Mystery Solved: New Sign Erected in 2008?

by ARLnow.com May 24, 2011 at 2:30 pm 5,654 19 Comments

An eagle-eyed tipster sent us this photo of a historic marker just erected on the 1400 block of Wilson Boulevard, in Rosslyn.

The plaque marks the building where employees of the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency helped to conceive ARPANET, the forerunner to the internet. Last week several of those former DARPA employees attended an Arlington County Board meeting, where the plaque was unveiled and dedicated.

Imagine the surprise of our tipster, then, when he saw the words at the bottom of the sign: “Erected in 2008 by Arlington County, Virginia.” The sign was only installed last week, so why does it say it was erected in 2008?

Turns out the plaque was actually conceived, written and produced in 2008, but it was never installed. According to Arlington spokeswoman Diana Sun, the county was unable to get permission from the building owner to put the sign on their property, so they had to go through a lengthy process of getting the sign installed in the public right-of-way (sidewalk). By the time all the pieces were in place, and by the time they could organize a small ceremony at a County Board meeting, it was 2011 — three years later than originally planned.

Photo courtesy Geoff Collins

  • ThreeYearSign

    Now they know what business owners go through…

    • Nice

      Best answer…

    • FedUp


    • M.


    • dynaroo


  • Huntington

    Excellent point made by ThreeYearSign!

  • ArlingtonCountyTaxpayer

    HA. now they know what the rest of the world has to do on a daily basis. jump thru regulatory hoops. Three years. How embarrassing.

  • OK45

    Must be something that has affected our dear leader as well: http://nymag.com/daily/intel/2011/05/president_obama_has_no_idea_wh.html

    • ThreeYearSign

      I’d bet Obama wishes it were still 2008.

  • CW

    The ads on TV say to go to the hospital if it lasts longer than 4 hours…

  • John Fontain

    I’d love to know how many county man hours were spent on this lengthy three year project. Anyone think this sign might have ended up costing us $100,000 or more?

  • Frederick

    Nobody seems to be asking what that unnamed, unmarked, no sign on it building is (the one with the dead serious security guard in the doorway) that wont let a historic marker on its grounds. (in, look at the stickers up in the windows)

    • danielobvt

      Its not really all that hard to figure out if you spend a few minutes walking by the building. Play my favorite game of “read the badges and lanyards” and it should be a quick answer.
      Of course depending on the building and time this game could lead to you having a conversation with the building guards or a counter-surveilance team….

      • dynaroo

        Send novapj to do it.

  • The property owner was probably scared to put the sign up becasuse of Arlington’s own sign regs! LOL (kidding of course). Serves the county right.

    • Dan

      “Serves the county right.”

      Yeah except that they were playing with our dollars…….businesses are using their own dollars.

      It would be funny if it weren’t so sad.

  • Mickey

    If you want to change government, do the following: 1. Fire everyone in upper management 2. Fire the commissioners 3. Fire the Unions and dissolve all of their “regulations” 4. Cut taxes by one half 5. Keep firing people until the government workers start working again….get them so scared of getting fired that they will work overtime and never put in for extra pay! 6. Fire all the attorneys 7. Pass a law that the county can’t be sued

    • dynaroo

      You’re fired.

    • Novanglus

      Sounds like the villains in Shakespeare’s Henry VI: “…there shall be no money; all shall eat and drink on my score; and I will apparel them all in one livery, that they may agree like brothers and worship me their lord…The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers…”


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