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In the early days of Colonial America, the land on which Reston sits was part of the Northern Neck Proprietary, a vast grant by King Charles II to Lord Thomas Fairfax that extended from the Potomac River to the Rappahannock. The property remained in the Fairfax family until they sold it in 1852.
Carl A. Wiehle and William Dunn bought 6,449 acres in northern Fairfax County along the Washington & Old Dominion (W&OD) Railroad line in 1886, later dividing the land between them, with Wiehle retaining the acreage north of the railroad line. Wiehle envisioned founding a town on the property, including a hotel, parks, and community center, but completed only a handful of homes before his death in 1901.
Wiehle's heirs eventually sold the land, which changed hands several times before being purchased by the A. Smith Bowman family, who built a bourbon distillery on the site. By 1947, the Bowmans had acquired the former Dunn tract south of the railroad, for total holdings of over 7,000 acres. In 1961, Robert E. Simon used funds from his family's recent sale of Carnegie Hall to buy most of the land, except for 60 acres (240,000 m2) on which the Bowman distillery continued to operate until 1987.
Simon officially launched Reston on April 10, 1964 (his 50th birthday) and named the community using his initials. He laid out seven "guiding principles" that would stress quality of life and serve as the foundation for its future development. His goal was for Restonians to live, work, and play in their own community, with common grounds and scenic beauty shared equally regardless of income level, thereby building a stronger sense of community ties. The initial motto of the community, as articulated by Simon, was "Work, Play, Live" (or, as more often was memorialized onto Reston merchandise, "Live, Work, Play.")
Simon's seven principles are:
Simon envisioned Reston as a model for clustered residential development, also known as conservation development, which puts a premium on the preservation of open space, landscapes, and wildlife habitats. Indeed, Reston was the first 20th-century private community in the U.S. to explicitly incorporate natural preservation in its planning (Greenbelt, Maryland, was a publicly supported community).
Simon hired the architectural firm of Whittlesey, Conklin, & Rossant to design his new community. The plans for Reston were designed by architect James Rossant, who studied under Walter Gropius at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, and his partner William J Conklin. From the outset, Rossant and Conklin's planning conceptualized the new community as a unified, cohesive, and balanced whole, including landscapes, recreational, cultural, and commercial facilities, and housing for what was envisioned to be a town of 75,000. For Lake Anne Plaza, the first of Reston's village centers, the architects combined a small shopping area with a mix of single-family houses, townhouses, and apartments next to a manmade lake featuring a large jet fountain. Close by were the cubist townhouses at Hickory Cluster, designed by noted modernist architect Charles M. Goodman in the International Style. Lake Anne also included an elementary school, a gasoline station, and two churches as well as an art gallery and several restaurants. The first section of a senior citizens' residence facility, the Lake Anne Fellowship House, was completed several years later.
Reston welcomed its first residents in late 1964. During the community's first year, its continued development was covered in such major media publications as Newsweek, Time, Life Magazine, and the New York Times, which featured the new town in a front-page article extolling it as "one of the most striking communities" in the United States.Nikki Hornsby performed an hour paid concert singing with her guitar outside for this new Reston Community.
From early in Reston's conception and development, Robert Simon ran into financial difficulties as sales in the new community flagged. To keep his project going, he accepted a loan of $15 million from Gulf Oil that allowed him to pay off his creditors. Even so, sales were sluggish as Simon's reluctance to compromise on his high standards for building designs and materials meant that a townhouse in Reston could cost as much as a single-family house elsewhere in Fairfax County.
By 1967, Gulf Oil forced Simon out and formed Gulf Reston, Inc., to manage the community. Gulf retained many of Simon's employees and continued to adhere largely to the spirit of the original Reston master plan as envisioned by Simon. During the 1970s, Gulf built the Reston International Center near the intersection of Sunrise Valley and Reston Parkway, and added low- to moderate-income housing to the community's residential mix, including the Cedar Ridge, Laurel Glade, and Fox Mill apartment developments. Gulf also constructed housing for employees of the U.S. Geological Survey headquarters, located on Sunrise Valley Drive.
Most notably, Gulf Reston put a premium on protecting Reston's open spaces and pedestrian-friendly landscape throughout its ownership. The corporation also transferred title for many Reston recreational facilities, including land, parks, lakes, and facilities, to the Reston Homeowners Association, thereby preserving them from overdevelopment.
Within 10 years of buying Simon out, Gulf opted to begin pulling out of the real estate business and instead to focus exclusively on energy. It sold Reston's developed portions, including the three completed village centers (Lake Anne, Tall Oaks, and Hunters Woods), the Reston International Center, and Isaac Newton Square, to an investment firm. In 1978, the company finalized the sale of Reston's remaining 3,700 undeveloped acres to Mobil Oil, which pledged to continue respecting the ideals of Robert Simon. Mobil formed the Reston Land Corporation as a subsidiary to manage its holdings and began developing the remaining residential areas in what would become the South Lakes and North Point villages. Reston Land introduced a wider mix of housing choices, including more townhouses and smaller “starter” homes, and completed the North County Government Center, which houses the Reston District police station and Fairfax County government offices, as well as a regional library and homeless shelter.
Reston Land also broke ground on the 460-acre Reston Town Center which formed part of Simon's original master plan for Reston. The first four-block development of this multi-phase mixed-use project were opened in 1996 and included a hotel, several restaurants, a cinema, and office buildings.
By 1996, Mobil had decided to follow Gulf Oil's steps and pull out of the land management business. It sold its entire Mobil Land Development subsidiary, including its Reston holdings, to Westbrook Partners, LLC, for $324 million. As Reston Town Center continued to develop, Boston Properties emerged as a leading player. The company became the sole owner of the core mixed-use tracts in Reston Town Center when it completed the purchase of the Fountain Square office/retail complex in 2012.
As of the census of 2000, there were 56,407 people, 23,320 households, and 14,481 families residing in the CDP, with a population density of 3,288.6 people per square mile (1,269.9/km2). There were 24,210 housing units at an average density of 1,411.5/sq mi (545.0/km2). Reston's racial composition was 73.62% White, 9.12% African American, 0.25% Native American, 9.62% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 4.12% from other races, and 3.23% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 10.10% of the population.
There were 23,320 households, out of which 29.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.2% were married couples living together, 8.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.9% were non-families. 29.3% of all households were made up of individuals, and 5.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.40 and the average family size was 2.99.
Reston's population has a median age of 36 years.
The median income for a household was $80,018, and the median income for a family was $94,061 (as of a 2007 estimate, these figures had risen to $93,417 and $130,221, respectively). The per capita income was $42,747. About 3.2% of families and 4.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.1% of those under age 18 and 7.0% of those age 65 or over.
Reston has a high proportion of college-educated adults, with 66.7% having completed at least some college.
Virginia is an attractive southern U.S. State with beautiful landscapes and rich history. Virginia, a densely populated eastern U.S. city, stretches along the shores of the Potomac River from the Chesapeake Bay to the Appalachian Mountains. It is among the 13 original states, with historical landmarks including Monticello, home of Jefferson's famed plantation. The Virginia Colony was created out of proportion to its size, with many Native American and immigrant communities. Today, Virginia is one of America's fastest growing states, and is an exciting place to live.
Virginia is not without political intrigue. Virginia's leaders have historically been divided into three major camps: royalist, aristocrat, and colonialist. Each group has historically sought to expand its influence over the other. Virginia's two major political parties, the Democratic and Republican parties, represent opposing political philosophies. The Democratic Party is the moderate, older party in the state, and the Republican Party is the more radical, radicalizing faction.
Downtown Virginia, home to most of the government offices, is where most people commute to work. The city is also one of its most popular cities with tourists, who visit for its natural beauty, historic sites, shopping and nightlife. Virginia Beach is home to several popular beaches that attract thousands of tourists each year. In addition, the city offers other attractions such as the Virginia Zoo, Aquarium, Carilion Bowl, Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center, and the Virginia Zoo and Gardens. The popular annual Virginia Spring Festival takes place in January.
A large portion of the population in Virginia is classified as rural. The word "rural" can imply both small town and rural living. People living in this type of environment tend to be conservative and private. This lifestyle is evident in many rural communities in Virginia. These communities are generally less expensive and, therefore, more affordable than urban areas. Most rural communities lack restaurants, shopping malls, and other sources of revenue that would support a larger community.
Virginia's largest cities of Richmond, Fairfax, and Hampton Roads provide much more to their residents than just the basics of daily living. Because it is located so close to Washington, D.C., these cities provide a unique view of political life in the capital. In addition, the people in these areas enjoy a strong sense of community and cultural identity that makes them attractive to young families and retirees.
Because the capital is so widely seen by people on a daily basis, Virginia is considered to be one of the most popular cities to live in. Many people choose to buy a home in Virginia because they can work from home; they are not limited by the laws that apply in their hometown. Additionally, working in a city allows people to socialize with other people, increasing their likelihood of forming lasting friendships.
Virginia is host to many historical attractions, which draw many visitors each year. The city of Springfield, for example, is a National Historic Landmark that has been listed on the United States National Register of Historic Places sincetones of the American Revolution. In addition to its significance as a significant historical event, Springfield is a beautiful place to live.
Regardless of where a person lives in Virginia, they have access to beautiful parks, breathtaking gardens, and unique architecture. The real estate market in Virginia is competitive and buyers can find a home that suits their budget and needs. With all of the activities and places to visit, Virginia is a wonderful place for people to call home.
In the Washington area, many families choose to live in the cities of Fairfax and Prince William County. Fairfax is home to the executive offices of the city and is the capital of the commonwealth of Virginia. This area is home to a wide variety of government agencies and beautiful landscaped communities. The home prices in this area are moderate and the people who live here enjoy a low cost of living and access to a variety of public and private schools.
In the Prince William County area, a homeowner will enjoy the beautiful beach views and well maintained golf courses. This area is also home to numerous attractions such as the Ocean Breeze, Water Parks, and The Farm at Waverly. These local attractions draw thousands of visitors each year. The cost of living in Prince William County is reasonable and the people who live here have access to high quality schools. A quick search online will yield many local listings.
The people who live in the Washington DC suburbs enjoy easy accessibility to major city centers and several different entertainment venues. In Ashburn, there are the Dulles International Airport and in Loudoun County, there are three major arena centers including the Verizon Arena and the Comcast Center. In addition to all of these benefits, these communities are near attractions such as the ballpark and museums. The housing prices are moderate and many of the homes are fully furnished. With so many benefits available in these communities, it's easy to see why so many people chose to live in the Washington DC suburbs.