Reston History

Conceived by Robert E. Simon in 1964, Reston is internationally known for being the first modern, post-war planned community in America. Mr. Simon used funds from his family’s sale of Carnegie Hall to create his vision of Reston – a blend of open space, business, recreation and residential living, bringing residents together in an environmentally-friendly and non-exclusive community.

Reston welcomed its first residents in late 1964. During the community’s first year, its continued development was covered in 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.

Nearly 50 years later, Mr. Simon’s vision continues to thrive in Reston’s open-air Town Center, its many natural spaces, and its numerous village centers. This appealing blend of spaces to live, work and play has drawn a number of organizations and amenities, resulting in countless recreational opportunities for residents. Theatre and art, biking and swimming, festivals and photography represent just a few of the activities available.

In 2018, Reston was ranked as the Best Places to Live in Virginia by Money magazine for its expanses of parks, lakes, golf courses, and bridle paths as well as the numerous shopping and dining opportunities in Reston Town Center. The Lake Anne Village Center‘s historic district was recently named to the U.S. Park Service’s National Register of Historic Places, which serves as the official list of historic places worthy of preservation and protection.

Luckily, Reston’s national recognition has not detracted from Mr. Simon’s original vision. Regulations established early on in its design and development helped avert typical problems associated with a region’s popularity and ensuing growth. Restonians continue to live, work and play in their community and enjoy its guiding principles.

Reston today by the numbers:

  • 1 unincorporated community in Fairfax County
  • 58,404 people (2010 Census)
  • 7 Square Miles
  • 7 schools:1 high school, 1 middle school, and 6 elementary schools
  • 16 tennis courts, 15 swimming pools, and 55 miles of paths

The Reston Museum offers a complete chronicle of the area’s history in words and pictures.