This area takes its name from John W. Burd's Arlington Grove subdivision of 1868, which was bounded by the present Belt, Maffitt, and Clara Avenues and M. L. King Drive. Another early residential subdivision was Goodfellow Place, platted in 1870 to adjoin Arlington Grove on the east. Housing buildup in the Arlington area followed a rather irregular pattern both in time and location.

Beginning about 1885, new subdivisions were opened with most activity occurring between 1890 and 1910. Largest of these was Mount Auburn, which covered the section west of Goodfellow and north of Easton to Kennerly Avenue. It was platted in 1891 and built up after electrification of the car line on Easton Avenue, with a consequent commercial development in Wellston.

By the mid-1920's, the last of the residential subdivisions were opened, principally along Natural Bridge Avenue, where multiple dwellings were built in Motor Heights (1920), Mars Place (1923), and Hedgleigh Park (1924), as well as Homesties Subdivision, northwest of Natural Bridge and Goodfellow. The latter was primarily single family in character. Last subdivision in the area was Norwood Square, at St. Louis and Norwood Avenues, in 1960.