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Reston Then and Now: Reston Town Center

by Vernon Miles December 14, 2018 at 4:45 pm 12 Comments

If there’s an area that represents the opposite of the sleepy, village-style Lake Anne, it’s the Reston Town Center. Like we did with Lake Anne, Reston Now has used the Fairfax County’s Historic Imagery Viewer to put together aerial views of Reston Town Center as it has developed over the years.

Like much of Reston, aerial photography of the site up to 1960 shows open forest or farmland. However, while the rest of Reston started being developed and growing throughout the 1960s, the Reston Town Center would remain forest until the Mobil Land Development group began construction in 1988.

Photography from 1990 shows the very beginnings of the town center — a handful of central buildings at the main square surrounded mostly by parking lots to the west.

Throughout the 1990s, more buildings are constructed at the northern end of the site, but it isn’t until around 2002 that the Town Center fully expands to the Fairfax County Parkway in the west and the Dulles Access Road in the south.

A big park of this expansion is the creation of the West Market neighborhood at the western edge of the development. In 1993 the open pavilion, currently an ice-skating rink, was built and in 2000 the 18-story One Freedom Square and 16-story Two Freedom Square west of the main plaza were constructed.

From 2002 to 2017, most of the new development is filling out the spaces between the larger developments. Throughout the 2000s a parking garage and additional office and high-rise residential buildings were also constructed.

Much of the newer development is concentrated at the southern part of the Town Center along Sunset Hill Road, near where the Reston Town Center Metro station is scheduled to open in 2020.

  • OneReally

    I love these series so far. Please keep them up.
    Great job.

  • 30yearsinreston

    Hudgins has facilitated the evolution of RTC into an urban slum

    • James

      I hear she’s also solely responsible for 25% of the CO2 in the atmosphere. HOW DO WE STOP THIS WOMAN!?

      • 30yearsinreston

        I hear that you failed your audition @ the comedy channel

        • James

          Doesn’t matter because Hudgins closed it down! She needed the space for moar free houses and urban slums.

          • Barbara Goddard

            Oh please if think they are slums try living somewhere else

          • disqus_v98OYzvtbj ):

    • Barbara Goddard

      Seriously? You really are delusional

    • Steve Patz

      Man some people really hate change.

  • John Lovaas


  • Arielle in NoVA

    Since Reston didn’t even exist in 1960, jumping from there to 1990 is not very helpful without also showing the 1976 and 1980 imagery. Those years show how Reston was developing around the RTC area.

    • Egads

      People will find a way to complain about ANYTHING.


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