Fairfax City: You Always Get Under My Skin

When you drive through Fairfax City, Virginia, you notice that private developers, in conjunction with the city administration, missed a huge opportunity to revitalize the historic downtown core. Did I say huge? I meant enormous! When I read through Philip Kennicott’s article entitled “New Libraries bring contemporary look to District Neighborhoods,” I couldn’t help but wonder why the most boring and conformist designs in the world were selected for the Fairfax City Library and a selection of new commercial buildings (Old Town Plaza). Perish the thought of using contemporary design to lure people in. The end result; city residents have an oddly designed office/shopping complex that sits half-empty while the library – in terms of design – fails to leave an impression on patrons. Instead of serving as an iconic anchor or a beacon of revitalization, the library comes across as a deplorable waste of brick, wood, and any other material that was used. If I was a business owner, I would think twice before opening in a ghost town even if you pitched me the best business plan in the world.