LAKE ANNE VILLAGE CENTER HISTORIC DISTRICT
The Reston Historic Trust &Museum is pleased to announce that the National Park Service has named the Lake Anne Village Center Historic District to the National Register of Historic Places. The announcement was made on June 5, 2017, on the National Register’s web site (see: https://www.nps.gov/nr/listings/20170609.htm.)
The National Register is a listing of the buildings, structures, sites, districts, and objects worthy of national recognition for their historic significance. The Register was authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 and is maintained by the National Park Service.
In March 2017, the Virginia Department of Historic Resources included the Lake Anne Village Center Historic District in the Virginia Landmarks Register, and forwarded its nomination to the National Park Service for possible inclusion in the National Register.
Lake Anne Village Center was named a Fairfax County Historic District in 1983. Lake Anne Village Center was constructed between 1963 and 1967. It was the first village of the planned community of Reston founded by Robert E. Simon Jr. It is considered to be nationally significant in the areas of both social history and architecture.
As the first village of the planned community of Reston, Virginia, it is part of the nation’s first zoned planned unit community. Additionally, it is socially significant because it articulates its founder’s seven goals, as well as Mr. Simon’s insistence on an integrated community in the Commonwealth of Virginia prior to the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Lake Anne Village Center’s influences derive from the English Garden City movement, as well as European plazas and the townhouses of urban areas of the northeastern United States. The complex, designed by the New York architectural firm of Conklin Rossant, features Brutalist-influenced architecture tempered by its human scale and medieval elements. For its era, the complex presented a shockingly modern design in a Northern Virginia dominated by single-family Colonial Revival homes.
Lake Anne Village Center showcased the new town movement, with social, architectural, and land-use development innovations—elements internationally recognized today for influencing subsequent planned developments in the U.S. and around the world.
In 2002 The American Institute of Certified Planners designated Mr. Simon a Planning Pioneer: “[The] Founder of Reston, Virginia, introduced urban living to the American suburban countryside at Lake Anne Village Center, created the nation’s first Planned Unit Community zone, and founded a community of international renown dedicated to social openness, citizen participation, and the dignity of the individual.”