Barcroft

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About Barcroft

Barcroft was ‘put on the map’ by George Washington, who surveyed the land. Historical records are unclear as to whether or not he built an early water grist mill here, but it is documented that George Washington Parke Custis built Arlington Mill on Four Mile Run near Columbia Pike. Custis’ mill was destroyed during the Civil War.

A 162-acre farm camel Cedar Hill was owned by Frank Corbett, who subdivided a small portion on the north side of the Pike in 1892, near the single-track railroad station. He called it “Corbett” and named the four north-south streets and one east-west street Brooke (for his son), Arlington, Cedar Avenue, Spring Avenue (named for a spring in the center of the subdivision known as the “Dolly Madison Spring” because Madison enjoyed resting there during her rides through the countryside), and Fairfax Street.

Following Corbett’s death in 1903, the farm was sold to Mrs. Abbie G. Fox, who subdivided again and renamed it Barcroft, after local physician Dr. John Woolverton Barcroft, who replaced the old mill with a new one boasting the largest mill wheel on the east coast, and built a house nearby. A Virginia builder, B.F. Perrow, was retained to construct a long one-story building on the Pike between the railroad and the creek for the use of workmen and equipment storage. A small number of modest homes were built, and a dry goods country store was added in about 1885 and a post office was established. In 1886, a large home was built for miller, John Newlon, who operated Dr. Barcroft’s Mill. Six to ten additional homes were created in Barcroft’s early days, but the area didn’t see significant growth until 1918, when builders Walter and Robert O’Hara constructed several hundred homes in the Barcroft area through the 1950’s. The O’Hara homes were designed in a variety of architectural styles, including Victorian, Colonial, Cape Cod, Cottages and Bungalows.

During this time, there were also changes to the block sizes and street names of the subdivisions, eliminating the original Cedar and Brooke Streets, retaining Arlington and Spring Avenues for a total of four east-west streets, Fairfax, Brooke and Maple Streets, and Glen Avenue. In 1932, Arlington Avenue was renamed South Buchanan Street, Spring Street became South Wakefield Street, Fairfax Street changed to Ninth Street South, Glen Avenue became Eighth Road South, a second Brooke Street was renamed Eighth Street South and Maple Street was renamed Seventh Street, South.

More construction filled out the neighborhood through 1989, in a mix of styles and types, including at least one Sears Kit home and a Lustron enameled steel home, as well as multifamily buildings. A number of 1960’s townhouses and apartment buildings constructed along Columbia Pike, South George Mason Drive and Arlington Boulevard.

For a thorough and charming history of the Barcroft neighborhood, see Barcroft, Arlington County, Virginia: A Village Metamorphosis and see also History of Barcroft.

Barcroft amenities include Barcroft Park, a 65-acre park featuring multiple sports fields and game courts and bating cages. Residents can fish or walk along a stream, hike or cycle the Four Mile Run Trail, picnic or grill, and enjoy the playgrounds. Barcroft’s Sports & Fitness Center is located next to the park and offers a gym, gymnastics training center, wellness studio and observation deck.