Shirlington and Fairlington are two neighborhoods located in south Arlington, which means they are below the dividing line of Rt 50. These two areas are very similar, just located on opposite sides of I-395 halfway between Arlington and Alexandria. They are very sought after by both renters and buyers, with the great shopping, restaurants, community amenities, and parks Arlington County is known for.
Shirlington is the heart and soul of arts and entertainment in south Arlington – home to the Tony Award-winning Signature Theatre company, WETA and more. It features several townhouse communities, high-rise apartments and other residential units, along with a lively pedestrian promenade, popular cafes and plenty of restaurants and shops. All of this is within easy access to Washington, D.C., Crystal City, the Pentagon and Washington National Airport via trails along Four Mile Run stream and bus service from Shirlington Bus Station.
The combination of dining, arts and entertainment make this a popular destination for visitors from throughout the metropolitan region. Residents also enjoy a beautiful setting with several parks, a dog park, a cinema and the Shirlington Public Library.
Fairlington is more densely residential than Shirlington. At the time of the United States entry into World War II in December 1941, the Defense Homes Corporation had purchased most of the area. The corporation was created by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1940 through the allocation of emergency funding and, by February 1942, it had assembled 322 acres for construction of housing for civilian and military defense personnel to be called Seminary Heights. The site was only 2+1⁄2 miles (4.0 km) from the Pentagon which had begun construction in August 1941. By the late 1960s, Fairlington’s owners, now Hartford Insurance, considered razing the apartments and constructing high-rise apartment buildings. Instead, it decided to convert the existing structures to condominium apartments in 1972. Virginia had only recently permitted condominium development and Fairlington was the largest scale project ever undertaken to that date. Now, the neighborhood consists of primarily of a mix of townhouse and apartments built in the 1940s and converted to Condominiums. Fairlington is listed on both the National Register of Historic Places and on the Virginia Landmarks Register.
The two sections are very similar in terms of their style, materials, and detailing. Most buildings have a Colonial Revival style. They vary in height from 1½ to three stories. The walls are primarily made of brick, although a few of the 1½-story buildings have cut stone walls and steeply pitched gable roofs. The windows have six-over-six double-hung sash design. The exterior doors are paneled, with or without windows. The front entrances are covered by porches or stoops. The one-story porches have hipped, shed, or gable roofs supported by wooden Tuscan or Doric columns, square or turned wooden posts, or brick piers. The front entrance stoops are often protected by bracketed canopies. Many buildings have chimneys made of brick, but they are not functional.Housing Opportunities in Shirlington and Fairlington
Within and around the village center in Shirlington and throughout Fairlington, new residents can choose from townhouse and apartment-style communities, each governed by homeowner associations, and a handful of apartment rental communities. There are no single-family detached homes in the Shirlington neighborhood, but plenty in the adjacent neighborhoods of Green Valley, Claremont, and Douglas Park.
Condominiums in Shirlington:
- The Arlington
- Shirlington Village Condominiums
- Courtbridge I
- Courtbridge II
- Windgate I
- Windgate II
- Windgate III
Fairlington Condominium Associations
- Fairlington Arbor
- Fairlington Commons
- Fairlington Glen
- Fairlington Green
- Fairlington Meadows
- Fairlington Mews
- Fairlington Villages
The Housing Market in 2023
The first half of 2023 had 126 home sales close in Shirlington and Fairlington. This ranges from a 2-bed, 1 bath condo on Buchanan St for $264,000 to $757,000 for a 3 bed-2 bath townhome. There are no single family homes in these areas.
Living in Shirlington and Fairlington
Shirlington Park is the closest park for most of our Shirlington residents. This narrow, 11.5- acre streamside park is shaded by mature trees on either side of the multi-use trail and offers exercise stations, a few open grassy areas, and great views of Four Mile Run.
The Four Mile Run Trail is the backbone of Shirlington Park. This trail runs from Falls Church to the Mount Vernon Trail-near Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. It connects to the Bluemont Junction, W&OD, and Lucky Run Trails. Jennie Dean Park, which is nearing the end of a major overhaul, is located across the stream in the Green Valley neighborhood. The park’s name honors Jennie Serepta Dean (1848–1913), founder of the Manassas Industrial School for Colored Youth. The new design includes historic interpretation elements about the role this park played in the history of Green Valley. Allie Freed Park is a five-acre forested park adjoining the Windgate I townhouse community. It is adjacent to Barcroft Park, borders the Four Mile Run Stream, and connects with Lucky Run Trail and Four Mile Run Trail.
Dogs in the area? YES PLEASE!
Our neighborhoods boasts a number of dog-related services.
• Shirlington Animal Hospital
• Dogma Bakery (full of pet supplies, food, and offering grooming).
• The Muddy Mutt offering grooming and self-wash tubs
• Wag More Dogs offering grooming and pet supplies
• Board Hound providing day care, boarding, and training
• Fur-Get-Me-Not offering day care and training