The post–World War II pattern was followed again and again—a developer bought a site along a highway and erected signs in a farmer's field advertising a new shopping center, apartments, and homes. “This was a cow pasture out here,” Fairfax Shopping Center's current owner recalls. That center, opened in 1950, embodied the customary layout: a strip facility with a parking lot between it and the highway; little stores bracketed by a big anchor store at each end (including a supermarket). Developer Fred Vilone chose Colonial Revival style, complete with a cupola, but the place was twice remodeled after he sold it. Parking ultimately proved inadequate. Behind the shopping center is the residential part of the development; according to historian Carol Hoffecker (1983), “the builder kept his costs low by offering a minimum of variety in his two-story, six-room Colonial houses, which he sold for $15,000 apiece with little or no down payment and an FHA-backed mortgage.” Apartments stood as a buffer to the housing tract, all of which is boxy, reductivist red-brick-and-frame. Total housing units numbered 700. In 1951, Vilone's employees erected a granite stone to him by the highway: “One man's vision becomes security and happiness for thousands.”
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