In 1941 the Defense Homes Corporation (DHC), a subsidiary of Roosevelt's National Housing Agency, purchased 322 acres to develop housing for war-time personnel. Named Fairlington, the community featured 3,449 garden apartments. It was the largest project undertaken by the DHC and was the largest apartment complex in the nation upon its completion.
Designed by architects Kenneth Franzheim and Allen B. Mills, the community features Colonial Revival brick buildings which incorporate shared green space and non-grid cluster patterns in building layout.
After the war Fairlington transitioned from public to private ownership and was successfully converted to a condominium community. Despite a proposal to level the community in favor of high-rise housing in the 1960s, Fairlington remains Arlington's largest selection of moderate-income housing.