Where is it? In May, I covered one of the southern-most neighborhoods in Arlington, Claremont; so this month we’re taking a look at Arlington’s northern-most neighborhood, Arlingwood, located in the northern corner of Arlington bordered by N Glebe Rd to the south/southwest and the GW Parkway to the east and north, although some consider homes north of the parkway along the Potomac on Chain Bridge Rd to be the “Greater” Arlingwood neighborhood as well. It’s a fantastic location for active lifestyles and nature lovers, with quick access via walking/biking trails to the Potomac River (Potomac Heritage Trail on the Virginia side and Towpath/Capital Crescent Trail on the DC side) and Chain Bridge. Interestingly, the area is primarily made up of homes along N Richmond St and N Randolph St, which form a two-way loop around the neighborhood and seamlessly connect/transition into one another at the bottom of a big hill.
About the interviewee: Ronnie Precup raised three children in a 1956 ranch-style Arlingwood home, which she and her husband bought in December 1971 for $60,500(!). She recalls the location and access to North Arlington public schools were the primary reasons they decided on a home in Arlington, even though it was a bit more than they planned to spend at the time. Having recently retired as Editor-in-Chief for the Association of Clinical Research Professionals, she decided that she’ll remain in her home for a long time to come, so she’s made some beautiful updates throughout the home, including the kitchen, bedrooms, and basement!
Can you tell me a bit about your neighborhood? It’s so wonderful, I want to stay here forever! Although it’s car-dependent here, there are constantly joggers and serious bikers coming through the neighborhood to reach various trails nearby. Nearly everybody has pets, so neighbors are constantly out walking their dogs, providing a very friendly atmosphere. We also have a very active neighborhood website where people discuss local issues and exchange or sell household items, and kids offer their services to mow lawns, shovel driveways, etc. There are a lot of families here, but mostly with schooled-aged children; I don’t see a lot of strollers. The families love the annual Halloween party!
What’s changed in the last 40+ years? Increased density for sure as larger, new homes replace older homes like mine, and they’ve even cleared large wooded areas to add more new homes. I don’t blame them and like to see new families moving in, but I hope that the density increase is limited and they don’t remove any more trees to expand the neighborhood, although I could see them expanding to the west towards Chain Bridge Forest.
What’s been your experience with the public schools? Great! Our kids went to Jamestown Elementary and Williamsburg Middle School, although we decided to send them to Bishop O’Connell for high school. My granddaughter just graduated from Williamsburg this year and loved it!
What about public transportation for the neighborhood? It’s definitely a car-dependent area of the county, although there’s an ART bus stop just up the street that takes you to the metro.
Favorite restaurants? I love Peter Chang and Metro 29 Diner off of Lee Highway, of course Lost Dog Café, and I have a soft spot for Bon Chon! If you go to Metro 29 Diner, I highly recommend splitting the meals and saving room for dessert.
Anything else? I’m not sure how many people have noticed it, but I’ve always found it curious that there’s a plaque on a rock up the road by the Madison Community Center that references the Civil War as the “War of Northern Aggression.” I notice it every time I walk by and wonder how it’s never been changed or removed.
Thank you very much for the great interview Ronnie! And for being an Arlingwood resident and ambassador for 45 years with no plans of moving any time soon.