Wednesday, May 28, 2014

I Walked Downtown McLean and Found...

I went for a short photographic walking tour of  picturesque downtown McLean. But I didn't find it.

A place this pretty, upscale and practical should have a city center, a city center with public landmarks, a city center with an image I could keep in my head. It should be a destination that entices families to hang out.

But nope.

"By taking care with the relativity very few spots that are inevitable eye-catchers, much character, interest and accent can be given to a whole scene by suggestion..." The Death and Life of Great American Cities - Jane Jacobs

Nope. I guess they leveled all the old places when they upscaled. That's what prosperous communities did in the day.

It is because it's not a town at all? "McLean (is a) ... census-designated place (CDP) in Fairfax County in Northern Virginia ...West McLean is the most expensive ZIP code in the Washington metropolitan area." - Wiki

Thanks to Linda who sent this fine "Brief History of McLean."

I did find two terminated vistas on Chain Bridge Road that tell the tale. These are what catches your eye driving south on Chain Bridge looking ahead to where the road bends.

The Sunoco roof is the most colorful thing on the street. I like it but I'm a little off.

The po-mo Monticello shaped sign above Total Wine needs some neon or something. It's what catches the eye.

Aren't there any churches in "downtown" McLean?

McLean Baptist Church faces away, shows is backside to the town. That steeple would look nice on Chain Bridge.

IMG_5793-2024-05-23-First Baptist Church of Chesterbrook-McLean-Virginia
First Baptist Church of Chesterbrook is over on Kirby, modest yet the noblest building in the neighborhood. There's a rumor it's a teardown. Maybe they'll move it downtown instead.

They could use a few more of these too.


  1. If you don't like McLean, why don't you go back to your own car choked city and leave us alone.

  2. ya most of northern virginia is suburban chaos and only exists because of DC! We avoid it at all costs. Alexandria is a spot of civilization in the wilds of NOVA

    1. We exist, because we have a good place to raise kids and if you didn't know major Reps and Dems live in McLean, you showed a bad part of McLean, all towns and cities have bad parts, why don't you show the gated communities, luxurious parks, amazing golf courses? Its because your happiness for other, who made it way up in luxurious mansions, is slim. Your just jealous. Smh.

  3. Who said I didn't like McLean? I'm just surprised they scraped their city center(s). Towns don't do that anymore. Would being an incorporated town help to preserve lovable places? I don't know.

    1. Let me guess you haven't seen the gated communities and the McMansions huh?

  4. seems to me like terry is being very kind and generous in his observations of this sad little town.

  5. I'm sorry if you don't like McLean cause you looked at the bad parts of it, you head back to your tiny apartment because you got jealous of all the McMansions there. We don't like you showing our city in a bad way. McLean is way better than that.


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