Friends of Thrifton Hill Park

 

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History of the Park

In 1951, the Washington & Old Dominion Railway (formerly the Great Falls and Old Dominion Railroad) discontinued service on the Bluemont line and Rosslyn spur, resulting in the abandonment of the roadbed.  By the 1960s, the Virginia Department of Transportation was planning U.S. Interstate 66, and the old Rosslyn spur roadbed was acquired with the intention of constructing the new interstate along its path.  Originally I-66 was intended to be an eight-lane highway, so property adjacent to the roadbed was acquired, and buildings located adjacent to the roadbed were razed.  In Maywood, more than 25 dwellings located along the eastern boundary of the neighborhood were either moved to other locations or demolished as a result of this project.  

In 1979, local efforts resulted in the establishment of Thrifton Hill Park on the cleared property between the neighborhood and U.S. Interstate 66, which opened 1982. (Source:  National Register of Historic Places, Maywood Historic District)  

Many thanks go to long-time Maywood  neighbor, Ned Helf of the 2700 block of 23rd Road, for his diligence in protecting the park and its trees.  He worked with authorities during the construction of I-66, fighting to keep the road constuction at bay, to get a soundwall, and to save the park's trees.  He would literally stand at the edge during construction and oversee the bulldozer crews, so that they did not stray off their  path and down trees needlessly.

The map below shows the old parcels in Thrifton Hill Park (source:  1965 Neighborhood Conservation Plan).  Houses that used to be located in the park include those now located at 3400 21st Avenue, 2325 N. Edgewood Street, and 2329 N. Edgewood Street.

In 1990, the Maywood neighborhood (and its two parks -- Thrifton Hill Park and the Maywood Mini-Park) was the first neighborhood designated as an Arlington Historic District.  Guidelines were established to preserve the architectural integrity of the neighborhood and its trees.  To preserve trees, the guidelines require approval before cutting down any trees and encourage the replacement of any downed trees.

Furthering Maywood’s preservation efforts, the neighborhood was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2003.  Thrifton Hill Park is not included in the National Register.