The historic Lake Anne area needs more than $37 million in repairs, according to a report released by the Fairfax County Department of Public Works and Environmental Services earlier this month.
An assessment by architecture firm Samaha Associates found that the property, which is managed by the Lake Anne of Reston Condominium Association, has major issues with aging infrastructure, including damage to concrete surfaces, brick buildings, and plumbing systems. Much of that damage and distress is visible to any passer-by.
“Items not addressed in a timely fashion will cause further deterioration of the buildings and potentially create worse conditions and more costly repairs,” the report concluded.
Maintenance and infrastructure issues caught statewide attention when residents of the Quayside condominiums went without hot water for several months last winter.
Lake Anne was the first village center created and designed by Bob Simon in Reston. The village center was constructed between 1963 through 1967. The National Register of Historic Places has called the plaza the “the historic heart and soul” of Reston.
Hunter Mill District Supervisor Walter Alcorn held a meeting with residents and the condominium association Monday night to review the report and discuss next steps. He also met with residents in July.
The county will consider assisting stakeholders with a plan for revitalization and infrastructure improvements. But county officials stressed that community input is needed before a proposal is considered.
One option could include leveraging county assistance in exchange for the development rights of Lake Anne’s common area.
“This is a tremendous burden on the community,” Alcorn said, noting that a condominium association that manages 131 units cannot bear the financial burden of a full-blown revitalization effort alone.
Several options are on the table.
Individual residents and businesses were excluded from the assessment, which primarily examined five buildings, including the Market-deli, Chimney House, the plaza, Quayside and Heron House.
The firm broke down cost estimates for each deficiency, which was ranked by priority. A priority rating of one represents a life safety issue that should be addressed immediately while a rating of five can be addressed when feasible.
A complete breakdown of estimated costs is below. The most critical repairs are close to $20 million.
Items that received that rating included multiple National Electrical Code violations in several buildings, extensive cracking along concrete throughout the plaza, clogged drains, and deteriorating wood balconies at the Chimney House.
A retaining wall at the Quayside condominiums has also shifted and needs to be repaired or replaced. Additionally, the building’s water boiler needs to be replaced. Similar issues were flagged in the Heron House.
The firm visited the plaza several times in June and July this year to conduct the assessment. The assessment notes that costs are conservative, especially since water and sewer upgrades, ADA compliance and other issues were not considered in the precursory analysis.
The complete assessment is available online.
Possible Measles Exposures Under Investigation — Three individuals who recently arrived in Northern Virginia through Dulles International Airport as part of the Afghanistan evacuation have been diagnosed with measles, state health officials say. The risk to the general community is considered low, but anyone not vaccinated against the measles who was at the airport or certain other locations during specific time frames listed in the news release should contact their health provider. [VDH]
Police Arrest Man at Lake Anne Plaza — Fairfax County police arrested an Alexandria man found lying on the ground in the 1600 block of Washington Plaza on Thursday (Sept. 9) after discovering that he had narcotics, multiple rounds of ammunition, and a firearm. He was charged with two counts of being a felon in possession of ammunition, carrying a concealed weapon, and possession of schedule IV narcotics. [FCPD]
Reston Contractor Protests Army Award — CACI International, which moved its headquarters to Reston over the summer, filed a contract protest against the federal government last week over awards issued by the U.S. Army. Few details about the case are known, because CACI’s federal subsidary requested that the records be sealed because they contain “confidential and proprietary information.” [Washington Business Journal]
See Herndon Fire Station Raise Flag for 9/11 — “Station 36, Frying Pan, A-Shift presenting the colors at a 9-11 ceremony in Herndon earlier today. Beautiful! #NeverForget #FCFRD” [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department/Twitter]
Two Lake Anne Plaza restaurants recently paid tribute to the 13 U.S. military service members who died in a suicide attack at the Kabul airport last month.
Café Montmartre and Kalypso’s Sports Tavern joined other restaurants around the world in setting aside tables over Labor Day weekend (Sept. 4-5) for the men and women, ages 20-31, who were killed during the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan.
“Both of us decided to do this at the same time in order to allow the many visitors to our plaza to take a moment to reflect on the loss and remember the sacrifices made to help others,” Kalypso’s owner Vicky Hadjikyriakou said, noting that she collaborated with Café Montmartre owner Anh Lee.
The Aug. 26 suicide attack at Hamid Karzai International Airport came amid an urgent evacuation effort after the Taliban seized power and U.S. troops started to leave, ending the country’s 20-year military presence in Afghanistan on Aug. 30.
A regional offshoot for the Islamic State claimed responsibility for two bombings, which occurred at an exterior gate of the airport and a hotel.
More than 100 people died.
Flag-draped transfer cases line the inside of a C-17 Globemaster II Aug. 29, 2021, prior to a dignified transfer at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware. The fallen service members died while supporting non-combat operations in Kabul.
Gone, but never forgotten. pic.twitter.com/7HzJvnFrSD
— U.S. Marines (@USMC) August 29, 2021
Café Montmartre and Kalypso’s decorated the tables that they set aside with small American flags. Kalypso’s placed them in cups of beer along with a sign that said “Reserved for the 13 fallen HEROES.”
“Both of our families emigrated to the United States within the last 50-60 years, with Anh’s family leaving Vietnam in much the same circumstances as those in Afghanistan, so doing this was especially meaningful,” Hadjikyriakou said.
The tables were kept indoors or outdoors all day and evening throughout the holiday weekend. People could also sign their names, give condolences, and share messages that the two restaurants plan to send to the victims’ families through the nonprofit United Service Organizations.
Other businesses across the country and globe have made similar memorials.
“Anh and I wanted to honor those who gave their lives for others, but weren’t quite sure of the best way to do it,” Hadjikyriakou said. “We saw that other establishments had ‘Tables of Honor’ and we decided we would join the hundreds of restaurants across the country ensuring that these men and women were not forgotten over the holiday weekend.”
To the world, Mykle Lyons was an accomplished jazz musician, a student of the late Ellis Marsalis who played in venues like Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center and counted former Vice President Al Gore among his fans.
To residents of Reston, his long-time home, Lyons was also a neighbor, a regular sight at the now-closed Market Street Bar and Grill in Reston Town Center and at local schools where he sometimes volunteered to perform.
Now, in the wake of Lyons’s death in May, Lake Anne Plaza hopes to keep alive his legacy as a musician and valued community member by launching the first annual Mykle Lyons Food and Music Festival on Sept. 18.
“The cultural impact of Reston ripples far beyond its boundaries, and nowhere is this better exemplified than by the contributions of our own Mykle Lyons, an accomplished musician, an educator, a philosopher, and a generous and compassionate soul,” the Lake Anne & Washington Plaza Merchant Association said yesterday (Tuesday) in a news release announcing the festival’s musical lineup.
Organized by the association in conjunction with Roxplosion and Kalypso’s Sports Tavern, the free festival will take place at the plaza waterfront (1609 Washington Plaza) from 5 to 8 p.m. The Chris Timbers Band and Sam Gunderson & The Cactus Groove will perform.
Born in Ocean Springs, Mississippi, Lyons became immersed in jazz through trips with his father to nearby New Orleans. He and his family moved to Reston when he entered middle school, where he joined his first band, Amethyst, according to Kalypso’s owner Vicky Hadjikyriakou.
He later studied with Marsalis while attending Virginia Commonwealth University and formed the Mykle Lyons Quartet, which appeared as the featured act at the 1992 and 1996 Presidential Inaugural Galas at the National Gallery of Art.
Lyons released four professional recordings, including an album called “Heritage” that featured all original music and arrangements, but his primary passion was for live music.
An archived Washington Post feature on pianist Loston Harris II describes Lyons’s bass solo during a sold-out concert that they played at The Lyceum in Old Town Alexandria in the late 1990s, saying that “the instrument seems to be alive, bucking and rolling.”
Other collaborators included the Marsalis family, Don Braden, Lew Tabacken, Ralph Bowen, Vincent Herring, Wes Anderson, Eric Alexander, and Victor Goines.
“Through his travels and gigs, Lake Anne remained his home and the Plaza his neighborhood,” Hadjikyriakou said by email.
In addition to putting on weekly shows at the Market Street Bar and Grill until it closed, Lyons performed at a range of venues throughout Reston, from weddings to the United Christian Parish preschool. He even once coordinated a volunteer performance by Lady Gaga’s cellist at Buzz Aldrin Elementary School.
Lyons also left his mark in Reston by creating the Lake Anne Jazz and Blues Festival, which celebrated its 14th year of existence on Saturday (Sept. 4). His band, which expanded into a sextet, had performed at the annual festival in the past.
“Kalypso’s, Roxplosion, and Lake Anne & Washington Plaza Merchant Association all look forward to honoring Mykle’s contributions by providing an event to celebrate and share the gift of music with our community, just as he would have wanted- in his neighborhood,” Hadjikyriakou said.
The Fairfax County Police Department has increased its presence around Lake Anne Plaza after receiving multiple complaints about men aggressively panhandling in the parking lot.
The department tells Reston Now that officers have responded to three separate calls about panhandling in the plaza’s parking lot within the past week.
“Those men have left the area prior to officers’ arrival on each occasion,” the FCPD said by email. “Commanders at the Reston District Station have directed officers to increase their presence in the area.”
The recent incidents have gone beyond basic panhandling, with people reporting being approached by men who ask for money and threaten violence when refused, according to posts in private community groups on social media, including NextDoor and Facebook, that were shared with Reston Now.
New Trail Cycling & Strength (1641B Washington Plaza N.) said in an email to patrons that one of its riders recently “had an unfortunate incident with someone asking for money in an aggressive way in the commercial lot.”
The indoor bicycling studio says both police and Lake Anne’s condominium management team were made aware of the incident, and officers will be patrolling the area more frequently.
“We wanted to remind everyone to be vigilant as you walk to your car,” New Trail said. “Always keep your eyes open and look around for people who may approach you. We encourage you to walk out with another rider. If you’re unable to do that, someone on staff is always happy to accompany you to your car.”
The FCPD advises community members to call its non-emergency phone line at 703-691-2131 if they encounter anyone “acting suspicious or aggressive.”
Police say the panhandling issues do not appear to be related to the spate of vehicle thefts that have been under investigation since early June. The majority of stolen vehicle reports have occurred in the McLean District, with just two incidents coming in Reston.
“At this time, there is no nexus between the panhandlers and the stolen vehicles,” the FCPD said.
While panhandling in public spaces is legal in Virginia, Fairfax County discourages people from giving money to individuals who ask for it, saying that they should instead be directed to social services that can provide more long-term assistance.
“While we may get a good feeling by providing money to directly to someone in need, the reality is that people in need require more resources than small amounts of money,” the Fairfax County Office to Prevent and End Homelessness says.
Photo via vantagehill/Flickr
After a muted 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, live music fans have a veritable feast of options for entertainment during this year’s long, hot summer days.
In addition to Reston Community Center’s ongoing concert series, this week will bring the launch of Friday Night Live! in the Town of Herndon, which scrapped the planned July 2 kickoff due to scheduling conflicts, and the Fairfax County Park Authority’s Summer Entertainment Series.
For anyone looking to spend a full day jamming to some tunes, however, the Roots Music Festival at Lake Anne Plaza (1609 Washington Plaza) might be the right tempo.
The lineup features six bands that will each play for about an hour:
- 1 p.m.: Geraldine
- 2 p.m.: Split String Soup
- 3 p.m.: The Fly Birds
- 4 p.m.: Minks Miracle Medicine
- 5 p.m.: Annie Stokes
- 6 p.m.: Two Ton Twig
As in previous years, the music will be accompanied by a beer and wine garden scheduled to open at 12:30 p.m. Viewing areas are available at all restaurants around the plaza, including the patio at Lake Anne Brew House.
Friends of Lake Anne founder Eve Thompson, who serves as coordinator of the Roots Music Festival and owns the Lake Anne Coffee House and Wine Bar, says it has been gratifying to see the plaza come back to life over the past few months, as vaccines have allowed people to gather and socialize again.
“FOLA seeks to encourage vitality of the Plaza. It’s a great place to hear live music,” Thompson said by email. “It’s been a long hard year for most of the businesses on the Plaza…We are glad to see people out in the shops and restaurants again. We hope people will come out to enjoy the music!”
For the Reston Historic Trust & Museum, survival over the past year has been all about embracing the future to explain the past.
Located at Lake Anne Plaza, the small, one-room community museum first opened its doors in 1997. It tells the story of Reston, from its beginnings in the early 1960s to today, through a variety of artifacts, informational boards, and a 1982 three-dimensional map of Reston that hangs on the right side of the room.
The museum is currently open to visitors and has been since July after closing for four months due to the pandemic.
Aside from a few social distancing stickers and minor aesthetic changes, the museum’s outward appearance hasn’t changed all that much in the past year, Reston Museum Executive Director Alex Campbell told Reston Now on a recent Tuesday morning visit.
“We used to have a couple of more chairs here,” Campbell said, pointing to a gap on the gray carpet. “That’s probably the biggest difference in terms of the interior space.”
However, the museum has transformed considerably since March 2020 in terms of how it presents its material.
“There was always this discussion of a digital presence, but it would have looked different if we had been here,” Campbell said.
She’s been leading the museum since 2018 and admits that the COVID-19 pandemic was a catalyst for innovation.
Like many other cultural institutions, the museum shifted programs online to their YouTube page. Its website got an update to include virtual exhibits, like “Women Pioneers of Reston,” and let visitors browse collections and the archives from home.
The biggest undertaking, however, was moving the museum’s most well-known item — the 1982 map — online. The map came from the old Reston Visitor Center and was moved to the museum when it first opened.
“It’s very outdated and, obviously, updating the actual map would be incredibly difficult to do,” says Campbell. “And to a certain extent, it’s kind of nice. It’s this sorta time capsule.”
For example, the map still shows Reston Town Center surrounded by mostly green trees, and there’s no Metro station along Wiehle Avenue.
Looking to connect the past to the present, the map went digital. Visitors can now visit the webpage, click a particular point on the map, and be taken to another landing page with photos and written history.
“Those [photos] are all from our archives, they’re all historic photos of Reston,” Campbell said. “They show the change over time and a little bit more than just a point on the map.”
She says all of this allows the museum to reach more people and tell the story of Reston better, with the assistance of several grants — including $10,000 from Virginia’s tourism corporation and $4,000 from Virginia Humanities.
While visitation has been down about 50% from pre-COVID times, Campbell has noticed one encouraging trend that could stem from the museum’s increased online presence.
“Since November, 70% of our visitors have never been here before,” she said.
Campbell theorizes it could also be related to folks looking for new activities to do close to home.
Either way, the museum appears to be drawing in new people who are, in turn, learning more about Reston.
As vaccines become more plentiful, the weather warms, and some semblance of normalcy returns, the Reston Museum plans to use the lessons it has learned from the past year to move forward into the future.
A recent survey has shown that people still want an increased digital presence going forward, Campbell says, since it provides a chance to reach individuals who may not be physically close by.
“We had people in California take that survey and was like, ‘I don’t live here, but I used to live here,'” she said. “We are reaching a different group of people.”
That being said, there’s still a ton of benefit to being at the museum in person.
The weekend of May 2 was the first time that the museum had a volunteer to greet visitors and answer questions since March 2020. In addition, in-person events tend to lend themselves better to conversations between guests.
“We were losing a lot of the community connection with just chatting with people,” Campbell said.
Going forward, Campbell expects the museum to find a balance between fostering a sense of community with in-person activities and reaching more people beyond Reston with a digital presence.
This includes planning several talks into the fall that will have at least a digital component, including an event next week about Reston’s village centers. The museum is also exploring the possibility of again doing outdoor events in Lake Anne Plaza in the late summer and fall.
Either way, Campbell is proud of the lessons the museum has learned during this very difficult time.
“It was a very uncertain time, a very scary time,” says Campbell. “But [the Reston Museum] has come out of this doing all right… we’ve actually found ways to expand beyond this physical location.”
Although cancellations of many major Reston events were announced this week, Reston Community Center’s summer concerts have returned to Lake Anne Plaza and Reston Station.
The 2020 Summer Concert series is free to the public and features two different recurring concert series. The Take a Break series is held at Lake Anne Plaza on Thursdays from 7-8:30 p.m. The Summerbration Fab Fridays series is held at Reston Station on Fridays from 7-8:30 p.m, according to the Reston Community Center website.
The dates and performances for Take a Break include:
- July 30: Cheick Hamala Diabate
- Aug. 6: Uptown Vocal Jazz Quartet
- Aug. 13: Mambo Combo
- Aug. 27: Alfredo Mojica & Friends
- Sep. 3: David Bach Consort
The dates and performances for Summerbration Fab Fridays include:
- July 31: Far Away
- Aug. 7: King Teddy
- Aug. 14: Cristian Perez Band
- Aug. 21: Seth Kibel Band
- Aug. 28: Swingin’ Swamis
- Sep. 4: Tobago Bay
RCC will be mandating social distancing protocol and masks to ensure COVID-19 safety at the venue, according to the website. Additionally, patrons are requested to bring their own chairs or blankets for seating, and capacity will be limited due to social distancing.
Photo via the Reston Community Center website
Weather Alert for Today — The work week begins with hot and humid weather. Afternoon showers and thunderstorms are also expected. Forecasters say some storms could be strong to severe, with damaging. Winds, large hail, and an isolated threat for flooding. [National Weather Service]
COVID-19 Count Begins Climb — “Both Virginia and the Northern Virginia region reported the highest daily number of new coronavirus cases in almost a month on Saturday, according to the Virginia Department of Health. Northern Virginia reported 256 new cases, and statewide 716 new cases were reported. Both numbers were the highest since June 7.” [Inside NOVA]
Virtual Town Hall for Return to School — The Fairfax County Public Schools System is hosting a downhill to discuss return to school options on today (Monday). A meeting in Spanish will be held on Wednesday. [FCPS]
Photo via vantagehill/Flickr
LARCA President Senzel Schaefer said she initiated the review following a board vote after last year’s election brought a new slate of board members who committed to “change and fiscal responsibility.” In-fighting and contention over finances have marred the board leading up to and following the election. Schaefer said she hoped the review would shed light on financial mismanagement, ultimately putting the board on “a new path to financial solvency.”
The review calls on LARCA to establish better internal controls and accountability practices. E&Y reviewed spending and other activities of the previous LARCA board over the last three fiscal years.
Schaefer said the report — which she characterized as an audit — is critical to improving the financial standing of the association. She says she’s been targeted by a “small but vocal group” of people seeking to halt the audit and her work. A lawsuit has been served against her, she said.
“I repeatedly pointed out to these individuals and still believe that good governance starts with transparency of operations and finances and following our bylaws, which were not adhered to in the past, so I will not stop the audit because we need to know where operations broke down and how to fix them,” she said.
“The question should be: in light of our financial irregularity and operational failures; why would anyone be so opposed to an audit which would give us answers and a path forward?” she added.
Others contend the review offers an incomplete and misleading picture of LARCA’s past financial practices. They also state Schaefer acted unilaterally by approaching E&Y with strong allegations against the previous board. Schaefer denies those allegations, saying she acted with the consent of the board.
Karen Jarvis, a property owner at Lake Anne who stepped down from her role as chair of LARCA’s finance committee, said a request for significant additions, corrections, and retractions is in progress. Jarvis, who is a procurement compliance manager and a former finance manager, says that the report is based on limited documentation to E&Y — some of which she says is accessible in LARCA’s administrative office.
“We are still working with E&Y to get a final version signed off with corrections,” Jarvis said. “There were huge amounts of information that were not provided but are readily available.”
The draft report — which was posted publicly by a community advocacy group — was released on May 29 and presented to the membership in mid-June. The Fairfax County Police Department also expects to release a report about its investigation of LARCA by the end of July, according to Second Lieutenant Erica Webb.
When analyzing $2.68 million dispersed to the top ten vendors, EY found “limited written policies and procedures at LARCA,” including the lack of written bidding, contracting or payment requirements. It suggested considering rebidding for large vendors to ensure the most favorable market-competitive rates were secured.
To celebrate the restaurant’s 10th anniversary, Kalypso’s Sports Tavern will be hosting a series of community events next weekend.
On both July 3 and 4, attendees can expect live music, party favors, free food samples and the eatery’s lineup of Italian and Greek dishes, a press release said.
Free celebratory music will kick off with a performance on Friday from Steel Drums with Josanne Franci from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. and Bongo District Trio from 6 to 9 p.m. On Saturday, Steel Drums with Josanne Franci will be performing again from 6 to 9 p.m.
The eatery is located at 1617 Washington Plaza. A spokesperson said that despite the COVID-19 pandemic, staff managed to adhere to social distancing guidelines so guests can feel safe while enjoying themselves. Outside on the patio, the website said that it can comfortably hold 75 guests while in stage two of reopening.
Throughout the eatery’s history, they’ve hosted various events and other celebrations for regulars. For its fifth-anniversary party in 2015, the restaurant hosted a similar beach themed celebration.
“I still remember the day in 2010 when I saw the commercial sales listing and was surprised to see the opportunity. I drove over to Lake Anne immediately and fell in love with the lakefront property,” owner Vicky Hadjikyriakou said in the press release.
Photo courtesy Kalypso’s Sports Tavern
More than 1,000 names of black people shot and killed by police in the last five years now don the sidewalks of Lake Anne Plaza.
Local residents spent much of Saturday morning chalking the names of 1,265 people with sidewalk chalk. Organizer Kaila Drayton, a said she wanted to take the time to honor individuals who lost their lives due to police brutality.
“I wanted to create a space where people from the local community could join in, help write names and have a conversation,” Drayton said. “The recent news of George Floyd’s death is both devastating and familiar to those of us in the black community.”
Drayton and two friends began around 8 a.m. on Sunday. The project took about four hours. A little over two dozen people gathered to help write the names and fill in some letters, including Black Lives Matter.
They also included a note about the project and a large message: “Reston, say their names.”
Lake Anne Village Center was the first village of Reston, a planned community. Founder Bob Simon sought to create an integrated community in the state before the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
In 2004, a bronze statue of Simon — dubbed “bronze bob” — was installed on a bench in Lake Anne Plaza.
It now includes a cardboard sign that reads “Black Lives Matter” around his neck.
Photos via Kaila Drayton
Local residents looking to get their farmers market fix and support small businesses can do so beginning next month.
Reston Farmers Market will return to the parking lot at Lake Anne Village Center on May 9 from 8 a.m. to noon. The Fairfax County Park Authority approved the opening of the market this week.
Organizers say the market will have a very different look and feel due to the COVID-19 public health emergency. Layout stands will be spread out in order to practice social distancing at the parking lot (1609 Washington Plaza-W).
The following new rules are expected to be implemented:
- Do not enter if sick
- Keep at least six feet apart from other people
- Everyone should wear a face mask or other facial covering
- No pets are allowed
- One customer at a stall at a time
- Do not touch products and surfaces. Vendors should manage bag purchases
- No on-site eating of purchases or sampling
- Payment by credit or debit card preferred
- Do not linger. Try to complete shopping as quickly as possible
- Leave by designated exits only
“It will be important that all customers adhere to them in order to assure that the Reston Farmers Market be permitted to stay open to serve you and to protect the health and safety of everyone in the market,” said John Lovaas, co-market manager.
Opening dates for other farmers market in Fairfax County have not been determined, but are expected soon.
Two months ago, Local VA, a gourmet dive bar, opened its doors at Lake Anna Plaza. The opening of the small business at 1633 Washington Plaza was marred by delays, but welcomed by customers and the Lake Anne community for its trendy aesthetic and varied menu.
But after a state order directed restaurants and other businesses to limit customers and shift to takeout and delivery, the recently-opened business is struggling to remain afloat. The owners say they’re in it for the long haul, despite financial setbacks.
When the nearly $350 billion stimulus package for small businesses launched, the owners said they immediately applied. One week later, the Small Business Administration assured them that a $10,000 forgivable loan would be on the way within three days of the receipt of a second application. The owners applied but heard nothing in return, despite multiple emails to the administration and their bank.
With federal funds exhausted for small business, Local VA is still optimistic about its future.
“Even when the pandemic forced us to switch to carry-out, your support kept us positive, enthusiastic and moving forward,” the owners wrote in a statement. “And now, we shall conquer this mountain, too. This is our room and its a livelihood for several good, caring and dedicated people.”
Local VA struggled to secure federal assistance is emblematic of other small businesses. The forgivable small business loan program quickly depleted in just under two weeks. It is possible that Congress will add additional money to the program, which was launched on a first-come, first-serve basis.
The business continues to take takeout orders.
“Be strong, be safe and let’s conquer this new world together,” the owners wrote.
Photo via vantagehill/Flickr
Restonians broke from a 16-year-long tradition of celebrating Founder’s Day at Lake Anne Plaza this year.
With social distancing guidelines and a stay-at-home order in effect, the Reston Historic Trust & Museum encouraged residents to find ways to celebrate the birthday of Reston’s founder Bob Simon and the community’s founding.
Alexandra Campbell, the director of the trust and museum, said she was glad the community was able to find embody one of Reston’s founding principles — to live, work and play in the neighborhood — in a new but truly Restonian way.
“While we are sad we could not hold this event on the plaza and could not connect with the community face to face, it has been a reminder that we can enjoy Reston’s history every day in our own homes. The community reflected and celebrated Reston’s unique history with us in a variety of ways,” Campbell said.
Nonetheless, residents submitted videos uploaded social media posts showing how they celebrated Founder’s Day from home.
Foley Academy of Irish Dance, which was scheduled to perform during Founder’s Day, shared a performance from members at home.
Reston Community Center also encouraged residents to enjoy a film created by Rebekah Wingert of Storycatcher Productions for Simon’s memorial in April 2016. The film was commissioned by Reston Community Center.
Nonprofit organization Cornerstones — which has been on the frontline of offering financial assistance and resources to people affected b yCOVID-10 — also wrote the following about Founder’s Day:
When Robert Simon founded Reston in 1964, his pioneering vision helped create a compassionate, thriving, and equitable community where everyone could live and work. Today, during this unprecedented economic and health crisis, our community’s resiliency and generosity remains a shining example of his legacy. We are proud to join the Reston Museum in celebrating Founder’s Day and thanking the many individuals, faith-based organizations, and community partners who have supported Cornerstones over the past 50 years. Our continued work together will help sustain neighbors hurting today and begin rebuilding stability, empowerment, and hope so everyone has a bright, healthy future in our community If you know someone who needs a hand-up, please encourage them to contact us at 571.323.9555 or visit cornerstonesva.org. We are ready to help!
Chuck Veatch, founding and current band member of the Reston Historic Trust & Museum, described this year’s founder’s day as the “most unusual” in Reston’s history. He encourages Rsetonians to continue to take part in celebrating the day.
“This is our 17th Founder’s Day and marks my 56th year living working playing and or serving in Reston. I will miss welcoming everyone in person to Founder’s Day this year but really want to see how each of us celebrates in this the most unusual Founder’s Day in our history.”
Photo via YouTube