I wrote last year about the icons that were displayed outside the Lake Anne Pharmacy for almost 50 years. The Lake Anne Pharmacy was the last remaining original store at Lake Anne Plaza — it opened in 1965 and finally closed when its owner retired in 2014. Displayed on the exterior walls of the pharmacy were sculptural wooden signs depicting various items that could be found in the pharmacy, such as medicine, utensils, and toiletries. These 1960s pop art-inspired icons were created by graphic design firm Chermayeff and Geismar, who were hired by the architects of Lake Anne Plaza, Julian Whittlesey and William Conklin. The whimsical icons were beloved graphical elements on the Plaza for generations.

      In 2018, the former pharmacy space became the home to two new businesses, and the icons were no longer relevant to the functions of current occupants. The space was redesigned for the new businesses, and the icons had to come down.

      The Reston Museum, through the support of 80 private donors, had the icons restored by Capitol Museum Services. Designer Jeanne Krohn created an exhibit for their new permanent home in the breezeway in Lake Anne Plaza.

      On Tuesday, September 17, 2019, the refurbished icons were installed in their new exhibit, and I photographed the installation process for the Reston Museum. Scroll down to see the behind-the-scenes look at the exhibit, and then keep reading to see the opening ceremony the next day.

      A team from Capitol Museum Services installed the refurbished icons in the Plaza breezeway.

      I was surprised to discover that three of my photos are included in the permanent exhibit. It feels great to be able to contribute in a small way to our town’s local history.

      This exhibit was made possible by a generous donation from Hirad Najabagy in honor of his parents, Hooshang and Farah Najafbagy, who immigrated to the U.S. and found their new home and work in Lake Anne where they operated Calvert Gourmet Shop for many years.

      On Wednesday, September 18, 2019, the Reston Museum hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the unveiling of the new exhibit. Hirad Najafbagy and his family surprised his mother, Farah, at the ceremony, where she learned that the exhibit was dedicted in the name of her and her late husband. She was overjoyed and emotional, and there were tears in lots of our eyes as we watched them cut the ribbon.

      The opening ceremony for the exhibit
      Farah Najafbagy and her son, Hirad, who funded a large portion of this exhibit and dedicated it to her as a surprise
      Farah Najafbagy’s reaction to learning that the exhibit was dedicated to her and her late husband
      Hirad and Farah cut the ribbon, along with Cheryl Simon-Terio, who led the exhibit development through the Reston Museum.

      Cheryl Simon-Terio, Hirad Najafbagy, and Farah Najafbagy
      Farah and Hirad Najafbagy, next to the sign bearing their names

      Many thanks to everyone involved in this exhibit, including the Najafbagy family, the many other independent donors, the preservation team at Capitol Museum Services, and the museum staff and volunteers. It’s great to have the icons back at the Plaza!

      Related posts:

      A new beginning for the beloved Lake Anne Pharmacy icons

      Publication: Lake Anne Public Art Tour Book

      My photos are now a museum exhibit!

      The Sun Boat: Sculpture, playground, and brutalist gem

      Exhibit: I am an invited artist at the first invitational show at the Reston Art Gallery and Studios

      Such an honor: My photo is featured at the annual gala for Public Art Reston

      A project about the exquisite public art of Reston Town Center

      The Technology Arts Competition at ArtSpace Herndon — My third year as a judge

      This is so cool: My photos were chosen as the wall art for the new Lake Anne Brew House

      Charlotte Geary


      Lifestyle, event, and portrait photographer with a vibrant, joyful style and 17 years of professional experience.

      Located in Reston, Virginia near Washington, D.C. and available for travel.