Welcome to the last regularly-scheduled Where We Live. We’ve had a great run over the past year and a half, profiling dozens of neighborhoods in the District, Maryland, and Virginia. But all good things must come to an end (especially when we’re running out of neighborhoods to profile!). So while Where We Live won’t disappear, and you can still expect more neighborhood profiles on occasion in the future, this will be the last regularly-scheduled one you’ll see for a little while.
And we’re wrapping things up with the lovely suburb of Cheverly. Cheverly, known as “the hidden jewel of Prince George’s County”, is an idyllic little town right outside of the District. It sounds too good to be true– tree lined streets, a small-town atmosphere, and beautiful, affordable housing close to a Metro station. As it turns out, it’s all true. So let Where We Live fill you in on one of the Washington region’s best kept secrets: Cheverly.
‘RV’s New Town Square & Beall Ave 6-09’
courtesy of ‘brad.rourke’
We’re heading back to Maryland this week to check out a DC suburb that has grown to become the second-largest incorporated city in Maryland: Rockville. Read on to find out what Rockville residents like about it, and why it’s worth a visit.
History: Rockville was one of Maryland’s oldest towns and had an important role in the Revolutionary War. It got its name in 1801 because of its proximity to Rock Creek, and developed slowly for most of the 1800s. In 1873 the B&O Railroad came through town, and the area grew even more. But the real surge in growth in Rockville didn’t happen until after the 1950s, when the population increased sevenfold in thirty years. Today Rockville is home to over 60,000 residents. For a more detailed view of Rockville’s history, check out the city’s historic preservation website.
courtesy of ‘Arlington County’
For those District residents who don’t own cars and don’t like MetroBus, the extent of the Washington region is limited. Sure, you can get to a lot of major attractions via MetroRail, but you’re missing out on a lot too. Take Columbia Pike for example– it has a vibrant, fun “main street” feel to it, but many Washingtonians haven’t been out there (except maybe to catch a movie at the Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse). Even though there isn’t a Metro station nearby, this area is definitely worth a visit.
History: Columbia Pike has always been a major thoroughfare through Arlington County since it was chartered in 1801. It was originally a streetcar suburb, with a streetcar stop at the intersection of Walter Reed Drive and Columbia Pike and a direct bus connecting to the District. But during the 1940s, the area became much more suburban and car-friendly, with lots of car dealerships and gas stations. This pattern of development continued for the next fifty years.
The important thing to note here is that many of the neighborhoods in the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor developed similarly, but they got Metro stations in the 1970s. This led to a surge in land value, which then led to compact development and reinvestment right around those stations. Columbia Pike didn’t get a Metro station, so there was no catalyst for urban development. But the story isn’t over: a streetcar is coming to Columbia Pike in the next decade, which can finally bring the reinvestment that the area has been waiting for.
courtesy of ‘blakespot’
In this week’s Where We Live, we’re venturing back out to Arlington into the heart of the Rosslyn-Ballston Corridor. Clarendon is one of those places that always has something going on, and with a wide selection of bars, restaurants, and shopping, you’re never at a loss for something to do. But it’s also a great place to live– our very own Patrick says moving to Clarendon was the best choice he ever made! Read on to find out what’s so great about Clarendon.
courtesy of ‘rpongsaj’
After profiling 22 neighborhoods in the District, it’s time Where We Live headed out to the suburbs. This week we’re focusing on Court House, an urban neighborhood in the middle of Arlington’s Rosslyn-Ballston corridor. Sure, it’s technically a ‘suburb’, but with a movie theater, multiple grocery stores, tons of bars and restaurants, and office and government buildings, Court House has more to offer than many neighborhoods in the heart of DC.
History: In 1791, this area used to be part of DC. But Virginia wanted Alexandria County back (mostly due to the sad fact that Alexandria was a big slave port, and talk of abolishing slavery in DC had Virginia scared), and this land was retroceded in 1846. Fort Woodbury was a Civil War fort built in 1861 that stood where the current courthouse stands. In 1852 the City of Alexandria split off, and in 1920 this area was renamed as Arlington County.
courtesy of ‘christaki’
A green effort in DC may soon win a national contest — if you vote!
CarbonfreeDC is one of 10 finalists in the Green Effect competition for its “Extreme Green Neighborhood Makeover” campaign, which would use the $20,000 winnings to help 20 families from a low-income city block in DC to green their homes and lifestyles, and save money. National Geographic and Sun Chips are sponsoring the competition.
You can vote once a day through Monday. Cast yours now!