Springfield is a sprawling suburb south of the District, nestled between Alexandria, Annandale, and Burke. The area is dominated by the interchange of I-95, I-395, and the Capital Beltway, known as the Springfield Interchange, or more commonly, the “Mixing Bowl.” Springfield’s “downtown” lies at the intersection of Old Keene Mill and Backlick Roads, adjacent to Mixing Bowl. A significant commercial district exists around this area, but the rest of the community is primarily residential. Springfield offers a great location for working couples that work in opposite directions (say, Tyson’s Corner and The District).
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 “casual carpooling” found in the Washington, DC area.
A saw and grist mill was constructed between 1796 and 1800 in the vicinity of what is, today, Springfield. Owned by James Keene, it gave its name to today’s Old Keene Mill Road. The mill served farms in the area for around sixty years before its discontinuation. Springfield was officially founded in 1847 around the Orange and Alexandria Railroad’s Daingerfield Station (now a VRE station). The station was named for “Springfield Farm,” owned by Henry Daingerfield, a local businessman who sat on the railroad’s board of directors.
Springfield remained mostly rural until 1946, when realtor Edward Carr decided to subdivide the area for suburban development along the recently opened Henry Shirley Highway, known today as I-395. Carr believed this to be the last easily accessible tract within close proximity of Washington, DC. Since that time, Springfield has grown enormously from a small bedroom community of mostly military and government workers to a large and diverse community.
Local Real Estate
Springfield’s 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. There are several townhome and condo developments in Springfield as well.
Springfield Town Center, located just off of I-395 in the heart of Springfield, is home to hundreds of popular shops and restaurants. Check out the Regal Springfield Town Center 12, one of the area’s newest deluxe movie theaters, and enjoy top box office films from the comfort of reserved reclining lounge seats. Springfield Plaza is home to a number of other popular restaurants and hot spots including local favorite, Mike’s American Grill. Nature lovers can visit Lake Accotink Park, part of the extensive Fairfax Park Authority located in north Springfield. Lake Accotink is a beautifully preserved lake with historic roots dating back to the 19th century.