Missy and Matthew Estabrook said they thought the house they bought in Alexandria’s Rosemont neighborhood would be their “starter home.”
“Twelve years later we’re still here,” said Missy Estabrook, a lawyer-turned-full-time mom. “We love our neighborhood.”
They could move to a larger house on a bigger lot but prefer to stay in Rosemont. “We’d rather be closer to the city.” And, she said, they like knowing they are “surrounded by friends.”
A place filled with “transplants and Northern Virginians,” she said, Rosemont appeals to those who like history and a sense of place. “It feels like a small town near a big city,” she said.
Rosemont is an early 20th-century community of mostly single-family homes. “It’s all residential, tightknit,” said Missy Estabrook, a past president of the Maury School PTA. “We refer to our friends more like family. When we make friends, we make friends for life. Our families live elsewhere.”
When faced with the need for a larger house, the trend is opting to build an addition instead of moving to a bigger home in another neighborhood. “They don’t want to leave,” Missy Estabrook said of her neighbors.
Typically, the Estabrooks walk their sons, ages 8 and 10, to the Maury School. Then Matthew Estabrook, a lawyer, takes the Virginia Railway Express from Amtrak’s Alexandria Union Station at 110 Callahan Dr. to his office.
“The neighborhood school is a huge draw for people,” Missy Estabrook said. “There are so many kids here. We pick people up as we go. It really is sweet that the kids get to know each other as classmates and friends.”
Historic district: Older residents, some of whom grew up in the neighborhood, and many two-income couples with or without children live in Rosemont, too.
Jol Silversmith and his wife, Elizabeth Kimmons, were living in a condominium near the Ballston Metro in Arlington when they began to search for a single-family house. In what he describes as a “very lucky find,” the couple moved to Rosemont in 2010 for the size of the house, its general price and convenience to the Metro. He commutes to his law office downtown; she is a management and program analyst with the D.C. police department.
The neighborhood includes the Rosemont Historic District, added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1992.
The Rosemont Historic District is “an unusually intact example of an early-twentieth century middle-class trolley suburb,” according to the city of Alexandria’s website. Its initial development was “closely linked to the growth of the electric rail system in the Washington area.” Most of the houses built between 1908 and 1930 range in size and style from small Craftsman bungalows to large Arts and Crafts and Colonial Revival homes.
Some smaller rowhouses and small garden apartment buildings were built in the 1930s. The neighborhood was a trolley suburb from 1909 until 1932, when the trolley, also referred to as a streetcar, stopped running.
Mature trees: The original street layout of the subdivision remains, as does the architectural integrity of many of the houses. Hints of history appear in some of the Rosemont streets named for pallbearers at George Washington’s funeral: Little Street, named for Col. Charles Little, and Marsteller Street, named for Col. Philip Marsteller.
Beach Park, an Alexandria city park at 201 Rucker Pl., is close to an acre and a half with mature oaks, maple trees, dogwoods and locust trees.
The neighborhood is residential except for Grape + Bean, a coffee and wine shop at 2 E. Walnut St. and some retail establishments along Braddock Road, including Lena’s Wood-Fired Pizza & Tap at 401 E. Braddock Rd.
Yet neighbors can walk into Old Town Alexandria or Del Ray. “We can flip a coin and walk a half-mile to Old Town or a half-mile to Del Ray,” said Silversmith, president of the Rosemont Citizens Association.
There are a number of supermarkets nearby, some of which are within walking distance, such as Trader Joe’s at 612 N. Saint Asaph St. and Harris Teeter at 735 N. Saint Asaph St. in Old Town North; others rely on the Safeway at 3526 King St. There’s also a Whole Foods Market at 1700 Duke St.
Living there: Rosemont is bordered roughly from Braddock Road to the northeast, along the Metro rail line and King Street to the southeast and Braddock and Ruffner roads to the northwest.
According to Christine Garner, an agent with Weichert Realtors, in the past 12 months, 38 residential properties sold in Rosemont, ranging from a one-bedroom, one-bath condominium for $320,000 to a five-bedroom, four-bath single-family Colonial for $1.186 million. There are five properties on the market, ranging from a one-bath studio condominium for $195,000 to a five-bedroom, five-bath single-family Arts and Crafts home under construction for $1.895 million.
Schools: Matthew Maury Elementary, George Washington Middle, T.C. Williams High.
Transit: Public transportation options abound, including the Braddock Road Metro station and the King Street-Old Town Metro station, both on the Yellow and Blue lines; DASH buses along Braddock Road, King Street and Commonwealth Avenue; and Virginia Railway Express.
Crime: In the past year, according to the LexisNexis Community Crime Map, one aggravated assault and two burglaries were reported in Rosemont.