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Archive for the 'Old Vintage Silver Spring Takoma Park Houses' Category

Pocket of Pretty Vintage Houses – Downtown Silver Spring – McNeills

A Mature, Established and Vibrant  Neighborhood of Unique and Charming williamsburg cape in mcneills addition Downtown Silver SpringSingle Family Homes on Shady Tree Lined Streets, just 2 Blocks from the Downtown Silver Spring Central Business District.

Robert Hayes Mc Neill was a 40 year old Washington DC attorney from North Carolina, living with his wife Cora and 2 Children on the “Mc Neill Farm” – Silver Spring in 1918.  At this time in the 1900’s Silver Spring was mostly open land and forests dotted with a few farms and 3 Large Country Estates. 

In 1923 Robert Mc Neill subdivided his farm into lots that today is Robert H. Mc Neills’ Addition to Silver Spring Park. 

The lots were sold to a few different builders with E Brooke Lee’s North Washington Real Estate company ending up with most of the lots.  Building Alley behind houses in Mcneill's Addition - Silver Spring Downtownstarted at the beginning of the Depression in 1932-33. 

The old circa 1900’s farmhouse on the Mcneill property is still there, having been updated several times in the last century. 

Most of the 137 Homes in the neighborhood were built in the early to mid 1930’s and are prized for their unique character and period architectural detail.  No two houses are exactly alike.  This is no cookie cutter neighborhood. 

The homes in Mc’Neills include unique brick and slate cape cods, colonials and Tudor style houses. Hardwood Floors, Fireplaces, arches, high ceilings and porches were standard ammenities in most of these charming houses.  The homes have wide alley’s behind them with garages, another feature that was common in the 1930’s era.

The Boundaries of McNeills Subdivision are: Dale Drive to the south, Cedar Street to the north, Deerfield Avenue on the east and Dartmouth Avenue on Brick and Slate Tudor - McNeills Addition Downtown Silver Springthe west.

This Great location is just steps to Nolte Park (playground, several ballfields and picnic area), Bullis Park and four blocks to Sligo Creek Park. Walking distance to the local public elementary & middle schools, both with a French Immersion program. It’s only ¾ mile to Metro and the MARC train, and a few Blocks away is the Silver Spring town center with the new civic building & Veteran’s plaza, ice rink, shops, restaurants, entertainment, and farmers market. The site of the upcoming, state-of-the-art Silver Spring Library is only four blocks away. McNeill’s Neighborhood is the ultimate walkable neighborhood with the perfect balance of urban and suburban living.

Public School Info for McNeills Subdivision – Silver Spring  20910

Sligo Creek Elementary School
Silver Spring International Middle School
Downcounty Consortium (DCC)

*School information is as reported on the MCPS school finder site. As directed by MCPS, this information shall not be relied upon without a call to the MCPS Boundary Line at 301-279-3331.

  Homes in this neighborhood sell quickly – Check out the most recent Homes SOLD in Mcneills Addition

Posted by Debbie Cook | Discussion: No Comments »

Bungalows Galore in Downtown East Silver Spring – Blair Subdivision

The Blair Subdivision is one of the earliest subdivision of homes in Silver Bungalow in Blair Subdivision East Silver SpringSpring.  Originally called E Brooke Lee’s Addition to Silver Spring, it is one of E Brooke Lee’s first forays into Residential Real Estate Development.  E Brooke Lee’s father,  Blair Lee, had originally started developing the Blair area in the early 1900’s aroung the B&O Railroad Station.   Carved out of land that was part of the Blair Family Country Estate, many of the street names come from the Blair and Lee families, such as Gist, Violet and  Woodbury.  There is even a tiny street named after the famous horse “Selim” that threw Francis Preston Blair and ran off, causing the discovery of the original “Silver Spring”.   Blair is one of the first working class neighborhoods of Silver Spring. Bungalow Blair East Silver Spring DowntownMost of E Brooke Lee’s addition eventually became the commercalized area of Downtown Silver Spring and South Silver Spring.  There are residential single family homes left that make up the Blair Subdivision with some sections called Blair/ Takoma.

The boundaries of the residential sections of Blair and Blair Takoma are roughly:  Sligo Avenue to the South, Philadelphia Avenue and the Montgomery College Campus to the North, Fenton Street to the West and Piney Branch Road on the East.

Within Walking Distance: All the great ammenites of Downtown Silver Spring!  Silver Spring Metro Station (Red Line), Downtown Silver Spring, Restaurants, Shopping, Veterans Plaza, Ice Skating Rink, year-round farmers market, NOAA, Discovery Channel Headquarters, Montgomery College, The New Blair Bungalow Downtown Silver SpringMontgomery College Performing Arts Center, Whole Foods, Safeway, Giant Food, Pyramid Atlantic Art Center, Sligo Creek Park, many delightful “pocket parks” and much more.

Public Schools:
East Silver Spring Elementary School (K-4)
Piney Branch Elementary
Sligo Creek Elementary
Takoma Park Middle School
High School: Home School is Montgomery Blair High School Downcounty High School Consortium – Choice Process: Blair, Einstein, Kennedy, Northwood, or Wheaton high schools

*Note: always Check the Montgomery County School Assignment Locator for the specific school a child will attend that is assigned by street address.

Full of wonderful old timey bungalows, some colonials, american four squares, victorian farmhouses and cape cods, this neighborhood borders on Downtown Silver Spring on one side and Takoma Park on the other.   The 1910 victorian farmhouse Blair - Silver SpringBlair and Blair/Takoma Subdivisions are considered part of East Silver Spring.

Blair and Blair-Takoma Home Sales 2015
16 Single Family Homes Sold in 2015
Average List Price – $568,920
Average Sold Price – $579,500
Lowest Sale Price – $406,000
(a  3 Bedroom 2 Bath 1934 Tudor in need of total rehab)
Highest Sale Price – $849,000
(a 5 Bedroom 3 1/2 Bath 1938 Large Expanded Updated Brick Cape Cod )

Average Days on Market – 58

Check out Homes for Sale Now in Blair Subdivision, Silver Spring, Maryland 20910

Posted by Debbie Cook | Discussion: 2 Comments »

For a Real, Old Fashioned, Hometown Celebration on July 4th Hit Takoma Park, Maryland

This celebration is one of the oldest in the nation.  Takoma Park is an artsy Colonial House in Silver Spring with July 4th Decorationsenclave with tree lined avenues and Victorian Homes, the perfect setting for an annual patriotic Independence Day parade.  This celebration is one of the oldest in the nation and the Takoma Park Community has had 121 years of practice!

On Monday July 4th 2011, enjoy what people living in Silver Spring and Takoma Park have have been enjoying for the past 121 years.   This will be the 122nd annual Takoma Park 4th of July Celebration. 

The parade starts at 10:00 am beginning at Carroll & Ethan Allen Avenues, follows Carroll Avenue towards DC, crosses over to Maple Avenue along Carroll Street, then returns along Maple Avenue.

Community BBQ – 12:00 to 6:00 pm
Front Railing of House decorated for July 4th East Silver SpringHosted by Steve Francis – Lincoln and Maple Avenues

Wiffleball Tournament – 2:30 pm
Sponsered by Takoma Park Recreation Department
Lee Jordan Field – Takoma Park Middle School

Evening Program and Fireworks – Starts at 7:00 pm
Takoma Park Middle School – 7611 Piney Branch Road, Takoma Park, Md 20912     

Master of Ceremonies: Howard Kohn
Joe Uehlein and the U-Liners
Announcement of Parade Winners
Greetings from the Mayor – Bruce Williams
Takoma Park Community Concert Band
Drawing for Raffle Prizes
National Anthem – David Goettee


Fireworks at 9:30 pm by Bay fireworks!

Posted by Debbie Cook | Discussion: No Comments »

South 4 Corners Silver Spring – Friendly and Affordable

four corners sign University and ColesvilleBoundaries: University Boulevard West and Dennis Avenue to the north. Colesville Road to the east. Forest Glen Road to the south and Tenbrook Drive to the west

South Four Corners is a desirable location close to Forest Glen Metro Station and Downtown Silver Spring.  Walking distance to recently renovated “Woodmoor Shopping Center”, a very friendly “Neighborhood” Safeway Store and the ever popular Corner Pub.

One of the polychrome houses in South 4 corners Silver SpringBordered by Sligo Creek park with an abundance of nature, hiking-biking trails
and recreation. This neighborhood has a very active Civic association, many events such as an annual COMMUNITY DAY, Halloween Parade and neigborhood yard sale.  There are a lot of young families with children, a babysitting coop, a Large playground and community center on Forest Glen Road.  There is a unique “small town” feel within the neighborhood of South Four Corners.

The Houses of South Four Corners

Developed Around the Original Argyle Country Club (Now Sligo Public Golf Course) before the Beltway bisected the country club grounds. This is the Cape Cod Style House in South 4 corners Silver Springreason for the Sudivision names in South 4 Corners such as, “Country Club View”, “Fairway” and “Argyle Forest”.  The Oldest Houses in South Four Corners date back to the early 1930’s.

There are 5 houses in South Four Corners that make up a Montgomery County “Historic District”.  They are the “Polychrome Houses” built by John Joseph Early in 1934 and 1935. The houses are outstanding examples of the Art Deco Style with richly ornamented appearance and relatively rare examples of pre-cast concrete panel constuction in single family homes for the time period. 3 polychrome houses are on Sutherland Road and 2 of the polychrome houses
Brick and Stone Cape Cod in South 4 Cornersface Colesville Road near the exit ramp to the Beltway.  A Silver Spring Blogger wrote this article about the Polychrome Houses.  From Montgomery County The Historic Polychrome House District Article.
Popular House Styles in South Four Corners are the Cozy Cape Cods, Storybook Tudors and Traditional classic Colonials built  before, during and just after WWII.  During the post war building boom years, the 1950’s and 60’s brought 1950's Rambler in South 4 Corners neighborhoodnewer mid century modern ramblers and split levels to complete the neighborhood.

There are approximately 1,100 Single Family Homes within the Neighborhood boundaries of South Four Corners.

Public Schools in South 4 Corners
The South 4 Corners Neighborhood is served by 2 School Districts:
Elementary Schools
Oakland Terrace Elementay School
Sligo Creek Elementary School
Middle Schools
Silver Spring International
Sligo Middle School
High Schools
Northwood High School
Albert Einstein High School
*At the high school level the Downcounty consortium is available giving students a choice regarding their academic area of study. The five high schools South Four Corners Park on Forest Glen Rdin the Downcounty cluster include Montgomery Blair, Albert Einstein, John F. Kennedy, Northwood and Wheaton.

South Four Corners Real Estate and Home Sales:


41 Homes were Sold in South 4 Corners in 2014

Average Listing Price – $428,961

Average SOLD Price – $426,867

Lowest Sold Price – $300,000 (A 2 Bedroom 1 Bath 1 Level Rambler built in 1951)

Highest Sold Price – $610,000 (a 4 Bedroom 2 1/2 Bath Colonial built in 1948 with a 2 Story Addition and many upgrades )

Average Days on Market in 2014 – 47

Posted by Debbie Cook | Discussion: No Comments »

The Backyard of Backyard Bounty – Downtown Silver Spring

Backyard Bounty along alley in Silver Spring

This backyard backs to an alley in  McNeill’s neighborhood of Silver Spring,   It was a cool thing to watch this small back yard space transfomed into such an abundant oasis, in a neighborhood that is just 2 blocks from the Downtown Silver Spring CBD. 

This was really a bare small backyard just a few years ago.  Every inch of space has been used cleverly, (even part of the alley) for the landscape and plantings.  Even though there is a lot of space used for gardening, there is still a driveway Alley Behind Backyard Bounty Silver Springto the garage and a large gazebo used for outdoor dining and fun.

It is still early in the growing season and I love watching Edamarie’s garden grow, fill in and florish through the spring, summer and into fall for the past couple years.

Backyard Bounty is a local Silver Spring  Business that designs, builds and maintains kitchen gardens and sustainable landscapes.

Check out the Backyard Bounty Website with more photos including the Front Yard of Backyard Bounty

Posted by Debbie Cook | Discussion: No Comments »

Azalea Peak in Silver Spring and Takoma Park – Best Viewed in Sligo Park Hills

Coral azalea in Silver Spring MdAzaleas are native to Silver Spring and Takoma Park, Maryland.  Right now they are at their blooming best.   In the older mature neighborhoods close to Downtown Silver Spring, the azalea cover is like no other.   If you take a drive or walk during azalea season you’ll see about 8 of every 10 homes sporting at least one or two of these beautiful blooming shrubs.

The older sections of the neighborhood of Sligo Park Hills (sections 1 & 2) that run from Sligo creek up to Piney Branch Road might have the best displays, due to a resident that worked with the Director of the National Arboretum to hybridize azaleas.

Stuart Armstrong lived on Park Crest Drive in Sligo Park Hills from 1938 till his death in 1970.   Armstrong was  an avid amateur horticulturalist who served as pink azaleas in Silver Spring, Mdpresident of the American Horticultural Society between 1957 and 1960.

He was said to have given plants to his neighbors in Sligo Park Hills as gifts.   There is an azalea named “Stuart Armstrong” grown mostly in the mid atlantic and the south.

Over a period of more than 30 years, Armstrong amassed a sprawling collection of  azaleas in his yard overlooking Sligo Creek Park.

Homes for Sale Now in Sligo Park Hills, Silver
Spring, Maryland 20910

Sligo Park Hills Entrance Sign on Piney Branch Road

Posted by Debbie Cook | Discussion: 1 Comment »

Historic Riggs – Thompson House in Downtown Silver Spring has Long History

The Riggs – Thompson House was built in 1858 by George Washington RiggsRiggs Thompson House Front Silver Spring MdThe house was used as a country estate and working farm that was known for it’s “fine blooded” cattle. 

The estate was originally sited on over 140 acres facing what is now Georgia Avenue.  Imagine a property that originally stretched from Georgia Avenue in the front, to past Sligo Creek in the back and from Colesville Road to present day Bonifant Street on the sides.   The house was accessed by a long drive from Georgia Avenue (then called Westminster Road).  The driveway is now the present day Pershing Drive.  The original GW Riggs house was brick, built in the Second Empire Style with a handsome mansard roof.   At this time the area was known as Sligo, it was not known as Silver Spring yet. 

Riggs Thompson House Front PorchThe Riggs family sold their Silver Spring Farm in July of 1864, a week after the torching and plundering of the Silver Spring area in a skirmish by Confederate and Union troops.  The Riggs estate was generally unscathed by the skirmish, except for the loss of some “hay forage”, vegetables and a valuable ox.
The second owners were William and Helen Thompson.  William Thompson was a prominent Washington businessman who was retiring from a plumbing and gas fitting business.  Thompson was also vice president of the Metropolitan National Bank and had financial interests in Steamboats and Real Estate. 

The Thompsons enlarged the house by adding an Italinate style front and side, encasing the original brick Second Empire/Mansard style house.  The outline of  the original Riggs house and mansard roof can still be seen peeking out over the top and at the back of the present house.

Riggs Thompson House from side showing original 1858 mansard roof outlineIn 1872 Thompson aquired more land along Colesville Rd increasing the size of the estate to 160 acres.

After the Metropolitan Branch of the B&O Railroad station opened in Silver Spring (1873) development increased in the Sligo area.  The train stop was given the name Silver Spring in Honor of the Blair Estate, but the area around the intersection of Colesville Road and Georgia Ave continued to be known as Sligo until the early 1900’s.

The Thompsons maintained a home in NW, Washington, DC and their country estate became a social center where they entertained frequently.  In the late 1880’s the Evening Star reported that the “beautiful rolling country of the Silver Sprng area” was characterized by “attractive residences of people who have established charming country homes with spacious surroundings of lawn, park,
forest and farm”.  The Riggs-Thompson house represents a period of prosperity when upper class Washingtonians established country seats in lower Riggs - Thompson House circa 1930-33?Montgomery County.

William Thompson died in 1896 on his Silver Spring  Farm and Helen Thompson continued to maintain the country estate until the early 1920’s.  She owned several automobiles driven by a chauffer and to manage the estate she employed an overseer.  Helen Thompson died in 1923 leaving her estate to her sister and a sister in law.

To be Continued . . . . .

Posted by Debbie Cook | Discussion: 2 Comments »

Indian Spring – 1940’s Washington Suburban Dream Homes

Indian Spring Entrance Sign at Colesville and Hastings The Indian Spring Neighborhood is located just inside the Beltway in Silver Spring, Md 20901, east of Colesville Road (Route 29). The southern border is Franklin Avenue and the west, University Boulevard.

Originally built as a “bedroom community” for Washington DC Metro area workers, Indian Spring had a  Golf Course, Country Club, Parks,  plenty of open country space, Street in Indian Spring Terracewoodland, peace and quiet outside of the busy city.

Abraham Kay and others purchased the defunct Indian Spring Golf Club and the 150 surrounding acres in 1939.  It was revived into a functioning popular country club until  1960.  Indian Spring Country Club moved out to Layhill Road when the Capitol Beltway came through and sliced it in half.   After the country club left, the grounds and buildings that remained became the home of the Silver Spring YMCA.   Eventually, the vac

brick and stone colonial in Indian Spring

ant land leftover from the Country Club on the north side of the Beltway was used for the relocation of Montgomery Blair High School in the mid 1990’s.

The original Houses,  built closest to the golf course, are in the subdivision called “Indian Spring Club Estates” and were the homes built by Kay Development in 1940.  Radiating out from these original 212 houses are the smaller subdivisions of Indian Spring Terrace, Indian Spring Park, Indian Spring Manor and Indian Spring Hills.  These smaller subdivisions were built by different developers over the years.  There are 767 Single Family homes total in the 5 Indian Spring Subdivisions.

Indian Spring was listed in the Washingtonian one of the “Best Places to Live”   “This is the kind of inner-Beltway suburb that downtown Silver Spring was revitalized for.  The professionals living here may have families, but they’re not so suburbanized that they don’t enjoy the art films, live music, and trendy food that are trademarks of the new Silver Spring.” – Washingtonian Magazine.

Today Indian Spring has family-oriented social events for neighbors to meet and an email group for neighbors to keep up on the latest news, events, announcements and learn about local services.  Some of the Neighborhood events are:   “Taste of Indian Spring”, neighborhood clean up, yard sale, Fall Fest, July 4th Celebration, Holiday Celebrations a

White Brick Colonial in Indian Spring Club Estates

nd Holiday House Tours.  Find out more about the Indian Spring Community by visiting their website

Single Family Homes Currently for Sale in Indian Spring, Silver Spring, Md 20901

For More Information and or Details about Indian Spring Real Estate in Silver Spring Call or email me:
Debbie Cook – Silver Spring Real Estate (301) 587-3528

Posted by Debbie Cook | Discussion: No Comments »

What’s the Age of Your House? Start by Looking in the Toilet

Yes, that’s right, I did say look in your toilet.  Look inside the tank of the toilet in your home, there is a date stamped in the tank somewhere either on the inside of the tank near the top over the water line (thank god) or on the underside of  the tank’s top.  This is the date your toilet was manufactured. 

Of course, this won’t work if the toilet has been replaced in your house.  If you have more than one toilet in the house, check them all for the oldest date.
Old Retro Colored Toilets 50's-60'sI’ll bet the powder room or basement mud room toilets that weren’t used as much may still have the original toilets installed.

When I was a new real estate agent, a home inspector told me that’s the first place he always looked when trying to date an old house.  Since most of the houses in Silver Spring and Takoma Park are of  older vintage, I was looking in the tanks of all the houses I previewed or showed,  just to see if the date was there and what that date was.   I remember doing this for awhile without regard for how icky or unsanitary it was to be looking inside a bunch of toilets. 

Now that we have ready online access to tax records, I can find out when a house was built without looking in the toilet.  Once in a while I will still look inside a tank or two just for fun.

Someone has started a blog about this called Toilet Birthdays.  This guy has gone far and wide including looking in a lot of  public bar, restaurant and hotel room toilets all over the US and beyond.  This is where I would draw the line, toilet tank checking in public restrooms?   I don’t think I would do that, that is, unless I had a pair of latex gloves and some hand sanitizer with me! 

You can get tips for toilet owners here ( they are serious good tips) and you can/add submit your toilet’s birthday here.

My toilet tank stamp says:  JUN 17 1933.    

What does yours say?

Posted by Debbie Cook | Discussion: 1 Comment »

Elegant Old Country Estate Homes on 1-2 Acre+ Lots in Burnt Mills Hills Silver Spring

bmh1One of Silver Spring’s best kept secrets is this sylvan setting off of Route 29 (Colesville Road) just 3 miles north of the the traffic light at Georgia Avenue and Colesville Road in Downtown Silver Spring.  It’s hard to believe this subdivision is so close to the Urban area of Downtown Silver Spring, the Capitol Beltway and just 4 miles from the District of Columbia – Washington DC line.

Lush Majestic Settings in a coveted hidden community of only 60 estate homes. Burnt Mills Hills is a quiet pastoral neighborhood of rolling hills, lush indigenous and mature landscaping with Acre+ lots.

Burnt Mills Hills was developed by the R. E. Latimer Land Company in the early 1930’s after purchasing a large tract of farm land from the McCeney McCeney Farmhouse 1850'sFamily and others.  The first and main road through the Burnt Mills Hills subdivision is McCeney Avenue.  The oldest house is a 1856 Farmhouse, that predates the development.

Silver Spring’s best kept secret is this sylvan setting off of Route 29 (Colesville Road).  It’s hard to believe this subdivision is so close to the new Urban area of Downtown Silver Spring, the Capitol Beltway and just 4 miles from the District of Columbia – Washington DC line.

Boundaries: The neighborhood is a small group of streets tucked between Lockwood Drive and New Hampshire Avenue, with Northwest Branch Park to the south.

williamsburg colonial in Burnt MillsSchools: Cresthaven Elementary, Francis Scott Key Middle and Springbrook High schools.

Within Walking distance: Private community swimming pool, Northwest Branch Park, two synagogues, Seventh Day Adventist church, the New Burnt Mills Shopping Center with a Trader Joes Grocery.  Medical and Professional offices at Lockwood and New Hampshire and at Lockwood Drive and Colesville Road and The White Oak Shopping Center with a Giant Food Store and Sears Store.

Within minutes by car: The US Food and Drug Administration, Hillandale and Four Corners shopping centers, downtown Silver Spring and Metro, Silver Spring YMCA, Capital Beltway, Wheaton Mall, restaurants, shops.

Very Close by is the White Oak Library, and the 95 Acre Martin Luther King Recreational Park including an outdoor and indoor swimming pool operated by the Montgomery Recreation Department, tennis courts, ball fields, a playground, and small lake.

Call or email Debbie Cook – Silver Spring Real Estate Expert for info on any current homes for sale in Burnt Mills Hills.  (301) 587-3528

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