This 132-acre planned community, located in the North Ridge neighborhood of northwestern Alexandria, was constructed as an exclusive rental complex for federal employees between 1941 and 1943 by the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company (MetLife). New York-based landscape architects Clarke & Rapuano (who also collaborated with MetLife on Stuyvesant Town in New York City) created the site plan, placing the roads and buildings within a wooded, park-like setting. The low-rise housing was designed by Leonard Schultze and Associates. In 1967 MetLife sold the buildings and leased the land to Arlen Realty. During the early 1970s, Arlen Realty planned to demolish the complex and construct higher-density residential towers, but the tenants organized in protest and the plans were dropped. Parc East Condominiums, the neighboring tower built in 1971, is a remnant of this plan. MetLife and Arlen Realty sold the property in 1977 to PIA/IDI Corporation, who planned to convert Parkfairfax into a condominium complex divided into “hamlets,” each containing its own “town square.” The hamlet concept was abandoned, but the owner did convert the complex into condominiums, and inserted two swimming pools, eight tennis courts, and two volleyball courts into the wooded landscape. Residents were offered the opportunity to purchase their apartment at a discount, and many took advantage of the plan. In 1979, Parkfairfax had become a self-governing condominium association.
Parkfairfax features 285 two- and three-story Colonial Revival garden apartment buildings, containing 1,684 residential units. The complex is laid out along tree-lined, curvilinear streets, in an insular, asymmetrical plan with five vehicular entrances. Situated in a densely populated area, adjacent to a major interstate, the suburban community includes shared courtyards and ribbons of woodlands throughout. Parkfairfax Historic District was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1999.