Straddling I-66 just outside the Washington Beltway, the Dunn Loring/Merrifield area originally grew around a small rail station in the late 1880’s. The founding of Camp Alger, home to the U.S. Second Army during the Spanish-American War, brought significant – and short-term – growth to the area. 20,000 troops were trained there, even though Camp Alger was only operational for 6 months. Among the troops stationed there was noted poet Carl Sandburg, and there is a tree-lined street in the community named in his honor.
By the end of World War II, the area became part of the growing suburbs of Washington, DC, and by 2000 was home to about 20,000 people in 7,000 households.
Quality of Life
Over the last decade, the area has transformed from a somewhat sleepy suburban community with a mixed bag of housing, small office and light industrial space to a vibrant residential, commercial and retail hub. The heart of the area is the Mosaic District, an energetic town center that has everything from major national and local retailers and restaurants to the Angelika Film Center, a state-of-the-art boutique cinema. Community events include a Sunday morning Farm Market, storytelling for kids in Strawberry Park and the Mosaic Yards, a community art project. Housing choices range from exciting new apartment and townhome communities that are unlike anything else in Northern Virginia, to established neighborhoods of single-family homes. All of this is within easy walking distance to the Dunn Loring Metro station.
Tysons Corner is just a couple of miles to the north, and to the south is the Inova Fairfax Hospital complex, one of the top hospitals in the country. And Inova is expanding its presence with the soon-to-open, world-class medical research facility on a 117-acre campus. Focusing on genomics and personalized medicine, this will attract some of the brightest minds in medicine and science to Northern Virginia.
The Dunn Loring/Merrifield area is a perfect example of what well-planned redevelopment can do to help create an exciting, walkable community that is convenient to major employment centers, top-notch health care and transit.
The area is blessed with convenient access to the Metrorail system and major commuting arties. The Dunn Loring Merrifield Metro Station is the first stop on the Orange Line outside the Beltway. The Beltway borders the area to the east, and I-66 runs through the area parallel to Metro’s Orange Line. Route 50 (Arlington Boulevard) and Route 29 (Lee Highway) are major east-west roads.
Washington Dulles International Airport: 16 miles; about 25 minutes by car Ronald Reagan National Airport: 16 miles; about 25 minutes by car and 45 minutes by Metro Baltimore Washington International Airport: 48 miles; about an hour by car.