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(Rosslyn Metro stop)
  • (By Fletcher6 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons)
  • (By Discol (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons)

Surreal is perhaps the best description for Rosslyn, which is Arlington's major high-rise center: it resembles a set in a bad science fiction movie. Benjamin Forgey, the Washington Post's architecture critic, claimed that it was “dramatically transformed from a backwater to boomtown at a bad architectural moment.” Here and there a fragment of a pre–World War II low-rise city can be spied, but the explosive growth of the 1960s to the 1990s has transformed the area into the world's worst collection of (about sixty) mid-level high rises and a stunning example of anti-civility. Only a few buildings are worth noting.

Writing Credits

Richard Guy Wilson et al.


What's Nearby


Richard Guy Wilson et al., "Rosslyn", [Arlington, Virginia], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Virginia: Tidewater and Piedmont, Richard Guy Wilson and contributors. New York: Oxford University Press, 2002, 54-54.

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