Reston is a census-designated place (CDP) in Fairfax County, Virginia, United States, within the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. The population was 58,404 at the 2010 census. An internationally known planned community founded in 1964, it was built with the goal of revolutionizing post–World War II concepts of land use and residential/corporate development in suburban America. The Reston Town Center is home to many businesses, with high-rise and low-rise commercial buildings that are home to shops, restaurants, offices, a cinema, and a hotel. It comprises over 1,000,000 square feet (93,000 m2) of office space. Municipal, government-like services are provided by the nonprofit Reston Association, which is supported by a per-household fee for all residential properties in Reston. In 2012, Reston was ranked 7th in the Best Place to Live in America by CNNMoney Magazine.
A now abandoned whiskey distillery, long operated by the Bowman family
The Midtown Reston Condominiums, a residential building at the Reston Town Center
The land on which Reston sits was initially owned by Lord Fairfax during the 18th century. C.A. Wiehle (for whom Wiehle Avenue is named) bought the land later in the 1880s. He died after construction of several buildings. His sons did not share his vision, and sold the land to A. Smith Bowman, who built a bourbon distillery on the site while maintaining a farm on most of the area, a 7,300-acre (30 km2) tract. An office retail development and a road are named for him. In 1961, Robert E. Simon bought most of the land, except for 60 acres (240,000 m2) on which the Bowman distillery continued to operate until 1987.
Reston was conceived as a planned community by Robert E. Simon. Founded on April 10, 1964 (Simon’s 50th birthday) and named for his initials, it was one of the first modern, post-war planned communities in America, which sparked a revival of the planned community concept. Simon’s family had recently sold Carnegie Hall, and Simon used the funds to create Reston. Simon hired Conklin Rossant Architects as master planners to incorporate higher density housing to conserve open space, as well as mixed use areas for industry, business, recreation, education, and housing.
The first section of the community to be built, Lake Anne Plaza, was designed by James Rossant (who studied under Walter Gropius at the Harvard Graduate School of Design) to emulate the Italian coastal town of Portofino. Lake Anne village was designed with modern architectural themes that extend to a nearby elementary school, a gasoline station, and two churches. Lake Anne also has an art gallery, several restaurants, the Reston Historic Trust Museum, shops, and a senior citizens’ fellowship house. All are local businesses, as there are no chain stores or chain restaurants allowed in Lake Anne. Close by are the cubist townhouses at Hickory Cluster that were designed by the noted modernist architect, Charles M. Goodman, in the International Style. Other sections of the town, such as Hunters Woods, South Lakes, and North Point, were developed later, each with a neighborhood shopping center and supermarket.
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