Reston is a census-designated place (CDP) in Fairfax County, Virginia, United States of America. Reston, Virginia, was founded in 1964 and was heavily influenced by the Garden City movement, which stressed planned, self-contained communities that intermixed natural space, residential areas, and commercial development to create a cohesive whole.
Founder Robert E. Simon hoped to create a community that would alter post–World War II conceptions of land use and residential/corporate development in suburban America. He succeeded in his goal.
Reston was named the Best Place to Live in Virginia by Money magazine in 2018 because of its extensive network of parks, lakes, golf courses, and bridle routes, as well as the numerous retail and dining options in Reston Town Center, which was recently renovated.
Early in Colonial America, the territory on which Reston now stands was part of the Northern Neck Proprietary, a massive gift made by King Charles II to Lord Thomas Fairfax that stretched from the Potomac River to the Rappahannock River and included the property on which Reston now stands. In 1852, the Fairfax family sold the property, which remained in their possession until that time.
In 1886, Carl A. Wiehle and William Dunn purchased 6,449 acres in northern Fairfax County along the Washington & Old Dominion (W&OD) Railroad line. The land was eventually divided between the two men, with Wiehle maintaining the area north of the railroad line and Dunn holding the remainder. Wiehle had envisioned establishing a town on the site, replete with a hotel, parks, and a community center, but he only managed to finish a handful of homes before his death in 1901, at the age of 76.
It was eventually sold by Wiehle’s heirs and the land passed through a number of hands until being purchased by the A. Smith Bowman family, who used the land to construct a bourbon distillery on it. After purchasing the former Dunn tract to the south of the railroad line in 1947, the Bowmans had amassed a total holdings of more than 7,000 acres. When Robert E. Simon purchased the majority of the site in 1961, he did so with monies from his family’s recent sale of Carnegie Hall, with the exception of 60 acres on which the Bowman distillery continued to operate until 1987.
Several recreational, educational, and cultural activities in Reston have been funded through the establishment of a special tax district within Fairfax County. Located in south Reston near Hunters Woods Plaza, the Reston Community Center (RCC) is a key component, with its main structure housing a theater, indoor heated swimming pool with Jacuzzi, ballroom, conference rooms, and classroom space. At Lake Anne Plaza, there is a smaller RCC branch.
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