Arlington Ridge is an unincorporated community in Arlington County, Virginia. It is bordered on the north by The Pentagon, on the west by the Army Navy Country Club, and on the south the City of Alexandria. The main thoroughfare is the eponymous Arlington Ridge Road, a mansion-lined boulevard that, due to its high elevation, offers picturesque views of Washington D.C. and the surrounding areas.
Also known simply as “The Ridge”, this community is home to two historical points of interest: the Hume School (National Register of Historic Places), currently the site of the Arlington Country Historical Society and Museum, and Fort Scott (Historic District), currently the site of Fort Scott Park.
The Hume School was built in 1891 and is the oldest school buildings in Arlington County. An active school until 1958, it is now the home of the Arlington Historical Society. It is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
The Little Tea House Restaurant is located on Arlington Ridge Road, opened in 1920 and remained there until 1963 when it was demolished to make room for a high-rise apartment building.
Credits Hume School@exploringhistoricplace
During its heyday, many famous people ate at the restaurant, including Eleanor Roosevelt, Amelia Earhart, and Oliver Wendell Holmes. Known for its lovely gardens and views, it was also one of the first places in Arlington where racially mixed groups could meet. Gertrude Crocker, who started the restaurant, was active in women’s issues throughout her life and started the restaurant so she could be independent and her own “boss.” When Mrs. Crocker leased, and later sold, the business to Gertrude Allison, it became known for a period as Allison’s Little Tea House.
The only remaining remnant of the Little Tea House that is visible today is a small stone tower located at the intersection South Lynn Street, now used as a small maintenance building for an adjacent swimming pool.
At the northern terminus of Arlington Ridge lies Prospect Hill, an Arlington County historic site.
Prospect Hill’s vantage immediately overlooking the Pentagon (and the Washington D.C. skyline beyond) makes it a popular location for photographers. After the September 11 attacks, this spot offered a clear view of the Pentagon’s damaged side. Many of the pictures that appeared around the world
Credits:Prospect Hill Park @aseher1004
showing the still smoldering Pentagon were taken from this spot. Immediately after the disaster, a makeshift memorial consisting of wreaths and flowers was also established here. Prospect Hill’s strategic elevation overlooking the Old Georgetown Road and the Green Valley made it an ideal location for a defensive post during the Civil War. Consequently, it was selected as the site for Fort Albany.
A research stated that 55 single-family houses were sold in or near the Arlington Ridge neighborhood in the past 12 months and the most expensive being a five-bedroom, five-bathroom, three-half-bath house for $2.13 million. According to Trulia, homes now for sale in Arlington
Credits: Pentagon City Mall @duchka
Ridge range from two studio condominiums in the $173,000s to a new six-bedroom, five-bathroom house for $2.4 million.
A drive of less than 10 minutes in any direction will bring you to numerous shopping centers and restaurants. Nearby neighborhoods such as Shirlington Village, Clarendon and Crystal City provide a multitude of dining and nightlife options, and Pentagon City has one of the area’s largest shopping malls.
Exercise enthusiasts can bike, walk or run on the Four Mile Run Trail, which winds through Arlington Ridge along the county’s border with Alexandria. Or challenge neighbors to a pickup game on Gunston Middle School’s lighted turf soccer fields.
Annual community events geared toward families have become tradition, such as the Halloween parade, or the July 4 gathering to watch D.C. fireworks from the ridge’s best vantage point, Prospect Hill. “Arlington Ridge really is a best-kept secret,” said a resident, who has lived in the neighborhood since 1992.
Newt Gingrich (former speaker of the United States House of Representatives) and Al Gore (former Vice President of the United States) both lived here once. Washington Nationals powerhouse Bryce Harper has a condo here now.
Many homeowners take pride in this legacy and have chosen to move within the neighborhood, build new or rehab existing homes rather than go elsewhere.
“People come here and stay,” says Katie Buck, president of the Arlington Ridge Civic Association, who moved with her husband into her parents’ old neighborhood home in 2009 and did an extensive renovation. “Their children stay, and their children’s children stay.”
A couple years ago, Wynn Coggins (Deputy Chief Administrative Officer at the UPTO) and her husband renovated the brick Colonial they’d purchased in 1998 near Arlington Ridge Road. “We worked with an architect to keep the look and feel of the original home but gain the extra space we needed,” she says.
“We moved here for the convenience and the amenities…but have stayed because of the people,” says Becky Middleton (musical artist), who lives with her husband and two kids in the home they’ve owned since 2003. “We look out for each other, check in on each other and welcome new neighbors.”
At A Glance:
Population: 23, 509
Median home value: $657,500
Median rent: $2,963
In October 2013, the County Board accepted revisions to the Arlington Ridge Neighborhood Conservation Plan for the first time in 40 years. The plan outlines the community’s vision for their neighborhood and identifies needed improvements to meet the modern challenges of population growth and increased traffic. County staff comments on the recommendations are attached to the plan.