Cherrydale

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About Cherrydale

Cherrydale is located in north Arlington, Virginia, bounded by Lorcom Lane to the north, North Utah Street, North Taylor Street and Interstate 66. Adjacent communities are Maywood and Lyon Park to the east, Virginia Square to the south, Waverly Hills to the west, Woodmont and Donaldson Run to the north.

The neighborhood took root in 1893 as the site of a branch post office at US 29 and Pollard Street, adjacent to Dorsey Donaldon’s cherry tree orchard. Since Cherry Valley Road (now Quincy Street) also bordered the property on the south, the post office branch was named Cherrydale. The area was platted in 1898.

With the 1898 relocation of the Alexandria County Courthouse to Arlington and establishment of a commuter railroad in 1906, Cherrydale moved away from its origins as an agricultural area and embraced residential and commercial growth. Through the mid-1950’s, large tracts of land were subdivided into residential developments. Cherrydale’s commercial corridor is generally grew along Lee Highway.

The Cherrydale Historic District includes 887 properties; 829 single-family homes, 27 multi-unit properties, four churches, a school, 22 commercial buildings, two service stations, a fire station and a meeting hall. Examples of historic Cherrydale properties are the Volunteer Fire House and Fraber House.

In 1898, The Cherrydale Volunteer Fire Department was organized by twelve men. It is the oldest volunteer fire department in Arlington County. One of the oldest commercial buildings in Cherrydale is the Volunteer Fire House, c. 1919. The fire house was built one brick at a time. In order to fund its construction, citizens purchased bricks. President and Mrs. Wilson each purchased a brick during the fund-raising effort. The second floor hall of the Cherrydale Fire House served as the site of the county’s first movie theater. Still owned by the Cherrydale Volunteer Fire Department, the fire station continues to be a valuable community resource.

Another historic site in Cherrydale is the Fraber House, a classic example of an early-20th Century Cherrydale bungalow. Among the neighborhood’s earliest bungalows, Fraber House still retains its original building footprint, windows and doors, and interior layout and detailing. The three-parcel property remained in the Fraber family until the County purchased it in July 2002. In Nov. 2013, the County sold the corner house parcel and it is once again in private ownership. The other two adjacent parcels are part of Oakgrove Park. The house was originally sited just a few yards from the Bluemont Branch of the Washington and Old Dominion (W&OD) Railroad, which opened in 1912 and now follows the route of Interstate 66.

There are approximately 1225 residences in Cherrydale, the majority of which are owner-occupied. Architectural styles in Cherrydale include Bungalow, Craftsman, Colonial Revival, Victorian, Queen Anne, Cape Cod, Italianate, Gothic Revival, Art Deco, Tudor Revival, Classical Revival, and occasional Spanish Revival, and Moderne. A number of Sears Kit homes were built in Cherrydale, as well as at least one porcelain-enamel Lustron home.

Cherrydale’s earliest homes date from the late 19th century to the 1910s and feature late Victorian-era details like multi-gabled roofs, wrap-around porches, stained glass windows and projecting bays. Most are wood frame construction, though a few “concrete” homes exist. Poured and block foundations and some structural systems were common in the neighborhood by the 1920s. Conveniently, concrete aggregate and blocks were manufactured locally at the Cherrydale Cement Block Company.

Queen Anne style came into vogue in Cherrydale during the 1870s and remained popular until the very early 1900’s. Most Cherrydale Queen Annes are constructed on brick foundations with wood-frame structures, accentuated by corner towers, porches, and bay windows, accented with columns, balustrades and patterned shingles.

Colonial Revival style showed up in Cherrydale during the early 1880s. The majority were constructed on brick or concrete foundations with masonry or wood-frame structures.

The bungalow was one of the most common home styles in Cherrydale, especially prevalent during the 1910’s to 1920’s. These were typically prefabricated kit or mail-order houses available through Sears, Roebuck and Company and others. Kit houses gained popularity nationally in the mid-1890s. Since Cherrydale was ideally located near multiple Washington and Old Dominion Railway stops, delivery was easy and relatively inexpensive.

Cherrydale’s Colonial Revivals tend to be slightly smaller than those in neighboring communities, and feature less ornamentation. This is a trait of mass-produced homes designed to meet the growing demand in the DCMA during the 1930s and ’40s. This is also true of Cape Cod designs of the same period.

Cherrydale amenities include Cherry Valley Park, Stratford Park, Cherrydale Park, Oakgrove Park and 18th St N and N Lincoln St Park. The neighborhood is prized for its charming architecture, home values and proximity to Virginia Square and Ballston Metro.