Menu

Greenway Downs

A Community Since 1942

Welcome

The Greenway Downs Citizens Association (GDCA) is a non-profit, non-partisan association of residents that represents approximately 450 households in one of oldest subdivisions in Fairfax County.

Greenway Downs was carved out of a 100 acre farm in 1927 but the GDCA as we know it today was not created until 1942,  when  a group of concerned citizens decided to use their collective bargaining to get Fairfax County to do something about the  sewage bubbling up in their back yards and draining into a little stream their kids played in.

Today, the GDCA is proud to be both one of the oldest and most active civic associations in Northern Virginia.

We are a long-standing member of the Fairfax County Federation of Civic Associations.

 

Quick Reference for New REsidents

Fairfax County

Application for Residential Permit Parking District

Trash Collection

Fall 2020 Newsletter 

October Board Mtg. Minutes

 

 

 

GDCA Paper Trail

Annual Community Meetings 

Board Meetings

Social Committee Meeting 

Newsletters

History of the GDCA

lots of History in Greenway Downs

The history of Greenway Downs can be divided into 3 rather distinct phases. 

(click on the links for more details)

Phase 1: During the pre-civil war days our 109 acres was just an insignificant part of a much, much larger tract of farmland owned by the Dulany family of  Welbourne, Loudoun County. The Civil War destroyed much of the farm land around Falls Church and the economic realities of  the civil war and reconstruction forced John Dulany to divide his vast tracts of land into smaller tracts and sell them off to various buyers.

Phase 2: In 1868,  Silas Tripp, of Dutchess County, New York bought 300 acres of the Dulany property, which included our present day 109 acres. For the next 40 years, Silas Tripp worked the acreage as a dairy  farm and built Tripp's quarry as a side business.

Percy Tripp, Silas's only living child, inherited the farm, the house and the quarry in 1911. However, Percy was a well-educated young man and was serving as missionary in China and rather than come home and farm,  turned the farm and quarry over to a property manager. By  1924 the farm and the quarry were insolvent and were a forced cash sale at auction. 

Phase 3: In 1923 the Key  Bridge was completed over the Potomac River and this combined with the invention of cars launched   building of the 16-mile stretch of Lee Highway from Washington to the City of Fairfax.  Percy Tripp to bankrupt to capitalize on this boon as land speculators and developers gobbled up acres of farmland along this new Route 29 highway corridor for housing and business opportunities. 

Ruby Lee Minar, a very successful and nationally well-known business woman,  bought the 109 acres and immediately set the bulldozers into the old Tripp Farm to carve out affordable home sites to feed the Washington, D.C. demand for new housing in Virginia.

Mrs. Minar lots sold like hotcakes in Greenway Downs I and Greenway Downs II  and she ran a brilliant ad campaign that included a contest with a cash prize for the best name for her newly minted housing development. (How Greenway Downs  got its name)

Unfortunately, for Mrs. Minar, her land development business came to a screeching halt with the crash of 1929.  The banks foreclosed on her and much of her investment property was bought out by another developer. Many of the lots remained vacant until the 1940's when World War II and the new demand for suburban housing spurred the house building boon. 

Today, Greenway Downs Citizen's Association is a compilation of Mrs. Minar's original purchase of the first 2 sections mentioned above, with a further extension of our boundaries into the Rixey Estates west of Woodlawn Ave., and Mason Terrace, east of Summerfield Rd. (note: originally Summerfield was named Westmoreland) 

Each phase has its own fascinating story to tell, so enjoy some history!

Phase 1: pre civil war

Phase 2: post Civil War

Phase 3: suburbia

Greenway Downs in the History Books