Like Superman, Tysons is shedding its outer ware, ready to take off on an exciting new mission. Once a dusty crossroads whose claim to fame was a ten-year stretch (1742-1752) as the holder of the Fairfax County courthouse, this part of the region is a fascinating place to explore. Its kryptonite has been out of control sprawl. The rebirth has begun, a transition from sprawling suburban locale to a mini-city. Formerly known as Tysons Corner, Tyson is certainly aiming high. A sign outside one of its four metro stops proudly proclaims it is be “America’s Next Great City.”
Here’s our photo shoot and thoughts.
For some historical perspective, here is the future site of Tysons from Beth Mitchell’s Interpretive Map (1760).
Historians are not sure exactly where the first County Courthouse was located. In his book, Norman L. Baker (“Braddock’s Road, Mapping the British Expedition from Alexandria to the Monongahela”) notes the following:
The first encampment was at “ye old Court House” of Fairfax County, built in 1742. The general’s orderly put the distance at eighteen miles. The courthouse was located at the “Spring Fields” on the Spring Branch of Difficult Run in present day Tysons Corner. The site of the encampment is at the highest point in Fairfax County at 520 feet, in the vicinity of the intersection of Old Courthouse Road (State Route 677) and Chain Bridge Road.
From what I have seen and tasted, Paul Cafe makes the best croissants in the DMV. As I was walking towards the Galleria Mall, I spotted their sign.
Pavlov’s dog was hungry, but worried that they would not open until the Mall does. Ne vous inquietez pas. Their doors swing open at 7 am.
The Greensboro metro station. As best as I can tell it is the closest stop to where the Courthouse once stood.
An aerial view of Tysons Corner shows almost nothing there in 1949. As late as 1970, a small gravel pit still there. Now, Tysons has begun another big stage of development. The transportation elements and potential are certainly there, and the rescue has begun...