Friday Morning Notes

Commemorative Bricks Available for Purchase — The Reston Historic Trust & Museum is selling commemorative bricks, which are installed at Lake Anne Plaza, for up to $250. Bricks are ordered and installed one time per year.  [Reston Historic Trust & Museum]

Dominion Energy to Build Northern Virginia’s Largest Solar Facility — “Dominion Energy Virginia and the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority announced Thursday that they will jointly study the possibility of developing a large-scale, 100-megawatt solar energy project at Dulles International Airpor. The project would encompass 1,200 acres at Dulles, and could power 25,000 homes at peak output. Dominion Energy said this project would be one of the largest solar facilities in Northern Virginia.” [WUSA 9]

Herndon Man Charged with Drunkenness and Sexual Battery — Jose Luis Hernandez, 45,  was arrested after a juvenile victim reported that the suspect touched him in the genital area, according to police. [Herndon Police Department]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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New Lakeside Pharmacy Icons Exhibit Installed at Lake Anne Plaza

After more than a year of restoration and fundraising, the Reston Historic Trust & Museum has installed new historic icons to honor Lakeside Pharmacy, one of the first businesses to open at Lake Anne Plaza.

The pharmacy, which operated in the plaza for nearly 50 years, closed after owner and pharmacist Larry Cohn retired in 2014. The icons, which were previously used to advertise for the pharmacy, were removed last year to make way for new businesses.

The new icons were installed a few steps away from their original location, despite a cease and desist request from the owner of Kiln and Co., a pottery business that also serves up frozen yogurt and is located next to the exhibit.

Sarah Selvaraj, the owner, said the installation of the icons on the wall — which is showing signs of disrepair — could cause further damage to area businesses. The museum did not formally respond to a Sept. 12 letter from Selvaraj’s attorney and a declined to offer public comment on the issue.

Hirad Najafbagy offered a significant donation in honor of his parents, Hooshang and Farah Najafbagy, who operated Calvert Gourmet Shop at the plaza for many years after immigrating to the United States. The exhibit was installed earlier this week with the help of Krohn Design and Capitol Museum Services.

A ribbon-cutting to celebrate the museum’s 22nd anniversary and the dedication for the new exhibit was held yesterday (Wednesday). More than 80 donors helped make the new exhibit possible.

Photos by Charlotte Geary Photography

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Registration Ending Soon for Lake Anne Cardboard Boat Regatta

Registration to participate in Reston Historic Trust & Museum’s annual Lake Anne Cardboard Boat Regatta ends next month.

More than 50 teams will construct and decorate a life-size cardboard boats and participate in timed heats during the regatta on Saturday, Aug. 10 from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Registration ends on July 1 or whenever 80 teams have registered. The form is open online. Fees start at $50, with varying sponsorship levels.

Awards will be given to boats in differing categories, including the “Titanic” or the fastest to sink.

All proceeds from the event benefit the Reston Historic Trust & Museum. This year’s presenting sponsor is Griffen Owens Insurance.

Photo via Reston Historic Trust & Museum

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Lakeside Pharmacy Fundraiser Lags, Hopes for Boost at Next Week’s Triathlon

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

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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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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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Learn How Reston Defined Itself through Vintage Advertising

Reston received a lot of press attention back during its initial development stages, but what really helped attract people to live and work in Reston was the marketing, said local graphic designer Chris Rooney.

The Reston-centric advertisements of yore primarily ran in The Washington Post and the now-defunct Washington Evening Star.

“These ads first appeared at the genesis of Reston when it was being developed,” said Rooney. “Without these ads, I don’t think that Reston would become what it is today, attracting people here today and making it what it is now.”

Rooney will conduct an event at the Reston Community Center next Thursday (May 10) at 7 p.m., entitled “Reston Hears Voices: The Marketing of a New Town.” The event will focus on how the town defined itself through marketing and advertising from the early 1960s through the first 10 years of Reston’s existence.

Over 70 newspaper advertisements have been collected for the event, all spanning the time from when construction on Reston’s first village center started to when the town reached a population of 10,000.

The event will probably offer “things that the audience hasn’t really seen before,” said Alexandra Campbell, the Reston Historic Trust’s executive director. “So that certainly will be a nice aspect to it.”

Photo via the Reston Historic Trust

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Tuesday Morning Notes

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.

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Reston Historic Trust and Museum Seeks New Leader

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.

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Tuesday Morning Notes

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]

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Wednesday Morning Notes

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]

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Wednesday Morning Notes

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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Reston Movie Now Available for Purchase on DVD

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.

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