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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Silver Spring in Montgomery County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

The Burger King

Silver Spring Entrepreneurs

 

—Silver Heritage Georgia Avenue —

 
The Burger King Marker image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, December 23, 2012
1. The Burger King Marker
Inscription. "Buy 'em by the Bag," the motto urged. For more than half a century, hamburger-hungry customers came to Maryland's first Little Tavern to do just that.

Harry F. Duncan founded Little Tavern Shops, Inc., which specialized in 5˘ little hamburgers, in Louisville, Ky., in 1927. The following year he moved his operation to Washington D. C. and within a decade had 22 shops. Maryland's flagship Little Tavern #1 opened in 1938 at 8230 Georgia Avenue. By 1941, Duncan moved his corporate headquarters to an Art Deco-style brick building at 1007 Ripley Street, located behind the Georgia Avenue Shop. The combination Tudor/Art Deco-style Little Taverns became iconic examples of roadside architecture in the Washington-Baltimore region.

In 1957, the Montgomery County branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People conducted a survey of 18 cafes—nine in Silver Spring, nine in Bethesda. Six were cited for refusing sit-down service to African Americans, including the Little Taverns in each community (they only offered carry-out). The other four businesses were in Bethesda. Segregation in Washington, D.C. restaurants had been ruled illegal by the Supreme Court in 1953. Maryland law had no similar provision until 1962, when Montgomery County's Public Accommodations Ordinance went into effect.

In
The Burger King Marker image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, July 4, 2014
2. The Burger King Marker
1984, Silver Spring's Little Tavern was placed on the Locational Atlas of Historic Sites, later removed due to lack of owner approval. Closing in 1991, successive restaurants occupied the building. In 2003, an new owner of the 672-sq. ft. building tried to auction it off on E-bay, stipulating it be moved. Preservationist organizations endeavored to preserve Little Tavern through historical designation on-site or moving it. Ultimately, Little Tavern's 200+ per-fabricated exterior porcelain enamel panels and other architectural elements were preserved and given to the National Capital Trolley Museum in Colesville, Md., for potential reconstruction.


 
Erected by Silver Spring Historical Society.
 
Location. 38° 59.553′ N, 77° 1.606′ W. Marker is in Silver Spring, Maryland, in Montgomery County. Marker is at the intersection of Georgia Avenue (U.S. 29) and Ripley Street when traveling south on Georgia Avenue. Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 8230 Georgia Ave, Silver Spring MD 20910, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Land, Lumber & Lyrics (here, next to this marker); Visions Realized (within shouting distance of this marker); Finding a Niche
Neighborhood Tavern image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, December 23, 2012
3. Neighborhood Tavern
Harry F. Duncan poses with a model of his flagship restaurant, Little Tavern #1, built in 1938 at 8230 Georgia Avenue. The iconic building design was by architect George E. Stone and engineer Charles E. Brooks, partners in Stonebrook Corp. of Baltimore Md. Wellner Streets took this photograph for the Star-News December 11, 1972.
Close-up of photo on marker
(within shouting distance of this marker); The ‘Mayor’ of Silver Spring (within shouting distance of this marker); Spirited Entertainment (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); First Bank, First Heist (about 300 feet away); ‘Most Lonesome Spot’ (about 400 feet away); Enticing Business (about 400 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in Silver Spring.
 
Also see . . .  Little Tavern. Silver Spring Historical Society. Jerry McCoy's web page chronicles the loss of the Little Tavern and the perfidy of Pyramid Atlantic. "Artists are supposed to create art, not to destroy it." he writes. (Submitted on July 19, 2014, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.) 
 
Categories. African AmericansCivil RightsIndustry & Commerce
 
Civic Minded image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, July 28, 2011
4. Civic Minded
In 1949 Duncan held an organizational meeting in his corner executive office on the second floor of 1007 Ripley Street, the corporate headquarters of Little Tavern. The groundwork was laid for the establishment of a Silver Spring branch of the Boy's Clubs of America. Duncan serving as chairman of its board of directors, spearheaded construction of a permanent club facility opening in 1059. Located at 1300 Forest Glen Road in Silver Spring, the Harry F. Duncan Building" continues in 2009 as part of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Washington.
Close-up of 2003 photo by Judy Reardon on marker
Caught in Time image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, December 22, 2012
5. Caught in Time
Painting by Silver Spring resident and historic preservationist Judy Reardon of Little Tavern #1 as it appeared in 1991.
Close-up of image on marker
Little Tavern Competitor image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, July 28, 2011
6. Little Tavern Competitor
A 1927 postcard shows Jack's Lunch & Confectioney, Eugene Corrigan, proprietor, at 8236 Georgia Ave. Fussell's signage refers to a popular ice cream. By 1940 Florence McCann was operating McCann's Lunch Room here.
Close-up of photo on marker
Collection of Jerry McCoy
Silver Spring Little Tavern image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, March 7, 2006
7. Silver Spring Little Tavern
Poster by Joseph Craig English, formerly in the ACB Collection.
Design for a Building (DES. 111,534) image. Click for full size.
By Harry F. Duncan, December 13, 1938
8. Design for a Building (DES. 111,534)
This drawing illustrated Harry F. Duncan's patent application for the design of Little Tavern Restaurants. Previously, Little Taverns resembled White Castles. The Application was made on Dec. 13, 1937 and granted Sept. 27, 1938.
Pyramid Atlantic Art Center image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, December 22, 2012
9. Pyramid Atlantic Art Center
Formerly the headquarters of Little Tavern at 1007 Ripley Street
Vacant Space image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, July 4, 2014
10. Vacant Space
The Site of Little Tavern #1 is the parking lot for Pyramid Atlantic.
"If we have no peace, It is because we have forgotton that we belong to each other" image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, July 4, 2014
11. "If we have no peace, It is because we have forgotton that we belong to each other"
Mother Teresa motto over the door of Pyramid Atlantic
Lil' Burgers image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, February 4, 2007
12. Lil' Burgers
Little burgers were made in advance and kept in a steam drawer. These are on the grill at the Dundalk Little Tavern the last "Club LT" in existence. It closed in 2008.
Buy 'em by the Bag image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, February 4, 2007
13. Buy 'em by the Bag
Menu in the Dundalk Little Tavern, 2007.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. This page has been viewed 343 times since then and 43 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13. submitted on , by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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