Talk:Reston, Virginia

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Former good article nomineeReston, Virginia was a Geography and places good articles nominee, but did not meet the good article criteria at the time. There are suggestions below for improving the article. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
July 11, 2007Good article nomineeNot listed

One of the first planned cities?[edit]

Reston was one of the first planned cities.

From what point of view? Nearby Washington, DC, was a planned city when most of Fairfax County was still farmland. Also, I'm virtually certain that several ancient cities were planned. (Rome after its fire comes to mind.) Unless someone can revise this to provide some context, I plan to rephrase this to something like "Reston was conceived as a planned city" and merge it with the following sentence about its founding. -- Jeff Q 06:06, 30 May 2004 (UTC)

The city was planned by Robert E. Simon, Jr. as is described in the Reston Association website. It was an experimental community planned with an explicit purpose. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 00:22, 9 July 2004

Reston is a town

Reston is not officially a town or a municipality within the state. It is an association and an area within the county of Fairfax. It does not, however, have a town hall which would preclude it from being a town in Virginia. (I'm not 100% sure of this requirement, but as per WashingtonPost it is not part of municipalities of Fairfax. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 00:22, 9 July 2004

Reston was one of the first planned communities of the modern era.

This is a more accurate statement and I have changed the laguage to reflect it, as well as added citations to support this. Also, I have added the Hunter Mill Road exit as one that serves the Reston community. When I was living there it was classified as a "Reston Exit" by the Toll Road people. --Parallel or Together? 13:04, 9 August 2005 (UTC)

Wikipedia shows that Columbia, Maryland, another planned community, was organized in late 1963, while Reston was founded in April 1964. Also, the original owners of the main tract of land that comprised Reston had envisioned a planned community in 1933. The comments about planned communities from the ancient times is true, community planning has existed for a long, long time. Whatever is meant by "modern" is undefined. Maybe it means since WW2 or since the age of the automobile. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 14:54, 6 August 2006

"Modern" is usually a bad term for an encyclopedia, just like "recent" etc. In this case, what it means is that Reston was one of the first examples in the USA of the "New Town" planning movement. Reston and Columbia are noted as the early examples at New town#United States, along with the historical context that essentially explains all the early colonial settlements as "planned communities". That article is linked in the same sentence as the current version of the text above. RossPatterson 00:26, 7 August 2006 (UTC)

Current language that it is "the first modern postwar planned community" is unsubstantiated. Coral Springs FL precedes it by a year, Peachtree City GA by more than five years. (talk) 09:46, 2 October 2011 (UTC)

Merge with Reston Town Center[edit]

It seems to me that the Reston Town Center article should be merged into this one. While RTC is an important component of Reston, it hardly seems worthy of an article on its own. RossPatterson 03:41, 24 February 2006 (UTC)

  • I agree. It should be merged. Stiles 02:08, 9 March 2006 (UTC)
  • I'm not so sure about the merge. Granted, RTC is a somewhat obscure topic for a global encyclopedia. But we have plenty of those kinds of topics, and many aren't as substantial as the current RTC article. My primary concern would be ensuring that the material read more like an encyclopedia article and less like a brochure. If so, I'd support it as a separate article instead of folding into this one. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 03:19, 9 March 2006 (UTC)
  • I think it should be merged. RTC is part of Reston, and the artilce on RTC is not long enough to be it's own article. Also Robert E. Simon had in his masterplans for a mixed use high density area of Reston. Articnomad 22:38, 18 March 2006 (UTC)
    • The RTC article is well beyond stub size, making it "long enough" by definition. The real question is whether its content deserves a separate article. I'm not clear on what Simon's master plan has to do with this issue. If you mean that the plan should be mentioned here, and that RTC is part of it, please feel free to add it to the article (preferably with a source). That doesn't mean that the RTC article should necessarily be merged in, as this new text could merely allude to the Center and provide a link to the article for more details, which is standard WP practice. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 02:50, 19 March 2006 (UTC)
  • I disagree with the merge, for similar reasons as Jeff Q: Wikipedia has plenty of articles (and even a category) on shopping malls. RTC should be mentioned and linked from this article, but should remain separate. VT hawkeyetalk to me 02:46, 29 March 2006 (UTC)

OK, it's been more than a month and there's no consensus pro or con on the merge. I'm withdrawing the suggestion. RossPatterson 01:36, 2 April 2006 (UTC)

Top picture[edit]

The reference to the "Paramount" condominiums is in error. The buildings shown in the picture are the Midtown Reston Condominium buildings. Dagman1 (talk) 16:12, 24 August 2010 (UTC)

That new picture is horrible. There is no light on the tall building. --Howdybob 10:37, 14 June 2006 (UTC)

I reverted it. The new picture needs major adjustment it is to have a chance of being suitable. --Howdybob 10:41, 14 June 2006 (UTC)

Greetings! I replaced the pictures on the Reston article. The one you reverted to is marked as a copyvio and up for deletion. Additionally, the new pictures are much better (look at the full-size version; the older one is a just a web-resolution picture, probably because it was yanked from the web); it doesn't appear too dark on my monitor, either. Mindspillage (spill yours?) 13:33, 14 June 2006 (UTC)

I turned my monitor up all the way, uncomfortably so, and there is indeed some detail, but it is much darker than the other pictures on the page. I'll leave it if there's nothing else but it's not good. I'm copying these two comments from my talk page onto the Reston, VA talk page. --Howdybob 18:46, 14 June 2006 (UTC)
It does indeed look a bit dark thumbnailed because of the high contrast, and I will improve that later... but based on your comment above, it seems that there is something wrong with your monitor. "Some detail" ? You can count the plants on the balconies and read the signs in most of the storefront windows! --Gmaxwell 19:35, 14 June 2006 (UTC)
It's been adjusted, and now the brightness and contrast are fine. Looks a little unnatural and maybe too green, but it's good enough. --Howdybob 09:16, 16 June 2006 (UTC)

Actually it does look a little washed out now. Maybe I was wrong, or maby it was adjusted too far. --Howdybob 05:34, 19 May 2007 (UTC)

This is the image I was referencing.
Sorry, it's a new top picture, the old one had been removed. Someone else felt that the image of Condos at Reston Town Center didn't properly represent Reston, so he moved the one of Lake Anne to the top. What do you say, move the condominium picture to the top? Signed - Joshua Davis (articnomad) 12:32, 19 May 2007 (UTC)

I'm talking about the Lake Anne picture, all this is about that one. --Howdybob 13:39, 19 May 2007 (UTC)
The "Lake Anne plaza" picture of Washington Plaza has been the "top picture" since Joshua (Articnomad) replaced the Hickory Cluster picture on March 21, 2007, except for a brief appearance by the Dulles Toll Road. The Washington Plaza picture is perfectly nice, although it could stand being thumbnailed a little larger, as are rest of the pictures in this article. It's bright — brighter than everything else except the Paramount condos picture (which focuses more on the red roses than the building :-) ). It seems like a good starting image for a Reston article, and it has the benefit of showing the very first section of Reston (the distillery doesn't count, it was there beforehand). Full disclosure: I think I'm the "Someone else" that Joshua mentioned above, although I was advocating for the Hickory Cluster picture. RossPatterson 17:30, 19 May 2007 (UTC)

Central Business District[edit]

Sure Reston doesn't have a traditional bussines district, but other areas such as Plaza America, and the office buildings between the 267 and the Town Center aren't officially part of the Town Center. My question is what would be an acceptable sentence to call this area?Articnomad 22:38, 8 February 2007 (UTC)

Acutally, the 267 corridor is the Reston CBD and was intended to be so. The 1962 Master Plan called for an "industrial" district on both sides of the "Airport Access Highway" — i.e., the area between Sunrise Valley Drive and Sunset Hills Road — and extending up and down the east side of the "Outer Circumferential Highway" (Fairfax County Parkway) between Glade Drive and Baron Cameron Drive. RossPatterson 17:57, 19 May 2007 (UTC)

GA review[edit]

I found this article generally easy to read, understand and informative. Also, the images are well done and add much to the article. With that said, there are three significant areas that need to be addressed before it should advance to GA status: (1) Improve the Lead; (2) Support all statements with reliable sources and standardize footnotes using inline citations and standard templates; and (3) Merge duplicated info and links from the See also and External links sections into the body of the article. Since the article is "broad in its coverage", fairly stable, and appears to be WP:NPOV (with a qualification as described below), a modicum of additional effort should bring it along quickly so it can be considered for GA again soon.

GA review (see here for criteria)
  1. It is reasonably well written.
    a (prose): b (MoS):
  2. It is factually accurate and verifiable.
    a (references): b (citations to reliable sources): c (OR):
  3. It is broad in its coverage.
    a (major aspects): b (focused):
  4. It follows the neutral point of view policy.
    a (fair representation): b (all significant views):
  5. It is stable.
  6. It contains images, where possible, to illustrate the topic.
    a (tagged and captioned): b (lack of images does not in itself exclude GA): c (non-free images have fair use rationales):
  7. Overall:
    a Pass/Fail:


The Lead is interesting and should catch the reader's attention without problem, but it does not serve as "a concise overview of the article . . . summarizing its most important points". Much of what is mentioned in the Lead is not supported in the body of the article. For example, the Lead references the number of Fortune 500 companies in Reston, but the statements are not supported elsewhere. Similarly the statement about Reston being "an internationally known planned community that revolutionized post-World War II concepts of land use" is not supported or discussed later. The Lead is meant to summarize the article and all content should be expanded and sourced in subsequent sections. Also, there is room to expand the Lead, covering more material.

Sourcing and NPOV[edit]

Too much of the article contains statements that are unsourced for this to go GA at this point. Of the nine main sections, only History has adequate reliable sources; a pretty good job was done on this topic. However, significant areas — such as Proposed town status, Population history of Reston, Local media, Ebola, Guiding principles, Geography, Education, and Demographics — have virtually no supporting sources at all. Some of them even have quoted phrases ("award-winning Reston Community Players" and "guiding principles") with no cite for them. Demographics references the Census Bureau, but a specific link should be provided. All of these sections need substantial sourcing.

Additionally, the Cultural and other activities and Transportation sections not only need sources, but should be rewritten. Their tone differs noticeably from that of the other sections, making them almost sound like PR pieces. Related to this is the possibility of COPYVIO issues. Much of these sections also appears in a copyrighted blurb advertising apartments ( There's really no way to tell who copied whom, but it doesn't help that these sections actually do sound like an advertisement.

The citation information varied from footnote to footnote, as different editors used different styles. I suggest using standard templates to ensure consistency and completeness.

Merging copy[edit]

Move any duplicated material in the See also and External links sections into the body of the article. There are too many external links and their descriptions should be more informative (use cite templates for these to ensure consistency and completeness). I would think some of those external links can be used as sources for article content. Also, two of the three See also links are already in the article, and I bet the third one can be merged into the body as well.

The only other opportunities for improvement I see are clarification and making some areas a bit more concise, removing some excessive detail. I'm uncomfortable with using the word "unofficial" for population figures in the Lead. The paragraph about Wiehle mentions his "sons didn't share his vision", but never tells us what his vision wass. The paragraph about traffic congestion is a bit convoluted and could be tightened. Finally, an encyclopedia article doesn't really need to include bus fare info.

I removed all forced image arguments from the image links per MoS.

I hope this helps. My praise to all the editors who contributed to what will become a GA article: Good job. Please feel free to ask me for clarification on any points.
Jim Dunning | talk 06:11, 11 July 2007 (UTC)

A Tribe Apart[edit]

Um, I don't claim to know much about the city of Reston, Virgina. But I would like to add that it might be worth mentioning that Reston is the setting of Patricia Hersch's highly acclaimed book, A Tribe Apart. Then again, if you think that this might threathen the privacy of individuals living there, well....I'll let you guys decide. But I just read this most amazing book, and I was surprised to see that this very important non-fiction journalistic study that took place here was not mentioned. That's all. (talk) 06:45, 20 October 2008 (UTC)

Perhaps a "see also" or similar linkage would apply. Technically (in the context of the Reston topic), it's trivia. Tedickey (talk) 10:29, 20 October 2008 (UTC)

Population rank in Virginia[edit]

Now that Reston is ahead of Burke in terms of city population of Virginia, is it the 14th most populous, or still 15th, and not ahead of Burke?... (talk) 21:23, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

Reston is a named unincorporated place within Fairfax County (not a city). Ditto for Burke. Tedickey (talk) 22:58, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

I haerd tjere was wind in reston, im not sure. I think the wind comes from the air. IM me back i will got ot europ see if theres wind in europe too. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:08, 22 September 2010 (UTC)

Shopping center discussion[edit]

Hunters Woods shopping center was revised in the late 1990s from a pedestrian-centered mall to a more conventional strip mall. This was controversial at the time and some people are, apparently, still dwelling on it. It even included a (radical for Reston) drive-through Burger King. However, at about the same time, Tall Oaks Shopping Center underwent a very similar change. Namely, a pedestrian courtyard was removed and a series of offices and spaces were eliminated so a more conventional automobile-friendly -- including, of all things, a drive-through Burger King.

Commercial property undergoes facelifts all the time; it's the nature of the beast. There is no need to mention either of these in the main article -- which is why I have deleted them. Kazari (talk) 03:20, 29 August 2009 (UTC)

Most of Hunters Woods was demolished (excepting the Safeway store, which was extended by about 60% - but generally not into the demolished area - the extension largely encroaches on the neighboring property), all trees removed, and the parking lot extended (both toward the road, as well as about 1/3 of the area covered by Hunters Woods shopping center). That's (eyeing the map) about 80% change. Less than 20% of Tall Oaks was changed (about 10% extension to the north, and one store removed on the south. The "dwelling on it" part comment probably refers to the Fellowship House apartments which are outside the area we're discussing. Hmm - thinking back, a drive-thru also was there before (on the southwest corner). Isaac Newton Square had a McDonalds (your comment regarding "radical for Reston" may require a source if it's not your personal opinion). As noted in the comment which you deleted, the other village centers are relatively untouched. (A casual visitor to Tall Oaks may not notice the one removed store). Tedickey (talk) 11:55, 29 August 2009 (UTC)
Actually, the given that this is a discussion, I'm going to stick with my smarmy comment. The McDonald's across from Hunters Woods tried for more than a decade to get a waiver to install a drive-through, to no avail, and ended up closing instead. It is difficult to get such things past the Reston Design and Review Board and Fairfax County.
I don't know where you're getting the impression that one store was altered at Tall Oaks. That is not the case. There was an extensive courtyard, a bank, a restaurant and a veterinary clinic on the left side as you are looking at it from the parking lot. They were all destroyed. That space was replaced by a Burger King (now vacant) and the other tenants that were forced to move. Even now Tall Oaks is in flux as they have added another outbuilding and the major tenant has changed, as well. Someone who visited the shopping center in 1996 would hardly recognize the 2009 version -- it's that different.
And I would concur that the same could be said for Hunters Woods.
This is the nature of commercial property.
What I'm asking here is why it's relevant in an encyclopedic entry about Reston. I'm sure you could pull a source showing what happened -- as could I -- but why does it matter to someone learning about Reston what trees and refurbishments were made to a commercial shopping center more than 10 years ago?
Kazari (talk) 17:44, 29 August 2009 (UTC)
I recalled the development plan for Tall Oaks, and checked it via google maps (which still shows a partial court in that part of the shopping center). You apparently have some different impression. The rest of your response is nonresponsive (though you seem to have characterized it properly at the beginning). Tedickey (talk) 17:52, 29 August 2009 (UTC)
As you have said many times, personal attacks reflect on the writer.
I'm sorry that you are/were unable to visit the shopping center to see what I am talking about. My response explains that Tall Oaks had an equally disruptive change to it. I lived through it and I know what I am talking about. The entire tone of the shopping center was changed. I mentioned it because you have singled out a shopping center in your insertions; I am demonstrating that another equally disruptive change happened to another equally important shopping center in the SAME town. Both are irrelevant to the Reston article.
I will repeat my question, to which YOUR answers have non-responsive: Why is it relevant in an encyclopedic entry about Reston that a supermarket was expanded and that trees were removed from a shopping center more than ten years ago?
I would posit that it is irrelevant and should be omitted. The reason I would give is that changes to commercial property happen all the time -- especially at shopping centers. The look of them, the stores within them are irrelevant to an article about a town. What IS relevant is that someone name them, write what year they opened and perhaps add what anchors they have.
Kazari (talk) 22:43, 29 August 2009 (UTC)
The dispute is this: You keep equating the changes to Tall Oaks and to Hunters Woods (apparently biased because you were directly impacted by the lesser changes to the former). Try to factor out your bias and review the actual amount of change. Tedickey (talk) 22:50, 29 August 2009 (UTC)
Your response is nonresponsive. And again you continue with personalizing this.
I keep bringing up Tall Oaks because I know that it doesn't rise to the level of being included in the article. Nor does Hunters Woods.
I ask a third time: Why is it relevant in an encyclopedic entry about Reston that a supermarket was expanded and that trees were removed from a shopping center more than ten years ago?
Kazari (talk) 01:53, 30 August 2009 (UTC)
I'm only interested in the disputed statement, not your motivation for removing the text. Back to facts - while the change to Tall Oaks is relatively much smaller than that to Hunters Woods, it also is quantitatively much smaller, owing to the fact that Tall Oaks is smaller. For comparison, see the tax records Tall Oaks and Hunters Woods. You could see the difference on google map, however your response to my comment there verged on being a personal attack. Try to limit that. Tedickey (talk) 11:08, 30 August 2009 (UTC)
So we're agreed then that the statement about Hunters Woods should not appear in the Reston article? If so, we're done here and I thank you.
I find a comparison of Tall Oaks and Hunters Woods uninteresting and only inserted it for comparison.
Kazari (talk) 15:40, 30 August 2009 (UTC)
Actually, a separate topic dealing with development in Reston would be of interest to many readers, and in that, Hunters Woods would be a notable incident, Tall Oaks not. Tedickey (talk) 08:34, 1 September 2009 (UTC)
While it's of interest to you, I don't believe it's of interest to many readers, especially those trying to learn about Reston. I'm going to withhold judgment on it until you write it, of course. Why is it relevant in an encyclopedic entry about Reston that a supermarket was expanded and that trees were removed from a shopping center more than ten years ago?Kazari (talk) 00:15, 2 September 2009 (UTC)
By comparison with the typical WP-topic, it's not a problem. Tedickey (talk) 00:48, 2 September 2009 (UTC)
You continue to ignore my fundamental question. Why is it relevant in an encyclopedic entry about Reston that a supermarket was expanded and that trees were removed from a shopping center more than ten years ago?Kazari (talk) 03:03, 2 September 2009 (UTC)

Recentisms and promotional edits[edit]

Some of the edits are unnecessarily focused on relatively minor issues, to promote specific entities. To put the Rolls Royce comments into better perspective, bear in mind that those are only a couple of dozen people out of the roughly 65,000 in the area. Checking google for "rolls royce" moves to Reston finds older mentions (which contradict the "recently" used to accentuate the promotion, such as from Chantilly in 2008, and from Connecticut in 1989. Toning down the promotionalisms would improve the topic and get more attention from readers Tedickey (talk) 20:46, 20 February 2010 (UTC)

This article has too many statements that are not from an NPOV. For instance, the statement that Reston is "undeniably a central business district" (paraphrasing) was inappropriate and I removed it. I don't know which user has been doing this but somebody ought to find out and take action against them. --BLM Platinum 22:33, 20 February 2010 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by BLM Platinum (talkcontribs)

Oil Companies?[edit]

I find it interesting that there's no mention of the oil company involvement in Reston's history. In 1967, Gulf Oil was one of the major investors and "saved the project". In 1978, Mobil acquired the undeveloped land from Gulf. History of Reston Da Next Pope (talk) 19:29, 27 August 2013 (UTC)

Kazakh Americans[edit]

Kazakh Americans form a community in Reston according to the article on them, but they are not mentioned here. Kdammers (talk) 07:20, 1 January 2017 (UTC)

A large percentage of the demographic information across Wikipedia is poorly sourced (likely untrue, put there for promotional purposes). In the article you mention, the ostensible source goes to a site which Sophos blocks, saying that it's infected. Perhaps you could find a reliable source of information for discussion. TEDickey (talk) 11:12, 1 January 2017 (UTC)
I see what you mean. The US census data for the county only lists ~10K Asians in R, and no mention of K-speakers. Maybe the KA article should be changed, or have ref-needed note. Kdammers (talk) 16:16, 2 January 2017 (UTC)
no problem (checking the sources is a good start) TEDickey (talk) 00:21, 3 January 2017 (UTC)