Mason Archival Repository Service

Reston: Planned Community Archives

Reston: Planned Community Archives


Reston is a Planned Community in Northern Virginia. Today's Reston is the product of the vision of Robert E. Simon, Jr. and the Mobil Corporation. It is the nation's best known and most successful planned community, or New Town, as they are often called. Planned Communities integrate every aspect of human life including the social and economic, education, health services, recreation, religious institutions, industrial facilities and commercial centers. Placement of roads, utilities and housing are predetermined for the entire development in advance of construction. Housing is provided for a variety of income levels. The planned community movement started in Great Britain in the late nineteenth century and spread to the United States after World War I. During the 1930s, the U.S. government sponsored planned communities called "greenbelt towns."

As part of an ongoing project, images from the Planned Community Archives (PCA) Collection have been scanned for electronic access by researchers from across the United States and the World. Researchers may access the database to learn about Reston in particular, and planned communities in general, by means of a searchable database connected to scanned representations of items in the collection. The electronic images focus on people, themes, and organizations key to Reston's history as a planned community. Areas covered are health care, education, public services (fire department, police, and transporation), parks, recreation, population, and Lake Anne ( the first housing group). Scanned textual materials include deeds, certificates, promotional brochures, studies, reports, and correspondence. Scanned maps display Reston's Master Plan, major road systems, educational facilities, and recreational areas. Scanned photographs include Lake Anne, various physical structures, and people significant to Reston's past and present. Scanned sketches reflect mostly building and community plans.

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