Now that Tysons has been transformed overnight from a car-clogged hellscape combining the worst of the suburban and urban experience into an exemplar of future cities, only with better retail, it's time to reset our expectations for "Fairfax County's Downtown."
In a simpler, less aware time, planners were quick to compare Tysons with Paris and the Emerald City -- with straight faces, even.
But now that we've seen the wonders of Tysons from a cracked lot of asphalt and the elevated vantage point of the Silver Line, we know that these ideas were wrong -- all wrong. Let the person fawning articles describe as the architect of the 'New Tysons' explain to us how it's all kinds of awesome places, rolled into one fantastic
amalgamation of ugly office buildings and chain retail 21st century city!
Caplin describes the Tysons of tomorrow with a romantic fervor. In his telling, the new plaza being built near Tysons Corner Station is the Piazza San Marco. The slope he’s pegged for winter sledding will rival Pilgrim Hill in Central Park. The gigantic trestles shouldering the Metro, if decorated, might become as iconic as St. Louis’s Gateway Arch. One member of the partnership recently gave Caplin a painting of what Tysons could someday look like: an elevated train glides away from an imposing crowd of skyscrapers, above an insignificant trickle of cars. “It shows the density and the vitality,” Caplin said. “That’s what it’s going to be. It’s not Manhattan, but it’s going to be a big deal.”We all know that Tysons isn't going to be Manhattan. That distinction is reserved for us.