Public art in Rosslyn
Some of the public art in Rosslyn includes "Dark Star Park" near the Iwo Jima Monument (1984), "Cupid's Garden" right on Wilson Boulevard (1994), "Anna and David" above the Wilson boulevard Safeway (1986), and "Liquid Pixels" on Lynn Street above Cosi Cafe (2002).
Rosslyn was home to a small Civil War fort called Fort Haggerty. Today there are no remains of this fort, except for a small historical marker erected in 1965. The fort was named after Union Lieutenant Colonel James Haggerty who was killed at the first Battle of Bull Run in nearby Manassas, VA.
The fort stood near the Georgetown-Alexandria road, as well as the canal and aquaduct bridge that ran between these same towns.
The historical marker reads:
Defenses of Washington
Here beside the Georgetown-Alexandria road stood Fort Haggerty, a small outwork of Fort Corcoran, constructed in May 1861. With a perimeter of 128 yards and emplacements for 4 guns, it was designed to bring under fire the slope south of Fort Corcoran, which could not be seen from there.
Fort Ethan Allen - near the Chain Bridge
Fort Ethan Allen was an earthwork fort in Arlington, Virginia. It was built by the Union Army in 1861 as part of the defense of Washington during the American Civil War. The remains of the fort, a portion of the earthen walls, now overgrown, are now part of Fort Ethan Allen Park. The historic fort is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is designated as a Historic District by Arlington County.
There was no military action at Fort Ethan Allen throughout the Civil War; the only attack on Washington-area forts was at Fort Stevens, north of the city, in 1864. Perhaps the most memorable wartime occurrence at Fort Ethan Allen was a visit by President Abraham Lincoln, one of the few visits to a Washington fort he ever made.
Fort Ethan Allen Park covers about 15 acres and has just a basketball court, a playground, a canine area, and a gazebo. The park is adjacent to the Madison Community Center and Glebe Road Park.
Fort Ethan Allen is named after the Revolutionary War hero from Vermont named Ethan Allen. He gained fame in the Battle of Ticonderoga, and also helped Vermont gain independence from British colonies in New Hampshire and New York and ensured it was able to become the 14th state of the US.
Fort CF Smith
Fort C.F. Smith Park is a small 19-acre nature and historic area that includes thick trees, a meadow, the Hendry House and earthworks of a Civil War fort that was used for the defense of Washington DC.
Fort C.F. Smith was built by the Union Army in 1863. This was part of the ring of forts that surrounded Washington and included Fort Stevens, the only one of these forts to witness a battle. Fort F.C.F. Smith formed part of the Arlington Line and was built to protect the nearby Chesapeake and Ohio Canal. The fort faced to the south and west, and it had two bastions in the rear protect it from attack from the Potomac River side. Today the remaining earthwork trenches of Fort C.F. Smith are considered the best preserved ruins of the 22 forts that were created in Arlington during the war. The remaining historical artifacts from the fort include the bomb proof, the well, the north magazine, and 11 of the fort's 22 gun emplacements. Two cannons stand guard to remind visitors what the fort might have looked like 145 years ago, with many more trees today of course.
After the Civil War ended this property was sold back to private hands and many changes took place. Today, the Hendry House stands alongside the fort, as well as a cottage/tractor barn, a farm shed, and a bank barn. The bank barn is considered the oldest building in the park, dating back to just after the Civil War. The main house is said to have been moved to this site a around 1901, then modified in 1924 and 1988. It is called the Hendry house because it was owned by Dr. Ernest S. Hendry from 1927 until 1994 when it was acquired by Arlington County. Today the beautiful house is used for conferences, weddings, and other events.
There is a 1/2 mile trail with a short walking tour covering the historic sites and the natural sites in the park. Some of the key nature locations include the Ornamental Peace Garden with its unique trees such as the Japanese Raisin Tree, Ginko, Bottle-Brush Buckeye, English Walnut and Royal Paulownia, as well as the tiny, man-made Bird Creek near the meadow that attracts a variety of birds.