The Hamlet, as residents call it, includes within its Fairfax County boundaries 515 well-tended homes of varying styles, a swim and tennis club, two parks, and Spring Hill Elementary School. The neighborhood is close to major transportation arteries — the Dulles Toll Road forms one boundary, and the Capital Beltway forms another. It also is within a mile of the soon-to-be-completed Tysons West station on Metro’s Silver Line, offering convenient commutes to Bethesda, Washington and Northern Virginia suburbs.
The Hamlet’s McLean address attracted lawyer Paul Rodgers and his wife, Barbara, in 1966. “We considered McLean a prestigious place to live,” said Paul Rodgers, who moved in before the Tysons Corner shopping centers were built. “It also offered a good commute into Washington.”
Rodgers, one of the Hamlet’s original owners, spent nine months researching and drafting the community’s history, which was published last year in a McLean Hamlet Community Association newsletter. Rodgers learned that the neighborhood began in 1964, when developers bought 205 acres of dairy farmland and 10 builders, each using a different architect, constructed homes in styles ranging from Colonial to ranch. Rodgers’s history includes both factual tidbits (builders planted more than 3,500 trees throughout the neighborhood) and stories, including one about “a retired Navy pilot, who built a full-size airplane in the garage of his home . . . completed it in 1966 or 1967, and flew it from the Hamlet, using Falstaff Road as his runway!”
Rodgers, who lives on Portia Place (Portia is the heroine of “The Merchant of Venice”), also published a newsletter article on the origin of the Shakespeare-
related monikers given to 23 Hamlet streets. Only the newest road is not named for the Bard’s work.
Nate King grew up in the Hamlet and now lives on Oberon Way (Oberon is the fairy king in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”), a street he used to sled down as a boy. King, who works in IT security, moved back to the Hamlet in 2005 to raise his young sons. “People here have similar priorities about kids and kids’ activities,” he said. “They’re very involved parents.”
“The kids can bike or walk to Spring Hill Elementary and to the Springhill Rec Center,” added King’s wife, Denys. “And, our church is nearby. We don’t have to spend so much time on the road.”
Mary Olsen, a retired nurse, moved to Capulet Court (Capulet, of course, is Juliet’s family name in “Romeo and Juliet”) in 2012 with her husband, Cliff, and their four children, including 9-year-old twins. “It’s Shangri-La for 9-year-old boys,” she said. “There are lots of kids, and they all go to the swim club.” The Hamlet Swim and Tennis Club, adjacent to McLean Hamlet Park, is a community hub in the summer.