News and notes from Reston (tm).

Friday, December 7, 2007

So much culture, you could shake an earth-tone colored stick at it

The Reston Museum is getting $250,000 in grants from Fairfax County to expand its awesome collection of artifacts, presumably including yellowing sales brochures ("Artificial Stucco: Man's Greatest Building Material") and dog-eared copies of Design Review Board violations. Apparently, there's quite a demand for things of that ilk:

Tucked away in one of the leafier villages that surround Reston's more visible town center, the Reston museum attracts surprising traffic: about 12,000 visitors each year, Wingert said. Most are from other countries.
"Uh... sorry mein Herren und Damen-- the tickets to the Washington Monument were sold out, and there's a four-hour wait to see the Hopper exhibit at the National Gallery. But uh... have we got a museum for you!"

(whispers to bus driver:) "Psssst! How do you say 'mauve' in German?"

No, no, just kidding. Everyone's really coming to hear the story of the Reston Creation Myth!
And most are drawn to learn the story of the planned community that got started in 1961, when Simon, the son of a wealthy developer, used proceeds from the sale of a family property, Carnegie Hall, to buy 6,750 acres of Virginia farmland about 20 miles west of the District.

The price was $1,300 an acre, according to one museum display. Today, a single acre in the town center would bring what Simon paid for all of Reston 46 years ago.
Well, of course land at the Town Center's more valuable now -- there's a Macaroni Grill there, for goodness sakes!

Meanwhile, Reston's Nature House got a $30,000 donation from Columbia Gas, the same entity that maintains giant clearcut lanes for its transmission pipes that slice haphazzardly through Reston. Apparently there's no Irony Museum to which it could donate.

Anyhoo, the Nature House has now raised more than $1 million of its $1.5 million goal, and construction may well begin in 2008.

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