News and notes from Reston (tm).

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

On St. Patrick's Day, Let's Meet Reston's Irish Doppelganger

Ah, St. Patrick's Day... the perfect day to don our greenest-hued clothes that fall within the spectrum of earth tones permitted by the DRB and visit yet another Restonian doppelganger... this one on the Emerald Isle itself.

Like Reston, Shannon, Ireland, was built as a planed community in the 1960s. But scanning its Wikipedia entry reveals a town that has less in common with the land of poets and saints than with our own fair planned community. Consider these eerily familiar passages, as discovered by our favorite correspondent, The Peasant From Less Sought After South Reston:

* "Until 2003 the main dual-carriageway to the airport divided the town"

* "The town's shopping centre was also of dubious design"

* "There is a marked difference too between the early low-cost housing (tower block flats located in Drumgeely near the airport and terraced housing) and high-cost housing (large detached housing)"

* "There is also a lobby for railway services"
Almost uncanny, isn't it? Let's take a look at some photos of our sister "new town," shall we? Keep your eyes peeled for leprechauns!

An architect's rendering of Shannon's proposed town center, ca. 1965. Note the oddly familiar brutalist concrete adornments and the people milling around, presumably waiting to enjoy microwaved tapas at a local eatery.

What Shannon's retail center looks like today. Hey, lookit, they're driving on the wrong side of the road!

We haven't a clue what this architectural monstrosity, presumably built from discarded toothpicks, is supposed to be. We're wondering whether the trash truck in the foreground is preparing to haul the entire thing away.

Look, a picturesque bit of Ole' Ireland. Perhaps this is what's left of their Brown's Chapel (or is it O'Brown's Chapel?) after they built a giant rec center in its place, the end.


  1. You can't tell that the architectural monstrosity is the headquarters they had to lease because their HOA members wouldn't agree to buy one? That bulge to the right is Milt O'Mathews office area. All 15000 sq feet of it.

  2. I think that's actually their 100 million Euro juicery. The truck is there to take away the peels, rinds and the tongues of dissenters.

  3. Hmmm, maybe that first illustration is Comstock's Plan B for the plaza at the Wiehle Metro development? Seems close enough, right down to the single tree providing the green space and the pedestrians playing dodge 'em with cars.


(If you don't see comments for some reason, click here).