They say that fine wine ages well. The same thing can be said for the townhouse neighborhood of Charlestown in West Springfield. Maybe it is the all brick construction or the tree lined streets that make it standout from other area neighborhoods. It might even be the residents of the neighborhood who have a strong home owners association which even maintains the exterior of the townhouses. But whatever the combination it has worked well for 40 years.
Anytime you read an MLS description for Charlestown you will see somewhere the words "dramatic curved staircase." Having lived and owned a townhouse in the neighborhood I would have to say the word dramatic is a bit much but they are eye catching when you open the front door and provide a terrific open two story foyer that agents forget to mention but an owner will point out to your right away.
Designed after Colonial Williamsburg the townhouses feature brick courtyards where owners take pride in maintaining a private yard. If you explore the neighborhood during the annual garden tour you will find homes with Koi Ponds, wild flowers, Dogwood trees and wonderful patios. A spring drive down the two main roads will also provide you an explosion of color with the white blooms from the Bradford Pear trees on one side of the street and the pink Cherry trees on the other.
Another surprise for anyone exploring the neighborhood for the first time is the size of the townhouses. Though there are a few two level townhouses (rarely available) and the three level homes range in size from approximately 1900 square feet up to a whopping 2700 square feet. The Concord model has 4 bedrooms on the upper level, a den as well as living, room dining room and eat-in kitchen on the main level and a full basement that can often boast a legal 5th bedroom as well.
Despite the feel of seclusion you get in the Charlestown neighborhood you are in fact only blocks away from two large shopping centers. One features a Whole Food Market and the other a Giant Grocery store. There are plenty of places to eat with both chain restaurants like Austin Grill or Chicken Out and smaller local haunts like Milano's. If you need to commute to DC you can walk outside your front door and catch a metro bus directly to the Pentagon or a Fairfax County Connector to the Springfield Metro Station.
For families with children the neighborhood falls in the West Springfield HS Pyramid. Younger children can walk to Cardinal Forest Elementary School and older kids skip the "cheese mobile" and walk to West Springfield High School. The intermediate school is Washington Irving and though it is in walking distance many kids elect to take the bus.
One of the biggest treats about living in Charlestown is the back door access to Lake Accotink though Carrleigh Park. Either by bike or by foot you can enjoy a few minutes or a few hours walking on the paths that will take you to the lake, the oldest carousel in Fairfax County or around the 3.75 mile loop.
In a time when older neighborhoods have been altered to a point beyond recognition having a neighborhood such as Charlestown maintain its original character and charm is a surprising treat. If you are interested in learning more about the neighborhood give Cindy Jones a call at 703-346-2213. Let me show you why my family called Charlestown in West Springfield home.
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