News and notes from Reston (tm).

Monday, January 14, 2013

Flashback Monday: Remembering an Architecture Critic Who Remembered Reston

The recent obituary of Ada Louise Huxtable, the first Pulitzer Prize winning architecture critic, pointed out a Fun Fact: The one thing she wrote about in Washington, D.C., was Reston -- and she liked it, she really, really liked it!

Taking time away from lamenting the destruction of New York's Penn Station and the sterility of JFK airport, she wrote this:

In the Washington area, she wrote positively in 1967 about the planned community of Reston, noting that it “ran counter to every standard practice and procedure of conventional real estate development. Standard practice means the sleazy subdivision and the asphalted shopping center, the familiar fast-buck operation, composed of short-term, quick profit, in-and-out financing and instant obsolescence.”
Sounds familiar. As our favorite correspondent, The Peasant From Less Sought After South Reston, points out:
Towards the beginning of the obit, the Post writes that "Mrs. Huxtable emerged as a bold voice for quality of life in development, whether campaigning against antiseptic modernism in urban building (Comment: cough!-Tysons Corner-cough!) or the mindless creep of suburban tract development (Comment: cough!-Loudoun County-cough!).
What does that mean in practice? While she hated this:


She loved this:

Lake Anne.jpg

Go figure.

1 comment:

  1. Well...considering we can't keep a grocery store in Tall Oaks, the Lake Anne mercado has limitations, Hunters Woods grocery store plans to lose money due to theft, South Lakes shopping center's parking lot is a nightmare, everything at North Point is overpriced ... that whole idea of tucking the commercial centers into neighborhoods is working out just peachy, dontcha think?

    Architects who want to be avant garde need to also plan for people who live in the real world. Give us something that is beautiful, pedestrian/bike friendly, but that also WORKS and can grow with an area (cough, cough, silver line and macaroni grill)


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