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by Fatimah Waseem November 21, 2017 at 9:00 am 0

Holiday Open House at Reston Historic Trust and Museum — The nonprofit organization is hosting an open house on Saturday, Dec. 2 from 10 a.m. to noon. The event will include exhibitions, Reston-inspired gifts, hot chocolate and cookies. Author Watt Hamlet and illustrator Jill Ollison Vinson will also be on-site for a book signing of their book “Reston A to Z.” [Reston Historic Trust and Museum]

Tennis Courts Closures In Effect — The Glade and North Hills clay courts closed for the tennis season on Monday. For more information about Reston Association’s tennis facilities, visit the association’s website. [Reston Association]

Reston Town Center Gears Up for Holidays — On its website, Reston Town Center provides a complete guide of local holiday events, including Toys for Tots, Reston’s holiday parade and tree lighting.  [Reston Town Center]

File photo.

by Fatimah Waseem November 20, 2017 at 10:15 am 6 Comments

The search for a new executive director at the Reston Historic Trust & Museum is on. 

Elizabeth Didiano is leaving her position, as she relocating. Didiano, who began her position in January, said is especially proud that she and the organization’s board of trustees were able to set RHT’s foundation to continue to grow as an organization and reach new audiences through programs and events.

“In 2017, we launched our inaugural Lake Anne Cardboard Boat Regatta, and I feel fortunate to have been a part of such a fun event. I am sure the new Executive Director with the help of the RHT’s Board of Directors and volunteers, will explore many wonderful opportunities to share Reston’s history with our community and beyond,” she said.

RHT is a non profit organization that was founded in 1997 to preserve the past, inform the present and influence the future of Reston. The executive director is responsible for managing daily operations of the museum, including donations to museum archives, oversight of the bookkeeper, fundraising, and recruitment and training of volunteers. The head also participates in community events, including the annual home tour in October. 

Ideal candidates will have a Master’s degree or equivalent experience in urban planning, museum studies, history, architecture or another related field. Strong organizational skills are required and fluency in the use of social media and other emerging technologies is preferred. The complete job description is on RHT’s website.

To apply, candidates should send a cover letter, resume, and salary requirements to Shelley Mastran. The salary is negotiable.

by Fatimah Waseem October 24, 2017 at 9:00 am 6 Comments

Fairfax County Police Department’s Citizens Advisory Committee Meets Tonight — Join the committee for its monthly meeting at the Reston Police District Station (1801 Cameron Glen Drive) at 7 p.m. The body is designed to improve communication between residents and local police officers. [Fairfax County Police Department]

Film Screening, ‘Art of Community’ Reception on Thursday — Public Art Reston and Reston Historic Trust & Museum will co-host a reception to celebrate the exhibit “Reston: The Art of Community” at the Reston Historic Trust & Museum (1639 Washington Plaza) from 5:30 – 7 pm. The event is free and open to the public. [Public Art Reston]

VolunteerFest Begins On Saturday — Volunteers can participate in volunteer projects throughout Fairfax County from gardening to painting. Last year, more than 500 volunteers participated in the project, donating more than 1,600 hours of their time. [Volunteer Fairfax]

by Dave Emke March 29, 2017 at 9:00 am 0

CenterStage Has Full April Schedule — Programming next month at CenterStage (2310 Colts Neck Road) will include concerts by Trout Fishing in America and Le Mystère des Voix Bulgares, as well as performances from The Reduced Shakespeare Company and more. [Reston Community Center]

Founder’s Day to Feature Several Local Authors — Kristina Alcorn, Eric MacDicken, Watt Hamlett, Jill Olinger Vinson, Chuck Cascio, Chuck Veatch, Claudia Thompson-Deahl and Karen See will all be showcasing their work at Reston Community Center’s Jo Ann Rose Gallery (1609 Washington Plaza N.) at part of Founder’s Day festivities April 8. [Reston Historic Trust]

County Reaffirms Focus on Curbing Hate — At an event over the weekend in Annandale, representatives of Fairfax County police, schools and government gathered to hammer home the county’s stance against hate speech, bias and hate crimes. Sharon Bulova, chairman of the county Board of Supervisors, plans to continue the discussion at the board’s April 4 meeting. [WTOP]

Reston Company Faces Delisting by Nasdaq — NCI Inc., an IT services provider, has not released its 2016 financial information in a timely fashion, the stock exchange says. [Washington Business Journal]

by Jennifer van der Kleut January 4, 2017 at 9:00 am 0

September sunset in Reston/Credit: Joy Every

How Expensive Are Reston’s Costliest Available Homes? — Two single-family homes, two condos and a townhouse make up Realtor.com’s top five most expensive homes currently on the market in Reston. Spoiler alert: They’re all priced over $1 million. [Reston Patch]

Reston Historic Trust Gets an Executive Director — Beth Didiano started work Tuesday as the Reston Historic Trust and Museum’s first full-time executive director. Didiano previously served in similar roles in West Virginia and Pennsylvania. [Reston Now]

Reston Association Plans Trip to National Gallery of Art — A chartered bus trip to the National Gallery of Art in D.C. is being offered next week by RA. The Thursday, Jan. 12 excursion costs $29 for Reston residents and $34 for nonresidents. Advance registration is required. [RA/WebTrac]

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by Karen Goff December 8, 2015 at 4:30 pm 0

Another Way of Living/Credit: Virginia Film FestivalJust weeks after it screened at Reston Community Center and made its film festival debut at the Virginia Film Festival, the new Reston documentary can now be yours.

Another Way of Living: The Story of Reston, VA is available for purchase at the Reston Historic Trust and Museum at Lake Anne Plaza for $24.95.

Peabody Award-winning filmmaker Rebekah Wingert-Jabi, a Restonian, has been working on the documentary for more than four years. Wingert-Jabi and support staff shot more than 250 hours of footage and sifted through files of historical documents and photos at the Reston Museum to visually tell the story of Reston’s progress from a cow pasture purchased by New Yorker Bob Simon in 1961 to a pioneering “new town” — with some bumps along the way.

A rough cut of the 70-minute film was shown to a select audience in April 2014, during the celebration of Simon’s 100th birthday.

But since then, Metro’s Silver Line brought rail to Reston (in summer 2014) and Simon died in September 2015 at age 101. These significant events were included in the reworked version of the film.

“We wanted to flesh out key moments in Reston,” Wingert-Jabi said at last month’s screening of the film at RCC. “We wanted people to understand more of what happened in the years Simon wasn’t here (1967-92), about Mobil Land’s role in developing Reston Town Center.”

Read a recap of the film in this previous Reston Now article.

In addition to offering the movie, RHT has also just completed a new book focused on Reston’s past, present, and future. The book showcases images from the museum’s archives as well as text from exhibits to tell the story of Reston. That can be purchased at the museum for $18.95.

by Karen Goff June 2, 2015 at 11:00 am 11 Comments

Lake Anne Historical Marker

Lake Anne Plaza has a new addition: a historical marker that recaps Reston’s significance as a planned “new town.”

The state historical marker, issued by the Virginia Department of Historic Resources, was installed in between the parking lot and the entrance to the plaza on Friday.

Speakers at the ceremony included State Sen. Janet Howell, Del. Ken Plum, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chair Sharon Bulova, Hunter Mill Supervisor Cathy Hudgins and Shelley Mastran, chair of the Reston Historic Trust.

The Reston Historic Trust and the Lake Anne Condominium Association covered the cost of creating the sign. The marker was approved by the Department of Historic Resources in March 2014.

by Karen Goff May 15, 2015 at 11:00 am 14 Comments

Reston Historic Sign/Credit: Reston Historic Trust

Reston is getting its own historic marker.

The Reston Historic Trust applied nearly two years ago to the Virginia Department of Historic Resources for one of the road signs that mark an important site, says RHT Chair Shelley Mastran.

Finally, it’s arrived and will be installed later this month at the entry to Lake Anne Plaza, Reston’s first village center in Robert E. Simon’s “New Town.”

Lake Anne Plaza is one of 140 historic sites in Fairfax County.

Here is what the sign says:

In 1961, Robert E. Simon Jr. began developing 6,750 acres of Sunset Hills Farm as a community for all races, ages and incomes. Simon engaged the architecture firm of Whittlesey & Conklin, who designed a “New Town.” Construction of Lake Anne Village, its lake, central plaza, stores and townhouses, began in 1963. 

With innovative zoning, Reston became one of the first master-planned communities in the United States, with residential clusters, mixed-use development, landscape conservation, ample recreational space, walking and biking trails, and public art. Reston received the Certified Planners’ National Landmark Award in 2002.

by Karen Goff February 26, 2015 at 11:00 am 0

United Christian Parish/Photo Courtesy of United Christian ParishThe Reston Historic Trust and United Christian Parish are celebrating Black History Month with a community forum at 7 p.m. tonight at United Christian Parish, 11408 North Shore Drive.

The topic: Reston’s African American Legacy: Valuing the Past, Planning for the Future

There will be a panel, presentation and discussion moderated by Rev. Laverne Gill, creator and producer of the Comcast television show Reston’s African American Legacy and Laura Thomas, retired educator and longtime Reston resident.

The panel includes Bob Secundy, a Reston resident since 1967 who was active in the Reston Black Focus and Fairfax County government; Martin Taylor, resident since 1972 who is now an aide to Fairfax County Supervisor Cathy Hudgins working on housing, human services and budget issues.; and two South Lakes High School students.

Admission is free.

by Karen Goff November 14, 2014 at 3:00 pm 0

Sputnik/Credit: Wikipedia CommonsReston has been a tech hub going back to the earliest days of both the community and the tech industry.

That’s the topic of “From Sputnik to the Silver Line: High Technology in the Dulles Corridor,”  a free program sponsored by the Reston Historic Trust on Nov. 20 at 7 p.m. at the Reston Community Center-Lake Anne.

The featured speaker will be Paul Ceruzzi, curator of aerospace electronics and computing, at the Smithsonian Institution.

Ceruzzi will detail how the area’s high tech corridor from Tysons to Dulles Airport developed and how this area became a leader in defense contracting, computer innovation, and telecommunications.

Ceruzzi is the author of several books on the history of computing and related topics, including:

  • Computing, a Concise History (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2012). 
  • A History of Modern Computing (MIT Press, 1998).
  • Reckoners: The Prehistory of The Digital Computer (Greenwood Press, 1983).

Reston Museum programs are presented with support by Reston Community Center

Photo: Sputnik/Credit: Wikipedia Commons

by Andrea Swalec October 14, 2014 at 1:00 pm 0

Reston residents and fans can celebrate Reston’s 50th anniversary this weekend by walking through local homes.

The 13th annual Reston Home Tour will be held Saturday, with the theme “[email protected]: Celebrating the Decades.”

The tour will start with a 1960s Hickory Cluster townhouse that’s a “perfect example of the land-use innovation, design excellence and physical harmony of place” that Reston founder Robert E. Simon sought to create, according to tour organizer the Reston Historic Trust and Museum.

A 1990s home overlooking Lake Newport, a 1970s home with a loft and a creatively renovated New England-style home will also be included on the tour set to be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.

Tickets are available for $30 each, or $20 each if 10 or more are purchased. They can be purchased online or at Reston Museum and Lake Anne Florist on Lake Anne Plaza, The Wine Cabinet at North Point and Appalachian Spring and GRACE at Reston Town Center.

by Karen Goff September 30, 2014 at 9:30 am 0

Home on Reston Home Tour 2014/Credit: Reston Home Tour

Peek inside some of Reston’s most special homes on Oct. 18 at the 13th Annual Reston Home Tour.

The self-guided tour, which benefits the Reston Historic Trust, runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Since Reston is celebrating its 50th birthday this year, the theme for the home tour is [email protected] — Celebrating the Decades.

Tickets are $25 before Oct. 11; $30 after Oct. 11; $20 for group sales. Tickets are available online or at Reston Museum and Lake Anne Florist on Lake Anne Plaza; The Wine Cabinet at North Point; and Appalachian Spring and GRACE at Reston Town Center.

Exact addresses are part of the ticket package, but meanwhile, here is how event organizers describe what will be on the home tour in 2014:

Our 13th annual tour offers a look at Reston’s history with homes spanning the decades, beginning with a vintage, 1960s, Charles Goodman townhouse in Hickory Cluster. This Mid-Century modern home is the perfect example of the land-use innovation, design excellence and physical harmony of place that Bob Simon, our founder, brought to this residential community 50 years ago.

  • A nine-month redesign and renovation, with many surprises and hiccups along the way, turned this 1990’s home overlooking Lake Newport into the very special property it is today.
  • A home from the 1970’s highlights local artists, family heirlooms and a loft outpost for the grandchildren, complete with star-gazing skylights.
  • Not your normal attic here! Come and experience a builder’s own creative expansion and renovation of his New England-style home, both inside and out.
  • The “Design on a Dime” concept never looked so good! This home, from the 1980’s, highlights the owner’s careful, yet exciting, investment in updates and decor with an eye toward their resale value.
  • The Avant, a truly inspired environment in Reston Town Center, will offer a look inside an exciting eighth-floor unit filled with a lifetime of collecting. The public spaces will also be available to view, and SLHS Culinary Arts Program will offer a tasting of the decades in the Great Room. The story is familiar. After forty years, three homes, two children, five grandchildren, millions of memories and decades spent collecting – it was time for a downsize.

Photo: “Design on a Dime” home from the 1980s on this year’s Reston Home Tour/Credit: Reston Home Tour

by Karen Goff April 23, 2014 at 4:40 pm 0

Reston Festival, 1960s/Credit: Reston Historic TrustReston’s 50th anniversary events continue April 28 with a symposium sponsored by George Mason University titled “Reston at 50: Looking Back at Forward Thinking.”  

A panel will discuss Reston’s diversity, planning, preservation from 7 to 9:30 pm, at The Reston Community Center.

Reston was a highly innovative yet highly risky plan when founder Robert E. Simon envisioned it in the early 1960s. In an era when suburban tract homes on larger lots were being built, Simon saw European style villages with high-density housing and lots of green space on the open land he purchased near Dulles International Airport.

Panel presenters include: 

Lindsey Bestebreurtje, doctoral candidate in the George Mason University Department of History and Art History, who will address the context of Reston’s groundbreaking policies of integration and diversity.

Harold Linton, Director of the School of Art at George Mason University, will provide a window into the development of the Reston Master Plan and its seven principles of design, design/planning precedents, architecture, success, awards, and liabilities.

William Jordan Patty, doctoral student in the George Mason University Department of History and Art History and Archivist/Librarian with George Mason University Libraries, will highlight the history of the Planned Community Archives,a research collection developed by the community in Reston and donated to the George Mason University Libraries.

Zachary M. Schrag, Professor of U.S. History in the George Mason University Department of History and Art History, will introduce three students scholars selected to present their research on Reston history.

Wendi Manuel-Scott, Director of George Mason University’s African and African-American Studies, will moderate.

This program is cosponsored by George Mason University Libraries and the Reston Museum and Historic Trust and is presented with the generous support of Virginia Foundation for the Humanities.

The event is free and open to the public.

Photo of Lake Anne Plaza in the 1960s. Credit: Reston Historic Trust

by Karen Goff March 19, 2014 at 4:30 pm 5 Comments

Classic Reston banner

Classic Reston is a biweekly feature sponsored by the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce that highlights businesses, places and people with deep roots in Reston.

More than a dozen years ago, the idea was hatched to offer commemorative bricks to Restonians for a permanent place at Lake Anne Plaza.

Since then, nearly 700 bricks have been dedicated at Reston’s original village center, says Lynn Lilienthal, longtime Reston resident and former chair of the Reston Historic Trust.

And with Reston’s 50th anniversary and founder Robert E. Simon’s 100th birthday approaching next month, 2014 will be a big year for commemorative bricks. About 50 bricks will be dedicated at the 2014 Founder’s Day on April 5. That’s about twice as many as in a typical year, says Lilienthal.

DSC00655“When we started the project, we thought it would be a good fundraiser,” said Lilienthal.

While the nonprofit Reston Historic Trust does make some money from the bricks, Lilienthal says she is proud of the way the bricks have turned into a historic timeline of Reston founders, original residents and other people who have had an impact on the community over the years.

Most of the bricks honor people who still live in Reston, but many memorialize those who are no longer with us. The latter is particularly important at the 50-year mark, as many founders have died, Lilienthal says.

Simon purposely designed Reston without a cemetery as he thought the funeral home business was money-hungry. So the bricks serve as kind of memorial, though Lilienthal makes it clear “they are commemorative, not a graveyard.”

Among some of the people memorialized in the bricks are members of Simon’s family: his parents Robert E. Simon Sr. (1877-1935) and Elsa (1885-1964), as well as sisters Helen, Betty and Carol, and his late son, Paul.

Other memorials include former Reston Used Book Shop co-owner Victoria Reid, who died in 2004; arts and civic leader Ann Rodriguez (2009); and Leonard Taylor, Norma Cruz Kahn and Norma Lang Steuerle, who perished on American Airlines Flight 77 on Sept. 11, 2001.

This year, seven bricks have been purchased by “The Kids on The Plaza,” a group of people who grew up in Reston and are now in their 40s and 50s. They raised money to honor 11 among them who died young but will now be memorialized near where they spent so many good times at Lake Anne.

If you are looking for a particular brick, stop by the Reston Historic Trust and Museum at Lake Anne Plaza. The museum has a database of where each brick is located.

by Karen Goff January 16, 2014 at 12:00 pm 0

Commemorative bricks at Lake Anne Plaza/Credit: Fairfax County

Want to be a part of Reston’s 50th anniversary and also a permanent part of historic Lake Anne Plaza?

The Reston Historic Trust is taking orders for commemorative bricks on the plaza. This year’s bricks will be unveiled on Founder’s Day 2014. Founder’s Day 2014 is on April 5, and Reston will celebrate not only its 50th anniversary but also founder Robert E Simon’s 100th birthday.

Bricks start at $100.

For more information or to order a commemorative brick, visit the Reston Museum and Historic Trust website.

Residents can also send birthday greetings to Simon in a special commemorative program. For more information on how to send your greetings, download this form and return it to RHT by March 1.

The RHT is also honoring younger Restonians who were raised in Reston have returned to here to work and raise their own families. If you know someone who should be honored, download this form and return it to RHT by March 1.

Photo of bricks courtesy of Fairfax County.

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