Fairfax City Hall
City Hall is in downtown Fairfax, about 10 minutes from where I live, and I picked this building to show you because to me it is typical Virginia. In recent years, the city has been undergoing a makeover. We got a new library and a new post office, but some fool changed the traffic patterns so it’s very confusing to drive around.
Still, the historic district is pretty interesting, with a lot of Civil War history. In 1862 Union soldiers occupied the town, and in 1863 Southern spy Antonia Ford was imprisoned in Fairfax for aiding Confederate General J.E.B. Stuart. She fell in love with her jailer, who got her out in 7 months, then married him. Their son built the Old Town Hall in 1900.
Fairfax was originally settled in the 1700s by farmers migrating from the Tidewater region, and it remained a rural crossroads and judicial center through the 20th century. These days, it’s still the heart of Northern Virginia’s government and commercial activities, but there’s not a farmer in sight. Every square inch of land in the county has been exploited by developers with huge $ in their eye sockets. Is it crowded here? Are the taxes high? Are the roads incapable of supporting all the traffic? Yes yes yes. The population of the county itself exceeds that of seven states.
But it’s a very desirable place to live — good school system, one of the highest median incomes in the U.S., over half of residents with 4+ years college education, proximity to Washington, D.C., jobs, etc. There’s always a trade-off, no matter where you live.
To visit some other Live Journal hometowns, check out the list at Cindy Lord’s blog.