News and notes from Reston (tm).

Monday, June 16, 2014

Flashback Monday: Moving Day for Brown's Chapel

Moving Brown s Chapel in 1968
Set the controls of the Earth-Toned Wayback Machine to 1968, when this sight must have positively terrified locals driving on Baron Cameron Avenue to... well, not much of anything at that point. Yes, our beloved Brown's Chapel had to move from the corner of Rt. 7 and Baron Cameron Avenue to make room for some sweeeeeet gas stations and farmer's markets and whatnot, so Gulf Reston put the 70-ton building on some beams, or rollers, or whatever, to get it to its current spot, where now it mostly serves as a place of refuge for Reston summer campers when it rains.

The building actually dates back to 1879, when Augustus and Sarah Brown deeded a half-acre of land to the "Methodist Episcopal Church," because back then people weren't super picky about mixing and matching their denominations, we guess. Amazingly, it remained in use as a church until 1967, the year before it was moved. It apparently hearkens back to Greek Revival architecture more commonly found in New England churches than the Victorian style that was in vogue in Virginia at the time. So even as early as the 1870s, pre-pre-pre Reston delighted in confounding local architectural norms, the end.


  1. Attended a poetry reading at Brown's Chapel, maybe 1984, and the building still had its original pews. It still looked like a church inside.

  2. We use it for Tai Chi classes.

  3. The curch is especially pretty with christmas lights during winter months.


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