This week I was asked by the Reston Historic Trust to document the removal of some of Lake Anne Plaza’s original artwork. When the Plaza was established in the 1960s, one of the earliest businesses was Lake Anne Pharmacy, whose exterior was decorated with custom wooden sculptures. These icons depicted several items sold within the pharmacy, such as medicine and toiletries, and they served the dual purpose of commerical advertisement and quirky public art. In many ways, those two goals match the concept of Lake Anne Plaza as a whole — a playful, creative, and slightly quirky place of commerce and recreation.
The owner of the long-running Lake Anne Pharmacy retired in 2014, and the space has been mostly unoccupied ever since. The community is excited to welcome two new businesses in that location later this year or next: a bike studio, and a high-end salon. These two businesses are updating the space to suit their needs, and it’s time for the pharmacy icons to find a new home.
The Reston Historic Trust and Museum has taken ownership of the icons, and a firm called Capitol Museum Services has removed them for restore and protect these art pieces for a future exhibit.
With a touch of sadness, I photographed the removal of this Lake Anne institution. I live at Lake Anne, and have come to accept these icons as a beloved part of the neighborhood.
The crew from Capitol Museum Services handled the icons with expertise, and I know they are in good hands. The icons will eventually be returned for display in a different location in the Plaza, and I’m sure they will look better than ever when that time comes.
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