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Future Of Alexandria's Woodlawn Stables Threatened By Road Project

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The future of Woodlawn Stables is in doubt now that the Federal Highway Administration wants to build a road through this stable.
WAMU/Michael Pope
  The future of Woodlawn Stables is in doubt now that the Federal Highway Administration wants to build a road through this stable.

At Woodlawn Stables in southern Alexandria, the future is bleak. Cindy Mitchell owns the business on land owned by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, but a new road project threatens to displace it.

"We will no longer be at this location. We will try to go somewhere else and keep doing what we do and be another part of another community," she says.

A road-widening project runs right through the stable where she keeps all her horses. That means the structure will be demolished, sending her horses—and her business—out of Fairfax County.

"The morale is down. It's just a sad thing to see such a historical property go away," says Arvin Reynolds, a blacksmith for the business, which has been at the same location for more than 50 years.

The Federal Highway Administration has offered money to build a new stable, but only if the National Trust for Historic Preservation decides it wants to continue having horses on its property. Leaders at the Trust say they're still weighing the options. Woodlawn Baptist Church pastor Travis Hilton says it would be a shame to say goodbye to the horses.

"We can empathise with them as neighbors and with people in the community because we obviously think there's a beauty in what is there in the operations," he says.

Leaders at the National Trust for Historic Preservation say they plan on making a decision about whether or not horses will stay on the property in the next few months.

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