Sterling, Virginia is a census-designated place in Loudoun County, Virginia. The population as of the 2010 Census was 27,822. It is located northwest of Herndon, east of Ashburn, and west of Great Falls, and includes part of Dulles International Airport and the former AOL corporate headquarters. Sterling is also home to the National Weather Service Weather Forecast Office (serving the Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan Area), as well as the Sterling Field Support Center, the National Weather Service test, research, and evaluation center for weather instruments.
In the beginning of 1962, large farms made up the 1,762 acres (7.13 km2) of what today is called Sterling Park. Route 7, also known as Leesburg Pike, bordered what used to be Jesse Hughes's dairy farm. Hughes arrived in Loudoun County in the early 20th century and was a longtime head of the county's Democrats. Tavenner had purchased land from Albert Shaw Jr., who had inherited it from his father Albert B. Shaw, editor and publisher of the American Review of Reviews. One of Shaw's spreads, totaling 1,640 acres (6.6 km2), was called "The Experimental Farm", because he was the first area farmer to receive a U.S. grant for applying "scientific methods", as Tavenner called them. According to Tavenner, "White Russians", refugees from the Soviet Union, ran the farm when Shaw stayed in New York City.
Dulles International Airport and the extension of water and sewer lines to the airport began to change the landscape when construction started in 1959.