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Sterling, Virginia is a census-designated place in Loudoun County, Virginia. The population as of the 2010 United States Census was 27,822. It is located northwest of Herndon, east of Ashburn, and west of Great Falls, and includes part of Dulles International Airport and the former AOL corporate headquarters. Sterling is also home to the National Weather Service Weather Forecast Office (serving the Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan Area), as well as the Sterling Field Support Center, the National Weather Service test, research, and evaluation center for weather instruments.
|This article relies largely or entirely upon a single source. (August 2010)|
In the beginning of 1962, large farms made up the 1,762 acres (713 ha) of what today is called Sterling Park. Route 7, also known as Leesburg Pike, bordered what used to be Jesse Hughes's dairy farm. Hughes arrived in Loudoun County in the early 20th century and was a longtime head of the county's Democrats. Fred Franklin Tavenner, who was somewhat related to Benjamin Franklin, operated vast stretches of Sterling Farm at the southwest fringes of Sterling Park. Tavenner had purchased land from Albert Shaw Jr., who had inherited it from his father Albert B. Shaw, editor and publisher of the American Review of Reviews. One of Shaw's spreads, totaling 1,640 acres (660 ha), was called "The Experimental Farm", because he was the first area farmer to receive a U.S. grant for applying "scientific methods", as Tavenner called them. According to Tavenner, "White Russians", refugees from the Soviet Union, ran the farm when Shaw stayed in New York City.
Dulles International Airport and the extension of water and sewer lines to the airport began to change the landscape when construction started in 1959. Land prices rose from an average $125 an acre to $500 an acre. During the same year, Marvin T. Broyhill Jr. and his father made plans to develop land in the airport area. In late winter 1961, they decided to buy and incorporated Sterling Park Development Corporation with his son Marvin T. Broyhill, president, and a cousin, Thomas J. Broyhill, as vice president. In an eight-month span, between April 28 and December 29 of that year, they purchased 1,762 acres (713 ha) in 14 parcels for $2,115,784. For the 226 acres (91 ha) Hughes farm along Route 7, they paid $1,700 an acre.
The Broyhills learned where the right of way for Route 28 (Sully Road) was to be and hoped to develop Sterling Park on both sides of it, so they would not have to build a road through Sterling Park. However, Powell B. Harrison, who was instrumental in planning Route 28, insisted that road be kept generally free of development for easy access to the airport. Therefore, the Broyhills developed Sterling Park east of Route 28, and had to build their own through road, today's Sterling Boulevard.
Marvin Broyhill Jr's marketing thoughts were as follows: "To put together a prefabricated home marketed by U.S. Steel and sell it for about $17,000 - 3,000 less than a comparable Fairfax County home. All homes to have air-conditioning. Homeowners to have access without membership fees to golf and tennis courts and pools." Air-conditioning was uncommon in homes of that price range at the time. Broyhill's ideas, except for free golf, are realities today. As selling points, Loudoun's taxes were less than half of Fairfax's taxes; Washington was a half-hour away, and the elder Broyhill envisioned commuter trains on the Washington and Old Dominion Railroad, which since 1951, had carried only freight. The railroad tracks were the southern boundary of the present Sterling Park.
The original Sterling Park and "Broyhill's Addition" had one thing in common. Residents had to be of the "Caucasian Race”. No board member or speaker before the board raised an objection to the clause, a common one in the United States before the 1960s, when discriminatory housing was outlawed by the Fair Housing Act, enacted as a follow-up to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. No African American family moved into Sterling Park until August 1966, when the illegality of the clause became apparent. By then, the population of "The Park", as it had come to be known, had reached 5,000.
According to the USGS, Sterling has an average elevation of 289 feet (88 m) above sea level. The USGS has assigned Sterling the geographical coordinates: [39.0062204, -77.4285992]. Sterling is part of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed and borders the Potomac River.
- Broad Run Farms is a residential area north of Virginia State Route 7 and 28 that was founded in 1952. It shares the ZIP code of 20165 and calls itself, alternately, Sterling, or Potomac Falls. As an area much older than the surrounding recent growth, it has features unique to the region, including large lots, highly wooded old-growth trees, a wide variety of housing and a voluntary civic association. The Potomac forms its northern border, and Broad Run its southern. A U.S. Senate lawyer bought the Miskel farm in 1950 and later subdivided it, founding Broad Run Farms. (The Civil War Skirmish at Miskel Farm propelled Confederate Captain John S. Mosby to fame.) The community banded together in 1995 with state and county help to finance and install its own sewer service in part through an added property tax. The lien was paid off several years early, the tax has been retired.
- Cascades is a 2500 acre (10 km2) planned community within the 20165 zip code. The area is located in the northeastern most part of Loudoun County, Virginia, between the Fairfax County line to the east, the Potomac River to the North, and Algonkian Parkway to the south. Located just north of Route 7, along the Algonkian Parkway, the community is made up of approximately 6500 homes.
- Countryside is a housing development in Sterling (20165 ZIP code) bounded by the Potomac River to the north and by Route 7 (Leesburg Pike) to the south. This subdivision was conceived in the middle 1970s when a tract of 1,000 acres (400 ha) of open farmland was subdivided in preparation for a planned housing development. Construction on homes began in 1983 and continued through 1991. Today, Countryside covers about 3.75 square miles (9.7 km2) and consists of 2,539 homes, which includes 1,269 single-family homes, 1,168 town homes, and 102 condominium units. Countryside contains a shopping center Countryside Marketplace, which is anchored by Safeway and CVS. The shopping center is within the mixed-use Countryside Commercial and Professional Center, which contains various office buildings. Countryside is governed by the Countryside Proprietary, the community's homeowners association.
- Dulles is an unincorporated census-designated place located in Loudoun County, also part of the Washington Metropolitan Area with ZIP code 20166. That ZIP code is assigned to Sterling, although the area covered by Dulles extends well outside the area of Sterling (to Chantilly, for instance). The headquarters of Orbital Sciences Corporation, ODIN Technologies, the former headquarters of MCI Inc., and AOL are located in Dulles. The usage of Dulles as a community name began in the mid-1980s when Loudoun County economic development officer Pam Treadwell successfully lobbied the United States Postal Service to allow Sterling businesses and residents to use Dulles as an alternate address.
- Lowes Island is an advertised portion of the legal subdivision of Cascades, but is not a legal subdivision itself. While newer residents use the city address Potomac Falls, VA. The post office will recognize either Potomac Falls, VA or Sterling, VA as a correct mailing address. Almost 50% of the Lowes Island geography is taken up with the club grounds and a golf course.
- Potomac Falls is an unincorporated census-designated place also located in Loudoun County. Potomac Falls lies along the Potomac River and is in the northernmost portion of Sterling with the ZIP code of 20165, bordering Maryland. The name for Potomac Falls came from a competition to name the second new Post Office in Sterling. Alternately called Potomac Falls or Sterling, The village consists of the communities Glen Heather, Calvert's Glen, Cascades, CountrySide, Lowes Island, Rivercrest, Potomac Hunt, Great Falls Forest and Great Falls Chase. (Great Falls Forest was first considered a part of Fairfax County, however, when an additional part of the neighborhood was added, it was switched to Loudoun County. Great Falls Chase, is also a new addition to what was previously known as Great Falls Forest.) Development of Potomac Falls began in the late 1980s, and is essentially complete today. Potomac Falls borders Great Falls and Fairfax County to the southeast and has several shopping areas, schools, and community centers. Potomac Falls is also home to three 18-hole golf courses including Trump National Golf Club and is home to the Potomac Falls High School Panthers.
- Sterling Park is a portion of Sterling with the ZIP code of 20164. The land where Sterling Park was built was mainly made up of a few very large farms. When construction of Dulles International Airport began in 1959, land prices began to rise. In 1961 Marvin T. Broyhill Sr. saw this as a great investment opportunity and decided to buy the 1,762 acres (713 ha) that now make up Sterling Park for the price of $2,115,783.86. Construction of homes priced $14,800 to $22,500 was completed by 1967. Sterling Park was one of the first planned communities built in eastern Loudoun County and was a popular place for government workers to settle with their families outside Washington, D.C. Sterling Park also contains a variety of businesses, churches, parks, a community center, a semi-private golf club featuring two pools and tennis courts, and schools. It is the home of the Park View High School Patriots.
- Sugarland Run is a portion of Sterling with the ZIP code of 20164. Built in the 1970s in the style of Sterling Park, its only shopping center consists of a 7-Eleven food mart and gas station, Pizza Hut restaurant, a Panda West, a High Up Food Mart, and a laundromat (which burned down on January 10, 2008[dead link]). The housing around Sugarland Elementary School consists of town homes, apartments and single-family homes, while the housing around Meadowland Elementary is predominately single-family homes. It is one of the few communities in the area with contemporary style houses. Sugarland Run also has a community center, which is situated near the preconstructed Willow Lake, and over 26 miles (42 km) of walking paths. There is also a community swimming pool and playground situated across from the lake. The swimming pool is 25 yards (23 m) by 50 meters, with a large diving well and a separate baby pool. It is the home of the Dominion High School Titans.
Sterling is home to many businesses and also serves as branch offices for many major companies. According to Manta[dead link], the following companies with annual revenues of $20 million or more, have headquarters in Sterling, Virginia: Neustar, Inc., Electronic Instrumentation and Technology Inc, and Paxfire Inc. Also, companies that have a branch office or headquarters in Sterling, with a total number of employees over 1,000 or more are as follows: Alcatel Networks Inc, Geo Trans Inc, HR Solutions LLC, M C Dean Inc, National Electronics Warranty Corp, N E W Customer Service Companies Inc, and Orbital Science. 
Sterling is home to 3 public high schools, serving grades 9-12, named Dominion High School, Park View High School, and Potomac Falls High School. There are 3 public middle schools serving grades 6-8 named River Bend Middle School, Seneca Ridge Middle School, and Sterling Middle School. Also, there are 12 public elementary schools, which serve grades PK-5, named Algonkian Elementary School, Countryside Elementary School, Forest Grove Elementary School, Guilford Elementary School, Horizon Elementary School, Lowes Island Elementary School, Meadlowland Elementary School, Potowmack Elementary School, Rolling Ridge Elementary School, Sterling Elementary School, Sugarland Elementary School, Sully Elementary School. 
Northern Virginia Community College has a Loudoun campus on Harry F. Byrd Highway (Route 7). Nearby, in Ashburn, The George Washington University, has its Virginia Science and Technology Campus, established in 1991.
The main arterial roads serving Sterling are Virginia State Route 28, West Church Road, South Sterling Boulevard, Leesburg Pike, Algonkian Parkway, Potomac View Road, Waxpool Road, and Cascades Parkway.
Claude Moore Park occupies 357 acres (144 ha) in Sterling and offers activities for people of all ages, with three main areas. Claude Moore Recreation Center contains an Olympic-size indoor pool, a children's pool with water features, an exercise area, gymnasium, and several event and meeting rooms. The sportplex includes baseball and softball fields and the nature area includes hiking trails and the park. The last known undeveloped section of the historic Vestal's Gap Road runs across the park. Originally a trail first used by Native Americans, it was a major route for settlers between Alexandria and the Shenandoah Valley. George Washington used the road frequently in his travels between Mount Vernon and the western frontier. General Braddock's troops, including Daniel Boone, traveled Vestal's Gap Road during the French and Indian War. 
Public Works & Services
Fire protection services are provided by the Sterling Volunteer Fire Department. Rescue and Emergency Medical Services are provided by the Sterling Volunteer Rescue Squad. Both are non-governmental 501(c) non-profit organizations that operate as a part of the Loudoun County Fire & Rescue Department, and share two stations, with one located in the Sterling Park community and one located in the Potomac Falls community. Police services are provided by the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office and the Virginia State Police.
Famous people who were born in or who lived in Sterling include:
- United States President James Buchanan had his summer home near what is now Ruritan Circle.
- Patton Oswalt, stand-up comedian
- Hilarie Burton, American actress from the television programs One Tree Hill and White Collar
- Austin St. John, American actor and martial artist from the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers television series, who left acting to work as a paramedic and study martial arts
- Billy King, current general manager for the Brooklyn Nets of the NBA
- Pg. 99, a screamo band formed in 1999
- Willard, Virginia, adjacent village displaced for construction of Dulles Airport
- Algonkian Writers Conference, at Algonkian Park in Sterling
- Virginia Trend Report 2: State and Complete Places (Sub-state 2010 Census Data). Missouri Census Data Center. Accessed March 8, 2011.
- Scheel, Eugene; Broyhill, Marvin T., III (June 16, 2002). "With 'The Park,' County's Growth Battles Were Just Beginning". The History of Loudoun County, Virginia. Thomas Balch Library. Retrieved April 28, 2012.
- "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2010-07-09.
- "National Register of Historic Places Listings". Weekly List of Actions Taken on Properties: 6/03/13 through 6/07/13. National Park Service. 2013-06-14.
- "GNIS Detail - Sterling". usgs.gov. August 17, 2010. Retrieved April 28, 2012.
- "Broad Run Farms, VA Community Profile". hometownlocator.com. 2010. Retrieved April 28, 2012.
- "Sterling, VA Community Profile". hometownlocator.com. 2010. Retrieved April 28, 2012.
- "Dulles, Clearly On Tech's Radar". The Washington Post. December 13, 2004.
- Roberts, Roxanne (February 14, 2009). "Trump Buys Lowes Island Golf Club in VA". washingtonpost.com. Retrieved April 28, 2012.
- Washington Post Archives
- [dead link]
- "Potomac Falls, VA Community Profile". hometownlocator.com. 2010. Retrieved April 28, 2012.
- "Sterling Park, VA Community Profile". hometownlocator.com. 2010. Retrieved April 28, 2012.
- "Sugarland Run VA Community Profile". hometownlocator.com. 2010. Retrieved April 28, 2012.
- "Sterling, Virginia (VA) companies & businesses". manta.com. June 15, 2010. Retrieved April 28, 2012.[dead link]
- Standard & Poor's Register of Corporations, Directors and Executives, Volume 2. Standard & Poor's, 1998. 1012. Retrieved on January 31, 2011. "Atlantic Coast Airlines Inc., One Export Dr.. Sterling, VA 20164"
- "Loudoun County Public Schools' Official Website". loudoun.k12.va.us. June 15, 2010. Retrieved August 17, 2010.[dead link]
- "The George Washington University: Virginia Science and Technology Campus: About the Campus". gwu.edu. 2010. Retrieved April 28, 2012.
- "Sterling, VA Community Profile". hometownlocator.com. August 17, 2010. Retrieved April 28, 2012.
- "Claude Moore Recreation Center". Loudoun County. Retrieved 4 August 2012.
- The Vestal's Gap Road Marker
- Vestal's Gap Road
- "Claude Moore Park". loudoun.gov. 2007. Archived from the original on May 14, 2011. Retrieved August 17, 2010.
- ""SuperPages search results for "Recreation in Sterling, VA"". superpages.com. August 17, 2010. Retrieved August 17, 2010.
- "Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority: Algonkian Park". nvrpa.org. August 17, 2010. Retrieved April 28, 2012.
- "Heritage Conservation Plan." Loudoun County, Virginia. 272 (18/22). Retrieved on September 25, 2009.
- "Patton Oswalt - Stats". last.fm. 2010. Retrieved April 28, 2012.
- "Hilarie Burton - Biography". imdb.com. 2010. Retrieved April 28, 2012.
- "Power Morphicon 2007- Where are they Now? Part 1 of 6". youtube.com. July 3, 2007. Retrieved April 28, 2012.