Letters to the Editor: Must Think About Design of Washington & Broad

Letters to the Editor: March 19 – 25, 2020

Must Think About Design of Washington & Broad


While recent discussions about the proposed Broad and Washington project have rightfully focused on local businesses and parking issues, Falls Church leaders must also concentrate on how well this important project will be designed and built.

Because of its prime location, the project will serve as the city’s de facto architectural centerpiece for generations to come.

A thoughtful design should be responsive to its location and its neighbors, including taking the time needed to seek and receive sufficient City and community input, time which some developers would prefer not to spend. Quality construction means using durable building materials that will age gracefully, which can add to the construction costs but tend to lower operation and maintenance costs over time.

Falls Church has plenty of recent experience with large developments. Given developers’ continued interest in making the Little City even bigger, our leaders and residents must ensure that new developments create a positive future identity for our city by demanding quality design and construction.

Good architecture shouldn’t be for the sake of other architects, but rather to benefit the surrounding community — but that community must make its wishes known.

Not sure how you want the city to look in the future? Take a short walk between two projects built at roughly the same time: West Broad (the Harris Teeter building) and The Lincoln at Tinner Hill (with the Target).

What aspects of each project do you feel will make a positive impact on Falls Church as it continues to transform? Ignore subjective concerns about color and style. Rather, ask yourself what you like about both projects and what don’t you like.

As a community, we are in the enviable position of being able to demand quality design and construction. Our leaders should not approve anything less.

Todd Friedlander, AIA

Falls Church

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