In 1961, Robert E. Simon Jr., Reston’s founder, was approached by a broker who was selling land in Fairfax County Virginia. Simon visited the property and was taken with the beauty of the largely wooded farmland. He was convinced that, with the development of Dulles Airport, including a newly added access road, the area was well situated for a new town. Simon, with his three sisters, purchased 6,750 acres for $1,500 per acre. He planned to create a new community, later to be named Reston (after his initials).
With his purchase of the land in Fairfax, Simon started a wish list of what he wanted his dream community to be like, including pathways connecting neighborhoods, swimming pools in every neighborhood, outdoor courts for tennis, volley and badminton, childcare, a community center, and garden plots. He also wanted everything to be in place when the first residents arrived. Much of his inspiration came from his tour of cities in England, Scandinavia, and elsewhere in Europe.
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