Arlington officials are pledging to take a fresh look at how they manage local historic districts, after one neighborhood’s design standards is forcing a Maywood family to pay tens of thousands of dollars for a roof repair.
Brendan and Jody Devine have spent more than a year working with county officials to get permission to use asphalt shingles when overhauling the roof of their home along the 3500 block of 21st Avenue N. But the county’s Historical Affairs and Landmark Review Board, known as the HALRB, blocked that request because the home is located in the Maywood Neighborhood Historic District, and the board feared replacing its current stamped tin shingle roof with a more modern style of roof would leave it out of step with the rest of the neighborhood.
The Devines appealed that decision to the County Board, but members voted unanimously yesterday (Tuesday) to uphold the HALRB’s decision.
Board members, however, expressed a great deal of remorse over that vote, lamenting that the county code obligated them to side against the Devines, even if they agreed with their concerns about the tin roof’s cost.
“We’re ending up on the wrong side of justice if we don’t provide a way to promote the architectural compatibility with the neighborhood, while at the same time accounting for real life circumstances,” said Board Vice Chair Christian Dorsey. “I think we can figure out a way to do better.”
Brendan Devine noted at the meeting that the tin shingles would likely cost as much as $30,000, compared to $5,000-6,000 for the asphalt option, and that that is only for a portion of the roof. He argued that the county would be effectively making the neighborhood an “enclave” for the wealthy if the Board forced homeowners to embrace such expensive options.
In general, Board members agreed with that sentiment, though they felt there was little they could do to make a difference in this particular case.
County Attorney Steve MacIsaac cautioned that members had little choice but to side with the HALRB’s ruling unless the Devines could prove that board made some sort of “arbitrary and capricious” decision. The Board took heed of his opinion, but with some communities around the county trying to pursue historic districts in order to protect affordable housing options, several members expressed a willingness to revisit the county’s policies on the matter.
“This is a cautionary tale,” Chair Katie Cristol said. “We’ve had members of our community who have sought to use a historic designation overlay as a tool to protect affordability… but to the extent we’re looking to protect either garden apartments or single family homes, it can sometimes work at cross purposes.”
Board members were particularly interested in finding a way to get the HALRB to consider the cost of a change like this as a central part of their deliberations. Joan Lawrence, the HALRB’s chair, told the Board that her group did indeed take the expense of the tin shingles into account, but ultimately felt making an exception in this case could lead to a slippery slope.
“A defining feature of this historic district is this particular roof,” Lawrence said. “We’re dealing with a situation of death by a thousand cuts… I don’t think being good stewards of a historic neighborhood, a historic house, is making it an enclave.”
Board member Erik Gutshall would concede Lawrence’s point that the Devines did “buy into a neighborhood with high standards to be upheld.” Certainly, the homes in the area aren’t cheap either — the Devine’s house was valued at just over $863,000 in 2018, according to county property records, and other nearby homes are similarly expensive.
But the Board broadly signalled that they were far from satisfied with this outcome.
“If we would want to pursue some fresh look at the [historic district] standards, we need to think about, what are the next steps?” Cristol said.
An excerpt from the Devine’s letter to the County Board is below.
The installation of a new tin shingle roof represents a significant financial investment and will cost a homeowner approximately 4 to 5 times as much as would installing an asphalt shingle roof. Illustrative of this are the estimates we obtained for both materials, which had stamped tin shingle replacement ranging from $20,000 to $30,000 and asphalt shingles ranging from $5,000 to $6,000. This this cost is for the replacement of approximately one third of our total roof area. The home across the street from us had its entire roof replaced with new stamped tin shingles (an area approximately 3 times the size of what needs to be replaced on our home) 9-10 years ago at a cost of less than $25,000. Today that same roof would cost upwards of $50,000-$75,000. There is only one real reputable producer of these shingles in the United States, very few roofers who are skilled at installing them, and the cost of materials increases significantly year over year. This amounts to a significant financial burden that the County is leveling on a homeowner for what is a relatively minor architectural change. Requiring that an average homeowner install what amounts to luxury features of exorbitant cost on their home very much runs counter to the spirit of strong individual property owner rights prevalent throughout the State of Virginia. The preponderance of homes within Maywood currently have asphalt shingle roofs and the HALRB maintains that the roofs of new additions in Maywood be clad in asphalt shingles, which demonstrates that they do consider that material compatible with the neighborhood character. […]
The intent of establishing the Maywood Historic District, as stated in the design guidelines, is to maintain the overall character of the neighborhood, not to dictate individual features of specific homes. Replacing a tin shingle roof does not impact the character of the neighborhood and represents a significant financial burden on homeowners. If neighborhood residents wished to require that metal roofs be replaced in kind, then they would have written guidelines that included that requirement, which they did not. We fully support maintaining the historic character of Maywood, but we also strongly feel that allowances must be made when it becomes clear that replacement of materials in kind is no longer a financially reasonable expectation for the County to have of district residents.
The pair were allegedly spotted in Maywood and near Lyon Village attempting to steal bikes Friday morning. Police were called, searched the area and arrested the men, both in their mid-20s.
More from an Arlington County Police Department crime report:
GRAND LARCENY, 2017-08040083, 3200 block of 23rd Street N. At approximately 9:43 a.m. on August 4, police were dispatched to the report of two suspicious males attempting to steal a bicycle from the front porch of a residence. Shortly after, a similar call was received reporting two subjects were attempting to steal a bicycle from a parking garage in the 1900 block of N. Daniel Street. Responding officers canvassed the area and located two subjects matching the descriptions provided by the witnesses. Philip Taylor, 25, of Capitol Hills, MD, was arrested and charged with Grand Larceny (x2) and Grand Larceny with Intent to Sell. Raheem Freeman, 24, of No Fixed Address was arrested and charged with Conspiracy to Commit Grand Larceny and Identity Theft. Both were held on no bond.
It’s an ongoing problem: thieves using “skimmer” devices to steal credit and debit card information from unsuspecting customers of local businesses.
Arlington’s Cherrydale neighborhood appears to be the latest target of the skimmer scammers.
Reports a resident:
Maywood listserv lighting up with reports of multiple people getting their credit cards skimmed recently. Most people point to common thread of Liberty Gas station on Lee Highway (and a few other likely places in the area) as common thread. But that is not 100% clear.
In most cases, someone buys gas here. Later someone tries to purchase gas in California. Per Cherrydale listserv earlier, it looks like Arlington Police already found a “skimmer” machine earlier at Exxon across the street, but these are new reports from another potential location.
Arlington County Police Department spokeswoman Ashley Savage confirmed at least a portion of the neighborhood scuttlebutt.
Here’s what she said via email to ARLnow.com:
Our Financial Crimes Unit received reports of possible credit card skimming at the Liberty Gas station. They responded to the area and during their investigation did not identify a point of compromise at this location. On March 9 at approximately 1:57 p.m., police responded to the Exxon gas station in the 4000 block of Old Dominion Drive for the report of a recovered credit card skimmer. That investigation is ongoing.
These type of cases are typically reported to police as credit card fraud and since we use credit cards for almost all purchases (online, in person, groceries, gas, etc.) the challenge is identifying the point of compromise. Turnaround time from point of compromise to first fraudulent use varies depending on how the suspects intend to use the stolen data. Police work closely with banking institutes who notify us when there is a trend with customers cards being compromised and they identify the location all the cards have in common.
There are some things citizens can do to protect themselves:
- You will not know if a gas pump has a skimmers. In most cases, the skimmers are being placed inside the machine.
- Pay inside at the gas station rather than at the pump.
- Always pay using credit rather than debit – it’s easier to dispute the charges and isn’t linked directly to your bank account.
- If you haven’t switched to a chip reader on your credit card, do so.
- Regularly check your bank statements and if you notice fraudulent activity, notify the bank so they can begin an investigation.
- If you find you were the victim of fraud, file a police report.
Photo via Google Maps
Nearly 600 Dominion customers are without power in the Donaldson Run, Maywood and Riverwood neighborhoods of north Arlington.
Initial reports suggest Dominion crews shut down power to the grid after a tree or a large branch fell on a power line, which started arcing. Those crews are currently working on the lines on the 2600 block of Military Road, according to scanner traffic.
Power crews are keeping busy due to the high winds today. Nearly 2,500 Dominion customers are without power throughout Northern Virginia, though so far no other outages have been reported in Arlington.
County Moves to ‘Phase 4’ of Snow Cleanup — With all residential streets passable, Arlington County has moved to “Phase 4” of its snow removal operation. “Phase 4 will focus on clean up, widening primary and secondary routes, as well as addressing trouble spots in residential areas,” the county said. “Widening and hauling snow from major corridors will continue at night when it is safest — we will do our best to minimize disruption, but please expect some noise.” [Arlington County]
Heavy Traffic Again This Morning — Pretty much the entire stretch of northbound I-395 was a parking lot this morning, as the D.C. area continued to get back to work following this past weekend’s blizzard. Other traffic problem spots include eastbound Route 50, which was backed up starting around Courthouse, Washington Blvd around the Pentagon, and the southbound GW Parkway, which slowed near the first overlook.
McMenamin Digs Out Maywood Neighbors — One Arlington neighborhood that was particularly slow to be plowed after the blizzard was Maywood, along Lee Highway. Residents pitched in to clear the streets, including former independent County Board candidate Mike McMenamin, who “brought out his powerful snowblower and carved out walkways, driveways and helped clear a path for an Uber driver whose Chevy Suburban got stuck at the height of the storm.” [Washington Post]
Video: Marymount Swimmers Train in Florida — Want to think warm thoughts after this morning’s icy commute? Here’s a video of Arlington-based Marymount University’s swim team taking a recent training trip to Key West. [YouTube]
Photo courtesy Valerie Crotty
Caps, Star Spotting at Don Tito — The Washington Capitals play their season opener Saturday, but the team has already been spotted out on the town. Members of the Caps were seen dining at Don Tito in Clarendon Wednesday night. Among those in attendance: Caps center Brooks Laich and fiancee Julianne Hough, of Dancing With the Stars fame.
Key Bridge Rehab Coming — D.C. is seeking a contractor for a two-year, $30 million rehabilitation of the Key Bridge. The project will include safety improvements for pedestrians. [Washington Business Journal]
GW Parkway Ramp Closures — The ramp from Reagan National Airport to the GW Parkway will be closed from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday for paving. Also scheduled for closure during that period: the ramp from the GW Parkway to northbound I-395. Starting tonight, a third ramp — from the GW Parkway to the Key Bridge — will be closed for paving through 7 p.m. Saturday
E.W. Jackson to Address Arlington GOP Women — Controversial 2013 GOP lieutenant governor candidate E.W. Jackson will be the featured speaker at the Arlington Republican Women’s Club fall dinner on Oct. 20. [InsideNova]
School Cafeteria Taste Test for Parents — Arlington Public Schools parents got to taste test food at the Washington-Lee High School cafeteria as part of a school lunch open house. The reaction: generally positive. [WTOP]
Maywood Profiled — Washington’s daily paper of record has profiled Arlington’s tiny Maywood neighborhood, off of Lee Highway. Homes in the community now regularly sell for more than $1 million, a contrast from 30 years ago when Maywood was home to “rough characters who rode motorcycles.” [Washington Post]
Update on 5/20/15 — Nova Firearms has confirmed that it is indeed opening a store in Cherrydale.
The Maywood and Cherrydale neighborhood email listservs are abuzz today with talk of a gun store coming to the neighborhood.
The rumors surround the former Curves storefront at 2105 N. Pollard Street, in a small strip mall along Lee Highway. In a widely-circulated email, a neighbor says she’s spoken with the shopping center’s owner and he confirmed that a gun store will open there.
The property owner, Kostas Kapasouris, told ARLnow.com last week that an “expensive sporting goods” store has leased the space. He would not say who owns the store was or whether it would sell guns.
Listserv users have said they believe that the store may be linked with NOVA Firearms, a gun store in McLean. A man who answered the phone this afternoon said the owner of NOVA Firearms would call an ARLnow.com reporter back — but then quickly hung up before asking for a phone number.
Owners and employees of other stores in the shopping center said they heard the same rumors of a gun store or a high-end sporting goods store selling guns, but said they had not heard anything definitive from Kapasouris. Some expressed concerns about a gun store moving in, particularly given that there are several schools in the area.
Residents on the listservs expressed similar concerns.
“Wow! Was hoping for something a bit more family friendly,” one said. “I’m sure ‘walkable to gun shop’ will do wonders for our real estate values.”
“I am adamantly opposed to this!” another said. “If others feel the same way, can we petition the County to prevent this business in our neighborhood?”
It’s unlikely the county government has any legal standing to prevent a gun store that’s otherwise following Virginia law from opening. At least one resident privately told ARLnow.com that he’s not sure why there’s such an uproar.
“Note that the pawnshop on Lee Highway and Kirkwood (which used to go by National Pawnbrokers) also sells firearms, so I’m not sure what the big deal is,” he said.
Interior construction could be heard inside the store last week and workers could be seen coming and going. County officials told ARLnow.com that construction permits were not necessary because the work was minor. Inspectors responded to the location and found no code violations.
As of Tuesday afternoon, opaque plastic sheets covered the store’s windows and no other activity could be seen.
Arlington’s Maywood neighborhood lost its foremost historian last month.
Robert McAtee, the community’s oldest resident, died Aug. 10 at the age of 100. A colorful local figure, “Mac” was a captain in the U.S. Army during World War II. He was known for his love of collectables, Scottish history and of telling tales of “old Arlington.”
Members of Maywood’s neighborhood listserv were informed of McAtee’s passing last week. The email included an obituary, written by Maywood resident Peter Harnik.
The obit is reprinted, with permission, below.
Robert McAtee, the oldest resident of Arlington’s Maywood neighborhood, died on Sunday, August 10. He was just two months shy of 101 and had lived in the same house for 98 years.
Universally known as “Mac,” Mr. McAtee was an institution in the county, attending community meetings and high school reunions in the kilt of his Scottish kinsmen and regaling all listeners with scrupulously accurate stories of old Arlington. An inveterate collector, Mac is reported to have had more than 20,000 license plates and 1,000 books of Scottish history along with cameras, buttons, stamps, coins, fossils, and much more.
He attended Cherrydale Elementary School (since demolished) and enjoyed telling stories of clambering along (and under) the trestle of the old Washington and Old Dominion Railroad. He also attended Washington-Lee High School, where he was a proud member of the Cadet Corps. After graduation in 1932, he began his working life at the Government Printing Office, where he worked until being drafted into the Army of the US in the fall of 1941. Mac was selected to attend Officer Candidate School at Fort Benning, GA where he graduated with Class 13. He served for three years and was honorably discharged as a Captain. To further contribute to the war effort, Mac subsequently volunteered for the US Maritime Service.
At the conclusion of World War II, Mac returned to Maywood. He attended Columbia Tech where he studied electrical engineering. He worked for General Electric for a short time until he began managing a trailer rental lot on Lee Highway. In 1955 he purchased a trailer rental business at Seven Corners which he operated for over 45 years.
Mac had one sister but was never married and leaves no survivors. In recent years he was cared for by his long-time friend Robert Beck, Katherine Skerl, and care-givers Denora, Amy, and Marina.
In addition to good health, he also had a prodigious memory. Almost until the end he could rattle off the names of every family member in virtually every house in Maywood in the 1930s. He delighted showing visitors his collection of 24 letters and postcards – each with a different address – that had arrived at his house. The house didn’t change, but over the years its street name, city name, post office, zip code and other identifiers did.
Mac also reported that his family was the first in the neighborhood to install indoor plumbing. He told of the regular deliveries of milk, eggs, coal and blocks of ice, and he pointed out the location of small shops and the kindergarten within what is now the residential neighborhood.
He was perhaps best known in the neighborhood for annually renewing his automobile’s license plate with his updated age, usually entwining Roman numerals with his initials. Even though he wasn’t able to drive at the end, he kept his car, and at his death his plate spelled simply “RBM 100”.
Mr. McAtee took part in many recorded remembrances and also bequeathed much of his historically significant collection to the Virginia Room of the Arlington Library.
A memorial service will be held in the Fall.
After the jump: McAtee’s memories of Arlington in the first half of the 20th century, reprinted with permission.
What was Maywood like 100 years ago? (Well, 95 actually.)
By Robert B. McAtee, as told to Peter Harnik
A hundred years ago we got around mostly by horse and buggy for personal use, and by horse and wagon for business use. Of course, the primary method was walking. It was a necessity. We walked to the grocery, to the post office, to the drug store. We would walk down Windy Run to the Potomac, just like now. Except back then we swam in the Potomac. There was a heavy undertow at Forty Foot Rock. My dad would explain the environment to us kids. Back then, on Windy Run was a mill race – a wooden sluice that fed water to a grist mill. There was another one on Spout Run which fed water power to John Mason’s Grist Mill. (John Mason was the son of George Mason, but he was long dead by that time. The mill eventually went out of business.)
The first fire station in Arlington was in Cherrydale. It still stands on Lee Highway by Pollard St. Maywood had a fire substation with a bell tower and a cistern. The fire truck was a Model T Ford with a hook and ladder, plus a tank that held soda and acid. After World War I, when the men went to work in Washington, D.C., ladies were firefighters, firewomen I guess you’d say. I only remember three fires – one on a streetcar, one in the walls of a house at Fillmore and 24th, and the other I forget. They didn’t have hydrants back then; the firemen had to throw the end of the hose into a creek and use a motorized pump to pump it up.
The oldest house in Maywood was the Digges’ House, made of brick. It still stands at the corner where Lincoln Street bends around to become 23rd Street. But back then Lincoln Street was called Oak St. and there was no 23rd St. The man who built and sold many of our homes was Mr. Hugh Thrift. That’s where Thrifton Station and, later, Thrifton Hill Park got their names. At the corner of Georgetown Rd. (which is now Lee Highway) and Lee St. (now Lincoln) was an ice house. The ice man came round in his wagon once a day in the summer. You’d tell him how much ice you wanted – 10 cents or 15 cents – and he’d take his big, sharp knife and cut you a block for the icebox – whack! In the middle of the summer we’d need 40 or 50 pounds of ice a day.
We had a water tank in our attic. Most houses had a hand pump to fill it, but we were one of the first to have an electric pump. Now and then the water would taste peculiar for a time; that meant that a mouse had gotten in and drowned. Some homes had outhouses, some had septic tanks. Most had some kind of light fixture out front, either electric or gas or a combination, but there were no electric outlets in our house, and there were almost no accessories. If you had a washing machine, it was in the basement with a wire leading directly to the electric panel. Coal was delivered by horse and wagon, and it went down a chute into your basement. Trash and leaves we burned in the back yard, and we put the ashes in the alley. Compostable garbage was buried in the back yard. Bottles and cans, of which there weren’t many, were taken to the local dump down on County Road (now Lorcom Lane). The scissor grinder and knife sharpener walked through the neighborhood, carrying his rig on his back. Plus many other folks came through – Mr. Lickey, the bread man; also the Honey Man, the Butter Lady, the Egg Lady and the Watermelon Man.
When I was three the Potomac froze and Ed Young took me down there, put me on a sled and started skating, pulling me behind. The rope broke and I was flying down the river all alone. I remember that even today! I still have an old Flexible Flyer sled and also a soapbox scooter I made with old skate wheels. Also, in the winter back then we didn’t have to buy Christmas trees. We just went to the woods at Jackson Street across Lorcom Lane, cut down a tree and dragged it home.
Two things happened in 1912. The American flag got up to 48 stars. And the Washington and Old Dominion Car Line came to Maywood. We had two stations: Thrifton (you can still see one of the old walls in the park) and Dominion Heights up at Mackey Street (Monroe St. today). Those were also the only two entrances into Maywood and both of them had a set of concrete steps. Once my grandmother came to visit. She didn’t come by railroad, she came by horse-drawn jitney, right up to the house! The jitney wasn’t supposed to leave the main road, but somehow she talked them into going off course. The other passengers carried her baggage to our door! It would be like having a Metrobus leave its route for you today. But no one was in a hurry back then.
Back then Maywood wasn’t restricted to residential. Mrs. Bruce had a small store in her front room on Grant Street (now Kenmore St.), from which she sold groceries and school supplies. We shopped with string bags. Every family had a string bag to carry small amounts of food or supplies. And Mrs. Lockling ran a kindergarten on the second floor of her house on Columbia Street. (Today it’s the yellow house with the big chimney on 21st Avenue.) That’s where I went. For grade school, I went to Cherrydale Elementary, a big red brick building where the nursing home is today. For high school the young people either went to Washington or to Alexandria.
We kids didn’t have television but we still had fun. We played in the street – tag, “Red Light,” football and baseball. We’d sit around the fireplace in the living room and roast frankfurters and toast marshmallows. We’d flip cards, which was a form of gambling, but we did it only as a fun thing. We knew where all the culverts were and we’d crawl through them. I was the natural leader because I was the oldest. Or we’d come over to my front porch and 10 of us would crowd onto the porch swing and really get it going. On the Bluemont Line there was a railroad trestle which crossed over Georgetown Road. Some kids would lie down on the superstructure below the ties and have the thrill of being run over by the trains. For smoking experiments, the stuff we tried was enough to kill a horse – corn silk, rabbit weed and milkweed floss wrapped in brown paper or newspaper. We also tried Catalpa leaves, which we called Indian Cigars. Also, Georgetown Road was a tar road — bare ground covered with tar. In the summer the tar would boil up and we would burst the bubbles with our bare toes. The place to go in the summer was Great Falls Park which had a carousel and dancing, along with the Falls, of course. The Baptist Church sponsored many trips there for us.
There were lots of changes in the 1930s. In 1933 Lee Highway was widened from 16 feet to 24 feet – two lanes to three. It was more dangerous then, because everyone tried to pass in both directions and there wasn’t room. The next year the streetcar stopped running – 1934. Ironically, it was the only year that the streetcar actually made a profit. Also around then the County decided to rename all the streets and change the numbering system. They had to, it was a mess. There were 8 different Cedar Streets – ours plus seven others. Making deliveries was impossible. The stores said that if the county didn’t change the system they would stop making deliveries.
As for some of the old timers in Maywood, Ed Gharrity was a catcher for the Washington Senators. He lived on Cedar Street next to the fire substation. Later he sold the house to Jim Shaw, a pitcher for the Senators. Mr. Burgee was a teacher at Cherrydale School. So was Mrs. Ellis, who later became principal. George West and his family were colored but there was no discrimination – we played with their kids. Mr. Falconer, a member of the Navy band, was killed in a plane crash going to Europe. (Back then flights couldn’t fly directly across the Atlantic – they would fly south to Brazil, then across to Africa, then on to Europe.) H.C. Roberts, who lived at Cedar and Allison (right across from my house) was a West Point graduate but he worked for the Navy making maps and plans. Later Mr. Roundy lived there – he was a movie projectionist for schools and commercial theaters. Mr. Goodner was a lawyer, and Sam Fox quit the Bureau of Standards to work as an electrician on his own – he did a great amount of wiring work in Maywood. Then there was Mr. Toone who lived on Columbia Street (now 21st Avenue) and owned Cherrydale Cement Block Company on Georgetown Rd. Toone got in just as the County was doing a lot of building, and his cement blocks now line many utility holes. We had some famous visitors, too. Jeanette Macdonald, a famous movie star and singer, would come and visit the Wrights. Lawrence Tibbitts, a famous tenor, would visit the Manions. We all enjoyed listening to them sing.
During World War II everyone had to use ration coupons. Meat coupons were red, groceries were blue, plus there were coupons for gas. There was really no need to ration, but it made people feel like they were helping. I had a victory garden, but when I was drafted no one tended it and it didn’t do too well. My potatoes came out so small, I took a picture of one that was the diameter of a quarter. When I was called up I made up a fake front page of the newspaper with a big headline, “McAtee Caught in Draft.” Back then we had lots of papers – not only the Post but also the Daily News, the Times, the Herald, and the Star. When I was young I was a substitute and delivered them all at one time or another. They all merged together and now they’re all gone, except the Post. Our air raid warden for Maywood was Mr. Rohrbach. He would go around making sure that everyone had drawn their blackout curtains so that the Germans couldn’t see any place to bomb. It may have been important along the coast but it was a big joke in Arlington. But people felt that they were doing their part for the war. It sure made Maywood dark.
More Car Window Shooting Arrests — Fairfax County Police arrested two suspects accused of shooting out car windows with BB guns. Both suspects — 19-year-old Alexander Chase and 18-year-old Herbert Reyes-Cartagena — are from Arlington. Chase was arrested last month by the Arlington County Police Department and charged with similar crimes. The suspects are accused of more than 30 window shooting incidents in Fairfax County, and Chase is accused of involvement in 250 cases throughout Northern Virginia. [Washington Post]
Summer Camp Registration Begins — Registration began this morning for the summer camps offered through Arlington’s Department of Parks and Recreation. Registration can be done via mail, online or by faxing an application to 703-228-4765. Registration by phone or walk-in will begin on February 27.
Lee Highway Art Celebration — The Cherrydale and Maywood neighborhoods held a ribbon cutting ceremony on Monday to celebrate new art on a median at the intersection of Lee Highway and N. Monroe Street (photo above). Local mural artist Jarrett Ferrier submitted the winning proposal for the Lee Highway Art Project. His design consists of panels depicting scenes from around the neighborhoods, such as the Cherrydale Fire Department, Cherrydale Branch Library and a railroad line that used to run along Lee Highway.
Agape Bears Closes in Ballston Mall — Agape Bears, a shop in Ballston Common Mall featuring handmade teddy bears, closed over the weekend after more than 15 years in business. Owners Elizabeth and Bill Taylor are well known not just for the store, but also for donating bears to police and fire stations, as well to victims of disasters. The Taylors plan to still sell the specialty bears online. [WTOP]
Pentagon City Elevator Contract Approved — The Arlington County Board has approved a contract to design a second elevator for the busy Pentagon City Metro station. The estimated $5.1 million elevator construction project has already received $4.5 million in federal funding. [Arlington County]
Arlington’s Roads Rate ‘Poor’ — More than one third of Arlington County’s 974 mile street network is in “poor” condition, based on the county’s own assessment. The reason for the poor road conditions may lie with spending. The county has been spending significantly less on paving than the amount recommended by its top streets official. [Patch]
Board Considers Solar at Supermarkets — County Board members say they’ll consider a Green Party proposal to either force or encourage supermarkets to install solar power arrays on their roof. The solar power could help refrigerate food during power outages. [Sun Gazette]
Maywood Neighborhood Profiled — The historic Maywood neighborhood of Arlington is “endearing and peaceful” and “extremely friendly,” according to a radio profile. [WAMU]
Renovations Revealed at Crystal City Hotel — Last week the 343-room Crystal City Marriott officially unveiled its $7 million redesign, which included new common areas like a new bar/restaurant and a new fitness center. [Marriott]
Flickr pool photo by Lifeinthedistrict