Farewell, American Press Institute Building

Demolition began on Wednesday at 11690 Sunrise Valley Dr., where for more than 40 years stood Virginia’s only building designed by famed architect Marcel Breuer.

The building formerly housed the headquarters of the American Press Institute, but had been empty since API merged with another organization in 2012.

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors in July approved Sekas Homes’ application to build 34 townhouses and 10 condos on the site.

The proposal was approved after a late effort by historians, design experts and Reston citizens, who protested that the Brutalist building should be repurposed for another use rather than destroyed. The building had not been considered for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places because it is less than 50 years old.

The building owner and commercial real estate representatives said there was no interest from other businesses to relocate to the 45,000-square-foot building.

The demolition is expected to take about three weeks. Looking through some of the holes made Wednesday, it was visible that the tear-down was happening even as some of the Mid-Century modern furniture and other fixtures remained.

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