This is the only known community in Arlington built by Meadowbrook, Inc., a leading Washington-area builder of the time. The media claimed that Meadowbrook "set a new standard in fine home construction." The company broke ground on Arlington Forest in 1939 and by the end of April 1940, boasted it had already sold 130 homes and was averaging the sale of one house per day.
Arlington Forest is especially significant for its interpretation of the national subdivision trends and neighborhood planning techniques that emerged as a result of New Deal programs and the innovative philosophies and programs advocated by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). It's also a prime example of the types of large-scale housing developments that were built to satisfy the incredible housing demand during the pre and post-World War II period. Between 1940 and 1950, the suburban areas of Virginia saw explosive growth. Arlington County alone experienced a growth rate of 138 percent. Between 1940 and 1957, Arlington was the ninth fastest growing suburban county in the entire nation.
The FHA also promoted the use of the neighborhood shopping center as part of successful community planning. Although the concept of having stores and commercial services as part of planned suburbs dates to the mid-19th century, it was not until the early- to mid-20th century that the location and design of these buildings were considered to contribute to a community's quality of life and retention of real estate values.
There also are several civic, religious, and recreational facilities in and near the Arlington Forest Historic District, including a recreational center, a swimming pool and pool house, an elementary school, two churches and three public parks, including Lubber Run Park, Arlington Forest Park and Edison Park.