Springfield, Virginia was founded as a station on the Orange and Alexandria Railroad in 1847. The station was named for the estate of Henry Daingerfield on whose land it had been built. The name changed twice between 1877 and 1907. It returned to Springfield on June 27, 1910, and has remained since that time.
Springfield was a rural crossroads until Edward Carr decided to subdivide the area for suburban development in 1946 along the recently opened Henry Shirley Highway (now I-95/I-395). Carr, a Realtor, believed this to be the last easily accessible tract within “easy” commuting distance (12 miles) of Washington, D.C. Ready access to Washington, via the Shirley Highway spurred tremendous growth in the area in the 1950's and 1960's. In 1950, the area had an estimated population of 1,000. Growth led to the building of Robert E. Lee High School in 1957. By 1960 the population was reported as over 10,000 and grew to more than 25,000 by 1970 with the North and West Springfield neighborhoods.
The opening of the Springfield Mall in 1973–1975 (the second regional shopping center in Northern Virginia after Seven Corners), as well as the Springfield and Brookfield shopping centers, made Springfield a major retail destination. The opening of the Franconia-Springfield Metro and Virginia Rail Express Station in 1997, led to the expansion of retail and high-density housing in the area. Plans are underway to revamp the mall from an indoor facility into a town center with a mixture of shopping, office, and residential development.
The center of Springfield is at Route 644 (Old Keene Mill Road / Franconia Road) and Route 617 (Backlick Road). The area is dominated by the interchange of I-95, I-395, and the Capital Beltway (I-495), known as the Springfield Interchange. A significant commercial district exists around the interchange area, but the rest of the community is primarily residential in character.
Springfield, Virginia was the original Virginia “hometown” of John McEnearney, founder of this company, when he moved his wife Ginny, six kids, one cat and a dog to an older, but quite affordable home in central Springfield in 1965. John found that Springfield was conveniently located for his commute to the Pentagon and Capital Hill throughout his tenure in the Navy Supply Corps during the 60’s and 70’s. In 1971, his wife, Virginia was appointed to a brief term as Springfield Supervisor. Five of his six children graduated from Robert E. Lee High School. All have fond memories of growing up in Springfield, walking to the local 7-Eleven, ordering chocolate chip mint ice cream on Sunday at the local Baskin Robbins and taking all day biking adventures to Lake Accotink.
Quality of Life
Springfield has grown from a small bedroom community that housed mostly military and government workers working in the Pentagon and Washington, DC to a diverse community of over 30,000 citizens. Housing is primarily modest 1960’s and 1970’s tract housing with pockets of newer development throughout. Home prices are relatively affordable in Springfield compared with other jurisdictions in the Metro area. Sales in the last 6 months have included garden style apartments priced at just over $100,000 to larger and newer colonials priced just below $800,000. The oldest part of Springfield can be found centered near the Springfield Shopping Plaza and beautifully redesigned Richard Byrd Library. Accotink Lake Park, part of the extensive Fairfax Park Authority is a beautifully preserved piece of history dating back to the 19th century including the Orange and Alexandria Trestle dating to 1851.
Central Springfield is dominated by the over half-billion dollar Springfield Interchange highway project, which was completed in 2007. Due to its complexity, the interchange is popularly known as the "Mixing Bowl" or the "Melting Pot", a name taken from an earlier interchange near the Pentagon. The primary roads through Springfield are Keene Mill Road, running east/west and Backlick Road running north south. Commuter “Slug” lines form in a couple of different convenient locations in Springfield providing easy ride sharing into DC and the Pentagon. Slugging is a term used to describe a unique form of commuting found in the Washington, DC area sometimes referred to as "Instant Carpooling" or "Casual Carpooling". It's unique because people commuting into the city stop to pickup other passengers even though they are total strangers. It’s been going strong for 35 years.
Ronald Regan National Airport: < 15 miles.
Washington-Dulles International Airport: < 30 miles.
Baltimore-Washington International Airport: < 50 miles.
Franconia / Springfield Metro