Fort Myer

Fort Myer, Virginia, traces its origin as a military post to the Civil War. The acres encompassing Fort Myer and Arlington National Cemetery were called Arlington Heights when they were owned in the 1800s by Mary Anna Randolph, granddaughter of George Washington Parke Custis. Custis was Martha Washington's grandson. Mary Anna Randolph married Robert E. Lee when he was a young Army lieutenant. Lee helped rescue the estate from financial disaster in 1858, left the area in April 1861 to lead the Confederate Army, never to return.

The land was confiscated by the government for military purposes when the Lees were unable to pay their property taxes in person. Part of the estate became Arlington National Cemetery and the remainder Fort Whipple.

fort-myersFort Whipple, on 256 acres, was one of the stronger fortifications built to defend the Union capital across the Potomac River. Brig. Gen. Albert J. Myer commanded Fort Whipple and the post was renamed Fort Myer, primarily to honor the late chief signal officer, but also to eliminate confusion created by the existence of another Fort Whipple in Arizona.

In 1887, Fort Myer became the nation's cavalry showplace. As many as 1,500 horses were stabled at the fort during any given time from 1887 to 1949, and Army horsemanship became an important part of Washington's official and social life.

Most of the buildings at the north end of Fort Myer were built between 1895 and 1908. Many of those still standing have been designated historic landmarks by the U.S. Department of the Interior and the state of Virginia. The first military test flight of an aircraft was made from the Fort Myer parade ground on Sept. 9, 1908.

Defensive troops were stationed at Fort Myer during World War II, when it also served as a processing station for soldiers entering and leaving the Army.

  • Date privatized - September 2006
  • Beginning Period of Performance - August 2007 
  • Size - roughly 243 acres
  • Miles of line - 8.9 miles
  • Number of facilities served - 121 Buildings
  • Total dollar value of projects completed since inception - $70.5M
  • Number people supported - Forts Myer and McNair Combined - 2,020 assigned active duty military personnel, 5,900 attached active duty military personnel, 1,374 civilian workforce, 112,000 military family members, retirees, and spouses
  • Dominion Energy Virginia installed a state of the art substation fed by multiple 230kv underground transmission lines. Radnor Heights Substation.