Letter to the Editor

To the Editor:

I am a 16-year sophomore at Annandale High School in Annandale, Virginia. However, I was born in Reston, Oct. 12, 1999. Up until 2 years ago I spent the first 14 years of my life either living in Reston or in a city bordering Reston.

To quote Wikipedia:

Reston was conceived as a planned community by Robert E. Simon. Founded on April 10, 1964 (Simon's 50th birthday) and named for his initials, it was the first modern, post-war planned community in America, sparking a revival of the planned community concept. Simon's family had recently sold Carnegie Hall, and Simon used the funds to create Reston. Simon hired Conklin Rossant Architects as master planners to incorporate higher density housing to conserve open space, as well as mixed use areas for industry, business, recreation, education, and housing.

The first section of the community to be built, Lake Anne Plaza, was designed by James Rossant (who studied under Walter Gropius at Harvard University's Graduate School of Design) to emulate the Italian coastal town of Portofino. Lake Anne village was designed with modern architectural themes that extend to a nearby elementary school, a gasoline station, and two churches. Lake Anne also has an art gallery, several restaurants, the Reston Historic Trust Museum, shops, and a senior citizens' fellowship house. All are local businesses, as there are no chain stores or chain restaurants allowed in Lake Anne.

My father is a residential property appraiser and he came home last week and told me he had just inspected a home on the shoreline of Lake Anne. He said the house was in the same area of the lake that I spent much of my time as a toddler throwing rocks into the lake. We actually have a camera phone movie of my throwing rocks in that area when I was only two or three years old.

He said that the house was in pretty bad shape, though it is located in a very exclusive area. He said the man (the owner) is losing the home to foreclosure in a matter of weeks. He said the home was built (by hand) by the owner more than 40 years ago and he (my father) told me that the owner’s name sounded like the name of an artist.

I googled the name of the owner approaching foreclosure of his home in the Lake Anne community of Reston, Virginia.

I discovered the owner’s name is Guy Rando and Guy is one of the architects who actually designed Reston, Virginia along with its founder Robert Simon. My father said Guy had recently experienced two or more heart attacks in the past year and he was very upset (Guy Rando) about losing the home he built – one for the first homes built in the city that he had helped design and found.

I told my dad someone needs to do something about this. How can a man as talented as Guy Rando who has contributed so much to the history of Northern Virginia be abandoned by the same community he helped establish half a century ago?

My dad said lots folks are still losing their homes every day, though the news organizations have long ago moved on to more timely topics. My dad said that I am only a kid and all I can do is to talk about how awful I think Guy Rando’s situation is. My dad said that I could consider letting folks in the news business know – and so I have, and so I am.

This e-mail is being sent to a few of my teachers at Annandale High School and all of the people in the local news whose e-mail addresses I have been able to find via Google.

I am asking for guidance and advice as to how I can be of more help to Guy Rando.

The goal is simple. I am looking for a way to make it so that Guy Rando (now 78 years old) can pass his remaining days in the home that he built with his own hands along the shores of Lake Anne in the city he helped to design.

I may be just a 16-year old kid, but a kid may be all that’s necessary to help save a life worth saving and to motivate a community to give back to someone who gave so much to Northern Virginia.

Jean-Yves Perrault

4931 Americana Drive Apt #102

Annandale, VA 22003-5026