Monday, May 5, 2014

City of Fairfax

by Cami

Landforms: The city of Fairfax, Virginia has been a center of activity for so long that most landforms have been removed for the sake of new developments and a rare few places remain entirely untouched by humans. 

Right on the edge of downtown Fairfax there is a small grove of trees that is full of birds, squirrels, and raccoons, despite its location in a busy city.

Apart from the forest a few massive trees have survived all the construction and still tower over the streets of Fairfax.

Vegetation: The City of Fairfax caters completely to its customers and residents. There are banks, public service buildings, shops, restaurants, and sidewalks to accommodate lots of people. Because the city is built around the people's needs, vegetation is generally seen in pots or well kept gardens so it adds to the city's beauty but doesn't get in the way of the buildings or streets.
Flower pots can be seen everywhere in front of shops and along the sidewalks.

Both historical and modern buildings often keep huge flower gardens to increase their aesthetic and keep the city looking nice.

Built Structures: Because Fairfax is both a historical landmark and a modern, functioning city there are many structures that have been preserved in their original form and rebuilt separately in a more modern way.
For example the original fire station of old town Fairfax still operates...

...and the new, volunteer fire station is up-and-running just a few blocks away.

History: The City of Fairfax dates all the way back to the civil war and has so much history woven into its modern functionality.

The old courthouse is massive and is still a prominent building in the city. 
It is complete with huge windows, a single spire, and tons of arches.

Right next door is the new courthouse that we actually use today. It is definitely much more up-to-date, but it still has the huge windows and arches that characterize the original courthouse.

Another building full of history is the Euro church of Fairfax. It has marble steps, ornate woodwork, and a huge bell tower. It was only built in the 20th century but its architecture is reminiscent of Fairfax's older buildings and helps preserve the city's history.

Memorials/Historical Markers: There is so much history to commemorate in Fairfax that memorials both large and small are all over the place. From benches to plaques to statues the history preserved within the city of Fairfax is incredible.
The first land conflict of the Civil War occurred at the old Fairfax Courthouse and resulted in the death of the first confederate officer.
Fairfax county sent its share of men to the war during the draft of WWI. This plaque stands outside the old courthouse to remember those who died in the battle.

 Old town Fairfax today is a modern city with lots of modern amenities but nevertheless it will always reflect its origins as a small town built in the 1800's.

Businesses: Concurring with the combination of old and new we saw in the rest of the city, the businesses are a combination of historical and modern. Also because the city attracts such a wide variety of people shops that are very specialized find Fairfax to be a perfect location.

This shop sells the most current scientific technology including telescopes, microscopes, and binoculars.

There are lots of restaurants that appeal to tourists and locals alike with their unique themes and menus.

 Most of the older shoppes that are still running can be found clustered on Main street so they can take advantage of being near other businesses with a similar customer base.

 The city certainly has it specialized shops and its historical shops, but that doesn't mean they are immune to commercialization. Chain stores like potbelly and Starbucks are showing up more and more in old town Fairfax.

Conclusion: Old town Fairfax is a colorful mix of history and modern all in one place. The city still revolves around its roots by preserving old buildings and memorializing important events but it allows itself to move forward by simultaneously developing new businesses, buildings, and landmarks.

This lovely building with a beautiful porch turned out to be...


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