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Then and Now: Virginia Hardware in Rosslyn

by Katie Pyzyk July 31, 2012 at 2:45 pm 8,920 37 Comments

(Updated at 3:10 p.m.) The photo on the left is of Virginia Hardware at 2016 N. Moore Street, in the 1930s. The store opened at this location in 1924, when Rosslyn Circle still existed. For years, it was run by Harry Goldman, until the business was eventually passed down to his son.

The photo on the right shows what that part of Rosslyn looks like now. It’s the area that is now Rosslyn Gateway Park, across the street from where the new Rosslyn Gateway development is set to go in.

In 1963, Virginia Hardware moved from Rosslyn to 2915 Wilson Blvd in Clarendon, where it remained for decades. Goldman’s family ended up selling the business to long-time employee Rick Iglesias in 1998.

Virginia Hardware closed its doors for good in 2005. Iglesias said a variety of factors, including the high cost of running a small business, forced him to shut down. The Clarendon site is now home to Ri Ra.

Historic photo courtesy Arlington Public Library’s Virginia Room

  • Bluemontsince1961

    Thanks, I’ve missed the “Then and Now” postings! Would ArlNow consider doing them weekly?

  • Westover

    The loss of Virginia Hardware is sad. That was a great classic hardware store.

  • Curious George

    It so sucks that Virgina Hardware was replaced by a crappy Irish bar knockoff.

    I used to go to VH just to rummage around. They either had what you needed or could suggest an alternative. You might have to ask them where to find an item because that store was crammed full of hardware goodness.

    I know that area just priced them out of business but I sure do miss it.

    • Shirlington

      Why not go to Cherrydale? They’re not far

      • Curious George

        I do sometime but I can’t drive and it is not really walking distance for me

        VH was also near clarendon metro.

        Cherrydale is a great hardware store though. A lot of stuff the Borg does not carry.

        • Rob

          As is Ayers in Westover.

          • Dan

            Ayers really is a wonderful store…..I mean you can buy a pack of Teaberry gum, a model car and that pipe fitting you haven’t been able to find anywhere else.

        • PghBigDog

          You could also try Brown’s Hardware in Falls Church City… Corner of Rt 7 (Broad Street) and US 29 (Lee Hwy/Washington Street).

      • drax

        It’s nice to be able to shop for a bolt on your way to get a sandwich and beer instead of driving all around town.

        • Bluemontsince1961

          Exactly, and good point.

  • Mary-Austin

    1930: Vibrant
    2012: NOT Vibrant

    C’mon Arlington County those buildings represent the worst of the 70’s and 80’s. If anything needs redevelopment, they do!

    • Westover

      The park is full during nice spring lunch hours. And the buildings are a great mix of 60s and 70s designs actually. The 80’s did not have that much effect on Rosslyn, other than the USA Today buildings. I like the eclectic architecture of the late 20th Century that is down there, now that the skywalks are mostly gone.

      • Mary-Austin

        1400 Wilson is a nice example of 60’s era designs…I hope it lasts.
        These buildings are just ugly.

    • Confused

      yes, cause the 1970s had little mixed use, little street front retail, etc. The whole idea of neourbanism, the desire for vibrancy is to return to what was valuable about the past (and in some places, at density similar to Rosslyn of 1930 – doing so in Rosslyn today is not realistic)

    • Arlanon

      The article states that that is where the new Rosslyn Gateway mixed use development is going. Apparently your wish is their command 😉

  • Bluemontsince1961

    I’m glad we still have Ayers in Westover, Cherrydale Hardware, and Bill’s True Value Hardware on N. Buchanan just off Lee Highway. Hope we don’t lose them.

    • Sam

      I love Bills. Great BBQ selection downstairs.

      • Novanglus

        Hadn’t seen that. Brisket, ribs, or pulled pork? How does it compare to Rocklands?

        • Larchmont

          Bill’s is a bit more DIY.

        • curious george

          In my humble opinion week old road kill is better than Rocklands.

          I cannot see how that place stays in business.

    • Westover

      True that. Ayers is great, but is more a Five and Dime/General Store with a good hardware section, you can get everything there. But Virginia Hardware was a pure hardware store.

  • Stoneridge Knoll

    Cherrydale Hardware is still here to serve.

  • T-Bone!!!

    Looks pretty much the same to me. I went into an irish pub there just yesterday – bought some paint, had a key made, got drunk and banged a dog.

  • Sam

    FYI ArlNow:

    The photo on the right is of Virginia Hardware at 2016 N. Moore Street, in the 1930s.

    The photo on the right shows what that part of Rosslyn looks like now.

    • Katie Pyzyk

      Fixed, thanks.

    • Not Me

      When you said right, first, you meant left, right?


  • nunya

    very cool.

    next request. the saloons and hoochie houses. then and now.

    • Curious George

      We do need a quality hoochie house.

  • EPinBC

    Made my first ever credit card purchase at Virginia Hardware in 1983 when I was a 20 year-old college student living in a beat up house on Rhodes Street. I think it was a door lock for my bedroom to keep my housemates out.

  • Chris B


    The hardware store on the photograph opened a year after the Key Bridge was installed.

  • DarkHeart

    I still have a couple of VHS print multiple bit screwdrivers. That was a great store. Even sadder is what replaced it.

  • Justice

    I always thought Virginia Hardware left because the owner was upset that Washington Nationals stadium at Pentagon City never happened.

    I remember they had a large sign at the entrance emphatically supporting the stadium and scolding the county throughout the whole controversy. A few weeks after the stadium was voted down, they were gone.

    Too bad, I miss the store. Clarendon did and still does need a hardware store close in. How they could not make money at that location?

    • YTK

      “Clarendon did and still does need a hardware store close in. How they could not make money at that location?”
      All those yuppies living in Clarendon probably wouldn’t even know how to use a screwdriver– all they know is how to order them in their trendy little bars..

  • Larry

    I would like to demolish all the modern buildings and replace them with raw unfinished wood construction, dirt roads and open sewage pits of the past. I long for an early fall morning, waking up to a haze of charred blue smoke rising from thousands of wood and coal burning stoves. Arlington needs to take a stand and eliminate all private transportation within the county so we can return to the blissful past.

  • YTK

    I prefer the Then photo.


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