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Rosslyn Metro Stop - Orange Line - 1850 N. Moore St., Arlington, VA 22209

Rosslyn  is an unincorporated area in Northern Virginia located in the northeastern corner of Arlington County, Virginia, north of Arlington National Cemetery and directly across the Potomac River from Georgetown in Washington, D.C. Rosslyn encompasses the Arlington neighborhoods of North Rosslyn and Radnor/Ft. Myer Heights. Characterized as one of several "urban villages" by the County, the numerous skyscrapers in the dense business section of Rosslyn make its appearance in some ways more urban than nearby Washington.

The local TV station affiliate of ABC in the Washington, D.C. area WJLA-TV "ABC 7" is located in Rosslyn at 1100 Wilson Boulevard.The Art Institute of Washington is located at 1820 North Fort Myer Drive. The United States Marine Corps War Memorial, also known as the Iwo Jima Memorial, is located in Rosslyn adjacent to Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington Boulevard (U.S. Route 50), and Fort Myer. On the grounds of the Memorial, and offering views of the Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument, and United States Capitol, is the Netherlands Carillon. Freedom Park, opened in 1996, offers seating and views of Washington DC.

Rosslyn station showing upper level platform pylons.jpg

Photo: Rosslyn Metro stationRosslyn is at the eastern end of the Wilson Boulevard-Clarendon Boulevard corridor, which was named one of 10 "Great Streets" in the U.S. by the American Planning Association in 2008. Traveling east on Metrorail's Orange Line, Rosslyn is the last stop before entering Washington, D.C., and this urban village really has an urban feel. Skyscrapers here are the tallest in Arlington, bested only by the Washington Monument across the river. Offices of nationally-known companies like Boeing make Rosslyn an important business destination, and the legions of suited employees on the streets at rush hour attest to the area's commercial vibrancy.

Rosslyn is also a key tourist destination, serving as a base for many visitors to the Washington, D.C. area. The presence of major hotel chains such as Marriott and Hyatt welcome and accommodate tourists, whether they're here to check out the sites in Arlington, the museums across the river, or just enjoy Rosslyn's amazing view of the capital of the free world.

Photo: public sculpture in RosslynIn addition to being Arlington's closest urban village to the Potomac River and the District, Rosslyn itself offers some of the nicer perks of city life. Sculpture by noteworthy artists are nestled among the towering buildings, and the Rosslyn Spectrum Theatre (which doubles as a conference center by day) provides area fun-seekers with cabaret concerts by Broadway performers, an annual independent film festival, and everything in between. The Artisphere arts center offers something for everyone from performance areas and art galleries, to a ballroom and a restaurant. Rosslyn also is home to an annual jazz festival each September, featuring nationally known artists.

Culture isn't the only thing on the rise in Rosslyn, as more nightlife is finding its way into the mix of commercial and cityscape. Area bars and restaurants provide fun local alternatives to better-known hotspots across the river. But, DC neighborhoods can easily be reached by the extensive public transportation in the area, including the DC Circulator, Metrorail and Metrobus service. The regional Capital Bikeshare programs has stations in Rosslyn making for an easy bike ride into D.C. or around Arlington.

It makes perfect sense then, that with the increased culture, nightlife, and accessibility, Rosslyn is also becoming more and more attractive as a place to call home, too. Apartment buildings like the Dakota condominiums and the Gallery at Rosslyn are two of the finer examples of urban living in Rosslyn. Not content with being a great area to work, play, and shop, Rosslyn is also showing itself as a great place to live.

History

 
The silver Rosslyn twin towers as seen behind The Pentagon.

In Virginia's colonial period, Rosslyn's shoreline contained a landing for Awbrey's ferry, which transported travelers to and from Georgetown. A community that gradually developed behind the shore became known as Ross Lynn, the name of a local farm owned by William and Carolyn Ross. During the 1830s and 1840s, the Aqueduct Bridge was constructed between Georgetown and Rosslyn. When completed in 1843, this bridge carried the Alexandria Canal, which transported canal boats from the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal in Georgetown to the downstream port of Alexandria, Virginia.

Following the American Civil War in the 1860s, a lawless community developed at the base of the bridge. Known primarily for its gambling halls, pawnshops, saloons, brothels and unsavory inhabitants, the community failed to attract much development other than a large brewery, which became a Cherry Crush soft drink bottling plant after Prohibition went into effect. Eventually, spurred by the real estate potential that the arrival of electric trolleys in the 1890s inspired, developers and reformers ousted Rosslyn's more unsavory elements in the early 20th century. Nevertheless, Rosslyn remained primarily known for its pawnshops and used car dealerships for many years. The Aqueduct Bridge connecting Rosslyn to Georgetown was replaced by the Francis Scott Key Memorial Bridge in 1923.

 
Waterview tower.
 
1801 North Lynn Street, an Energy StarCertified office building, completed in 2001.

In 1964, the Theodore Roosevelt Bridge opened to carry Interstate 66 (I-66) between Washington, D.C., and Rosslyn. Soon afterwards, a development boom in the 1960s began to revitalize Rosslyn with the construction of a large number of high-rise office buildings and hotels in its center and a smaller number of residential buildings on its outskirts. Arlington County widened Rosslyn's major streets to accommodate the increased motor vehicle traffic that this new development would bring. A skywalk system carried pedestrian traffic over these widened streets. While planners expected retail establishments to develop along the skywalks, few such establishments actually opened. As a result, the skywalk system attracted few pedestrians. The Arlington County government has since announced plans to dismantle some or all of the bridges that carry the skywalks over Rosslyn's broad streets.

During the Watergate scandal of the early 1970s, "Deep Throat" (W. Mark Felt) passed information to Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward in the middle of the night in an underground parking garage at 1401 Wilson Boulevard in Rosslyn.

In 1977, Metrorail's Blue Line reached Rosslyn. In subsequent years, the Blue Line and the Orange Line were extended from an underground junction near the Rosslyn station to serve Northern Virginia's suburbs. In the early 1980s, I-66 was extended through Rosslyn to reach the Capital Beltway. The extensions of Metrorail and I-66 attracted additional high-rise development to Rosslyn.

In 2003, the Virginia Baseball Stadium Authority attempted to attract the relocating Montréal Expos to Northern Virginia by proposing three Arlington County locations for a new baseball stadium. Two sites were in the urban village of Pentagon City; the third was a site in the southeastern corner of Rosslyn that was already occupied by four cooperative buildings, formerly the historic Arlington Towers, which were the first high-rise towers in Arlington County, now known as River Place.  The issue proved highly divisive, and Virginia's bid failed when Virginia Governor Mark Warner ruled out state financing for stadium construction. The Expos moved to D.C. after the 2004 season to become theWashington Nationals, with a new stadium built in southeast Washington.

Economy

The original corporate headquarters of the USA Today newspaper, owned by the Gannett Company, was located in Rosslyn. Both the company and the newspaper occupied two high-rise silver-colored towers, built in the early 1980s, which adjoin each other at 1100 Wilson Boulevard. Gannett did not own these buildings, and moved from their original home to a new campus in Fairfax County, Virginia in 2002. In the same year, the ABC-affiliated Channel 7 news station for Washington, D.C. (WJLA-TV) moved into the space in Rosslyn previously occupied by USA Today.

As of 2010, Rosslyn has 8,100,000 square feet (750,000 m2) of office space and 6,365 housing units. Some of the tallest condominium buildings in the Washington metropolitan area are located in Rosslyn, including Waterview tower, River Place, and Turnberry tower.

Annual cultural events

The Arlington County Government operates the 367-seat Rosslyn Spectrum Theater.  Five annual film festivals are held in Rosslyn. The Washington DC Independent Film Festival runs for nearly two weeks in March showing independent films from around the world in various locations in and around Washington, DC. In 2011 Rosslyn hosted over 30 film screenings as well as classes, seminars and workshops led by industry professionals. The Annual NoVa International Jewish Film Festival is held each spring in Rosslyn and other Virginia locations. The Rosslyn Outdoor Film Festival runs in the spring and summer months showing popular films for free in Gateway Park Friday evenings at dusk.  Slapsticon is a four day film festival in July that features silent films, occasionally accompanied by live musicians, as well as early films with audio tracks.  The Rosebud Film & Video Festival is an all day event in November that features original works by regional film and video makers.  The Rosslyn Jazz Festival, started in 1991, attracted 10,000 attendees in 2006. The annual US FreedomWalk Festival, started in 2000, draws walkers from around the world each Fall for a weekend of walks in Rosslyn and nearby areas.

Museums and other points of interest

The Marine Corps War Memorial in Rosslyn is visited by over 1 million annually.  Among these visitors are audiences for the Sunset Parades performed Tuesday evenings during the summer months by the United States Marine Drum and Bugle Corps with the Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon.  Crowds also gather at the Memorial on the 4th of July to watch the national fireworks display.

The Netherlands Carillon in Rosslyn is a set of 50 bells housed in a 12 story tower between Arlington Cemetery and the Marine Corps War Memorial. The carillon is a gift from the Netherlands to the USA in recognition of support received during World War II. Originally installed with 49 bells, a 50th was added by the Netherlands in 1995 on the 50th anniversary of the liberation of the Netherlands. Each spring the grounds are planted with thousands of tulips imported from the Netherlands. During the summer months carilloneurs play concerts on the bells using a keyboard located in the tower. The tower is occasionally open to the public and offers views of the national monuments in Washington, DC, the Marine corps War Memorial and Arlington Cemetery.

Transportation

 
The escalator to street level at the Rosslyn Metro station is the third longest continuous span escalator in the world.

Rosslyn is a transportation hub for the subway and highway systems. It contains the intersection of U.S. Route 29 (Frances Scott Key Bridge and Lee Highway), Virginia State Route 110 (Jefferson Davis Highway), the George Washington Memorial Parkway, and I-66 (Custis Memorial Parkway). U.S. Route 50 (Arlington Boulevard) connects with all of these routes in and near Rosslyn. Washington Metro's Blue and Orange Lines service the Rosslyn Metro station.

There are 14 Metro bus lines to the urban village. There is a shuttle run by Georgetown University.  A DC Circulator route connects Rosslyn with Georgetown and Dupont Circle in Washington, D.C.  There are 2 private bus companies that provide service between the Rosslyn Metro Station and New York City. Vamoose Bus provides daily service from 1801 N Lynn Street in Rosslyn to Penn Station/Madison Square Garden in Midtown Manhattan in New York City. Tripper Bus provides daily service from 1901 N. Moore Street to the Macy's flagship store on 34th Street In New York City.

Trails

Multiple cycling and pedestrian trails are present in Rosslyn, connecting Northern Virginia and Washington, D.C. The paved Custis Trail travels through Rosslyn along Interstate 66. By traveling southeast on the Custis Trail and crossing the George Washington Memorial Parkway, one can reach the paved Mount Vernon Trail, which travels downstream on the Virginia side of the Potomac River to Alexandria and Mount Vernon, as well as the unpaved Potomac Heritage Trail, which travels upstream near the riverbank to the Capital Beltway. By heading west along the Custis Trail, one can reach the Washington and Old Dominion Railroad Trail, which travels for 45 miles (72 km) through Northern Virginia. One can also cross theFrancis Scott Key Bridge at the end of Lynn Street and pick up the unpaved C&O Canal towpath or the paved Capital Crescent Trail in Washington. By heading south on North Lynn Street, one can cross over U.S. Route 50 and travel through the grounds of the Marine Corps War Memorial to reach a paved trail that travels along the wall of Arlington National Cemetery to Memorial Drive. A sidewalk and paved path along the Drive connects in Lady Bird Johnson Park on Columbia Island to the Mount Vernon Trail and to the wide sidewalk of the Arlington Memorial Bridge, which crosses the Potomac into Washington.

Location

The station has entrances on the west side of North Moore Street between Wilson Boulevard and 19th Street North and on the east side of Fort Myer Drive between Wilson Boulevard and 19th Street North. A street elevator to the mezzanine (upper) level of the station is on the east side of North Moore Street, across the street from the Metro station entrance. The station is a stop for several express Metrobus lines, including the 5A to Dulles International Airport and L'Enfant Plaza.

Rosslyn is ideally situated, practically in the center of the entire Metropolitan Washington DC area.  Within a two minute drive, the majority of the most frequented traffic routes are accessible such as:  The G.W. Parkway, Interstate 66, Route 1, Route 50, Interstate 395, Key Bridge and Memorial Bridge, Wilson and Clarendon Blvd's as well as Columbia Pike.  Rosslyn real estate includes luxury high-rise condominiums such as Waterview Residences, Turnberry Tower, The Belvedere and The Atrium.

History

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 CemeteryCapitol SouthCrystal CityEastern MarketFarragut WestFederal Center SWFederal TriangleFoggy Bottom–GWUL'Enfant PlazaMcPherson SquareNational AirportPentagonPentagon CityPotomac AvenueSmithsonian and Stadium–Armory stations.  Orange Line service to the station began upon the line's opening on November 20, 1978.

Station layout

Rosslyn is one of two stations (the other is Pentagon) at which westbound trains serve a platform that is a level below the mezzanine-level platform for eastbound trains. This allows for the separate tracks of the Orange and Blue lines to converge and diverge without requiring an at-grade crossing.

Since the neighborhood is on a bluff over the Potomac River and the shared rail line into Washington passes through a rock-bored tunnel, Rosslyn station is deep—the deepest on the Orange and Blue lines. The upper platform is 97 feet below street level; the lower platform is 20 feet below that. An escalator ride between the street and mezzanine levels takes 2 minutes, 39 seconds.

Notable places nearby

  • Freedom Park
  • Georgetown University
  • Netherlands Carillon
  • USMC War Memorial