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MARKER DATABASE
“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)
 

Silver Opportunity

Live, Work , Play, Dine & Shop

 

—Silver Spring Heritage Colesville Road —

 
Silver Opportunity Marker image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, September 7, 2013
1. Silver Opportunity Marker
Inscription. The commercial Vitality of this block sprang to life in the late 1930s. Across the street, where homes with front porches once stood, the 1938 construction of the Silver Spring Shopping Center served as the "Magnet" attracting future development. The theatre, designed by John Eberson (1875-1954) closed in 1984. The Art Deco Society of Washington waged a 20-year battle to preserve it and the shopping center. Success was realized with the Silver's 2003 reopening as the American Film Institute.

Many other unique buildings sit with the Silver Spring Central Business Historic District, so designated in 1976 (see map). In 1941, the Maryland Real Estate Co. constructed a series of one- and two-story buildings n this side of the block, providing ground-level storefronts and second-floor offices (see other side {Marker # 68578}.) Recognizing an opportunity to provide convenient housing to potential shoppers, MRE commissioned Washington D.C. architect George T. Santmyers (1889-1960) to design the Art Deco Montgomery Arms Apartments at 8700-8722 Colesville Road.

More residents attracted more retail. In 1947, the Hecht Co. opened its first suburban department store at Fenton Street and Ellsworth Drive. The Colesville Road entrance was added in 1955. Combined with the Penny's 1950 store opening (see other side), the confluence
Montgomery Arms image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, September 7, 2013
2. Montgomery Arms
Montgomery Arms Apartments at 8700-8722 Colesville Road, opened in 1941 and were designed by George T. Santmyers. Construction of these Art-Deco-style garden apartments (shown 1947) marked downtown Silver Spring's arrival as a major suburban center in which to live, work, play, dine and shop.
Close-up of photo on marker
E. Brooke Lee III
of shopping, entertainment, offices, and residents marked the arrival of downtown Silver Spring as a major suburban center.
 
Erected 2013 by Silver Spring Historical Society.
 
Location. 38° 59.855′ N, 77° 1.632′ W. Marker is in Silver Spring, Maryland, in Montgomery County. Marker is at the intersection of Colesville Road (U.S. 29) and Fenton Street, on the right when traveling south on Colesville Road. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Silver Spring MD 20910, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Building Blocks (here, next to this marker); Silver Spring Shopping Center (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); Modern Banking (about 800 feet away); 24-Hour Service (about 800 feet away); Silver Spring Armory (approx. 0.2 miles away); Springing Up (approx. ¼ mile away); A Community Grows (approx. ¼ mile away); A New Deal in Town (approx. ¼ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Silver Spring.
 
Categories. Industry & Commerce
 
Reindeer Frozen Custard image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, September 7, 2013
3. Reindeer Frozen Custard
located at 8651 Colesville Road from 1940 to 1949, was a chain owned by Thelma B. Pease and her twin sister, Vera B. Emery. Thelma lived in a farmhouse behind the store with her husband Arthur and sons Arthur Jr., Robert and Ronald, who occasionally helped
Close-up of photo on marker
Ronald B. Pease
Art Deco Detailing image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, October 5, 2013
4. Art Deco Detailing
adorns each entrance at Montgomery Arms Apartments, listed on the Montgomery County Master Plan for Historic Preservation.
Close-up of photo on marker
1994 Photo by Jerry A. McCoy
Holiday Shoppers image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, September 7, 2013
5. Holiday Shoppers
fill the sidewalks Saturday, December 16, 1950, in this view looking down Colesville Road toward Georgia Avenue. Playing at the Silver Spring Theater that day was the historical adventure film Tripoli, starring John Payne, Maureen O'Hara and Howard Da Silva.
Close-up of photo on marker
Collection of the Silver Spring Historical Society
The Hecht Company image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, September 7, 2013
6. The Hecht Company
opened its Colesville Road addition (at Fenton Street) October 31,1955. Featuring a bookstore, optical department ,and restaurant, the addition tied Fenton and Ellsworth Drive. One thousand pigeons were released from the roof during the ceremony.
Close-up of photo on marker
Evening Star photo by Francis Routt. Star Collection DC Public Library
Profiles in Courage image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, September 7, 2013
7. Profiles in Courage
Holocaust survivors Rubin (1920-2000) and Sonia Danshes, owners of 8630-1844 Colesville Road, opened Silver Spring Men's Wear (8642) in 1972, Polish citizens displaced in 1938, they immigrated to the U.S. in 1949 along with Sonia's mother, Anna Honiq, also a survivor. Sonia and son Joel continue to run the family business.
Close-up of photo on marker
Danshes family photo, 1995
Map image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, September 7, 2013
8. Map
You Are Here
Close-up of map on marker
The Hecht Company Building image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, September 7, 2013
9. The Hecht Company Building
The Elsworth and Fenton Street face of Hecht's is now part of City Place Mall
City Place image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, October 5, 2013
10. City Place
The site of Reindeer Frozen Custard at 8651 Colesville Road would be about the middle of this block.
Silver Spring Men's Wear image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, October 5, 2013
11. Silver Spring Men's Wear
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on October 9, 2013, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. This page has been viewed 415 times since then and 58 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11. submitted on October 9, 2013, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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