The history of Springfield dates back to 1946 when a realtor by the name of Edward R. Carr conceived the master plan for the area. He had studied maps of Northern Virginia and discovered that Springfield had the last sizable accessible tract of undeveloped land within a 12-mile zone around Washington, DC. It was 1952 before the sewer and water lines were installed and plans were approved to build the first houses; 2,000 houses were completed by 1955.
West Springfield, Franconia, Burke and Newington are neighboring communities considered to be part of greater Springfield. The Army's Fort Belvoir is just south of the town and Alexandria, with its historic Old Town is northeast.
Fairfax County was established in 1742 and named after Thomas, the sixth Lord Fairfax. Located 10 miles southwest of Washington, DC, the county covers 399 square miles and has major shopping hubs, national parks, a wide variety of restaurants and popular cultural attractions within its boundaries.
As the home of patriot-farmers George Washington and George Mason, Fairfax County has rural roots. As recently as the 1950s it was the leading dairy-producing county in the Commonwealth. Now it is a world center of commerce and trade and the technology hub of the U.S. East Coast. More than 4,000 technology companies have offices in the county including leaders in aerospace, e-commerce, Internet services, software development and telecommunications. It is the home of the Internet, with more than half of the world's Internet traffic crosses northern Virginia's borders daily.
Fairfax County has led the transformation of the Washington area into a technology hub. The Washington area has more technology companies and technology workers than any other region in the U.S., according to a 1999 study commissioned by the Greater Washington Initiative. Fairfax County has the largest number of jobs and the largest labor force in the Washington area.
Fairfax County enjoys an abundance of attributes that make it one of the most desirable places in the U.S. to work, live and play. These attributes - its diversified and dynamic business base, highly trained workforce, competitive tax structure, historically low unemployment rate, multi-modal transportation network, extensive fiber network, historic attractions, broad cultural and recreational opportunities and high quality of public service - are the lifeblood of any thriving technology community.
Also, thousands of firms have opened their doors in the past decade to take advantage of the county's excellent public schools, colleges and universities; strategic access to Washington, DC; Dulles and Reagan Washington National Airports; high-quality commercial real estate; and well-maintained and diverse residential communities.
Fairfax County's historical attractions include Woodlawn Plantation and the Frank Lloyd Wright Pope-Leighey House, Sully Plantation, Colvin Run Mill, Mount Vernon (the home of George Washington), and Claude Moore Colonial Farm. Cultural attractions such as Wolf Trap Farm Park for the Performing Arts, George Mason University Center for the Arts, Harris Theatre, The Patriot Center at George Mason University, The Ernst Community Cultural Center at NVCC, the Alden Theatre, the Arts Council of Fairfax County, and the Reston Community Center offer a broad range of popular attractions and performances.
Interstates 95, 495 and 66 provide primary road access to the county. Washington Dulles International Airport (the second largest transatlantic gateway and the third largest East Coast gateway to the Pacific Rim) is located in the northwestern part of the county.
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