If you're one of those people who instinctively slam on the brakes and back up when they see a tiny roadside marker commemorating the site where Col. Jeb "Goober" Josephat stopped to recharge his cellphone on the way to the Battle of Spittle Hill, you're in luck! Turns out our plastic fantastic planned community is getting its own historical marker, which will be planted near the entrance to Lake Anne Village Center. Here's the text, which in our minds we envision scrolling down a dark movie screen, Star Wars style:
In 1961, Robert E. Simon Jr. began developing 6,750 acres of Sunset Hills Farm as a community open to all races, ages, and incomes. Simon engaged the architectural firm of Whittlesey & Conklin, who designed a "New Town." Construction of Lake Anne Village, its lake, central plaza, stores, and townhouses began in 1963. With innovative zoning, Reston became one of the first master-planned communities in the United States, with residential clusters, mixed-use development, landscape conservation, ample recreational space, walking and biking trails, and public art. Reston received the American Institute of Certified Planners' National Landmark Award in 2002.Very cool. It's another sign that our little Reston is All Grown Up. We can't wait for scads of tour buses to begin disgorging tourists in the center of Lake Anne Plaza, cameras in hand. We already have a two-part walking tour (part 1/part 2) set up and ready to wow 'em!
But we'll need to help create the verisimilitude today's discerning tourist demands from their historical destinations. (That, plus outlet malls.) Whereas Colonial Williamsburg is full of people wearing Old Timey colonial garb doing things like churning butter, we all need to dig into the back of our parents' closets and put on the most plastic polyester clothing we can find. Imagine the squeals of joy as tourists walk by carefully trained reenactors reading scripted conversations about watching the latest episode of Dragnet on their new 14-inch television:
The new sign will be dedicated at 5:30pm May 29. If you're into planned communities and sign dedications, mark your calendars.