News and notes from Reston (tm).

Monday, November 12, 2012

Flashback Monday: If You Build It, They Won't Come

Hunters Woods.jpg

Set the controls of the Earth-Toned Wayback Machine to South Reston, where we've unearthed this v. v. exciting photo of construction of the original Hunters Woods Village Center. Note the open-air steel girders from which festive banners would be unfurled during the center's heyday, long before it became an almost uninhabited zombie wasteland before being demolished and triumphantly rising from its earth-toned ashes as a perfectly ordinary strip mall, the end.


  1. Such a goddamn shame. I miss Just Like Mom's and Baskin Robbins and Taco Amigo and Bangkok West and even that weird tailor shop that nobody ever went to because it had to be a CIA front.

  2. ...and Fritzbe's!

    Also, I went to that tailor shop on occasion, but then I was working for CIA--so who knows what that all meant?

  3. Lesson: If you're going to build a strip mall, at least make it look like a strip mall.

  4. This what happens when you let "urban planners" design shopping malls instead of developers who understand the retail business. The strip commercial center works, whatever its other faults--for example, isn't the current Hunter Woodscenter as righteously ugly as it gets?

  5. JM, Did you ever see the Old Hunters Woods Center? Talk about Basset Hound Ugly...

    1. Oh yaaah! It was still open for bizness the first year I moved to the Reston area.And it was a dark and forboding place, being mostly empty of retail tenants (and cutomers).
      But Atlantic Realty took down far too many of those trees when they built the current strip center. The present HW is a spectacularly mediocre strip center, but even mediocre is better than being abandoned.
      The point I was trying to make is that architects and designers had to come to believe that designs like the Old Hunters Woods were "progressive"and "community-oriented", but only in some world they imagined back in college. THe new HW may be ugly too, but at least it makes money for the tenants. I recognzie that for some, that is slim consolation, however.

  6. And Menahans. The hardware store that actually had parts for the plumbing and appliances installed in your house.

  7. Fritzbee's! The signs on the restrooms were:
    Women ==> and <== Men
    If you got it right, the sign inside the Gent's said, "Welcome to the Men's room. Please wait for the hostess to seat you."

    Taco Amigo is where SLHS brats hung when they were hooking school. The tacos tasted fine, but you had to not think about dog food when they scooped up the meat in an ice cream scoop.

    Vandalism pressure ended the fountain pretty quick as Hudgins constituents moved in across Reston Ave.

    Convict, basset hounds are cute!

  8. I couldn't agree more, Scooby. However, in this context, "Basset Hound" is a euphemism for a less kind word for a southern region of the human anatomy.


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