Reimagining Reston’s Pony Barn

by Karen Goff June 25, 2014 at 4:15 pm 6 Comments

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Classic Reston is a biweekly feature sponsored by the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce that highlights businesses, places and people with deep roots in Reston.

When Reston was founded in the mid-1960s, Reston founder Bob Simon envisioned horse owners buying homes in the south end of his “New Town.”

Many of the streets in the Hunters Woods area were given horse-related names and clustered around a barns  where Hunters Woods Park sits today and at Steeplechase and Triple Crown Road. The new construction was marketed to prospective residents as a place to work, play and ride — even taking your horse to run errands at the new Hunters Woods Village Center.

The pony barn at Steeplechase and Triple Crown burned down in more than 30 years ago. On the site, Reston Association opened the Pony Barn Picnic Pavilion, a 2006 square foot picnic pavilion near the Glade Stream. There is also a swing set, grills and an open lawn area.

Pony Barn area in South RestonBut it may be time to repurpose the Pony Barn area. Reston Association’s Board of Directors is about to begin a community engagement process to get feedback on what residents would like to see in the wooded spot.

Last November the RA Board of Directors marked $30,000 in the 2014 Capital Expense Budget for renovations to the Pony Barn area.

The board will consider a variety of uses, including a memorial garden of reflection.

To kick off the process, RA will send mailings to homes within a quarter-mile of the Pony Barn. They plan on organizing a task force, holding several community meetings, and developing a plan in conjunction with the Initiative for Public Art Reston (IPAR) and the RA Design Review Board. Any plans would have to go through the county planning process as well.

RA says it hopes to begin organizing the project this summer, with a final plan presented to RA, IPAR and the DRB by November.

What would you like to see in the Pony Barn spot? Tell us in the comments.

Photo: Pony Barn Pavilion in South Reston

  • Thomas

    Love your Reston history stories. There was an article in the Washington Post (dated 9/26/80) that said the roof of the Reston Riding Center collapsed due to heavy rain just hours before riding lessons were to be given. 27 horses escaped uninjured. Not sure if that is the same as the pony barn that you described, but the article also said the riding center was in Hunter’s Woods.

    • Karen Goff

      That’s a good question. There actually were two barns – one where Hunters Woods Park is located and one where the pony barn pavilion is located. RA says the pony barn burned down. Wil have to investigate which barn burned and which one collapsed. Any longtime Restonians remember?

      • Helen Dunn

        When I came to Reston in 1977 I rode at the riding center which was on what is now Reston Parkway. When it collapsed we were told that chemicals in the wood construction leached out and corroded the metal supports which caused the collapse. I was sorry to lose the ability to ride in Reston and wished that it had been rebuilt. We also lost a great source for gardeners as there was plenty of composted horse manure free for the taking!

        Helen Dunn

  • Thomas

    There’s a picture of the riding center in the GMU Archives-


  • Sarah

    I would like to see a barn. Enough folks here locally are interested in horses and there is a severe shortage of boarding facilities nearby.

  • Publius

    RA common ground should not be used for religious purposes. There are plenty of churches, synagogues and temples in Reston for quiet contemplation and memorial services. St. Anne’s has a memorial garden, as I think several other do. Nice thought; wrong solution and wrong jurisdiction. Keep Church and Private things separate. If you want a cemetery, buy some land adjoining Reston. Sacred ground yes; common ground no.


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