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Local Program to Highlight Buildings Under Threat, Preservation Challenges

by Fatimah Waseem November 13, 2017 at 2:45 pm 3 Comments

The Reston Historic Trust & Museum will host a discussion on present-day challenges in preserving pieces of the past. The program, led by John Burns, chief appeals officer for the National Park Service, will examine several significant local structures including Lake Anne Village Center, the demolished American Press Institute building and a building in Herndon under threat.

The event will take place on Thursday at 7 p.m. in the JoAnn Rose Gallery at Reston Community Center. The presentation will include an explanation about the National Register of Historic Places, the government’s official list of sites worthy of preservation.

Burns will discuss current issues in preserving the former API building, which was demolished last year to make way for a townhouse development project in Reston. The building was designed by 20th Century architect Marcel Breuer. The demolition effort drew vocal opposition from preservation activists and residents.

The program will also include a discussion on the Center for Innovative Technology campus, a 26-acre sprawl of land in Herndon that is being pitched for Amazon’s HQ2. Loudoun and Fairfax counties are pushing to propose the site.

Burns makes decisions about appeals of projects denied certification for federal rehabilitation tax incentives. He has also worked as the assistant director of heritage preservation assistance programs for the NPS. He currently serves as chairman of the Fairfax County Architectural Review Board.

The event is free, but seating is limited.  To make a reservation, call 703-709-7700 or email [email protected]

  • Greg

    The Brutalist bunker. Again?

    • Tammi Petrine

      Yeah, Greg, the building that you hate – again. As happy as you are, others of us are sick. It was designed by one of the world’s greatest architects and was destroyed due to FFX Co. NOT following its own guidelines for saving significant treasures. The details of that iconic structure down to its railings were pure art. The function as described by those who worked in it for decades was spectacular; fabulous acoustics.

      Trot over to our new NCGC/Police station meeting rooms and weep. Can’t hear a thing.

      I was at the first Reston P & Z meeting on this where the Sekas rep swore there were NO significant historical items on this site. Immediately API veterans in the audience who knew better jumped up to contradict her false statement. Even our own Hunter Mill Planning Commissioner urged quick approval of this gem’s demise. OTHER area planning commissioners were not so sure. Ultimately short-sighted officials voted to let it go. What a wonderful public space – offices, school, library – it would’ve made. It was designed as a conference center. Can you even imagine what a fabulous Supervisor’s office it would’ve made? Beautiful light, thick noise-deadening walls, meeting rooms galore, even a tiered lecture hall and plenty of parking.

      But you and the County can rejoice. You have a new development of 34 luxury $919K+ townhomes and 10 condos in its place. I believe 5 of condos are to be affordable housing DU’s (dwelling units). The condos are listed for $500K on the Sekas webpage. Sigh.

  • Tammi Petrine

    Gosh, what a shame these fascinating programs are scheduled in direct conflict with other important Reston meetings!!! Thursdays are also monthly RA board meetings where we are working to formulate changes to Reston’s master plan that would indeed save the ‘planned’ genius of our beloved Reston. Any chance this presentation could be taped and available for future viewing?

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