Ballston, Arlington, Virginia
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Named after the Ball family (relatives of George Washington), whose family cemetery lies in the neighborhood at N. Stafford Street and N. Fairfax Drive. Ballston began as Birch's Crossroads and later became Ball's Crossroads at what is now the intersection of North Glebe Road and Wilson Boulevard. This intersection is one of the oldest crossroads in Northern Virginia.
A historical marker that stands near the southeastern corner of the intersection states:
This intersection has been a focal point since about 1740, when two roads were developed, one from the future site of Alexandria to the mouth of Pimmit Run, the other from Awbury’s Ferry (at the site of Rosslyn) to The Falls Church. The first came to be known as the Glebe Road because it passed the glebe of Fairfax Parish and in order to distinguish it from other roads to the Falls. The second was eventually named Wilson Boulevard in honor of President Wilson. The intersection became known as Ball’s Crossroads when Ball’s Tavern was established here in the early 1800s.
In 1896, an interurban electric trolley line, the Fairfax line of the Washington, Arlington & Falls Church Railroad (WA&FC) , began operating north of the crossroads along the present route of Fairfax Drive, whose name derives from that of the trolleys' final destination, Fairfax City. Construction of the trolley line, which branched at Clarendon to serve both Rosslyn and downtown Washington, D.C., temporarily shifted much the area's development away from the crossroads. A historical marker that stands near the northwestern corner of Fairfax Drive and N. Stafford Street, one block east of the Ballston Metrorail station (which is at the former site of the Ballston trolley station) states:
By 1900 a well-defined village called Central Ballston had developed in the area bounded by the present-day Wilson Boulevard, Taylor Street, Washington Boulevard, and Pollard Street. More diffuse settlement extended westward to Lubber Run and southward along Glebe Road to Henderson Road. The track of the Washington, Arlington, and Falls Church Electric Railroad ran along what is now Fairfax Drive; the Ballston Station was at Ballston Avenue, now North Stuart Street. Here Clements Avenue, now Stafford Street, divided to pass on either side of an old Ball family graveyard.
In 1912, a competing interurban electric trolley line, the Washington and Old Dominion Railway constructed a branch that crossed the WA&FC near the west end of Ballston (then called Lacey), near a WA&FC car barn and railyard. Interstate 66 and the Bluemont Junction Trail now follow the route of this railroad branch between Rosslyn and the Washington and Old Dominion Railroad Trail in Bluemont Park. A historical marker entitled "Lacey Car Barn" located near the northwest corner of N. Glebe Road and Faifax Drive states:
In 1896, the Washington, Arlington & Falls Church Railway began running electric trolleys from Rosslyn to Falls Church on the present routes of Fairfax Drive and I-66. By 1907, the Fairfax trolley linked Fairfax, Vienna, and Ballston with downtown Washington. In 1910, at this location, the railway built a car barn, railyard, workshops, electrical substation, and general office. In 1912, the rival Washington & Old Dominion Railway began crossing the tracks on a bridge 200 yards west of here, following the present route of I-66 from Rosslyn. The Fairfax trolley closed in 1939, but Metrorail’s Orange Line follows its route through Arlington.
In 1951, the Parkington Shopping Center opened at the intersection formerly known as Balls Crossroads, on the site of the present Ballston Common Mall. Parkington was anchored by the headquarters location of the Hecht Company and was reputed to have the largest parking garage in the U.S. when it opened.
Ballston began to redevelop rapidly after the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority opened the Orange Line's Ballston Metrorail station on December 1, 1979 and when an entrance to Interstate 66 (I-66) opened on December 22, 1982. Now highly urbanized, Ballston contains tall apartment, condominium and commercial buildings, the Ballston Common Mall and a number of bars and restaurants. Washington-Lee High School and a small park, Welburn Square, are also located in Ballston.
Commercial, government and educational activity 
Ballston is also home to several U.S. government agencies and organizations including the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, DARPA (the funding agency for the original Internet research), and the Office of Naval Research, as well as non-profit groups, such as The Nature Conservancy. Additionally, many government contractors and high tech companies have offices in Ballston such as CACI, SAIC, as well as the headquarters of ESI International. In September 2011, Accenture agreed to move their offices from Reston, VA to a 360,000 sq. ft. facility under construction by JBG Cos. on the corner of Wilson and Glebe Rd. in Ballston. The building is scheduled to open in Spring, 2012.
The Washington Capitals professional ice hockey team built the Kettler Capitals Iceplex on the eighth level of the Ballston Common Mall's public parking garage. The facility includes two full-size rinks for the Capitals' practice and for paid public use. The rinks offer about 8,100 hours of ice skating annually. The facility holds 1,200 seats and a conditioning center for the Capitals. It also houses the organization's front office staff. In addition, the facility houses a conference room that is available for public use without charge when the organization is not using it for its own purposes. The Mall's owners hope that the facility will bring in additional revenue for the Mall, which did not become a big money maker after the owners constructed a multiplex movie theater there with the same type of anticipation.
Ballston is also home to a satellite campus of Marymount University.
Taste of Arlington 
Ballston hosts the annual Taste of Arlington food festival, a street fair which has been produced each spring since 1987. The 2009 Taste of Arlington event featured over forty area restaurants offering portions of their cuisine to ticket-holders, and drew approximately 15,000 people. The festival is organized by the Ballston-Virginia Square Partnership, the regional business development organization, and is produced in cooperation with other area community development organizations and the National Science Foundation. Funds are raised for area charities through ticket sales.
- "Arlington (Va.) Historical Society | Learn | Snapshots | Early Settlement". Arlingtonhistoricalsociety.org. Retrieved 2009-07-15.
- "Arlington (Va.) Historical Society | Historic Sites and Properties: Neighborhoods". Arlingtonhistoricalsociety.org. Retrieved 2009-07-15.
- "Appendix 1.: The Arlington County Historical Markers" (pdf). Ball's Crossroads. Arlington, Virginia: Arlington Bicentennial Celebration Task Force. 2001. p. 22. Archived from the original on 2013-02-25. Retrieved 2013-02-25. Unknown parameter
- "Buckingam Community Civic Association Neighborhood Conservation Plan" (pdf). Arlington County Department of Community Planning, Housing and Development. October 2006. p. 28. Archived from the original on 2013-02-25. Retrieved 2013-02-25.
- "Appendix 1.: The Arlington County Historical Markers" (pdf). Ballston. Arlington, Virginia: Arlington Bicentennial Celebration Task Force. 2001. p. 22. Archived from the original on 2013-02-25. Retrieved 2013-02-25. Unknown parameter
- Text of Arlington County's Lacey Car Barn historical marker in "Historical Marker Installed Outside ‘Deep Throat’ Garage". ARLnow. Arlington, Virginia: ARLnow.com LLC. August 17, 2011. Retrieved February 1, 2012. "A marker at the corner of Fairfax Drive and Glebe Road, in Ballston, marks the Lacey Car Barn site. The text reads: "In 1896, the Washington, Arlington & Falls Church Railway began running electric trolleys from Rosslyn to Falls Church on the present routes of Fairfax Drive and I-66. By 1907, the Fairfax trolley linked Fairfax, Vienna, and Ballston with downtown Washington. In 1910, at this location, the railway built a car barn, railyard, workshops, electrical substation, and general office. In 1912, the rival Washington & Old Dominion Railway began crossing the tracks on a bridge 200 yards west of here, following the present route of I-66 from Rosslyn. The Fairfax trolley closed in 1939, but Metrorail’s Orange Line follows its route through Arlington.""
- (1)"Background: I-66 History". Idea-66. Virginia Department of Transportation. Archived from the original on 2012-01-23. Retrieved 2013-02-25.
(2) Kozel, Scott M. (2007-04-26). "Interstate 66 and Metrorail Vienna Route". Roads to the Future. Archived from the original on 2013-02-25. Retrieved 2013-02-25.
- (1) "Washington-Lee High School". Arlington County Public Schools. Archived from the original on 2013-02-25. Retrieved 2013-02-25.
(2) "Welburn Square". Parks & Gardens. Arlington Patch. Archived from the original on 2013-02-25. Retrieved 2013-02-05.
- "Accenture signs Ballston lease with JBG" The Washington Business Journal (September 13, 2011).
- Taste of Arlington official website, accessed May 29, 2009.
- Maurisa Potts, 15,000 Foodies Come Out for Taste of Arlington, Washington Home and Garden, accessed May 29, 2009.
- Website of the Ballston-Virginia Square Partnership.
- Lavanya Ramanathan, "Fun You Can Sink Your Teeth Into" The Washington Post (May 15, 2009).
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Ballston|
- Ballston Virginia Local Information
- Ballston Metro Station Area Data, Statistics and Development
- Washington Post article about Ballston from February 18th, 2007
- Arlington's Urban Villages - Ballston
- Kettler Capitals Iceplex
- Taste of Arlington