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Crystal City Metro Stop - Blue & Yellow Lines - 1750 S. Clark St., Arlington, VA

  
Crystal City is a side platformed Washington Metro station in the Crystal City neighborhood of Arlington, Virginia, United States. The station was opened on July 1, 1977, and is operated by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA). Providing service for both the Blue and Yellow Lines, the station is located on 18th Street in between the Jefferson Davis Memorial Highway and South Bell Street. The station is also accessible from the underground network of shopping centers and restaurants extending beneath Crystal City.

Photo: Metrobus stopHistory

The station opened on July 1, 1977. Its opening coincided with the completion of 11.8 miles (19.0 km) of rail between National Airport and RFK Stadium and the opening of the Arlington Cemetery, Capitol South, Eastern Market, Farragut West,Federal Center SW, Federal Triangle, Foggy Bottom–GWU, L'Enfant Plaza, McPherson Square, National Airport, Pentagon, Pentagon City, Potomac Avenue, Rosslyn, Smithsonian and Stadium–Armory stations.

Since summer 1992, Virginia Railway Express has a nearby station with the same name on Crystal Drive.

Crystal City is an urban neighborhood in the southeastern corner of Arlington County, Virginia, south of downtown Washington, D.C.. Its residents can live, shop, and work without going outside, due to its extensive integration of office buildings and residential high-rise buildings using underground corridors. Thus, a large part of Crystal City is an underground city. It includes offices of numerous defense contractors, the United States Department of Labor, the United States Marshals Service, the EPA and many satellite offices for The Pentagon.

Photo: outdoor sculpture

Location

Crystal City is centered along a stretch of Jefferson Davis Highway (U.S. 1), just south of The Pentagon, just east of Pentagon City, and within walking distance to the west of Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. Characterized as one of many "urban villages" by Arlington County, Crystal City is almost exclusively populated by high-rise apartment buildings, corporate offices, hotels, and numerous shops and restaurants. There is also an extensive network of underground shopping areas and connecting corridors beneath Crystal City.

Crystal City has a station on the Washington Metro Blue and Yellow Lines, and another on the Virginia Railway Express commuter train system.

History

Prior to development by the Charles E. Smith Co., the area was mostly composed of industrial sites, junkyards, and low rent motels. The RF & P railroad tracks were also moved closer to National Airport to accommodate more space for development.

Though it is not actually a planned community, it unfolded in much that fashion after construction began on the first few condominiums and office buildings in 1963. The name "Crystal City" came from the first building, which was called Crystal House and had an elaborate crystal chandelier in the lobby. Every subsequent building took on the Crystal name (i.e., Crystal Gateway, Crystal Towers), and eventually the whole neighborhood. Crystal City is largely integrated in layout and extensive landscaping, as well as the style and materials of the high rise buildings, most of which have a speckled granite exterior.

Crystal City's Crystal Underground shopping mall opened in September 1976. Billed as a "turn-of-the-century shopping village," it featured antique leaded glass shop windows and cobblestone "streets." Emphasis was on locally owned and operated businesses and personalized service. The largest retail outlets were a 12,000-square-foot (1,100 m2) Jelleff's women's store, Larimers gourmet grocery and delicatessen, and a Drug Fair. The mall also featured an "Antique Alley" with small antique and craft stores. At opening there were 40 stores, with an anticipated expansion of 150,000 square feet (14,000 m2) with 70 more shops including the Crystal Palace food court.

On June 26, 2004, the Crystal City area underwent a number of changes. Many buildings' addresses were changed on this date, several major roads were turned into two-way streets, and many of the markings for the traditional building names (e.g., "Crystal Gateway 1") were removed. As a result, local residents may refer to building names that are difficult for visitors to find.

Layout

The layout of Crystal City was considered avant-garde at the time of construction, with superblocks bounded by arterial and circulating roads, and with pedestrian traffic and the businesses serving it relocated from the streets to the pedestrian tunnels. However, Crystal City has been redesigned to give it a more traditional, urban feel, with restaurants at street level, and with traffic patterns changed to make streets like Crystal Drive function as city streets, rather than as circulating roads.

As a consequence of Crystal City's extensive integration with both office buildings and residential high-rise buildings, it is possible for most residents living to the east of Route 1 to traverse from one end to the other (roughly north-south), performing any shopping or dining along the way, entirely underground, thus making a large part of Crystal City an underground city. This is of particular importance during inclement weather.

Economy

Crystal City presently has over 6,000 residents, while around 60,000 come to work there every weekday. It was home to the United States Patent and Trademark Office until mid-2005, when the PTO moved to nearby Alexandria. It also has offices of numerous defense contractors, the United States Department of Labor, the EPA and many satellite offices for The Pentagon, which is currently being renovated.

Brown metal and glass building, curved at the center and angled at the sides/
Crystal Park Four, former headquarters in Crystal City, Arlington County.

At one time US Airways had its headquarters in Crystal Park Four in Crystal City. After US Airways merged with America West Airlines in 2005, the combined company closed the Virginia headquarters and moved the management to Tempe, Arizona.




Crystal City is a fascinating complex of office buildings, residential high-rises, boutiques, shops, cafes, and restaurants, all near the Crystal City Metro station. Many of the buildings around the Metro station are linked not only by tree-lined streets above ground, but also by an extensive underground system of corridors and walkways, lined with shops, eateries, and services.

Crystal City has over 4,600 hotel rooms to accommodate visitors, all of which have easy access to Washington, D.C. and Reagan National Airport. But more important to the thousands of people who live and work here, Crystal City is very convenient for everyday necessities as well. Pharmacies, banks, doctor and dentist's offices, a post office and supermarkets are all part of the amenities that Crystal City citizens can find close to home. There are even three universities offering professional and advanced degrees through night classes and other programs. The two Metrorail lines, Metrobus service, and major bike trails make it an ideal location for commuters, too. And Crystal City was the first Arlington neighborhood to be included in the regional Capital Bikeshare program.

Crystal City continues to grow every day. Potomac Yard is a new development being built on the site of a former rail yard. Apartment and condominium buildings and a Harris Teeter grocery store are already open, and much more retail and office space are soon to come. The new 220 Apartments on Crystal Drive are promising residents a higher perspective of Crystal City.

Relaxation and fun have their place here too – the Crystal City Water Park is one of several outdoor lunch spots, and regularly offers summer concerts both during lunch and evenings. Many of the public plazas offer free wireless Internet for the residents, workers and visitors to enjoy. Public volleyball and basketball courts complement two Sport and Health clubs for those looking to stay in shape, and a short bike/pedestrian connector trail leads to the 18.5-mile Mt. Vernon Trail. Many of the D.C. area’s favorite restaurants are located here and provide not only great food, but also captivating views of Washington. There is also the historic Restaurant Row on 23rd Street providing a variety of cuisines and an active nightlife.

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Jayson Wingfield,
Jul 14, 2013, 9:47 PM