How Did Your Street Gets Its Name?

Could your street really have been named after a dog?! Yes!

Unlike U2′s song “Where The Streets Have No Name”, the streets in most Northern Virginia neighborhoods DO have names. But you might be surprised to find out where the names come from!

Take for example “Alliwells Court” and “South Erin Drive” in the Wendover Oaks neighborhood in Oakton. This subdivision was built a number of years ago by one of the builders The Belt Team represents. Allison & Erin Wells are two of the builder’s granddaughters. When you combine Allison’s first name and last name, you get “Alliwells”. So – “Alliwells Court” became one of the new streets in the neighborhood. Our builder did not want to leave Erin out, so she got her own street too: South Erin Drive!

Another example is “Brenner Court” in the Bennett Kiln neighborhood in Vienna. Bet you can’t guess this one. Nope – Brenner is not the builder’s son’s name or even grandson’s name. It’s his DOG’S name! How did that happen? Well, when a builder is developing a neighborhood, he has to submit a list of possible street names to Fairfax County. The County checks the names, rules out duplicates and then issues the street names. In this case, the builder submitted 15 street names and then jokingly said “and if none of those are available, name the street after my dog Brenner“. And so – we have Brenner Court in Vienna.

A third example is “Ceret Court” in Vienna. I’ll bet you didn’t know that “back in the day” Vienna had a Sister City in Ceret, France. How do we know that? Well, one of The Belt Team members was an exchange student from Vienna to Ceret back in 1979. Ceret is a small town just like Vienna and is located in Southern France. You might recognize Pablo Picasso as one of Ceret’s famous inhabitants of the early 20th century.

It’s fun stories like these that are a by-product of being in the real estate business for so many years. And why we love helping our clients buy & sell homes in Northern Virginia. There’s more to real estate than just the numbers. It’s about people, your lives, your families & your dreams.

For more, contact The Belt Team at (703) 242-3975.

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Laura B. March 10, 2013 at 02:18 PM
This is fascinating! More, please! A street near me is Wade Hampton Drive. I was curious enough to look up the phrase, and learned Wade Hampton was a Confederate General who later became the Governor of South Carolina. In the novel "Gone with the Wind," Scarlett names her first child Wade Hampton Hamilton after her first husband's commanding officer. (The child didn't make it into the movie.) I wonder who named a Vienna street after a Confederate general!
Michele Cubell March 10, 2013 at 03:24 PM
Glen Avenue, SW and Albrecht Circle, SW were named after the builder who built most of the houses on those streets - Glen Albrecht.
Michele Sullivan March 10, 2013 at 05:55 PM
We live on Yeonas Drive in SW Vienna, named after the Yeonas family builders: http://yeonasandellis.com/about/a-family-heritage. We invite them to our Yeonas Block Party each year but they have yet to join us. Yeonas family, thank you for creating a great neighborhood!
Kate March 10, 2013 at 07:41 PM
Clearly our neighborhood developer had a dog as we live on Labrador Lane. (I continue to be amazed at how many folks cannot spell it or say it though...)
Wien March 11, 2013 at 02:57 AM
You'd be surprised how many things are named after builders and their families, and it's not just streets...Reston was named after its founder/builder Robert E. Simon.


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