A wave of new military family housing construction occurred in the mid-1950s to help relieve shortages. The townhouse-style homes of Dogue Creek Village were the first to depart from the apartment-style buildings constructed right after World War II. Residents were excited to move into this modern, new village.
Dogue Creek Village is located on the eastern side of the South Post of the Belvoir peninsula, between Mount Vernon Road and Dogue Creek. The perimeter of the village is surrounded by woodland.
Dogue Creek Village consisted of 270 units for non-commissioned officers when it was built in the 1950s. The village included both townhouses and semi-attached bungalows.
Constructed from cinderblock with brick veneer, the buildings featured side-gable roofs and Colonial inspired accents, including either a flat roof or pedimented entrance canopy. There were three different unit types: the three-bedroom townhouse, the two-bedroom townhouse, and the three-bedroom bungalow. The Majority of the units were three-bedroom, with some two-bedroom units.
Floor plans for both the two- and three-bedroom townhouses featured a primary entrance on the first floor. The entrance opened into both the living room and a space which transitioned to the dining room and kitchen. The bedrooms and a bathroom were located on the second floor. The single-story bungalows featured a combination living/dining room on one side of the entrance, with the kitchen at the rear. The bedrooms and bathroom were located on the opposite side.
A three-phase renovation of Dogue Creek Village began in the mid-1990s. The last phase of this project was competed January 2003. At a cost of $15 million, the project involved a complete remodeling, including the addition of extra bedrooms and bathrooms to the units, enlarged kitchens, updated appliances, and a change from oil to natural gas heating.
At the same time, 12 of the units were renovated to meet Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards. ADA compliance involved the construction of entrance ramps with railings, installation of wider doorways, and lowering the kitchen cabinets, countertops, and light switches. The bathrooms were also renovated to include hand bars and rails for the bath tubs, lowered sinks, and slanted mirrors.
Statement of Significance
After World War II, the Army faced an unprecedented housing demand. Part of that need was associated with the need to maintain a large peacetime fighting force. These factors were coupled with the objective of supplying family housing for enlisted men, something which the military had not done prior to the war.
Construction of Dogue Creek Village was intended to address the installation's housing shortages. Financed by Army-wide military construction funds in 1956, the new bungalow-style and town-house-type buildings were viewed as the first permanent single-family housing units built on the base since the 1930s. The Army saw a clear difference between Dogue Creek Village and the apartment-style buildings previously constructed at Lewis Heights Village and Rossell Loop Village. The new housing at Dogue Creek Village was a departure from the apartment-style buildings the Army was constructing right after World War II.
At the time of construction, Dogue Creek Village was regarded as modern and exciting. Military families were thrilled about relocating from Grays Hill Village and Youngs Village, frame-built WWII bungalow-type housing. 1 The Fort Belvoir newspaper published glowing reports about the new quarters:
My daughter is happier here because she has plenty of play space where she can ride her bike. We are one of the fortunate Army families who could move into these new Dogue Creek quarters. In my opinion, it is a great step toward bettering the morale of the NCOs and their families. Now we look forward to a brighter and fresher-and more dignified-atmosphere in which to raise our daughter. (Sgt. Amsden)2
Even families moving from the apartments at Lewis Heights Village were impressed with the new housing.
The Army once again proved it could keep up with the Joneses by following the trends of suburbia occurring in the civilian sector. During the 1950s, the families living in Dogue Creek Village bragged about the ideal living conditions. Residents were pleased with the amount of play area for their children, and they also appreciated the wide streets and the ample paved parking. As another new resident put it:
I only hope the Army in the future will be able to house all military dependents with their husbands in such quarters as here at Dogue Creek. 3
The Village was named for Dogue Creek, a branch of the Potomac River which runs along the eastern side of the Fort Belvoir peninsula. The name Dogue originates from a group of Virginia Indians.
The Board on Geographic Names chose Dogue Creek as the stream's official name in 1892. Before then, the creek had been known by a variety of names, including Doag Creek, Dog's Creek, Dogue Run, Hopkins Creek, and Epsewasson Creek. 4