Local Park and Rec Center Renamed

Lee District Park sheds the connection with the Confederates.

Crews were busy at the former Lee District Park, removing the “Lee” letters from buildings and putting up the new “Franconia” letters on the rec center building and the sign out at the park’s entrance on Telegraph Road.

The renaming was part of an area-wide effort to get rid of all the streets and places named after Confederates from the Civil War. 

When this effort got started a few years ago, in connection with the George Floyd death in May 2020 that sparked unrest, it was a general sentiment to change the names of things that honored the Confederate side of the Civil War. Lee District and Lee District Park followed suit with that directive.

The new sign out on the entrance from Telegraph Road.

 

The county “Fairfax County Confederate Names Inventory Report,” was compiled by the History Commission in response to a June 23, 2020, directive from the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. The 536-page report was directed to design a “process that focuses on well-known Confederate officers and on locally well-known Confederates,” it said in the executive summary.

The Virginia Department of Historic Resources has many rules for statues and urges those advocating for removal of these monuments in Virginia localities to allow for a legal and deliberative process, their website stated. But it does not include road names in the text.

The General Assembly of Virginia ruled on the renaming process as well in April 2020. Under Code 15.2-1812, they don't just take it down, there has to be a procedure. "Prior to removing, relocating, contextualizing, or covering any such publicly owned monument or memorial, the local governing body shall publish notice of such intent in a newspaper having general circulation in the locality," it said.

Before Lee District was officially renamed “Franconia District,” Supervisor Rodney Lusk (D-Franconia) held a meeting at the government center on Franconia Road to discuss the renaming process.

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