Fairlington is an unincorporated neighborhood in Arlington County, Virginia, United States, located adjacent to Shirlington in the southernmost part of the county on the boundary with the City of Alexandria. The main thoroughfares are Interstate 395 (Shirley Highway) which divides the neighborhood into North and South Fairlington, State Route 7 (King Street) and State Route 402 (Quaker Lane).
The neighborhood is wooded and sits on heights overlooking the Four Mile Run valley. It is bisected by I-395 into North and South Fairlington connected by the Fairlington Bridge (South Abingdon Street).
The neighborhood consists almost entirely of townhouse-type condominium apartments built in the 1940s as the largest housing project financed by the Defense Homes Corporation during World War II. Fairlington is listed on both the National Register of Historic Places and on the Virginia Landmarks Register.
Fairlington is organized into seven, independent condominium associations sometimes called villages including Fairlington Arbor, Fairlington Commons, Fairlington Glen, Fairlington Green, Fairlington Meadows, and Fairlington Mews, all in South Fairlington, and Fairlington Villages in North Fairlington. There is a single civic association, the Fairlington Citizens Association, representing the community in local affairs and the Fairlington Historical Society promotes historical preservation.
Fairlington’s streets are all of two lanes and they are neither on a grid with uniform city blocks nor in the suburban cul-de-sac style found in most American suburbs but are slightly winding and usually separated by the equivalent of two or more city blocks. Fairlington’s apartment units are grouped in “courts,” usually three or four separate buildings of around 40-50 total units facing a parking lot (carpark). Most units are three levels (upstairs, ground level and basement) with front and back doors. Some units are two or three story walk-ups with units on a single floor. Prior to the condominium conversions, back doors opened to common areas with connecting sidewalks leading to back porches. Post-conversions, most units have a small courtyard off the back door, surrounded by a wooden fence. The common areas between the courts contain open areas for recreation. Originally the common areas included playgrounds and wading pools. The latter consisted of flat concrete squares with short concrete sides and a sprinkler in the center. These provided cooling and recreation in the summer when air conditioning was not widely available. With the conversion to condominiums, tennis, basketball courts,playgrounds, and swimming facilities replaced the original playgrounds and wading pools. Prior to the condominium conversions, each building had a common basement area, which could be reached from the basement of apartments which had basements, or from a stairway in buildings containing single-floor apartments. The common basement contained trashrooms and laundry facilities. Buildings with single-floor apartments also had storage units in the common basements. With the condominium conversions, the common areas were divided to become part of the basement areas of individual condominiums. Sidewalks (pavements) along the streets and in the common areas connect the neighborhood. Each condominium association in South Fairlington consists of around 15 courts.
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