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Panel Tuesday Delves Into How Residents First Came to Reston

Ever wonder how residents chose Reston for their home?

The Reston Historic Trust and Museum and the Reston Community Center are hosting a free panel discussion on just that, following Bob Simon’s goal of having the individual be the focal point of planning.

“The journeys our panelists have made to Reston confirm that the lived experience of that vision is alive in Reston today,” the Reston Historic Trust and Museum said in a press release.

The Reston Historic Trust and Museum shared backgrounds about three of the four panelists who will share their stories about their journeys to Reston.

Lindsay Trout

After her parents’ divorce, Lindsay Trout moved with her mother to Reston at age nine because of the diverse housing stock available. She has stayed in Reston ever since. Trout attended Terraset Elementary, Langston Hughes Middle School and South Lakes High School. She has spent her teaching career in Fairfax County Public Schools and is currently the Principal of Terraset Elementary.

Medelyn A. Ortiz Lopez

Medelyn A. Ortiz Lopez came to the United States at age nine. She attended Dogwood Elementary, Langston Hughes Middle School and South Lakes High School. She formed part of Southgate Community Center for the past 11 years as a participant, then as a volunteer and currently as staff. She is pursuing a career in nursing.

Sara

Six years ago, Sara and her parents immigrated from Ethiopia after receiving U.S. visas in the diversity lottery. Sara was 15 years old and preparing to begin 9th grade. Her father is blind and partially paralyzed. The family has no outside support; Sara and her mother are his primary caregivers. Trying to juggle work, school, and caring for her father’s needs, the family has struggled with homelessness.

Sara attended six different high schools in four years. Being the only English speaker in the family, Sara had to take on many adult roles in her family early on, helping her parents as much as she could. Today, she and her family are preparing to move from a shelter into their own home. She is working on becoming a U.S. citizen. She hopes to earn her GED so she can attend college and become an engineer. She is brave, resilient and determined to succeed.

The fourth panelist is Rizwan Jaka from the All Dulles Area Muslim Society.

In conjunction with the event, the Reston Historic Trust and Museum is also encouraging Restonians to share their own short stories and photographs about how they came to Reston via an online forum.

The panel starts at 7 p.m. at RCC Lake Anne Jo Ann Rose Gallery (1609-A Washington Plaza) on Wednesday, Feb. 20.

Photo via Reston Historic Trust

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With New Leadership, Reston Historic Trust & Museum Puts Art Preservation in the Spotlight

The Reston Historic Trust and Museum has new leadership and is pushing into 2019 with an ambitious effort to save local art.

Carolyn Flitcroft, elected chair of the board for the organization in late January, said the Trust and Museum is hitting the ground running with a campaign to preserve the quirky pop-art iconography from the Lakeside Pharmacy.

“The main thing is we’re working on a fundraising effort for the [Lakeside Pharmacy Icons Exhibit],” said Flitcroft.

Flitcroft said that discussion of that preservation will start at a meeting on Thursday, after which Flitcroft said the group plans to begin discussions with the Fairfax County Board of Architectural Review.

With only $1,185 funded of the $15,000 goal on project’s GoFundMe, there’s still a long way to go to fund the icons’ cleaning, repairs and reinstallation.

After that, Flitcroft said the organization plans to work on an exhibit looking at the effects of Title 9 on women playing sports in Reston.

The museum, at 1639 Washington Plaza, is open from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday through Saturday and admission is free. A current exhibit shows the history of Reston in the Civil Rights era.

But Flitcroft said the Reston Historic Trust and Museum also faces challenges with visibility.

“It’s a small organization,” Flitcroft said. “It’s hard to compete with a lot of non-profits that deal with very physical things, like hunger and homelessness. So it can be a challenge to compete for donations. There’s people in Reston that don’t know about Lake Anne, much less the museum.”

Over the last few years, Flitcroft said the museum’s director Alexandra Campbell has been pushing to give the museum more of a social media presence. Part of that effort has been making the public more aware of programs focusing on more recent issues, like the arrival of the Metro.

“A lot of our programs are about what’s happening now,” said Flitcroft. “Not all historical. We try to keep the community involved with what’s going on. It’s not only about things of the past.”

Flitcroft has been on the board for five years and has experience working in other local non-profits, like Giving Circle of Hope.

“I’m excited,” said Flitcroft “There’s a lot of energy and we’re gaining more visibility in the community. I’m very excited.”

Photo via Charlotte Geary, headshot courtesy Carolyn Flitcroft

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Reston Historic Trust and Museum Shares Favorite Local Books

Several books focus on the history of the Reston and Herndon areas, and the Reston Historic Trust and Museum has some favorites to get you started.

The Reston Historic Trust, which operates the Reston Museum and Shop, was founded in 1997 as a community-based non-profit to keep Reston’s history alive. The museum debuted at Lake Anne Plaza in the late 1990s and offers exhibits and archives, walking tours, workshops and public events.

Reston Now asked the museum staff to share some favorite books about Reston or written by local authors. Here’s what the staff recommended, along with their reasons for why they are worth reading.

“In His Own Words” by Kristina Alcorn

Written by a Reston author and the vice-chair of our board, it is a wonderfully intimate look into the life of Reston’s founder Robert E. Simon, Jr. based on interviews the author conducted with him. It is truly a one-of-a-kind book and one of the best ways to learn about Reston’s founder.

The book costs $14.99 at the gift shop.

“Reston, Virginia” by the Reston Historic Trust & Museum

This book features archival artifacts from the Reston Historic Trust & Museum’s own museum collection to tell the story of Reston’s beginning. Seeing the pictures of the past are the perfect way to see and learn about Reston’s founding and evolution.

The book costs $18.99 at the gift shop.

“Reston’s African American Legacy” by Rev. LaVerne Gill

Gill, a Reston author, profiles 25 African-American Restonians who have made major contributions to the quality-of-life of Reston. It expertly highlights each person, making the reader feel as if they know the person themselves (and some readers might know them personally as many are active in the Reston community today). The book also allows the reader to understand the impact of their involvement in the Reston community.

The book costs $35 at the gift shop.

Photos via Reston Historic Trust and Museum and Amazon

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Thursday Morning Notes

Deadline to order commemorative bricks — Today is the last day to order a commemorative brick for installation at Lake Anne Plaza later this year. [Reston Historic Trust and Museum]

Leidos is leading naval health research — The Reston-based company was awarded a contract by the Naval Medical Logistics Command to provide research support services at its Naval Health Research Center. [Leidos]

Safe drug disposal — Locals can drop off prescription medications and ointments and also over-the-counter drugs to boxes at Fairfax County’s police stations. [Fairfax County Police]

Lego club — Kids ages five to 12 can have fun with Lego bricks at the Herndon Fortnightly Library from 4:45 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. today. [Fairfax County]

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Reston Historic Trust & Museum Begins Raising Funds for Lakeside Pharmacy Icons Exhibit

The Reston Historic Trust & Museum has raised $965 in three weeks with its fundraising campaign to reinstall the iconic, quirky pharmacy icons from the Lakeside Pharmacy.

The GoFundMe campaign launched on Nov. 8, Alexandra Campbell, the executive director of the Reston Historic Trust & Museum, told Reston Now.

The fundraising target of $15,000 will pay for repairs, cleaning and reinstallation of the icons in a new permanent exhibit in the plaza. The new exhibit will be unveiled during the organization’s annual Founder’s day event on April 6.

“We’ve still got a long way to go,” Campbell said. “We have some time to get to the $15,000.”

Most of the 22 donations have been small, individual donations — seven people have given $25, while others have donated amounts between $10 to $100.

The icons served as advertisements for the Lakeside Pharmacy, a legacy Lake Anne Plaza store. Designed by Chermayeff and Geismar, a New York-based graphic design firm, the icons were inspired by 1960s pop art and Reston’s founder Bob Simon’s wish for whimsical art at Lake Anne Plaza.

The Lake Anne of Reston Condominium Association donated the icons to the Reston Historic Trust & Museum after they were removed in July to make way for new businesses in the pharmacy’s former location.

“We’re really glad to help preserve and keep them here,” Campbell said about the icons.

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Reston Historic Trust & Museum Kicks Off Commemorative Bricks Sale

Reston Historic Trust & Museum has started up sales during the holiday season for commemorative bricks.

Locals have until Jan. 20 to place their orders for installation in 2019. The annual brick sales support the museum.

Up to three inscribed lines with a maximum of 15 characters each cost $100, while up to six lines cost $250. The inscription has white text level with the surface of the brick.

The inscription guidelines do not allow for the phrase “In Memory Of” and dates commemorative a person’s lifespan. The inscription also cannot contain profanity, offensive language, logos, taglines, telephone numbers or advertising. Religious or political content or symbols are also banned.

Bricks are ordered and installed once a year, according to the museum’s website. It takes up to two months to finish the bricks after they are bought each February.

Usually, the bricks get displayed at the Reston Museum during the Founder’s Day celebrations in April and are then installed in Lake Anne Plaza.

Photo via Reston Museum/Facebook

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Wednesday Morning Notes

Deep dive into Reston sports — Bill Bouie gave a presentation on the history of sports, pioneers, players and playing fields in Reston’s sports. A complete recording of the event, which was organized by the Reston Historic Trust & Museum on Nov. 8, is available online. [YouTube/Reston Historic Trust & Museum]

The Lake House open house today — Reston Association continues its marathon of open houses today from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Residents can enjoy light refreshments and chat with staff to learn more about multipurpose uses of the space. [Reston Association]

From Hunter Mill District Supervisor Cathy Hudgins — In a note to Reston Now, Hudgins offered a few words about the coming of Amazon’s HQ2 to Crystal City: “As often partners in many regional endeavors, I am glad to acknowledge Arlington’s success and note that the entire Commonwealth is advantaged by the HQ2 announcement.  Look forward to Fairfax County continuing to work together for the betterment of the region and the Commonwealth.”

Photo by Twitter user @MrErrett

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Reston Historic Trust & Museum Seeks Funds to Reinstall Lakeside Pharmacy Icons

The Reston Historic Trust & Museum has launched an online campaign to raise money to reinstall the lakeside pharmacy icon. Designed by Chermayeff and Geismar, a New York-based graphic design firm, the icons were inspired by 1960s pop art and Reston’s founder Bob Simon’s wish for whimsical art at Lake Anne Plaza.

The icons, which served as advertisements for the Lakeside Pharmacy, were removed in July to make way for new businesses to open up in the pharmacy’s former location.

The fundraising target is $15,000 to repair, clean and reinstall icons in a new permanent exhibit in the plaza. The new exhibit will be unveiled during the organization’s annual Founder’s day event on April 6.

The museum put out the following information about the historical significance of the icons:

The New York graphic design firm of Chermayeff and Geismar (now Chermayeff, Geismar & Haviv), was hired by Whittlesey & Conklin, the architects of the plaza, and together they created the storefronts on the plaza. While the main purpose of the Lakeside Pharmacy icons was advertising, the icons are characteristic of the 1960s Pop Art aesthetic and reflected Reston’s Founder Bob Simon’s wish for whimsical artwork on the plaza.

The building was a pharmacy for 44 years, closing in 2014. Since the building will soon be occupied by new businesses, the icons were donated to the Reston Historic Trust & Museum in order to preserve them. Currently, the icons are in storage until they can be cleaned and reinstalled. The installation is being designed by Jeanne Krohn of Krohn Design.

Photos by Charlotte Geary and Krohn Design

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New Harvest Festival Coming to Lake Anne Plaza

In an effort to find more ways to activate Lake Anne Plaza with community programming, a new free harvest is coming to the plaza on Saturday (Oct. 27).

The free festival offers holiday tips, treats, live music, wine and beer and collection of fall-related products from the eleven eateries and shops at Lake Anne Plaza, according to Rachel Piering, who is helping organize the festival.

The Lake Anne Plaza business[es] are working towards adding more events to the annual calendar – as a collective. We are doing more to make Lake Anne Plaza an anchor for activities in Reston. We wanted to add at least one more event to the lineup before the end of the year,” Piering told Reston Now.

The event will take place at the waterfront of the plaza from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Event organizers offered the following information about specials during the festival:

Café MontmartreVirginia wine pairing and specials on Vienna Lager and Devils Backbone IPA

Chesapeake ChocolatesFree wine tasting featuring Virginia wines from 2pm-4pm. Virginia treats and chocolate apple dipping and first annual Fall for Peeps Display. 

Kalypso’s Sports TavernSpecials on all Virginia wine and beer plus wine pairing/tasting

Kustard & CoBuy one get one Seasonal Harvest Flavored Pumpkin scoops

Lake Anne Brew House20% off growlers refills and special prices on seasonal beers

Lake Anne Coffee House and Wine BarDinner special inspired by Virginia Wines and Beers.

New Trail Cycling StudioSneak Peak of New Space, Membership Discounts and Bike Trail Maps

Reston Historic Trust & MuseumHappy Birthday Museum! Fall refreshments and sale on mugs, t-shirts, and memberships.

Reston Art Gallery and StudioHosting a fall craft project for kids from 10am-Noon.

Reston’s Used Book Shop: Sale on all Virginia Books and books about wine.

Small Change Consignment80% Off Halloween Costume Sale and extra 20% off toys and books.

The festival is produced by the Lake Anne Merchants Committee.

File photo

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What’s Going On in Reston This Weekend?

The Reston Historic Trust & Museum’s annual home tour is back for its 17th year tomorrow. Participants can take tours of six Reston homes that have undergone major redesigns.

Homes on the tour include a 1968 Dutch Colonial in South Reston and Reston Town Center’s Signature apartments. Tickets can be purchased online today and will need to be purchased at Reston Museum on the day of the tour. All proceeds benefit the Reston Historic Trust & Museum.

If historic house hopping isn’t your cup of tea, there’s still plenty to do in the area this weekend, including a Fall Carnival and Farm Harvest Day this weekend at Frying Pan Farm Park:

(Editor’s Note: This is just a limited list of all the events taking place in the Reston area this weekend. If you have an event you would like to ensure is listed on the website, be sure to submit it to our Events Calendar.)

  • Bring light to the darkness of cancer through today’s Northern Virginia Light The Night Walk from 5-9 p.m. The annual walk seeks to raise funds for blood cancer research. All registered walkers will get an illuminated lantern.
  • It’s not too late to sign up for a trip to the Ronald Reagan building today from 5:45-10:30 p.m. to see the Capitol Steps perform live. Registration is $52 for Reston Association members and $62 for all others.
  • Another tour is set for Saturday from 10 to 3 p.m. RA is offering a bus tour for newcomers to Reston. The tour begins and ends at The Lake House.
  • Simon’s Junction will play at Lake Anne Plaza in front of Reston’s Used Book Shop on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Greater Reston Arts Center is hosting an art panel about art school on Saturday from 5-7 p.m. on Saturday. Panelists include art educators from George Mason University, Northern Virginia Community College and local county schools.
  • Yes, Halloween is just around the corner. Author Sue Fliess will read from and sign her new book, Haunted Halloween, on Saturday at Scrawl Books at 11 a.m.
  • Award-winning author Alfredo Del Arroyo will present his book Martes de Infamia: y Otros dias fatales, and poet and novelist Fernando Gudiel will present several of his works, in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month on Saturday from 2-3:30 p.m. at Reston Regional Library.
  • Enjoy an afternoon of dance at Reston Community Center Hunters Woods on Sunday from 2:30-4:30 p.m. The event is open to ages 18 and up. Western country dance is up from 5:30-8 p.m.
  • You can also go on a (free!) search for birds in Reston on Sunday from 7:30-10:30 a.m. at Bright Pond. The walk is sponsored by the Audubon Society of Northern Virginia and The Bird Feeder store.
  • Later in the day on Sunday, you can take a family trip to Corn Maze in the Plains, a five-acre corn maze that includes entertaining outdoor activities. Reston Association is organizing transportation to the event on Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. Tickets, which cover the event fee and transportation, are $18 for all participants.
  • But if you’d rather listen to a lecture about the history of World War II on Sunday, you can do so at Reston Regional Library from 2-4 p.m. Professor Harry Butowsky will be presenting.

Photo via Reston Historic Trust & Museum

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Annual Reston Home Tour Returns to Reston For 17th Year

The Reston Historic Trust & Museum’s 17th annual home tour is back for its 17th year. The tour, which is set for October 13, will take participants through seven Reston homes that have undergone major redesign, including renovations, additional, complete remodeling, landscaping and interior decor.

Organizers say each home on the tour offers a “unique Reston flair,” featuring homes like a South Reston 1968 Dutch Colonial and Reston’s newest apartments, Signature at Reston Town Center. Registration is open online and can be purchased in person at the Wine Cabinet in North Point Village Center or Greater Reston Arts Center in RTC.

Tickets, which went on sale today, are available until October 6 for $25. Between then and October 13, prices will increase to $30. Group of ten can register together and receive tickets for $20 per person. Registration is open online. On the day of the tour, tickets can be purchased at Reston Museum.

All proceeds from the tour go toward the Reston Historic Trust & Museum. The program is made possible with support from Reston Community Center.

Attendees can tour homes at their own pace in any order between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Photos via Reston Historic Trust & Museum

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More than 1,000 Take Part in Second Annual Lake Anne Cardboard Regatta

More than 1,000 people took part in the annual Lake Anne Cardboard Regatta on Saturday. Cardboard boats of all shapes and sizes bobbed and sped across the lake as participating teams competed against each other.

Alexandra Campbell, the executive director of the Reston Historic Trust & Museum, said this year’s event — only the second thus far — was a success. More than 400 people took part in voting for the best cardboard boat before the race even began, she said.

“We were so excited to be continuing the event this year [and] were thrilled to have another fun race,” Campbell said, “We are grateful to all the support from our sponsors and volunteers this year.”

The event is organized by the Reston Historic Trust & Museum and all proceeds from the event benefit the organization.

The winner’s for the race are below:

  • First Place Cadet Class – Cinder
  • First Place Navigator Class – Kalypso’s Sports Tavern
  • First Place Skipper Class – River Sea Chocolates Wild Sloth
  • Merchants award went to Kalypso’s
  • Peoples Choice award to Lady of the Lake
  • Titanic Award – Lady of the Lake

Next year’s race will be held on Saturday, Aug. 10. All pre-registration slots have been filled for next year. Registration from other teams will open for the public next year.

Photos via Reston Historic Trust & Museum

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Talk on Reston’s Environmental Quality Set for September 5

Aerial of Reston (Photo via Reston Historic Trust & Museum)

The Reston Historic Trust & Museum is hosting a talk on the environmental quality of Reston on September 5 at the Reston Community Center Lake Anne’s Jo Ann Rose Gallery.

Doug Britt, a Virginia Master Naturalist and project director for the first Reston Annual State of the Environment Report (RASER), will summarize the findings of the RASER and discuss new topics planned for this year’s report, which is currently in progress.  Britt will also provide an update on progress made since the first report was published in July last year.

The RASER included 60 recommendations on how to improve and protect Reston’s environmental quality. It is intended to summarize existing environment data, establish a baseline against which future changes can be measured and provide information that can policy and program decisions. The report covers topics like wildlife, light pollution, environmental education, water resources and air quality.

The second report will likely be submitted to Reston Association’s Board of Directions in the fall. Its scope was expanded to include more environmental attributes in Reston.

The event, which begins at 7 p.m., is free and open to the public.

Photo via Reston Historic Trust & Museum

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Registration for Lake Anne Cardboard Boat Regatta Closes This Week

After pre-registered spots claimed by team’s competing last year filled up, time is running out to register for the second annual Cardboard Boat Regatta.

The event, hosted by the Reston Historic Trust & Museum, will be held on August 11. Registration closes tomorrow (July 20).

Participating teams construct a life-size cardboard boat that competes in timed heats. During last year’s inaugural event, 20 teams and more than 65 individuals took part in the event.

During last year’s regatta, 30 pre-registration slots filled up for this year’s event. This year, 60 spots are available. To sign up online, visit the museum’s website.

Photo via Nova Labs

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As New Businesses Move In, Original Lakeside Pharmacy Icons Say Goodbye — For Now

Lake Anne Plaza is turning a new leaf as iconic, quirky pharmacy icons that once served as advertisements for the Lakeside Pharmacy, a legacy Lake Anne Plaza store, were removed this week.

The building, which was vacated in 2014 after Larry Cohn, pharmacist and owner for 44 years, retired. Now, two new businesses — a hair salon and a cycling studio — will open up in the former pharmacy location, which remained vacant since September 2014.

The Lake Anne of Reston Condominium Association donated the icons to the Reston Historic Trust & Museum this month. They will be placed in storage until they can be reinstalled at a new location in the plaza.

“New businesses are moving into the old pharmacy and because the icons do not reflect the new businesses coming in, it was determined that they would be removed with the idea that they would be preserved,” said Alexandra Campbell.

Liz Kamp, a Reston resident, hopes to open her indoor cycling studio, New Trail Cycling Studio, sometime in September in the former pharmacy pace.

Inspired by the original icons, Kamp said she’s in the process of seeking design approval for a new cycling-related icon similar to the old icons. 

I, too, loved the icons and would love to honor the history of the space,” Kamp said. She has lived in Reston for about a decade.

The icons were designed by Chermayeff and Geismar, a New York Graphic design firm known for creating logos for NBC and PBS. Locally, the firm designed many of the plaza’s original storefronts.

A new hair salon will also take up the other half of the old pharmacy location near the lakeside. The owner was not immediately available for comment.

Plans for the relocation of the icons are not final. The Reston Historic Trust & Museum plans to raise funds to help preserve the icons.

Photos by Charlotte Geary

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