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Old Dominion is a predominantly residential section of North Arlington, bordered on the north by 26th Street, on the east by North Wakefield, on the south by Lee Highway, and on the west by North Columbus Street. Old Dominion’s commercial center is located along Lee Highway.
The 90-acre neighborhood known as Livingstone Heights developed as a streetcar suburb of Washington, D.C., platted in 1906 with the introduction of The Great Falls and Old Dominion railroad (later W&OD Railway). The line ran from Rosslyn through Livingstone Heights to Great Falls. There were two stations in Livingstone Heights; Lyonhurst (present-day Old Dominion Drive and 25th Street), and Livingstone Heights (now Old Dominion Drive and 24th Street). The subdivision was created by the Washington and Virginia Real Estate Company, whose president was Colin H. Livingstone, secretary of the Interstate Commerce Committee of the U.S. Senate. Livingstone promoted the subdivision as a “rich man’s suburb” and intended to restrict the residents “to a wealthy class of people,” and to make it as exclusive as possible. Its neighbor to the northeast, 14-acre Lyonhurst, was platted by the Lyon family at the same time and described as “less pretentious.”
Both subdivisions benefitted from the addition of the Washington Country Club, built on 75 acres in 1908.
Livingstone Heights was later divided into Marshall Heights and part of Lee Heights on the east side of Glebe Road, and Livingstone Heights and part of Lee Heights on the west side of Glebe Road. At some point in time, the area simply became known as “Old Dominion.”
The construction boom of the 1940’s through the 1950’s resulted in a wide variety of neighborhood architectural styles, ranging from Queen Anne, Tudor Revival, Bungalow/Craftsman, Colonial Revival, Cape Cod, Minimal Traditional, Spilt-Level, Ranch and farmhouse, to catalog houses. These include a number of Sears houses, at least one Montgomery Wards kit, and a Lewis house. Sears models include an Avalon, a Walton, a Sunbeam, a Hathaway, a Saratoga, and a Kilbourne. Builders includes W.E. Morgan and Son, Florence Realty, Dittmar Company, E.B. Garber, Harry J. Gold, J.L. Douglas, Rosen and Company, Inc., and Adelmen, Kramer, and Wolf. Broyhill and Company.
The W&OD Railway fell into bankruptcy in 1932 due to the Great Depression and abandoned operations on the Great Falls Division between Thrifton Junction and Great Falls in 1934 and the route became Old Dominion Drive.