Lexington Park is the gateway community to the U. S. Naval Air Systems Command headquarters aboard the Naval Air Station Patuxent River. Across the nation communities surround federal installations and yet none can brag of a relationship as close as that of Lexington Park to NAS Patuxent River.
Lexington Park came into existence with the opening of the Air Station at the height of WWII in 1943. The community is named in commemoration of the U.S.S. Lexington, one of the Navy’s first aircraft carriers. Streets throughout the community such as Coral, Tulagi, Lei, Essex and Salamaua, are named for locations in the Pacific Theater where the value of naval aviation was tested. The U.S.S. Lexington or CV2 is now featured proudly in the community’s logo.
As with any older community, attention must be paid to aging infrastructure and public amenities. Lexington Park is in the midst of a multi-year initiative to improve public facilities and attract private investment. The Lexington Park Plan, a land use master plan focused on the original business district which lines Great Mills Road, details actions designed to improve the community.
Implementation of Phase 1 of the Lexington Park Plan resulted in the construction of a new post office and library, sewer, water and roadway reconstruction throughout the Patuxent Park neighborhood and along a 1.4 mile stretch of MD Rt. 246, the acquisition and demolition of 342 blighted residential structures located directly within the flight path of the main runway of NAS Patuxent River, streetscaping of Great Mills Road from Coral to Saratoga Drive, the renovation and expansion of Lexington Park Elementary School, the construction of a newly located G. W. Carver Elementary School, the reconstruction of Nicolet Park and the opening of John G. Lancaster Park, the Chesapeake Public Charter School, the county’s first charter school, and the Three Notch Theater, the community’s first black box theater.
A little know fact is that the Lexington Park Library located on So. Shangri-La Drive commands the highest circulation of any library in Southern Maryland! The Three Notch Theater provides year-round cultural entertainment; the Juneteenth Festival attracts thousands of Jazz lovers each year to Freedom Park located directly across from the Frank Knox School (Bldg. 2189) and, on Saturday, May5th, the community will host an Inaugural Parade to celebrate the recent completion of the Great Mills Road Streetscape Project.
More work and investment is certainly needed to improve the gateway community to NAS Patuxent River and yet, the Lexington Park Business and Community Association’s wildly successful Centennial Celebration last year demonstrated the Navy’s and the broader community’s support for continued “Pride in the Park” initiatives which do just that.