Arlington, VA

(Updated at 11:10 a.m.) The mid-century rambler near Williamsburg Middle School that was home to astronaut John Glenn and his family has been torn down.

The demolition came just days after the death of Annie Glenn, widow of the former U.S. senator and first American to orbit the earth. She died on Tuesday, May 19 from complications of COVID-19, as a backhoe sat in the front yard of the place she called home for nearly five years, including during John’s history-making Friendship 7 mission in 1962.

During the lead-up to the mission, reporters camped outside the house on N. Harrison Street and Vice President Lyndon Johnson tried to visit, but was rebuffed by Mrs. Glenn. After, Glenn continued working in D.C., and at one point hosted at his home a cookout with special guest Gherman Titov, the Russian who was the first person to orbit the earth multiple times, according to an Arlington Public Library history.

Glenn moved with his family to Texas in 1963, but his presence in Arlington is still felt. In 2012, the home’s owners told WUSA 9 that people still stopped by to gawk at the space hero’s former house. John Glenn died in 2016 and was interred at Arlington National Cemetery.

The property was sold in October for $1 million and the house is being torn down to make way for new construction. Local preservationists objected to the demolition, but nothing could be done legally to stop it and most respondents to an ARLnow poll last year said that the new owners should be allowed to tear down the house if they so chose.

Photo (3) via Google Maps

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