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Arlington County, Virginia
Seal of Arlington County, Virginia
Map of Virginia highlighting Arlington County
Location in the state of Virginia
Map of the U.S. highlighting Virginia
Virginia's location in the U.S.
Seat Arlington
Area
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

26 sq mi (67 km²)
26 sq mi (67 km²)
0 sq mi (0 km²), 0.35%
PopulationEst.
 - (2009)
 - Density

209,300
7,995/sq mi (3,087/km²)
Founded 9 July 1846
Website www.arlingtonva.us
Looking north toward The Pentagon with Rosslyn in the background.
Looking south toward Arlington's Rosslyn and Crystal City skylines from Georgetown University.

Arlington County is a county of about 210,000 residents in the Commonwealth of Virginia. It is located directly across the Potomac River to the southwest of Washington, D.C.[1] Formerly part of the District of Columbia, the land now composing the county was retroceded to Virginia on July 9, 1846, in an act of Congress that took effect in 1847. It was called Alexandria County from that date until March 16, 1920, when an act of the General Assembly changed its name to Arlington County.

Despite being organized politically as a "county" in Virginia, it is considered a Central City of the Washington Metropolitan Area by the Census Bureau, along with the adjacent cities of Washington and Alexandria, Virginia. At a land area of 26 square miles (67 km2), it is geographically the smallest self-governing county in the United States.[2]

In 2005 Arlington was ranked first among walkable cities in the United States by the American Podiatric Medical Association.[3] CNN Money ranked Arlington as the most educated city in 2006 with 35.7% of residents having held graduate degrees. In October 2008, BusinessWeek ranked Arlington as the safest city in which to weather a recession, with a 49.4% share of jobs in 'strong industries'.[4] In July 2009, CNN Money ranked Arlington second in the country in its listing of "Best Places for the Rich and Single." [5] Along with five other Northern Virginia counties, Arlington ranked among the twenty U.S. counties with the highest median household income in 2006.[6]

Arlington is the location of Arlington National Cemetery, Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, the Pentagon, Fort Myer, the Pentagon Memorial, the USMC War Memorial, the Air Force Memorial, and numerous other monuments.

Contents

History

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Colonial-era land grants, sources of names

Arlington County was within the very large area defined in several early British land grants in the colonial period in the Colony of Virginia (1607-1776) which was known as the Northern Neck of Virginia (not to be confused with a smaller eastern portion of it still known by that name in modern times).

Land grants, generally to prominent Englishmen, were various combinations of political favors and efforts at development. Perhaps the best known of the grantees was Thomas Fairfax, 6th Lord Fairfax of Cameron (Lord Fairfax), whose name is seen in many places in what is now known as Northern Virginia, notably Fairfax County and the independent city of Fairfax. Also notable among the land grants was one in 1673 from King Charles II to Thomas Colepeper, 2nd Baron Colepeper (Lord Culpeper) and Henry Bennet, 1st Earl of Arlington (Earl of Arlington) whose names eventually were applied to several community features, and were the original source of the naming of Culpeper County and Arlington County. The County's oldest surviving structure is the Moses Ball log house in the Glencarlyn neighborhood.[citation needed]

The current Arlington County as it is now known in Virginia was the result of a renaming in 1920. The name of the 17th-century Earl of Arlington had been applied much earlier to a plantation on Virginia's eastern Shore, for which another plantation on the Potomac River was named. Much of the Potomac River plantation became Arlington National Cemetery as a result of the American Civil War.

Boundaries and jurisdictions

Once part of Fairfax County in the Colony of Virginia, the area that contains Arlington County was ceded to the new U.S. government by the Commonwealth of Virginia. In 1791, the U.S. Congress formally established the limits of the federal territory that would be the nation's capital as a square of 10 miles (16 km) on a side, the maximum area permitted by Article I, Section 8, of the United States Constitution. However, the legislation (an amendment to the Residence Act of 1790) that established these limits specifically prohibited the "erection of the public buildings otherwise than on the Maryland side of the river Potomac.[7]

During 1791 and 1792, Andrew Ellicott led a team of surveyors that determined the boundaries of the federal territory. The team placed along the boundaries forty markers that were approximately one mile from each other. Fourteen of these markers were in Virginia. Many of these still remain.[8][9]

When Congress moved to the new District of Columbia in 1801, it enacted legislation (the District of Columbia Organic Act of 1801) that divided the District into two counties: (1) the county of Washington, which lay on the east side of the Potomac River, and (2) the county of Alexandria, which lay on the west side of the River.[10] Alexandria County contained the present area of Arlington County, then mostly rural, and the settled town of Alexandria (now "Old Town" Alexandria), a port located on the Potomac River in the southeastern part of the area of the present City of Alexandria.

1878 map of Alexandria County, now Arlington County

Residents of Alexandria County had expected the federal capital's location would result in land sales and the growth of commerce. Instead the county found itself struggling to compete with the town of Georgetown, a port located in Washington County adjacent to the capital city (Washington City).

As the federal government could not establish any offices in the County, and as the economically important Chesapeake and Ohio Canal (C&O Canal) on the north side of the Potomac River favored Georgetown, Alexandria's economy stagnated. It didn't help that some Georgetown residents opposed federal efforts to maintain the Alexandria Canal, which connected the C&O Canal in Georgetown to Alexandria's port. Moreover, as residents of the District of Columbia, Alexandria's citizens had no representation in Congress and could not vote in federal elections.

The town of Alexandria had been a port and market for the slave trade. With growing talk of abolishing slavery in the nation's capital, some Alexandrians feared the local economy would suffer if the federal government took this step. At the same time, there arose in Virginia an active abolitionist movement that created a division on the question of slavery in Virginia's General Assembly (subsequently, during the Civil War, Virginia's division on the slavery issue led to the formation of the state of West Virginia by the most anti-slavery counties). Pro-slavery Virginians recognized that Alexandria County could provide two new representatives who favored slavery in the General Assembly if the County returned to the Commonwealth.

Largely as a result of these factors, a movement grew to separate Alexandria County from the District of Columbia. After a referendum, the county's residents petitioned the U.S. Congress and the Virginia legislature to permit the County to return to Virginia. The area was retroceded to Virginia on July 9, 1846.[11]

In 1852, the independent city of Alexandria was incorporated from a portion of Alexandria County.[12] This led to occasional confusion, as the adjacent county and municipal entities continued to share the name of "Alexandria". In 1920, the Virginia General Assembly renamed Alexandria County as "Arlington County", to honor Robert E. Lee and to end the ongoing confusion between Alexandria County and the independent city of Alexandria.

During the American Civil War, though Virginia was part of the Confederacy, their control did not extend to Northern Virginia and Arlington County. The Federal Congress passed a law in 1862 that those districts in which the insurrection persisted were to pay their real estate taxes "in person." The property of Robert E. Lee at Custis-Lee Mansion was subjected to an appraisal of $26,810 on which a tax of $92.07 was assessed. The Lees could not pay this in person as they would be subject to arrest. It became confiscated by the US government as a result. After the war and the death of the Lees, the Supreme Court found this to be unconstitutional. The country paid their heir $150,000 for the property.[13]. Today, this is a federally maintained historic site.

20th century and beyond

In 1896 an electric trolley line was built from Washington through Ballston. In the 1930s Hoover Field Airport was established on the present site of the Pentagon; in that decade, Buckingham, Colonial Heights, and other apartment communities also opened. World War II brought a boom to the county, but one that could not be met by new construction due to rationing imposed by the war effort. In October 1942, not a single rental unit was available in the county.[14] The Henry G. Shirley Highway (now Interstate 395) was constructed during WWII, along with adjacent developments such as Shirlington, Fairlington, and Parkfairfax.

Geography

Arlington County is surrounded by Fairfax County on the north, west and south. It is located at 38°52′49″N 77°06′30″W / 38.88028°N 77.10833°W / 38.88028; -77.10833Coordinates: 38°52′49″N 77°06′30″W / 38.88028°N 77.10833°W / 38.88028; -77.10833[15]. It is adjacent along its southwest and southern borders to the City of Falls Church and the City of Alexandria; and along the Potomac River north.[16] Included in the county are several neighborhoods, or "urban villages" such as Crystal City, Rosslyn, Ballston, Clarendon, Virginia Square, Westover, and Shirlington.[17]

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 26 square miles (67 km²), of which about 4.6 square miles (12 km²) is federal property. The county is roughly in the shape of a rectangle 4 miles (6.4 km) by 6 miles (9.7 km), with the small end slanting in a northwest-southeast direction. As of January 1, 2008, the estimated population was 209,969,[1] giving the county a population density of approximately 7,995 persons per square mile. All cities within the Commonwealth of Virginia are independent of counties, though towns may be incorporated within counties. Considering this, it is inaccurate to refer to Arlington County as a city. However, Arlington has no existing incorporated towns because Virginia law prevents the creation of any new municipality within a county that has a population density greater than 1,000 persons per square mile. Its county seat is the census-designated place (CDP) of Arlington[18], which is coincident with the Census Boundary of Arlington County; however, the county courthouse and most governmental offices are located in the Courthouse neighborhood.

Neighborhoods

Residential high rises in Crystal City.
Journalists Memorial at Freedom Park in Rosslyn.
Courthouse Plaza in Courthouse.

There are numerous unincorporated neighborhoods within Arlington County that are commonly referred to by name as if they were distinct towns. The county characterizes some of these neighborhoods - particularly those located at Metrorail stations and other major transportation corridors - as "urban villages." These are usually centers with commercial activity. These include:

  • Westover
  • Williamsburg Circle
  • Palisades

There are also numerous neighborhoods which are largely residential including:

  • Alcova Heights
  • Arlington Forest
  • Arlington Heights
  • Arlington Ridge
  • Arlington View
  • Ashton Heights
  • Aurora Hills
  • Ballston Crossing
  • Barcroft
  • Bellevue Forest
  • Bluemont
  • Bonair
  • Boulevard Manor
  • Brandon Village
  • Buckingham
  • Cherrydale
  • Claremont
  • Clarendon Center
  • Columbia Forest
  • Columbia Heights
  • Country Club Hills
  • Crescent Hills
  • Crystal Gateway
  • Dominion Hills
  • Donaldson Run
  • Douglas Park
  • East Falls Church
  • Fairlington
  • Forest Hills
  • Glencarlyn
  • Halls Hill
  • High View Park/Halls Hill
  • Jackson Court
  • Lacey Forest
  • Lauderdale
  • Lee Heights
  • Lyon Park
  • Madison Manor
  • Maywood
  • New Dover
  • Nauck (Green Valley A.K.A The Valley)
  • Over Lee Knolls
  • Penrose
  • Prospect House
  • Randolph Square
  • Rivercrest
  • Shirlington Crest
  • Station Square
  • Tara
  • Waycroft-Woodlawn
  • Waverly Hills
  • Willet Heights
  • Williamsburg
  • Williamsburg Village
  • Yorktown

Arlington County includes a large selection of Sears Catalog Homes, which were offered between 1908 and 1940, Considered to be of exceptional quality, in modern times, these houses are sought after by many home buyers. As well, Arlington features some of the first and among the best examples of post-World War II garden style apartment complexes in the U.S., some of which were designed by architect Mihran Mesrobian. Arlington Boulevard (Route 50) is the dividing line in the county.

Neighborhood Historic Preservation Districts

A number of the county's residential neighborhoods and larger garden-style apartment complexes are listed in the National Register of Historic Places and/or designated under the County government's zoning ordinance as local Historic Preservation Districts.[19][20] These include Arlington Village, Arlington Forest, Ashton Heights, Buckingham, Cherrydale, Claremont, Colonial Village, Fairlington, Lyon Park, Lyon Village, Maywood, Penrose, Waverly Hills and Westover.[21][22]

Neighborhood Conservation Plans

Many of Arlington County's neighborhoods participate in the Arlington County government's Neighborhood Conservation Program (NCP).[23] Each of these neighborhoods has a Neighborhood Conservation Plan that describes the neighborhood's characteristics, history and recommendations for capital improvement projects that the County government funds through the NCP.[24]

Postal areas

The three-digit zip code prefix 222 uniquely identifies Arlington. Delivery areas north of Arlington Boulevard have odd-numbered ZIP codes (22201, 22203, 22205, 22207, 22209, and 22213), while delivery areas south of Arlington Boulevard have even-numbered ZIP codes (22202, 22204, and 22206). ZIP codes that are assigned to post office boxes, large mailers, and military facilities do not always follow that rule.

Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport and the Pentagon, both within the boundaries of Arlington County, are assigned with Washington, D.C., ZIP codes.

Lost town of Potomac

The incorporated town of Potomac (1908-1930) was located in Arlington County. However, it was annexed by the adjacent City of Alexandria in 1930, and thus, joined the lost towns of Virginia. Although "lost" as a political subdivision, the former town of Potomac is now a historic district of the City of Alexandria, and includes 1,840 acres and 690 buildings. The Town of Potomac was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1992.

Areas in the present City of Alexandria in addition to the former Town of Potomac were added by annexations from both Arlington and Fairfax counties over the years. However, all of the present Arlington County was once part of the District of Columbia, thus providing the county's claim, not only to being the state's smallest county in land area, but also the only one in Virginia to have both left and rejoined the Commonwealth.

Demographics

Historical populations
Census Pop.  %±
1890 4,258
1900 6,430 51.0%
1910 10,231 59.1%
1920 16,040 56.8%
1930 26,615 65.9%
1940 57,040 114.3%
1950 135,449 137.5%
1960 163,401 20.6%
1970 174,284 6.7%
1980 152,599 −12.4%
1990 170,936 12.0%
2000 189,453 10.8%
Est. 2007 204,568 8.0%

The Arlington County Planning Research and Analysis Team[25] (PRAT) estimates the January 1, 2008 population at 206,800

As of the 2000 census[26], there were:

  • 189,453 people
  • 86,352 households,
  • and 39,290 families residing in Arlington.

The population density was 7,323 people per square mile (2,828/km²), the highest of any county in Virginia.[16] There were 90,426 housing units at an average density of 3,495/sq mi (1,350/km²).

In 2008, the racial makeup of the county was estimated by the US Census to be 80.3% White. This included 15.1% Hispanic.[27] Also, 9.35% Black or African American, 0.35% Native American, 8.62% Asian, 0.08% Pacific Islander, 8.33% from other races, and 4.34% from two or more races.

28% of Arlington residents were foreign-born.

There were 86,352 households out of which 19.30% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 35.30% were married couples living together, 7.00% had a female householder with no husband present, and 54.50% were non-families. 40.80% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.30% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.15 and the average family size was 2.96.

Families headed by single parents was the lowest in the DC area, under 6%, as estimated by the Census Bureau for the years 2006-2008. For the same years, the percentage of people estimated to be living alone was the third highest in the DC area, at 45%.[28]

In 2009, Arlington was highest in the Washington DC Metropolitan area for percentage of people who were single - 70.9%. 14.3% were married. 14.8% had families. [29]

In the county, the population was spread out with 16.50% under the age of 18, 10.40% from 18 to 24, 42.40% from 25 to 44, 21.30% from 45 to 64, and 9.40% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 101.50 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 100.70 males.

In 2009, there were 131,626 active voters in the county.[30]

The recently completed Waterview towers in Rosslyn as seen from Roosevelt Island in the Potomac river.

Population history

  • 1960.....163,401[31]
  • 1970.....174,284
  • 1980.....152,299
  • 1990.....170,936
  • 2000.....189,453
  • 2006.....200,226
  • 2007.....202,800 (estimated)

Arlington Economic Development maintains regional economic data and statistics.[32]

Government

Arlington County is the smallest self-governing county in the United States (the largest county-level jurisdiction being North Slope Borough, Alaska).

The budget for fiscal year 2009 was $1.177 billion.[33]

Arlington is governed by a five person County Board, whose members are elected at-large to staggered four year terms. They appoint a county manager, who is the chief executive of the County Government. Like all Virginia Counties, Arlington also has five elected constitutional officers: a sheriff, a clerk of court, a commonwealth's attorney, a treasurer, and a commissioner of the revenue. Starting in 1996, the County switched from an appointed School Board appointed by the County Board to an elected School Board.

The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, which controls Washington DC area airports, has its headquarters on the grounds of Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in the county.[34]

Elections

In 2009, as the state was voting for the Republican candidate for governor by a 59% to 41% margin, Arlington voted for the Democratic candidate 66% to 34%.[35] Voter turnout was 42.78%.[36]

Starting in 2008, for the first time in many years, all elected officials in Arlington were either nominated by, or, in the case of School Board members, endorsed by the Democratic Party. However, starting in the early 1980s, the Democratic Party was the predominant party in the County. The Republican Party controlled a School Board seat from 1999 until 2007, held a majority on the County Board from 1977 to 1982, and controlled at least one County Board seat until 1995 (and again briefly in 1999).

Arlington is governed or represented by three of the four openly gay elected officials in Virginia. Arlington County Board member Jay Fisette was the first in 1997. Adam Ebbin became the first openly gay Delegate in 2003. In 2006, School Board member Sally Baird became the first openly lesbian elected official in Virginia. (The fourth openly gay elected official is Councilman Paul Smedberg of the City of Alexandria Council.)[citation needed]

Position Name Party First Election Next Election
Chairman Barbara Favola[37] Democratic Party 1997 2012
Vice-Chairman Jay Fisette[38][39] Democratic Party 1997 2009
Member Mary Hynes[40] Democratic Party 2007 2011
Member J. Walter Tejada[41] Democratic Party 2003 2011
Member Chris Zimmerman[42] Democratic Party 1996 2010

Arlington also elects four Members of the 100 Member Virginia House of Delegates and two Members of the Virginia Senate. State Senators are elected to four year terms, while Delegates are elected to two year terms.

Office Name Party and District First Election Next Election
Senator Patricia "Patsy" Ticer Democratic Party (30) 1995 2011
Senator Mary Margaret Whipple[43] Democratic Party (31) 1995 2011
Delegate David Englin[44] Democratic Party (45) 2005 2009
Delegate Patrick Hope Democratic Party (47) 2009 2011
Delegate Robert Brink[45] Democratic Party (48) 1997 2009
Delegate Adam Ebbin[46] Democratic Party (49) 2003 2009

Arlington has an elected five person School Board,[47] whose members are elected to four year terms. Virginia law does not permit political parties to place school board candidates on the ballot, but as in many other Virginia jurisdictions, most Arlington school board candidates run with an explicit party endorsement.

Position Name Party First Election Next Election
Chair Sally Baird endorsed by Democratic Party in 2006 2006 2010
Vice Chair Libby Garvey endorsed by Democratic Party in 2008 1996 2012
Member Ed Fendley[48] endorsed by Democratic Party in 2005 2005 2009
Member Abby Raphael endorsed by Democratic Party in 2007 2007 2011
Member Emma Sanchez-Violand endorsed by Democratic Party in 2008 2008 2012

Arlington also has five Constitutional Officers, all of whom are elected County-wide.

Position Name Party First Election Next Election
Treasurer Frank O'Leary[49] Democratic Party 1983 2011
Clerk of the Court Paul Ferguson Democratic Party 2007 2015
Commonwealth's Attorney Richard "Dick" Trodden[50] Democratic Party 1993 2011
Sheriff Beth Arthur[51] Democratic Party 2000 2011
Commissioner of Revenue Ingrid Morroy[52] Democratic Party 2003 2011

Presidential election results

Each year's winner in the general election is listed first below.

Public health and safety

In 2008, 20.3% of the population did not have medical health insurance.[53]

Economy

DARPA headquarters in the Virginia Square neighborhood.
Brown metal and glass building, curved at the center and angled at the sides/
Park Four, former US Airways headquarters in Crystal City
Some low-rise residential structures also help make up the real estate inventory in Arlington.

Arlington has consistently had the lowest unemployment rate of any jurisdiction in Virginia.[54] The unemployment rate in Arlington was 4.2% in August 2009.[55] 60% of office space in the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor is leased to government agencies and government contractors.[56]

There were an estimated 205,300 jobs in the county in 2008. About 28.7% of these were with the federal, state or local government; 19.1% technical and professional; 28.9% accommodation, food and other services.[57]

Personal income

According to a 2007 estimate, the median income for a household in the county was $94,876, and the median income for a family was $127,179.[58] Males had a median income of $51,011 versus $41,552 for females. The per capita income for the county was $37,706. About 5.00% of families and 7.80% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.10% of those under age 18 and 7.00% of those age 65 or over.

In 2009, the county was second in the nation for the percentage of people ages 25–34 earning over $100,000 annually (8.82% of the population).[29] [59]

Employment

In October 2009, during the economic downturn, the unemployment in the county reached 4.2%. This was the lowest in the state, which averaged 6.6% for the same time period, and among the lowest in the nation, which averaged 9.5% for the same time.[60]

Real estate

In 2004 the average single-family home sales price passed $600,000, approximately triple the price less than a decade before, and the median topped $550,000.[citation needed]

Government

Numerous federal agencies are headquartered in Arlington, including the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, DARPA, Drug Enforcement Administration, Foreign Service Institute, National Science Foundation, Office of Naval Research, Transportation Security Administration, United States Department of Defense, United States Fish and Wildlife Service, United States Marshals Service, and the United States Trade and Development Agency.

Companies

Companies headquartered in Arlington include AES Corporation, Alcalde and Fay, CACI, Corporate Executive Board, USA, ESI International, and Rosetta Stone. US Airways (formerly USAir) maintained its corporate headquarters at 2345 Crystal Drive in Arlington County.[61] When it merged with America West Airlines, the headquarters moved from the county.[62]

Arlington is also home to organizations such as the Consumer Electronics Association, The Politico, and the US-Taiwan Business Council.

Development patterns

Aerial view of a growth pattern in Arlington County, Virginia. High density, mixed use development is often concentrated within 1/4 to 1/2 mile from the County's Metrorail rapid transit stations, such as in Rosslyn, Courthouse, and Clarendon (shown in red from upper left to lower right). This photograph is taken from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency website describing Arlington's award for overall excellence in smart growth in 2002. The Washington Monument and U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. can be seen in the top center of the picture across the Potomac River.

Arlington has won awards for its smart growth development strategies. For over 30 years, the government has had a policy of concentrating much of its new development near transit facilities, such as Metrorail stations and the high-volume bus lines of Columbia Pike. Within the transit areas, the government has a policy of encouraging mixed-use and pedestrian- and transit-oriented development. Outside of those areas, the government usually limits density increases, but makes exceptions for larger projects that are near major highways, such as in Shirlington, near I-395 (the Shirley Highway).

Much of Arlington's development in the last generation has been concentrated around 7 of the County's 11 Metrorail stations.

In addition, the County implemented in 2005 an affordable housing ordinance that requires most developers to contribute significant affordable housing resources, either in units or through a cash contribution, in order to obtain the highest allowable amounts of increased building density in new development projects, most of which are planned near Metrorail station areas. The County also permits greater heights and densities through zoning ordinance bonuses in exchange for the creation of additional on-site affordable housing units, at a target level of 1:1 (i.e. one committed affordable unit for every market-rate unit; since 2004, and including condominium projects, actual average production has been closer to 2:3.)[citation needed]

The County focuses its efforts to preserve, create and maintain for-sale and rental affordable housing units to households whose income is not greater than 80% of the Washington, DC Metropolitan Area Median Income (AMI); rental units are committed for no fewer than 30 years at no greater than 60% AMI. AMI tables are published annually by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development.[citation needed]

PRAT[63] maintains detailed data about current and historical development in Arlington County.[64]

Rosslyn, Courthouse, and Ballston are accessible on Metro's Orange Line from east to west, as well as the Silver Line in coming years. Rosslyn, Pentagon City, and Crystal City are accessible on the Blue Line from north to south, with Pentagon City and Crystal City also utilizing the Yellow Line.

Landmarks

Arlington National Cemetery

Arlington Cemetery

Arlington National Cemetery is an American military cemetery established during the American Civil War on the grounds of Confederate General Robert E. Lee's home, Arlington House (also known as the Custis-Lee Mansion). It is directly across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C., north of the Pentagon. With nearly 300,000 people buried there, Arlington National Cemetery is the second-largest national cemetery in the United States.

Arlington House was named after the Custis family's homestead on Virginia's Eastern Shore. It is associated with the families of Washington, Custis, and Lee. Begun in 1802 and completed in 1817, it was built by George Washington Parke Custis. After his father died, young Custis was raised by his grandmother and her second husband, the first US President George Washington, at Mount Vernon. Custis, a far-sighted agricultural pioneer, painter, playwright, and orator, was interested in perpetuating the memory and principles of George Washington. His house became a "treasury" of Washington heirlooms.

In 1804, Custis married Mary Lee Fitzhugh. Their only child to survive infancy was Mary Anna Randolph Custis, born in 1808. Young Robert E. Lee, whose mother was a cousin of Mrs. Custis, frequently visited Arlington. Two years after graduating from West Point, Lieutenant Lee married Mary Custis at Arlington on June 30, 1831. For 30 years, Arlington House was home to the Lees. They spent much of their married life traveling between U.S. Army duty stations and Arlington, where six of their seven children were born. They shared this home with Mary's parents, the Custis family.

When George Washington Parke Custis died in 1857, he left the Arlington estate to Mrs. Lee for her lifetime and afterwards to the Lees' eldest son, George Washington Custis Lee.

The U.S. government confiscated Arlington House and 200 acres (81 hectares) of ground immediately from the wife of General Robert E. Lee during the Civil War. The government designate the grounds as a military cemetery on June 15, 1864, by Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton. In 1882, after many years in the lower courts, the matter of the ownership of Arlington National Cemetery was brought before the United States Supreme Court. The Court decided that the property rightfully belonged to the Lee family. The United States Congress then appropriated the sum of $150,000 for the purchase of the property from the Lee family.

Veterans from all the nation's wars are buried in the cemetery, from the American Revolution through the military actions in Afghanistan and Iraq. Pre-Civil War dead were re-interred after 1900.

The Tomb of the Unknowns, also known as the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, stands atop a hill overlooking Washington, DC. President John F. Kennedy is buried in Arlington National Cemetery with his wife and some of their children. His grave is marked with an "Eternal Flame." His brothers, Senators Robert F. Kennedy and Edward M. Kennedy, are also buried nearby. Another President, William Howard Taft, who was also a Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, is the only other President buried at Arlington.

Other frequently visited sites near the cemetery are the U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial, commonly known as the "Iwo Jima Memorial", the U.S. Air Force Memorial, the Women in Military Service for America Memorial, the Netherlands Carillon and the U.S. Army's Fort Myer.

The Pentagon

The Pentagon, looking northeast with the Potomac River and Washington Monument in the distance.

The Pentagon in Arlington is the headquarters of the United States Department of Defense. It was dedicated on January 15, 1943 and it is the world's largest office building. Although it is located in Arlington, the United States Postal Service requires that "Washington, D.C." be used as the place name in mail addressed to the six ZIP codes assigned to The Pentagon.[65]

The building is pentagon-shaped in plan and houses about 23,000 military and civilian employees and about 3,000 non-defense support personnel. It has five floors and each floor has five ring corridors. The Pentagon's principal law enforcement arm is the United States Pentagon Police, the agency that protects the Pentagon and various other DoD jurisdictions throughout the National Capital Region.

Built during the early years of World War II, it is still thought of as one of the most efficient office buildings in the world. It has 17.5 miles (28 km) of corridors, yet it takes only seven minutes or so to walk between any two points in the building.

It was built from 680,000 tons of sand and gravel dredged from the nearby Potomac River that were processed into 435,000 cubic yards (330,000 m³) of concrete and molded into the pentagon shape. Very little steel was used in its design due to the needs of the war effort.

The open-air central plaza in the Pentagon is the world's largest "no-salute, no-cover" area (where U.S. servicemembers need not wear hats nor salute). The snack bar in the center is informally known as the Ground Zero Cafe, a nickname originating during the Cold War when the Pentagon was targeted by Soviet nuclear missiles.

During World War II, the earliest portion of the Henry G. Shirley Memorial Highway was built in Arlington in conjunction with the parking and traffic plan for the Pentagon. This early freeway, opened in 1943, and completed to Woodbridge, Virginia in 1952, is now part of Interstate 395.

Transportation

Pentagon City station, which is directly connected to the Pentagon City mall.
U.S. Route 50 running through Rosslyn at sunset.

Airports

Located here is Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (IATA: DCAICAO: KDCAFAA LID: DCA), which provides North American air services to the Washington, D.C. area. In 2009, Condé Nast Traveler readers voted it the country's best airport.[66]

Nearby airports with international services include Washington Dulles International Airport (IATA: IADICAO: KIADFAA LID: IAD) , located in Fairfax and Loudoun counties in Virginia, and Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (IATA: BWIICAO: KBWIFAA LID: BWI) , located in unincorporated Anne Arundel County, Maryland.

Public transportation

Arlington is served by the Orange, Blue and Yellow lines of the Washington Metro. Additionally, it is served by Virginia Railway Express (commuter rail), Metrobus (regional public bus), Fairfax Connector (regional public bus), Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission (PRTC) (regional public bus), and a county public bus system, Arlington Transit (ART).

Roads

Main articles: Streets and highways of Arlington County, Virginia and Arlington County, Virginia, street-naming system

The county maintains 376 miles (605 km) of roads.[67]

The street names in Arlington generally follow a unified countywide convention. The north / south streets are generally alphabetical, starting with one-syllable names, then two-, three- and four-syllable names for streets going north / south. (The "lowest" alphabetical street is Ball Street. The "highest" is Arizona.) Many east / west streets are numbered. Route 50 divides Arlington County. Streets are generally labeled North above Route 50, and South below. Arlington County is traversed by two interstate highways, Interstate 66 in the northern part of the county and Interstate 395 in the eastern part, both with high-occupancy vehicle lanes or restrictions. In addition, the county is served by a number of multi-lane urban arterial roads and the George Washington Memorial Parkway.

Bicycle paths

Arlington has 86 miles (138 km) of on-street and paved off-road bicycle trails.[68] Off-road trails travel along the Potomac River or its tributaries, abandoned railroad beds, or major highways. Many of the county's major streets designate bicycle lanes near their curbs or parking lanes. Green route signs help cyclists navigate the routes while yellow warning signs alert drivers to the many street crossings.

Several regional paved off-road trails originate in Arlington and extend well beyond its boundaries. The Washington & Old Dominion Railroad Trail (W&OD Trail) rail trail travels 45 miles (72 km) northwest from Shirlington through Falls Church, Vienna, Herndon, and Leesburg to the town of Purcellville in western Loudoun County, Virginia. The Mount Vernon Trail runs for 17 miles (27 km) along the Potomac, continuing through Alexandria to George Washington's plantation home in Fairfax County.

Smaller, intra-county trails connect the larger trials. In Arlington's southeast corner, immediately south of Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, the Mount Vernon Trail meets the Four Mile Run Trail, which travels westward through Arlington in a stream valley, connecting to the W&OD. The hilly Custis Trail begins at the Mount Vernon Trail in Rosslyn and travels westward beside Interstate 66 to the W&OD. The Bluemont Junction Trail, another rail trail, travels between the W&OD Trail and the Custis Trail in Ballston.

A partially off-road bike route bisects the County while traveling westward from Arlington National Cemetery, the Iwo Jima Memorial and Rosslyn to Falls Church while travelling as a paved trail near or adjacent to Arlington Boulevard (U.S. Route 50) or within the boulevard's service road.

National protected areas

The following national protected areas are located in Arlington:

Education

Primary and secondary schools

Arlington County is served by the Arlington Public Schools system. The public high schools in Arlington County are Wakefield High School, Washington-Lee High School, Yorktown High School and the H-B Woodlawn program. Arlington County is also home to Bishop O'Connell, a Roman Catholic high school.

Arlington County spends about half of its revenue on education, making it one of the top ten per-pupil spenders in the nation (as of 2004, over $13,000, the second highest amount spent on education in the United States, behind New York City).

Through an agreement with Fairfax County Public Schools approved by the school board in 1999, up to 26 students residing in Arlington per grade level may be enrolled at the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Fairfax at a cost to Arlington of approximately $8000 per student. For the first time in 2006, more students (36) were offered admission in the selective high school than allowed by the previously established enrollment cap.[69]

Colleges and universities

Marymount University is the only university with its main campus located in Arlington. Founded in 1950 by the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary as Marymount College of Virginia located on North Glebe Road. The school has expanded into offering complete 4 year undergraduate degrees, graduate degrees and recently doctorial degrees in Fall 2004. The school expanded in the early 1990s and opened an additional campus in Ballston. They also have a Reston Center located in Reston, Virginia.

George Mason University operates an Arlington campus in the Virginia Square area between Clarendon and Ballston. The campus houses the School of Law, School of Public Policy and other programs. The University is constructing a new building, expected to open in 2010, to provide additional space for the School of Law and other graduate programs.

The Institute for the Psychological Sciences is a regionally accredited institution offering postgraduate programs in Psychology with a Roman Catholic perspective. Its campus is in the Crystal City neighborhood.

The John Leland Center for Theological Studies, a baptist institution composed of a graduate seminary and undergraduate school, has its main campus in the Clarendon neighborhood.

DeVry University operates a campus for undergraduate classes along with the Keller School of Management for its graduate classes, in Crystal City. The University established the campus in 2001.

University of Management and Technology is a distance learning university that is headquartered in Rosslyn.

The Art Institute of Washington, a local branch of The Art Institutes is located in the Ames Center across from the Rosslyn Metro Station.

Strayer University has a campus in Arlington as well as its corporate headquarters.

In addition, Argosy University, Banner College, Everest College, George Washington University, Georgetown University, Northern Virginia Community College, Troy University, the University of New Haven, the University of Oklahoma, and Westwood College all have campuses in Arlington.

Athletics

Interest in sports for youngsters outside the school has varied over the years. In 1974, for example, 1,650 youngsters were participating in soccer in a county-wide association.[70]

Sister cities

Arlington has five sister cities, as designated by Sister Cities International:

Notables

See also

References

  1. ^ a b "Profile". http://www.arlingtonva.us/departments/CPHD/planning/data_maps/CPHDPlanningDataandMapsProfile.aspx?lnsLinkID=1150. Retrieved January 1, 2008. 
  2. ^ "National Association of Counties". http://www.naco.org/Content/NavigationMenu/About_Counties/County_Government/A_Brief_Overview_of_County_Government.htm. Retrieved September 1, 2008. 
  3. ^ Arlington, Virginia VA, profile (Arlington County)
  4. ^ Some Cities Will Be Safer in a Recession
  5. ^ "Best Places for the Rich and Single" Retrieved 2009-10-03.
  6. ^ Woolsey, Matt (2008-01-22). "Real Estate: America's Richest Counties". Forbes.com. http://www.forbes.com/2008/01/22/counties-rich-income-forbeslife-cx_mw_0122realestate.html. Retrieved 2009-05-05. 
  7. ^ United States Statutes At Large, 1st Congress, Session III, Chapter 18, pp. 214-215, March 3, 1791.
  8. ^ Boundary markers of the Nation's Capital : a proposal for their preservation & protection : a National Capital Planning Commission Bicentennial report. National Capital Planning Commission, Washington, DC, 1976; for sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office
  9. ^ Boundary Stones of the District of Columbia
  10. ^ Sixth Congress, Session II, Chapter XV (An Act concerning the District of Columbia), Section 2 (Stat. II, Feb. 27, 1801) (United States Statutes at Large, Vol. II, p. 103); "Statutes at Large, 6th Congress, 2nd Session". A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation: U.S. Congressional Documents and Debates, 1774 - 1875. Library of Congress. http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/ampage?collId=llsl&fileName=002/llsl002.db&recNum=140. Retrieved 2008-07-10. 
  11. ^ "Frequently Asked Questions About Washington, D.C.". The Historical Society of Washington, D.C.. http://www.citymuseumdc.org/gettoknow/faq.asp. Retrieved August 30, 2006. 
  12. ^ "Alexandria's History". http://alexandriava.gov/city/about-alexandria/about.html#history. Retrieved August 30, 2006. 
  13. ^ "Historical Information". Arlington National Cemetery. http://www.arlingtoncemetery.org/historical_information/arlington_house.html. Retrieved 2008-05-20. 
  14. ^ Arlington Sun Gazette, October 15, 2009, "Arlington history", page 6, quoting from the Northern Virginia Sun
  15. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2000 and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2005-05-03. http://www.census.gov/geo/www/gazetteer/gazette.html. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  16. ^ a b [1]
  17. ^ Arlington's Urban Villages
  18. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. http://www.naco.org/Template.cfm?Section=Find_a_County&Template=/cffiles/counties/usamap.cfm. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  19. ^ Arlington County Government Historic Preservation Program Official Arlington County Government Website. Retrieved on 2008-02-05.
  20. ^ Arlington County Zoning Ordinance: Section 31.A. Historic Preservation Districts Official Arlington County Government Website. Retrieved on 2008-02-05.
  21. ^ List of Arlington County Government Designated Local Historic Districts Official Arlington County Government Website. Retrieved on 2008-02-05.
  22. ^ List of Arlington County Sites in the National Register of Historic Places Official Arlington County Government Website. Retrieved on 2008-02-05.
  23. ^ Neighborhood Conservation Program Official Arlington County Government Website. Retrieved on 2008-02-05.
  24. ^ Neighborhood Conservation Plans Official Arlington County Government Website. Retrieved on 2008-02-05.
  25. ^ Arlington County Planning Research and Analysis Team
  26. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. http://factfinder.census.gov. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  27. ^ "Arlington County, Virginia". US Census. 2009-10-23. http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/51/51013.html. 
  28. ^ Carol Morello; Dan Keating (2009-10-28). "Single living surges across D.C. region". Washington Post. Washington Post. pp. A20. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/10/27/AR2009102702019.html. 
  29. ^ a b Annie Gowen (2009-11-07). "Fresh faces, thick wallets". Washington Post. Washington Post. pp. B4. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/11/06/AR2009110604170.html. 
  30. ^ Scott McCaffrey (2009-10-2009). "County's Registered Voters Top 130,000". Arlington Sun Gazette. pp. 5. 
  31. ^ Although Arlington CDP had a population of 135,449 in 1950, the Census did not treat Arlington as a CDP because in 1950 CDPs were assigned to rural areas only. They were first assigned to urban areas during the 1960 Census.
  32. ^ Arlington Economic Development
  33. ^ FY 2009 County budget resolution
  34. ^ "Contacting the Airports Authority." Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority. Retrieved on March 2, 2010.
  35. ^ Carl M. Cannon (2009-11-04). "McDonnell, Republicans Sweep Virginia". Washington Post. Washington Post. pp. A1, A6. http://www.politicsdaily.com/2009/11/04/mcdonnell-republicans-sweep-virginia/. 
  36. ^ "Northern Virginia Voter Turnout". Falls Church News-Press. Falls Church News Press. 2009-11-05. pp. 5. 
  37. ^ [>Barbara Favola
  38. ^ Jay Fisette
  39. ^ Fisette for Arlington
  40. ^ [2]
  41. ^ [3]
  42. ^ Chris Zimmerman
  43. ^ Mary Margaret Whipple
  44. ^ David Englin
  45. ^ Robert Brink
  46. ^ Adam Ebbin
  47. ^ School Board
  48. ^ Ed Fendley
  49. ^ Frank O'Leary
  50. ^ Richard "Dick" Trodden
  51. ^ Beth Arthur
  52. ^ Ingrid Morroy
  53. ^ Hank Silverberg (2008-10-09). "Hundreds of thousands in region lack health insurance". WTOP FM Radio. WTOP FM Radio. http://www.wtop.com/?nid=720&sid=1493997. 
  54. ^ Arlington Unemployment Drops Below 4 Percent, Arlington Sun Gazette, December 4, 2009
  55. ^ Northern Virginia jobless rate falls to 5%
  56. ^ An Oasis of Stability Amid a Downturn
  57. ^ County Profile
  58. ^ Arlington CDP, Virginia
  59. ^ The highest was Loudon County, Virginia
  60. ^ Scott McCaffrey (2009-11-05). "Arlington Unemployment Up Slightly, Still Lowest Statewide". Sun Gazette. Sun Gazette. pp. 4. http://www.sungazette.net/articles/2009/11/05/arlington/news/nw377.txt. 
  61. ^ "Fast Facts." US Airways. January 28, 1998. Retrieved on May 13, 2009.
  62. ^ Gilbertson, Dawn. "US Airways pilots win union case." The Arizona Republic. May 13, 2009. Retrieved on May 13, 2009.
  63. ^ Planning Research and Analysis Team (PRAT)
  64. ^ Development Reports and Statistics
  65. ^ Facts & Figures: Zip Codes
  66. ^ "2009 Business Travel Awards from Conde Nast Traveler" Retrieved 2009-10-27.
  67. ^ County website
  68. ^ Arlington Country Environmental Services Official Arlington County Government Website. Retrieved on 2008-09-17
  69. ^ "TJHSST Admissions Statistics for 2005-06" (PDF). http://www.fcps.k12.va.us/mediapub/pressrel/tjhsstadmisstats2005-06.pdf. Retrieved August 30, 2006. 
  70. ^ Arlington Sun Gazette, October 15, 2009, page 6, "Arlington history", quoting the Northern Virginia Sun
  71. ^ A Spy's Story in a World Of Many-Sided Betrayal, The New York Times, by Tim Weiner, February 23, 1994 dated February 22, 1994, Washington
  72. ^ McKinley, Jr., James C.; Dao, James (November 8, 2009). "Fort Hood Gunman Gave Signals Before His Rampage". The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/09/us/09reconstruct.html. Retrieved November 9, 2009. 

External links


Simple English

[[File:|150px|thumb|Arlington National Cemetery|right]] Arlington, Virginia is a county in Virginia that is also considered a city. It is one of the smallest counties in the United States by area. It is across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C., and parts of it were once part of Washington. 210,000 people live there. It where many U.S. government offices, including The Pentagon, are. It also the location of Arlington National Cemetery, which was built at the former plantation of Robert E. Lee and is where John F. Kennedy and many American soldiers are buried. Several battles of the American Civil War were fought in and around Arlington.


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