Twenty years ago, when Freya Fisher was looking for a home, she knew what she wanted. But she didn’t think it was possible in Northern Virginia. With her husband’s new job in the District, she wanted a place that reminded her of her hometown in rural Ohio. When she stumbled upon the neighborhood of Vienna Woods, she was sold.
“When we first bought the house in 1995, there was a farm on Marshall Road, with cattle and horses. It was delightful and it’s kind of amazing.” she said. “We weren’t looking for a big city life. We were looking for a small town.”
Like other neighbors, Fisher has mixed feelings about the juxtaposition of their quiet neighborhood with the explosive growth of nearby Tysons.
Fisher said she tends to avoid the crowded Tysons, preferring to support businesses on Maple Avenue, just a few blocks from her home.
Lana Bian, a 30-year resident of Vienna Woods, describes her neighborhood as a “small little town amid a busy metropolis area.”
“I think Vienna has been very good at maintaining the spirit of a small town,” Bian said. “But I will say, the major stores are creeping in.”
Bian still lives in her three-bedroom starter home and said she appreciates being so close to a growing area like Tysons. But being able to escape and unwind in Vienna Woods, she said, can easily be described as having the best of both worlds.
“I can’t imagine living anywhere else but Vienna Woods. This is what I know,” Bian said.
Looking out for each other: Vienna Woods is part of the town of Vienna, where on Friday mornings you can see Mayor Laurie A. DiRocco leading regular walks around the neighborhood. Residents say Vienna Woods is a place where people know and look out for one another.
“There’s something about belonging to a town and having your own mayor and town council. And you run into these people in the grocery store and bend their ear about your sidewalk. It’s very personal,” said Anne Stuntz, president of Historic Vienna.
Stuntz is showcasing an exhibit for Women’s History Month in Vienna’s historic Freeman House. Other notable sites include the Vienna Train Station on Dominion Road that brings model railroad enthusiasts together monthly. Maple Avenue and historic Church Street are the epicenter for Vienna Woods residents. Caffé Amouri is a popular hotspot that locals go to for their morning coffee fix.
Fisher spends every December with residents going door to door, performing Christmas carols as a way to get to know neighbors.
“We would end up in one of our houses and have refreshments. It’s a wonderful experience. We just want to keep maintaining these old traditions.”
In the 1960s, Vienna Woods was built by real estate developer and Greek immigrant George C. Yeonas. Today, almost every street in Vienna Woods is named after a Yeonas family member.
Living there: Vienna Woods is roughly bounded by Tapawingo Road on the northwest, Cedar Lane on the southeast; Park Street to the northeast; and Nutley Street on the west.
According to Chelsea Gabriella, an agent and owner of Gabriella Group with Century 21 Redwood Realty, Vienna Woods does not have a homeowners association, and some buyers can be wary of purchasing homes in a community without one.
“The great thing about this community is that everyone loves the neighborhood and it is well kept. The amenities of the town of Vienna replace a few of those offers by a typical HOA,” she said.
In the past 12 months, 61 properties have been sold in Vienna Woods, ranging from a three-bedroom, one-bathroom home priced at $530,000 to a six-bedroom, seven-bathroom home that listed for $1,682,127, according to Gabriella.
There are 15 homes for sale in Vienna Woods, ranging from a three-bedroom, one-bathroom home for $620,000 to a 2018 Craftsman-style six-bedroom, six-bath house listing for $1.3 million.
Schools: Marshall Road Elementary, Thoreau Middle and James Madison High.
Transit: The community is served by the Fairfax-Vienna station on Metro’s Orange Line and by the Fairfax Connector’s 461 bus.
Crime: According to the Fairfax County Police Department, in the past six months there have been four assaults and one case of marijuana possession in Vienna Woods.