This park is named for Merwin Ardeen Mace, a prolific developer in Northern Virginia who built some of Arlington's most recognizable communities from the 1930s to 1960s. Mace was born on 1899 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. By 1918, he had moved to the District of Columbia to attend George Washington University Law School. In the mid-1920s, Mace shifted his focus to real estate and development, constructing speculative single-family dwellings such as 2103 North Quantico Street. The house represented Arlington in Better Homes in America Demonstration Week in 1929, a campaign to encourage owners to build, remodel and improve their houses. He founded Mace Properties, Inc. in 1937.
The first three projects of Mace Properties — Glebewood Village (1937-1938), Westmont (1939), and Westover (1939-1940) — established the company's principle of building low-cost housing of permanent construction. Mace took advantage of the Federal Housing Administration's mortgage insurance, which allowed him to sell five- and six-room houses for $4,990 to $5,600 to individuals who could previously only afford to live in apartment complexes. He
Dominion Hills, built after World War II (1945-1948) on open farm land, benefited from an influx of government workers and returning veterans seeking attractive yet affordable housing. The success of the Dominion Hills development was based on the company's cost-effective yet individualized building practices. The neighborhood consisted of two minimally styled Colonial Revival models nearly identical in appearance. The first model was a two-story, side-gabled, brick veneered dwelling with ornate wood door surrounds and the second model featured brick door surrounds and a second story clad with asbestos shingles. The use of asbestos, a modern material for the 1940s, illustrated thecompany's desire to be current with building trends. As in their previous projects, Mace Properties varied architectural details and reversed the floor plans to allow for individuality at low cost. Dominion Hills is significant to Arlington County since it is one of the few intact post-World War II communities to be an architecturally cohesive neighborhood reflecting the principles of mass production and economy of design. Dominion Hills was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 2012.
In the 1930s and 1940s, few developers had a greater impact than Mace. His vision for low-cost housing constructed with steel, concrete,and high-quality building materials helped shape the mid-twentieth century architectural landscape of Arlington County. Mace was responsible for more than 4,000 homes and 1,000 apartment units in Northern Virginia. In Arlington, he built numerous residential developments and single-family houses, as well as several now-demolished projects, including Virginia Square Shopping Center, the Mace Building, and Pollard Gardens. Merwin Mace died on July 4, 1969.
Erected by Arlington County, Virginia.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Architecture • Parks & Recreational Areas • Settlements & Settlers.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Alice N. Nicolson (approx. ¼ mile away); Lest We Forget (approx. 0.4 miles away); Civil War Outpost (approx. 0.4 miles away); Tracks into History (approx. half a mile away); Granite Acroterion (approx. half a mile away); Original Federal Boundary Stone, District of Columbia, Southwest 8 (approx. half a mile away); The Great Falls Line (approx. 0.6 miles away); Bluemont Junction (approx. 0.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Arlington.
Credits. This page was last revised on December 27, 2020. It was originally submitted on December 27, 2020, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 32 times since then. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on December 27, 2020, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.