3900 N. Lee Highway
Date: Built 1919
Current Use of Property: Fire House
Since 1919, the Cherrydale Fire House has played an important role in the local community, serving as fire house, movie theater, community center and specialty store.
This was Arlington’s first fire house and home to the first officially organized fire department in the county — the Cherrydale Volunteer Fire Department. The Cherrydale Volunteer Fire Department was officially established in 1904 by 14 citizens. At that time, the fire department consisted of 10 leather buckets, a ladder, and a sizable number of volunteers.
The need for a permanent fire house became apparent in the late 1910s and an active, fund-raising campaign was launched. The fire house was literally constructed one brick at a time. People could purchase bricks to help with the fund-raising efforts; in fact, President and Mrs. Wilson each purchased a brick.
Typically fire houses constructed prior to World War II served not only the safety and security needs of the neighborhoods they protected, but also functioned as places for socializing and organized community activities. The second floor hall of the Cherrydale Fire House served as the site of the county's first movie theater. Still owned by the Cherrydale Volunteer Fire Department, the fire station continues to be a highly valued resource, providing first-response capability to the entire neighborhood.
The structure was built in the Colonial Revival style and features a hipped roof, gabled dormers, belt courses and jack-arched lintels. It is a free-standing building located on a major thoroughfare, making it a highly visible landmark.