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Tysons Past and Present: Tysons Corner Mall

Tysons may be in a longrunning effort to drop the “Corner” from the name, but the Tysons Corner Center mall is still the most iconic location in the area. It’s a corner that has gone through some substantial changes over the years.

The mall celebrated its 50th anniversary this year. The Fairfax County Historic Imagery Viewer, which collects aerial photography of the county over time, shows the mall’s evolution from a grassy field to a sprawling urban center. As we did with development near Tysons Galleria and the Greensboro Metro station, we’re sharing a glimpse of Tysons Corner Center over the years.

The oldest photos date from 1937, when the area was more cows than people. The area was known as Tysons Crossroads, with the main local stores being Crossroads Market and Tysons Corner Market.

In 1976, the aerial photos shows the beginning of substantial changes in the area. The mall, constructed in 1969, had already started spurring some small development across Leesburg Pike. Also new in the 1976 photo is the Capital Beltway east of the mall, which was completed in 1964.

By 1990, the development across Leesburg Pike had continued apace. To the south, development of the Towers Crescent was still nearly ten years away. The mall itself had also undergone expansion in 1988, adding new anchor tenants like Lord & Taylor and Nordstrom.

In 2017, one of the biggest aerial changes to the mall is the addition of the Tysons Corner Metro station located on Chain Bridge Road. The Towers Crescent development south of the mall also filled the space at the corner of the Beltway and Leesburg Pike, including the addition of tech firm MicroStrategy. In the wake of the announcement that MicroStrategy would be expanding its headquarters, the Towers Crescent developers are allegedly looking to sell the property.

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