Cherrydale Branch Library

Serving North Arlington since 1922

Additional Information About Cherrydale Library Supplementing What's on the Art Panel Sign

This page was last updated on February 14, 2013.

Cherrydale Library was formed in 1922 by the Cherrydale League of Women Voters and the Patrons League (the old name for the Parent-Teacher Association). Many of the founders or their spouses were members of the Cherrydale Volunteer Fire Department, which held several fund-raising events to establish and later enlarge the original 1922 book collection.

The campaign for a new building for Cherrydale Library began in 1957, when eight North Arlington PTAs and eight civic associations formed a Northeast Library Committee. The civic associations were Bellevue Forest, Cherrydale (which then included Maywood), Donaldson Run, Gulf Branch, Lyon Village, North Highlands, Northwest, and Parkway. The committee’s representatives were led by Harvey Lampshire, a pro-library activist and the president of the Cherrydale Citizens' Association.

Once the County Board gave its approval, the architect chosen for the new building was J. Russell Bailey of Orange, Virginia, a specialist in library design. Bailey identified his chief challenges as building into a steeply sloped wooded site and maintaining the residential scale of the surrounding neighborhood. He and his associate Judson Gardner strove to save all the trees they could and to leave as much natural terrain as possible. Their enduringly attractive design has been remarkably energy efficient, making Cherrydale Library one of the “greenest” buildings in the Arlington government inventory to this day. The Bailey and Gardner firm ultimately designed some 185 libraries throughout the Eastern United States, including those of Yale University, the University of Maryland, the University of Virginia, the original Central Library (which was substantially rebuilt in the early 1990s), the original Westover Library, the original Shirlington Library, and Glencarlyn Library (still in use).

The building contractor for the new Cherrydale Library building was the Earl K. Rosti Company. The chief construction challenge was the carefully engineered retaining wall that forms the rear wall of the library; it has endured since the library's opening in 1961. On January 13, 1962, the Northern Virginia Builders Association gave the Rosti company its annual “best institutional project” award for the firm's work on Cherrydale Library.

On July 9, 2011, Cherrydale Library's patrons celebrated the current building's 50th anniversary. The standing-room-only crowd heard speeches by architect Judson Gardner, Rep. James Moran (D-Va.), Cherrydale historian Kathryn Holt Springston, and her husband Scott Springston. Elinor Hodges, Executive Director of Arlingtonians for a Clean Environment. presented a letter of commendation to the library for its remarkable energy efficiency. Moderator Greg Embree shared his reminiscences of Harvey Lampshire. Among the other dignitaries present were Bob Brink, Arlington's representative to the Virginia House of Delegates, and Diane Kresh, Director of the Arlington County Libraries Department.

This site is maintained by Citizens for Cherrydale Library, a group of citizen volunteers seeking since 1998 to promote and preserve our most important neighborhood institution. Contact us at with any questions or comments.