Reston, VA

While Reston’s annual Founder’s Day celebration will not take place in person, the Reston Historic Trust & Museum is still finding ways to make the community milestone and birthday of Reston’s founder Bob Simon special.

Founder’s Day will take place on Saturday, April 18. The museum, which organizes the annual celebration is asking Restonians to submit videos of up to 30 seconds showcasing how Founder’s Day is being celebrated in their home.

The museum suggests some ways to celebrate at home on its website.

Residents should tag the museum via Twitter or Facebook. Everyone who tags the museum will be entered tow in a personalized commemorative brick to be installed at Lake Anne Plaza next year. A winner will be selected on April 20.

Founder’s day is presented by Reston Historic Trust and Museum with support from Reston Community Center and Public Art Reston. It is hosted by Lake Anne Plaza.

File photo

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For the last 55 years, Restonians have celebrated Founder’s Day in the spring to celebrate the birthday of Reston’s founder Bob Simon.

The Reston Historic Trust & Museum, which hosts the annual celebration and community gathering, has canceled this year’s event.

As a stay-at-home order remains in effect ad gatherings are limited to less than 10 people, Lake Anne Plaza will not be busy with activities, a moon bounce, exhibits and performances.

“We are very sorry for the disruption, and, like you, we hope life will return to normal sometime soon. In the interim, be safe and be kind,” the museum wrote on its website.

The museum will remain closed through June. But executive director Alex Campbell said that the organization is pushing out new online resources and content.

On Monday mornings, the museum posts tidbits of history in a series called #museumfromhome. Residents can also take advantage of kids’ activities, artifact collections, online history books, and an online exhibit.

Campbell said that the organization is adjusting its budget to remain financially stable.

“We are hopeful we can still engage with the community during our big fundraisers: the Lake Anne Cardboard Boat Regatta and Reston Home Tour.”

Founder’s Day is made possible with support from Reston Community Center and co-sponsorship by Public Art Reston.

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The author of “Hidden History of Herndon” will speak in Reston next month.

Barbara Glakas will be at the Jo Ann Rose Gallery (1609-A Washington Plaza N.) to discuss her book and answer questions from the audience on Nov. 13 from 7-9 p.m.

The event will be hosted by the Reston Historic Trust and Museum, which aims to foster community engagement and knowledge of local history.

This event is free and will cover a range of Herndon and Reston history from her book that features “firsthand accounts to tell little-known stories of the people, places and events that shaped the history of the Town of Herndon,” according to a press release.

Photo courtesy Reston Historic Trust and Museum

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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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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 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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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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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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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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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 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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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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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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