Nestled along the shores of Virginia’s colonial era, Rosslyn has a captivating history that continues to shape its present-day allure. Originally home to Awbrey’s ferry, a vital transportation link to Georgetown, Rosslyn gradually grew into a thriving community behind its picturesque shoreline. The name Ross Lynn was derived from a local farm owned by William and Carolyn Ross, who played a significant role in the area’s development.
In the early 1970s, Rosslyn found itself at the center of the infamous Watergate scandal. It was within the depths of an underground parking garage at 1401 Wilson Boulevard where “Deep Throat” (W. Mark Felt) clandestinely shared crucial information with Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward, unraveling one of the most significant political scandals in American history.
Rosslyn’s appeal extends beyond its historical intrigue. The Marine Corps War Memorial, a prominent landmark in the area, draws over a million visitors each year. Among the notable attractions at the memorial are the Sunset Parades performed by the United States Marine Drum and Bugle Corps and the Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon. These mesmerizing displays, held on summer Tuesday evenings, captivate audiences with their precision and military artistry. Additionally, Rosslyn is a prime destination for 4th of July celebrations, as crowds gather at the Memorial to witness the dazzling national fireworks display.
Adjacent to the Marine Corps War Memorial stands the magnificent Netherlands Carillon. This breathtaking structure houses a collection of 50 bells, nestled within a 12-story tower that overlooks Arlington National Cemetery and the War Memorial. The Netherlands Carillon serves as a heartfelt gift from the Netherlands to the United States, expressing gratitude for the support received during World War II. With concerts played on the carillon’s bells during the summer months, visitors are treated to enchanting melodies emanating from a keyboard located within the tower. Open to the public on select occasions, the tower offers panoramic views of Washington, D.C.’s iconic national monuments, the Marine Corps War Memorial, and the hallowed grounds of Arlington National Cemetery. Each spring, the carillon’s surroundings burst to life with vibrant tulips, imported all the way from the Netherlands.
Rosslyn’s significance as a transportation hub cannot be overstated. It is a bustling intersection that brings together several major routes, including U.S. Route 29 (Frances Scott Key Bridge and Lee Highway), Virginia State Route 110 (Richmond Highway), the George Washington Memorial Parkway, and I-66 (Custis Memorial Parkway). U.S. Route 50 (Arlington Boulevard) seamlessly connects with these routes in and around Rosslyn. The area is well-served by the Washington Metro, with the Rosslyn Metro station servicing the Blue, Orange, and Silver Lines, ensuring convenient access to the wider region.
Whether you’re captivated by its historical significance, awe-inspiring landmarks, or its pivotal role as a transportation nexus, Rosslyn beckons visitors with a tapestry of experiences. From its colonial roots to its modern-day vibrancy, this remarkable neighborhood in Virginia continues to enchant and inspire all who venture within its bounds.
Living In Rosslyn, Arlington Virginia
From a studio condo for $115,000 at The Riverplace Complex to a $2,625,000 3 bedroom 3.5 bathroom condo at The Waterview, there is a broad range of pricing, but generally only condominiums with a handful of luxury townhome communities. The few single family homes are located north of Rosslyn proper and sell rarely.
There is an ‘elephant in the room’ that should be discussed – Riverplace, a large four co-op complex built over 70 years ago. In conversations, phrases like “oasis of affordability,” “jewel of Rosslyn,” “prime location,” and “views that… can’t be beat in the market” get tossed around with regularity. But what makes River Place truly unique is that it is on borrowed time, with a land lease that expires in 2052. Negotiations have been ongoing for several years, but now that the 30 year term for a standard mortgage has passed financing is more difficult. Cash buyers can still buy a good deal on a condo unit for rental purposes, but in just under 30 years, what happens to your investment? No one knows for sure.
The large number of luxury condominium buildings being currently built is a reminder that Rosslyn is a place where power people live, work, and play. The Key, currently under construction and expected to be completed in 2024, is one of six major construction projects in the area.
1900 Ft Myer Dr – Former Holiday Inn
Dittmar Company – Under Construction
Off the beaten path…
In the middle of Rosslyn you may see some large, concrete balls. No, these are not proof of alien life taking over DC! This is an art installation that celebrates the founding of Rosslyn.
Artist: Nancy Holt
Materials: Gunite (air-placed concrete), earth, sod, gro-low sumac, willow oak, stone dust, stone masonry, asphalt, steel, water
Installed: 1984 (restored 2002)
Encompassing landscape architecture, sculpture, and astronomy, Dark Star Park by Nancy Holt (1938-2014) is among the first major examples of “integrated public art” that is inseparable from its setting and creates a total environment to be experienced. The work also refers to the area’s history. Each year, on August 1st, at 9:32a.m., actual shadows cast by the poles and spheres align with permanent forms in the shape of the shadows on the ground beneath them. The date marks the day that William Henry Ross purchased the land that later became Rosslyn.