Film on Reston Takes CenterStage Tonight — Dive into the story of how Reston founder Robert Simon envisioned Reston and fought to keep his original principles strong during the film screening of “Another Way of Living: The Story of Reston VA” tonight at 7 p.m. at CenterStage. The event is free and open for all ages. [Reston Community Center]
High Honors for Herndon High School Freshman — The student, Claire, was recognized by the Town of Herndon as the Distinguished Teen Volunteer for 2019. She contributed more than 400 hours of service since 2017. [Fairfax County Public Schools]
Reston Students Win Big at Virginia Odyssey of the Mind — Students from six Fairfax County schools, including several competitors from Reston, earned top honors at the state competition over the weekend. The contest encourages students to solve complex problems. [Fairfax County Public Schools]
A Recap of Founder’s Day — Reston Historic Trust & Museum organized the 2019 Founder’s Day Celebration over the weekend with a day-long event to mark the 55th anniversary of Reston’s founding. [The Connection]
Robert Simon founded Reston in 1964. For the last 54 years, the community has celebrated Founder’s Day in the spring, around the date of Simon’s birthday.
The Reston Historic Trust and Museum is hosting the 55th annual anniversary on Saturday (April 6) with festivities around Lake Anne Plaza.
Founder’s Day this year will include a moon bounce, children’s activities, face painting, a public art tour and exhibits at the Reston Historic Trust and Museum and RCC Lake Anne’s Jo Ann Rose Gallery.
Attendees can also share their Reston stories with recorded oral histories from 1-3 p.m. at RCC Lake Anne. Meanwhile, exhibit enthusiasts can find several around the area including “Fine Lines” at the Jo Ann Rose Gallery, which features artists’ interpretations of lines.
Tomorrow (April 6)
- Run or walk (8 a.m.) — The Reston Runners will go for a 3-mile walk or 5-mile run starting at South Lakes High School.
- “You Gouda Brie Kidding!” (11 a.m.-2 p.m.) — Frying Pan Farm Park will celebrate National Grilled Cheese month with cooks frying up sandwiches and a variety of cheeses to sample. Attendees can also learn how to make fresh cheese at home and about cultural takes on different melted cheese treats. Tickets are $3.
- Kwame Alexander and Randy Preston (4-5:30 p.m.) — Newbery award-winning author Kwame Alexander and musician Randy Preston will team up for a performance at the Reston Regional Library. The free show will celebrate the paperback release of Alexander’s “Booked” and “The Crossover” in addition to the release of Alexander’s newest picture book called “The Undefeated.”
Sunday (April 7)
- Bird walk at Bright Pond (7:30-10:30 a.m.) — Bird enthusiasts can search for birds at a variety of sites around Reston.
- History of World War II (2-4 p.m.) — Harry Butowsky from George Mason University will present the fourth part of his six-part lecture series at the Reston Regional Library.
- “Liner Notes” (3 p.m.) — A show combining live music, poetry and a multimedia design will perform at CenterStage at RCC Hunters Woods. Tickets are $15 for Restonians and $20 for non-Restonians.
Photo via Reston Historic Trust and Museum
The Reston Then and Now series is going back to where we started for our penultimate episode: Lake Anne Plaza.
Anyone flicking through the photos overhead — taken from Fairfax County’s Historic Imagery Viewer — might have noticed that very little has changed at the plaza itself over the years.
But as the Lakeside Pharmacy icons show, there’s been plenty of changes in tenants and aesthetics over the years. While he’s somewhat dismissive of them as historic relics, Wayne Schiffelbein, a local artist and architect who once repainted and fixed up the icons at the owner’s request, said the icons and the damages to them tell the story of earlier unease between Reston and Herndon.
“We had people that lived in and around Herndon who did not take kindly to Reston being there, especially ‘northern folk’, like Jews and Blacks being there,” said Schiffelbein. “The people [in Reston] had college degrees. Not only were the houses more expensive, but they were driving better cars, and people knew that.”
Back in the 1960s, as Reston was first getting started, Schiffelbein said there was a lot of tension between Restonians and Herndon residents who would come into areas like Lake Anne Plaza and cause trouble.
Schiffelbein remembered summers where kids from Herndon would come over to his house by Lake Anne, climb onto the roof and jump out into the lake. Not exactly a campaign of terror, but Schiffelbein said the Reston residents were annoyed by the constant footfalls on the roof.
It was during these early years of class-tension that Schiffelbein said the drug store icons obtained the damages some of them still show.
“They discovered they could carry a sheath knife around,” Schiffelbein said. “The drug store had… soft wood. So the knifes would stick. There were tables in front of the drug store where you could have sat and had coffee while playing chess. They would throw their knives at the walls. It took a couple years, but it took chunks out of pieces of wood from the backing and pieces that were there. Toothbrush took a bunch of hits. Comb didn’t do much better. They dinged the bandaid.”
But it was Vietnam that partially put an end to the local turmoil, with many of the young men from Herndon swept up by the draft.
“Tensions with Reston and Herndon went down over time,” Schiffelbein. “Some of the Herndonites were drafted and some of them just grew up, and we’ll leave it at that. It’s something you do as a 15- and 16-year-old is not as appealing when you’re 22.”
In the 1990s, Schiffelbein said he was contracted to repaint and fix the icons after years of neglect.
“If I squint, it’s a flashback to the drugstore,” Schiffelbein said. “It was a real drugstore. It had a counter, some seats at the counter. It was old fashioned drug store. It was very nice. It was small, everybody knew everybody. But as the community grew that ebbed away.”
In the early days of the pharmacy, Schiffelbein said it catered mainly to the older residents at the Lake Anne Fellowship House.
“The older people used a lot of prescription drugs and that was before insurance companies required you to go to their pharmacy,” Schiffelbein said. “In the early years, they would amble across the road and fill 50 or 60 scripts a day. There was a stream of people going into the drug store. A lot of New Yorkers and New Jerseyites moved to Reston in the early years. There was an old man there who played the races. The owner got racing forms every year. I remember that as clear as a bell, I can still see the man’s face.”
For more Reston Then and Now, check out these earlier stories and come back next week for final Then and Now:
The Reston Historic Trust and Museum is hosting the 55th annual anniversary of Reston’s founding with a celebration on Saturday, April 6.
Festivities for Founder’s Day will run from noon to 4 p.m. at Lake Anne Plaza.
The event will include a moon bounce, children’s activities, face painting, a public art tour and exhibits at the Reston Historic Trust and Museum and RCC Lake Anne’s Jo Ann Rose Gallery.
Some highlights from the schedule include:
- 12:05 p.m: Lake Anne Elementary School Chorus & Orchestra
- 12:50 p.m: Foley Irish Dance
- 1:20 p.m: Hughes MS Panther Jazz Band
- 1:20 p.m: guided public art walking tour
- 1:30 p.m: meet the authors of “Memoir Your Way”
- 1:45 p.m: Hunters Woods Elementary School String Ensemble
- 2:00 p.m: Lopez Studios, American Musical Theater
- 2:15 p.m: Reston Chorale
- 2:40 p.m: Reston Community Players performing scenes from “Annie”
- 2:40 p.m: artist talk with Marco Rando
- 3:05 p.m: Rick Landers, Folk musician
- 3:30 p.m: ensemble from Reston Community Orchestra
Attendees can also share their Reston stories with recorded oral histories from 1-3 p.m. at RCC Lake Anne.
Exhibit enthusiasts can find several around the area including “Fine Lines” at the Jo Ann Rose Gallery, which features artists’ interpretations of lines.
Over at the Reston Historic Trust and Museum, locals can see Charlotte Geary’s photography in “The Women of Lake Anne” exhibit and also enjoy “Untold Stories and The History of the Sculpture by Zachary Oxman Dedicated to Reston’s Founder.”
Despite some noble intentions, fundraising to save the Lakeside Pharmacy icons is not going well.
The Reston Historic Trust and Museum’s GoFundMe — which started in August — has only raised $1,663 of its $15,000 goal.
The goal of the fundraiser is to clean and reinstall the icons, currently being held in storage, in a new exhibit about the 1960’s pop art aesthetic that was a core part of early Reston history.
Alexandra Campbell, a media contact for the Reston Museum, said despite public interest — Campbell said stories related to the icons are some of their most popular social media posts — the donations to the fundraiser have been slow to trickle in.
While Campbell said there have been a few donations to the fundraiser outside of the GoFundMe, Carolyn Flitcroft, elected chair of the board for the organization, said in an earlier interview that it can be difficult to rally support for a fundraiser that’s for something that seems less dire than homelessness or hunger.
Campbell said the Reston Historic Trust is hoping for a boost with a fundraiser next week. A triathlon hosted by New Trail Cycling Studio and Lake Anne Brew House on March 27 will give a portion of the proceeds to the Reston Historic Trust.
Despite the fundraising setbacks, the organization is moving forward with the permitting process to get the icons on display. According to Campbell, the deadline to get the permits scheduled for review in April is next week, so it’s all hands on deck as the group works to get the application finalized.
Photo via Reston Historic Trust
In celebration of Women’s History Month, the Reston Historic Trust and Museum will bring together four women from a variety of athletic programs to discuss how Title IX affected their careers and women’s sports overall.
Enacted in 1972, Title IX had a dramatic impact on women’s sports by guaranteeing by law equality in federally assisted athletic programs.
Since its founding, Reston’s recreational facilities have been available to all of its residents, according to the museum.
The free event features the following panelists:
- Vicky Wingert, a documentary producer and former coach for college and high school basketball teams
- Skye Eddy Bruce, a collegiate and youth All-American goalkeeper, state champion track athlete and founder of the Soccer Parenting Association
- Valerie Lister, the South Lakes High School assistant coach for track and field and a former sportswriter
- Jennifer Volgenau Wiley, a former varsity soccer and basketball player at South Lakes High School in the 1980s. She also played Division I soccer at William and Mary.
“Women Playing in Reston: The Effect of Title IX on Women’s Sports” is set to take place on Wednesday (March 13) at 7 p.m. at the Jo Ann Rose Gallery (1609-A Washington Plaza).
A temporary exhibit at the Reston Museum to accompany the panel discussion will be on display throughout March.
A weekend of events will take on Lake Anne Plaza in honor of International Women’s Day (March 8).
The events aim to raise awareness and celebrate the achievement of the women who helped shape Lake Anne Plaza, according to Rachel Piering, who shared details about the celebration to Reston Now. Women own and operate three-fourths of the businesses on the plaza, Piering said.
A free reception on Friday (March 8) at Reston Community Center’s Jo Ann Rose Gallery (1609 Washington Plaza) kicks off the first Annual International Women’s Day Celebration with a gallery reception and panel discussion starting at 7:30 p.m.
Small Change Consignment Owner Susann Gerstein, Reston Used Book Store Owner Susan Burwell and former Lake Anne Nursery and Kindergarten Director Ann Potts will join Linda Fuller, who used to own the Lake Anne Florist, for the panel.
Before the panel begins at 8:14 p.m., attendees can view the gallery’s photography exhibit by local photographer Charlotte Geary and vintage photos from the Reston Historic Trust and Museum.
Sales of limited edition commemorative posters will benefit Shelter House, a non-profit organization that provides crisis intervention, safe housing and supportive services to homeless families and victims of domestic violence.
Throughout the weekend, locals will be able to enjoy several musical performances, art exhibitions, book signings and special promotions for shops and eateries, Piering said. The International Women’s Day Celebration is provided by the Lake Anne Merchants and Professionals Committee.
Businesses participating in International Women’s Day include:
- Chesapeake Chocolates
- Kalypso’s Sports Tavern
- Lake Anne Coffee House and Wine Bar
- Lake Anne Brew House
- Reston Historic Trust and Museum
- Reston’s Used Book Shop
- Reston Art Gallery and Studios
- Small Change Consignment
On Saturday (March 9) the New Trail Cycling Studio will hold a women-only ride on from 9:30-10:20 a.m. to help raise money for the Reston Runners’ “Seize the Day Women’s 5K” training program and race. Tickets are $20.
“Proceeds are going toward creating scholarships for local underprivileged women to train for and run their first 5k,” Liz Kamp, the owner of New Trail Cycling Studio, told Reston Now, adding that Reston Runner’s Women’s Training Program will help the women prepare for the race.
Image via Rachel Piering
Mardi Gras is next week, and a celebration this weekend at a Reston restaurant wants to get locals ready for the annual carnival.
Local band Catchin’ Toads is set to perform, and a Mardi Gras mask parade will take place around 6:30 p.m.
The event runs from 4-7 p.m. and has a suggested donation of $20, which will go to the Reston Historic Trust and Museum’s Lakeside Pharmacy Icon Preservation Project.
Tomorrow (March 2)
- Town Hall on Fiscal Year 2020 Budget (8:30-11 a.m.) — Locals in the Hunter Mill District can attend a town hall at Frying Pan Farm Park Visitor Center (2709 West Ox Road) to get more information on the proposed budget plan. Hunter Mill District Supervisor Cathy Hudgins, County Executive Bryan Hill and Fairfax County Public Schools staff will give the presentations.
- Herndon Community Roundtable (9-11 a.m.) — The Town of Herndon wants residents to share their thoughts and ask questions at a community roundtable at the Herndon Municipal Center (777 Lynn Street) this Saturday (March 2).
- Spring Flea Market (9 a.m.-noon) — Looking for small appliances, books, jewelry, clothing, tools or toys? Find hidden gems to be take home at RCC Hunters Woods (2310 Colts Neck Road).
- Colvin Run Mill During Special Tour (10:30 a.m.) — Go to Great Falls for a hike around the 200-year-old working mill. The “Four Floor Tour Class” involves climbing steep stairs get to spots not seen on the regular mill tours. The tour may last up to two hours and costs $10 per person.
Sunday (March 3)
- Reston 10-Miler (8 a.m.) — Head to the South Lakes High School (11400 South Lakes Drive) for the run. Friday (March 1) is the last day for the regular pricing at $50 before it increases to $55 this weekend.
- “Through the Eye of the Needle II” (all day) — A group exhibit by the Cotting Quilters at the Jo Ann Rose Gallery (1609-A Washington Plaza) ends Sunday.
Photo via Facebook
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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]
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.
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
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