Alexandria is not, and should not be, Crystal City


By Ted Pulliam, Alexandria

The question that should be asked of every candidate for city council or mayor: What will you do to keep Alexandria from becoming Crystal City?

The essence of Crystal City is tall buildings — office buildings, condominiums and hotels — that tower over people walking along narrow sidewalks. The expansion of this type of development in Alexandria is most evident after driving south along Route 1 and past the rapidly rising Potomac Yard development. Or on down Henry Street where large buildings have been built or are under construction near Pendleton and Oronoco streets as well as one block west along Fayette Street.

The spread of Crystal City-type development is also evident in Washington Headquarters Services. It is evident as well in the proposed Beauregard small area plan and even in the waterfront redevelopment plan.

Smaller, more human-scale buildings are being replaced by high-rises across the city. What will you do — as mayor or as a city councilor — to stop this trend?