The city of Alexandria, Virginia is a residential hub for Washingtonians located directly across the Potomac River from DC. Today Alexandria offers two diverse and unique geographic areas, the East End and West End. The boundary of Alexandria’s East End and West End is Quaker Lane, the north-south road in the center that divides the two parts of Alexandria.
East End Alexandria
The East End comprises everything in Alexandria east of Quaker Lane, including neighborhoods such as Del Ray, Old Town, and Potomac Yard. The East End has many eating, shopping and entertainment destinations. Most of the residences in the East End were built before 1965. The average homeowner in the East End pays their taxes and receives all of their services from City Hall.
West End Alexandria
The West End comprises everything in Alexandria west of Quaker Lane, including Fairlington, Landmark-Van Dorn and Seminary Hill. The West End has major transportation routes, such as Seminary, Van Dorn, Braddock and Duke Streets. The West End has neighborhood taverns, casual family dining spots, and live music venues. Most of the residences in the West End were built after 1965. The average homeowner in the West End pays their taxes, but receives some of their services from City Hall, mainly essential services (i.e., schools, police enforcement, emergency services, and fire protection) from City Hall and the rest of their services labeled nonessential have to be provided by their homeowner or condo associations with private funds. These nonessential services include landscape maintenance, road maintenance, and snow removal.
Politics drive the delivery of services in Alexandria. The vast numbers of residential dwellings in the East End are privately owned and detached or semi-detached homes with accessible front doors for political candidates to knock on and meet potential voters. Most of the homes are along public streets connected by sidewalks. In contrast, the majority of residential dwellings in the West End are in high-security condominiums, making it nearly impossible for candidates to knock on doors and meet voters face-to-face. Other homes are on cul-de-sacs or have homes with many stairs leading to front doors, posing a challenge to efficiently meet potential voters just by knocking on doors.
Both the East and West End sections of Alexandria include a variety of housing options, including single-family homes, condos and townhouse developments.