Arlington Village Historic District (Arlington, Virginia)

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Arlington Village Historic District
After the Rain Comes the Sun in Arlington Village.JPG
After the Rain Comes the Sun in Arlington Village, March 2012
Arlington Village Historic District (Arlington, Virginia) is located in District of Columbia
Arlington Village Historic District (Arlington, Virginia)
Arlington Village Historic District (Arlington, Virginia) is located in Virginia
Arlington Village Historic District (Arlington, Virginia)
Arlington Village Historic District (Arlington, Virginia) is located in the United States
Arlington Village Historic District (Arlington, Virginia)
LocationS. 13th St., S. 13 Rd., S. 16th St., S. Barton S., S. Cleveland St. and Edgewood St., Arlington, Virginia
Coordinates38°51′33″N 77°5′2″W / 38.85917°N 77.08389°W / 38.85917; -77.08389Coordinates: 38°51′33″N 77°5′2″W / 38.85917°N 77.08389°W / 38.85917; -77.08389
Area53 acres (21 ha)
Built1936 (1936)-1939
ArchitectRing, Gustave; Warwick, Harvey
Architectural styleColonial Revival
MPSGarden Apartments, Apartment Houses and Apartment Complexes in Arlington County, Virginia MPS
NRHP reference #03000215[1]
VLR #000-0024
Significant dates
Added to NRHPApril 11, 2003
Designated VLRDecember 4, 2002[2]

The Arlington Village Historic District is a national historic district located at Arlington County, Virginia. It contains 657 contributing buildings (including 656 apartment units) in a residential neighborhood in South Arlington. The area was constructed in 1939, and is a planned garden apartment community that incorporates recreational areas, open spaces, a swimming pool and courtyards within five superblocks. It also includes a shopping center consisting of six stores. The garden apartments are presented as two-story, brick rowhouses with Colonial Revival detailing. There are three building types distinguished by the roof form: flat, gambrel, or gable. Arlington Village was the first large-scale rental project in Arlington County and the first Federal Housing Administration-insured garden apartment development.[3] It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2008.[1]

Land Acquisition and beginning of development[edit]

Arlington Village was the sixth FHA project built by Gustave Ring in 1939. It was designed by Harvey Warwick, a Washington architect who had designed Colonial Village with Ring in 1935. Ring and Warwick applied the concept of the successful Colonial Village to Arlington Village. Gustav Ring, born in Weston, West Virginia in 1910, grew up in Washington and graduated from George Washington University with a degree in engineering.[4] In July 1939, Ring, now a successful businessman, had developed $37 million of the FHA's $100 million of rental housing insurance. For Arlington Village in 1939, Ring bought 33 acres of potato patch from B. M. Smith across from the Hull house for $362,000, with the rest of the 53 acres purchased from a number of other parties. He believed the location was key for Washington suburban expansion.[5]

Site Design[edit]

The site was divided into five superblocks, with attention paid to the site's topography and a desire to retain as many natural characteristics of the area as possible. The superblocks were delineated by South Barton Street, South Cleveland Street, Sixteenth street, and Edgewood street. There were 590 paved and lined parking spaces along these streets. In the five superblocks, the designers concentrated undulating strings of 661 apartments on 12% of the space, leaving about 47 acres for green space, parks, recreation areas, yards, roads, parking spaces and service. The apartments were spaced around courts, the biggest being the "H" court. Each apartment had a front court and a private back court. The front court elevations were designed with Attic medallions, varying colonial door and window surrounds, porches, shutters, gambrel roofs of slate, dormers, and careful landscaping. The back court elevations are plain and have almost no details.[6] There were 357 one-bedroom, 271 two-bedroom, and 33 three-bedroom apartments.[5]

Ring sold the development to New England Life in 1950, at that time he had increased his original investment 666%.[5] In 1979 Arlington Village resold for $9.7 million and is now worth twice that.


  1. ^ a b "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2010-07-09.
  2. ^ "Virginia Landmarks Register". Virginia Department of Historic Resources. Archived from the original on 2013-09-21. Retrieved 2013-05-12.
  3. ^ Simone Monteleone Moffett (June 2002). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory/Nomination: Arlington Village Historic District" (PDF). and Accompanying three photos and Accompanying map Archived 2012-09-26 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Gustave Ring, "Large Scale Housing as a Business," Insured Mortgage Portfolio, I:12 (June, 1937), 5-7
  5. ^ a b c Domer, Dennis Escaping the City. within Quantrill, Malcolm, and Bruce Webb. Urban Forms, Suburban Dreams. College Station: Texas A & M UP, 1993. Print.
  6. ^ John Hull's Oral History of Northern Virginia. Arlington Library and Zonta Club of Arlington Oral History Project (Arlington OHP), interviewer Virginia L. Smith, June 20, 1975.

External links[edit]