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Sep 13Doug Smith

Northern Virginia Communities: Falls Church

Sep 13Doug Smith

Falls Church is an independent city in Virginia. The city population was 11,711 in 2009. Taking its name from The Falls Church, an 18th-century Anglican parish, Falls Church gained township status within Fairfax County in 1875. In 1948, it was incorporated as the City of Falls Church, an independent city with county-level governance status. It is also referred to as Falls Church City. The city’s corporate boundaries do not include all of the area historically known as Falls Church; these areas include Seven Corners and other portions of the current Falls Church postal districts of Fairfax County, as well as the area of Arlington County known as East Falls Church, which was part of the town of Falls Church from 1875 to 1936. For statistical purposes, the US Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis combines the City of Falls Church with Fairfax City and Fairfax County.

Falls Church is the smallest independent city, by area, in Virginia. Since independent cities in Virginia are considered county-equivalents, it is also the smallest county-equivalent in the United States by area.

One of only three Frank Lloyd Wright houses built in Virginia once stood at 1005 Locust Street, Falls Church (just outside current city limits, in Fairfax County). Commissioned in 1939 by journalist Loren Pope and his wife Charlotte Pope, it followed Wright’s Usonian design principles and was completed in 1941. The Popes sold it to Robert and Marjorie Leighey in 1946. In 1963, the house was threatened with condemnation for the construction of Interstate 66. Marjorie Leighey (then a widow) donated it to the National Trust for Historic Preservation in 1964; it was dismantled, moved, and reconstructed at Woodlawn Plantation, where it opened to the public as the Pope-Leighey House in 1965.

Falls Church is home to two Fortune 500 companies: General Dynamics and CSC. Falls Church will soon be the headquarters location for another Fortune 500 company, Northrop Grumman.

In 2011, Falls Church was named the richest county in America with median annual household income of $113,313.

 

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