Selina Gray Square is a park planned for the north end of a residential development called The Trove, an addition to Wellington Apartments at 1850 Columbia Pike that was approved in 2016.
More about the park from a county staff report (emphasis added):
The park will be located at the north end of one of the new residential buildings and adjacent to a new segment of 12th Street South the developer will construct (See Attachment I, Figure 2). It is within the Columbia Heights Civic Association and adjacent to the Arlington View Civic Association boundary. The 8,700 SF (.2-acre park) will be a publicly accessible, privately owned park and will have a bocce court, plaza, benches, walkways and landscaping. Per the recommendation of the HALRB, the Developer will create and place a plaque in the park to commemorate Ms. Selina Norris Gray.
Selina Norris Gray was a second-generation slave in Arlington and was owned by Mary Anna Custis Lee, the great-granddaughter of Martha Custis Washington and wife of Robert E. Lee. Gray worked as a maid and was the eventual head housekeeper of Lee’s Arlington House.
At the outbreak of the war, when Lee’s family fled south, Gray was left the keys to the house and its care entrusted to her. She is credited with saving George Washington artifacts from looters.
Unable to remove all the Washington artifacts from the house prior to fleeing to the South, Mary Custis Lee entrusted the household keys to Selina Gray. For six months she actively protected the items from pilfering soldiers. In December 1861, she requested that General McDowell safeguard the collection. McDowell subsequently removed the items to the patent office.
“The continued existence of family heirlooms that had once belonged to Martha Custis Washington, and President George Washington can be attributed to Selina Gray’s courageous actions,” the staff report said.
After the war, Gray and her husband purchased a 10-acre property in Green Valley and remained there for the rest of their lives. Their descendants provided first-hand accounts of Arlington House during the 20th century restoration and some still live in Arlington.
The new park is located near The Harry W. Gray House, a historic home built by Selina Gray’s son, Harry Gray.
The naming of the park is docketed for consideration at next weekend’s County Board meeting.
Images via Arlington County
An alleged shooting threat briefly sent students practicing on a school field indoors tonight.
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At Generation Hope, we’re dedicated to supporting teen parents in college as they work toward earning their degrees. We are in need of caring child care volunteers for upcoming events on Saturday, October 21st (in Washington, DC), and Saturday, November 4th (in Arlington, VA). Join our growing volunteer community and support us at an event this fall!
At all of our events, we provide free onsite child care for the children of the teen parents we serve, creating a nurturing environment for the kiddos while their parents learn valuable life skills and build community.
If you enjoy working with children and are looking to make an immediate impact in your community, please visit https://www.generationhope.org/volunteer to learn more.
Join us for Arlington’s biggest civil rights & social justice event of the year. The banquet is back in person at the Arlington Campus of George Mason University.
Our keynote speaker this year is Symone Sanders from MSNBC and former Chief of Staff for Vice-President Kamala Harris.
The Master of Ceremonies is Joshua Cole, former state delegate, NAACP President, and local pastor.
Tickets/seating are limited. Purchase your ticket today! Sponsorship opportunities available.
Live standup comedy starring John F. O’Donnell (Comedy Central)
Friday, October 20
Headliner: John F. O’Donnell
John was a correspondent on the radical comedy news TV show, “Redacted Tonight,” for 5 years. Recently, he released his debut one-hour standup special,