties?

  • moof

    Oh NOW they want to get historic, where were these guys when Dremo’s went under????

    • NorthArlingTim

      … part of the old “eyesores” I very sorely miss … and of course the Taco Bell … and the little tire store in between …

  • Arlingtoon

    I wonder if Ray’s the Landmark is on the list?

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