The Woodside Development Corporation sold only 12 lots in 1937. Despite this fact, there was considerable building activity in Woodside Park. In January the Washington Real Estate Company first offered the home at 9210 Crosby Road. Under the headline FIRST OFFERING Wynnewood Park," the ad showed a picture of the house, noted its "Huge Wooded Lot (½ Acre)" and said "This picture gives but faint conception of this magnificent home of authentic English architecture surrounded with a wonderful forest of trees. Its spaciousness, equipment and features characterize it as one of the finest homes in Wynnewood Park. First Floor Plan -- Living room, opening to covered veranda. Spacious dining room, excellent kitchen and lovely breakfast room or den. Lavatory, flagstone front porch. Second Floor -- Three splendid bedrooms, suitable for twin beds; two modern baths. This House Is Being Sold at Absolute Cost." Three weeks later the ad ran again but the Wynnewood Park reference was corrected to "Woodside Park." The price was $13,750 (1997 equivalent: $151,800). In late February the Washington Post printed a large picture of the house in its real estate section and noted the home in "Woodside Park, Maryland," was being presented that day. The Washington Real Estate Company had a large ad for the home in the same issue of the Washington Post. Although they had the address more or less correct as "Crosby Road at Highland Drive," this time the headline said the home was in "South Woodside Park," a small unrelated subdivision across Colesville Road from Woodside Park.
In mid-April and into May 1937 S.J. Monk, the home's builder, ran ads for the home just
completed at 1009 Noyes Drive. Clifton White was listed as the architect for the home, which was
described in a way only a builder would:
Investigate -- locality, construction, lowest cost financing. Ultra-modern all brick and stone
houses [sic--the home next door at 1005 Noyes was soon to be offered by the same builder]. Six
spacious rooms (attic over entire house). Three (twin-bed) bed rooms. Ample closet space. Two
luxurious baths. (BATH ROOM FLOORS WATER-PROOFED; PREVENTS STAINED
CEILING.) Large "sunshine" kitchen, breakfast nook. Steel windows and screens. Drain tile
around entire foundation ensures dry cellar. Copper flashing built into the masonry over every
window and outside doors prevents seepage. No. 1 HEAVY UNFADING VERMONT SLATE
ROOF. Copper water piping, flashing, gutters and downspouts. Furred walls (FELTED
OUTSIDE WALLS UNDER THE FURRING DOUBLES THE WALL EFFICIENCY IN
RETAINING HEAT AND KEEPING OUT ANTS, VERMIN, ETC.) weather stripping,
caulking, etc. Fully air conditioned, 100% insulated. Care-free comfort with modern gas
Financing was available at 5%, "$6.60 per thousand."
S.J. Monk advertised his second new home in Woodside Park, 1005 Noyes Drive, in mid-May. This home had similar features to the home previously offered. It did not sell quickly, and was advertised again in April 1938 as available for $500 cash (1997 equivalent: $5,640) and a monthly payment of $85.52 (1997 equivalent: $935) for twenty years.
Another home offered about this time was the "Center Hall Williamsburg Colonial" at 1210 Woodside Parkway. Its price was $14,500 (1997 equivalent: $160,100). The home was described as "six rooms, large dressing or nursery room. 3 baths, paneled game room 23' x 20' with fireplace and lavatory. Living room is 23' x 14'. Oil heat with Summer-Winter hook-up. 2-car detached garage. A perfect home on beautiful ½-acre lot having most unusual landscape possibilities, featuring a stream through part of site."
Somewhat less expensive was the home at 9223 Woodland Drive. It was available for $9,450 (1997 equivalent: $104,300) beginning in May 1937. It was sold sometime before late February 1938 when its builder, Robert H. Best, used its picture in ads offering to build similar homes on buyers' lots. The home had "six well-proportioned rooms, tiled bath, fireplace in living room, automatic heat, today's kitchen, garage, carefree comfort gas appliances [and a] wooded lot."
Also for sale in the spring of 1937 was the home at 1201 Noyes Drive, which had been built by Clagett and Stadler's Woodside Construction Company. The Evening Star printed a picture of this home in early May and reported that it had been sold to Elton C. and Florence Fay. Mr. Fay was employed by the Associated Press.
Shown under the headline "Houses can be duplicated, but a beautiful setting such as this cannot be," the house at 1303 Highland Drive was advertised only once, in May 1937. It was described as "a spacious center-hall house, solidly built, beautifully finished and well planned. Boasts the following features: Very spacious first floor; a studio library off of stair landing with beamed ceiling; has four bedrooms; third floor finished, may be used for bedrooms; large recreation room; 2 open fireplaces; complete oil unit; 2-car garage; variegated slate roof." The home's builder, Marvin Shoaf, decided to live in the house rather than sell it.
Marvin Shoaf also built the home at 1301 Highland Drive at about the same time as he built 1303 Highland Drive. This two-story home with a curved turret containing its front door had a living room with fireplace, first floor paneled bedroom or den with an adjoining lavatory, large dining room, side porch, and kitchen on the first floor. The second floor had a master bedroom with a full bath, two other large bedrooms, sewing room or nursery, and another bath. The basement had a "massive" recreation room with a fireplace. The attic contained two rooms and storage space. The home also featured random-width flooring, a screened balcony, a finished third floor attic, and a detached two-car garage.
The home at 1305 Noyes Drive was also first offered in May 1937. It was built by Steuart Brothers and was offered for $13,950 (1997 equivalent: $154,000). It had 6 rooms. There were 3 bedrooms, and a step down knotty pine paneled den or library, 2 baths, and an attached 2-car garage. It was also said to have a large rear porch and a wide sweeping lawn on a large lot in a "highly restricted community." The Washington Post ran a picture of the house and reported it had been sold to Mr. and Mrs. George E. Davis in late February 1938.
Houses were also being built in the northern part of the neighborhood. The Washington Post printed a picture of the new home at 1404 Dale Drive in July 1937 and reported that it had been designed by Laurence P. Johnson, built by C. D. Hobbs, and sold to Mr. and Mrs. John A. Herl.
The new "Cape Cod Design" house at 920 Highland Drive was also advertised about this time. The house was not described in detail, but the fact that its 15' x 33' attic was "finished as one, heated, insulated and paneled room" and the home's 93 foot frontage on Highland Drive were noted. The price was $8,350 (1997 equivalent: $92,250).
Another home completed in 1937 according to tax records is 1026 Noyes Drive. The home featured a 15' by 27' step-down living room with a beam ceiling, huge window, and fireplace. There was also a "first floor bar," dining room, kitchen, den, large bedroom and full bath. The second floor had three bedrooms, bath, and sewing room with a door opening to a sun deck above the attached garage.
The first of three houses built by Century Construction Company at 1112, 1114, and 1118 Dale Drive was offered in late July 1937. The new home at 1112 Dale Drive was priced at $12,750 (1997 equivalent: $140,800) and described as 1½ blocks from Mrs. K's Toll House Tavern, "just far enough from the rustle and bustle of the city -- yet splendidly convenient." The first floor had a "large living room across entire house, vestibule, coat closet and concrete front porch -- wood-burning fireplace. Dining room, southwest exposure -- large kitchen, maximum cupboard space -- latest type acid resisting sink and Magic Chef gas range -- Electrolux refrigerator." Three bedrooms and two baths were on the second floor. The basement had a pine paneled recreation room with wood burning fireplace, and tiled shower and lavatory. In addition, there was a laundry room and a built-in garage. The Bangor slate roof was also mentioned. The home did not sell quickly; it was advertised again in the summer and fall of 1938 as "one of three new homes" and by this time had been "furnished by Hilda Miller," apparently to serve as a model for the other two homes as well.
The house next door at 1114 Dale Drive was first advertised in early August 1937. It was priced a little higher, at $13,250 (1997 equivalent: $146,300). Although of a different design from 1112 Dale Drive, it had much the same features. One difference was that it had a "library with lavatory attached." It was described as having "Best of materials. Workmanship unexcelled." Like its neighbor, it did not sell quickly. It was advertised again in May 1938 and then extensively in October and November 1938.
The third house in this series, 1118 Dale Drive, was first specifically advertised in late April 1938. Despite the fact that Alton Parkway had not been constructed between Dale Drive and Highland Drive, the house was built facing the Alton Parkway right-of-way and was advertised as being at the corner of Dale Drive and Alton Parkway. It had a bedroom and bath on the first floor, 2 bedrooms, nursery, and a bath on the second floor, a "maids room and bath in basement," and an attached garage, as well as other features. The price was "moderate." This home also did not sell quickly. It was advertised as late as January 1939; the other two had been sold by mid-November 1938.
The three bedroom brick home at 1212 Dale Drive was also completed in 1937 according to tax records.
A custom built home completed in 1937 was the Dutch Colonial home at 9028 Woodland Drive. The home featured a 23' by 13' living room with open fireplace, dining room, kitchen with "dining alcove" and pantry, screened "living porch," four bedrooms, full basement, and two-car detached garage. The home was owned by a pediatrician, Dr. Bier.
Another custom built home completed in 1937 was architect Frank G. Beatty and his wife Louise's Cape Cod home at 1401 Woodside Parkway. They found their lot through Thomas E. Jarrell. Mrs. Beatty's father, Richard Lee Spire, was a friend of Mr. Jarrell as well as his physician.
In September 1937 M.K. Armstrong began the last series of advertisements ever to seek to bring
lot buyers to Woodside Park. Perhaps written with the knowledge that the end of the Woodside
Development Corporation was near, the ads were reflective on the accomplishments of the
developers. The first ad was headlined "Fulfilled" and said:
It is easy to make promises and predictions--to fulfill them despite changing conditions and the vicissitudes of the depression is quite another matter . . . The best laid plans often meet with the stubborn resistance of unexpected events, yet after fifteen years of consistent effort and watchfulness we can point with assurance of what has actually been accomplished in the development of
In this article and those which will soon follow we will lay before you as a homeseeker the record
of things done. In Nov. 1922 we first offered the homeseeker large homesites carved from the
famous NOYES ESTATE--then one of Washington's privately owned show places--NOW one of
Washington's most substantial homelands, and still as beautiful and unspoiled. Laid out by a
well-known landscape engineer, the natural rolling contours of its hills and valleys have never
been scarred by the gridiron plan of streets nor the raw exposed cuts of the steam shovel. . . .
Hundreds of fine trees--towering oaks and spreading dogwood--have been preserved and
encouraged--spring-fed brooks were saved from pollution and landscaped; elms which now meet
overhead were planted where streets then curved through open fields. A place where those things
which make for a quiet, substantial, and home-like atmosphere ACTUALLY EXIST--a homeland
of modern improvements, yet with an air of rural freedom not often found. . . . An inspection will
repay the effort, for you may find here the garden spot of your dreams.
The next ad in the series was headlined "Neighborhood." It said:
The desirability of any home depends in a very great degree on the established character of the neighborhood. A visit to--
--will convince you that the wide space allotted to most of the homes makes possible a privacy and independence rarely found in the modern suburb.
A steady, healthy growth over a period of fifteen years assures stability of great value to the home
The ad went on to note that "several fine home sites are yet available at 1935 prices."
The last in the brief series of advertisements was headlined "PROTECTION." It said:
The protection afforded residents by restrictions and zoning regulations shows a very satisfactory record
in Woodside Park
All deeds given have contained certain restrictions and what is vastly more important is the fact that these restrictions have been tested and proved enforceable. The plan of development upon which so many purchasers have depended in their selection of Woodside Park as a permanent home has been consistently adhered to. This in itself has proved one of the strongest barriers against undesirable encroachments.
These things do not just happen but are the result of persistent watchfulness on the part of the management of the Woodside Development Corp. and the organized citizens of the Park. The covenants in the deeds give an effective weapon with which the home owner can protect himself at any time. The large area involved in Woodside Park, slightly over 182 acres with nearly 5 miles of paved streets, has made possible the creation and maintenance of a high-type homeland which a smaller subdivision can not accomplish.
The home seeker cannot be too careful in investigating the protection afforded by restrictions which actually restrict -- that are not "paper" restrictions, which through careless wording or disuse, have no effect. Your home is an investment which is far safer where restrictions are enforced; but of greater importance is the lasting character of the pleasant contact with good neighbors.
Lots 75' wide from 1/5 to ½ acre at prices from $1,250 [1997 equivalent: $13,800]. Very
varied topography. Also several new and resale homes at attractive prices.
Unfortunately for the Woodside Development Corporation, the ads did not produce a flurry of lot buying activity. While the sale of one lot was recorded ten days after the first ad appeared, there were no more sales until July 1938, when one lot (1212 Dale Drive) was sold. That sale proved to be the last by the Woodside Development Corporation before all its assets were transferred to its former subsidiary and then successor in a bankruptcy action, as explained later in this history.
Although the Woodside Development Corporation was not successful in selling lots in late 1937 and 1938, other developers who had already purchased lots continued to build and sell houses in Woodside Park. One house sold during this period was the 2½ story brick Colonial home at 1500 Highland Drive, which had been built in 1929. The Evening Star printed a picture of the house in October 1937 and said that it had been purchased by Walter B. Crosson of the Acacia Mutual Life Insurance Company. The seller was "a Silver Spring bank," apparently indicating that the home had been foreclosed on. Even though home prices were from 25 to 40 percent less in 1937 than they had been in the late 1920s, the market remained difficult for builders and sellers.
One evidence that the market was difficult is the fact that builders were attempting to build cheap homes in Woodside Park. The "Protection" ad mentioned above referred to successful efforts to require that cheap homes be upgraded to the $6,000 minimum (1997 equivalent: $67,800). Louis B. Schneider planned to built three small bungalows on the west side of Woodland Drive near Grace Church Road. The Civic Association estimated that these homes cost about $1,400 (1997 equivalent: $15,750) less than the $6,000 minimum requirement in the deeds and went to court along with the Woodside Development Corporation and neighboring residents. Schneider, who apparently had only started construction on two of the three planned houses (9106 and 9108 Woodland Drive), was enjoined from completing or selling the under-valued houses. After several months he agreed to upgrade the houses so he could complete and sell them. He also re-subdivided the 37,153 square feet he owned at the corner of Grace Church Road and Woodland Drive into four lots rather than the five into which he had originally subdivided it. The two houses actually completed by Schneider were similar. When the house at 9108 Woodland Drive was resold later, this brick and frame home was described as having a living room with fireplace, a dining room, kitchen, and three "nice" bedrooms and a bath on the first floor. It also had a recreation room and bath in the basement and a built-in garage.
Another home built during this time period, 1515 Highland Drive, typifies how many, if not most,
Woodside Park homes were built. Rather than being built speculatively by builders, these homes
were built to their buyer's specification. The home at 1515 Highland Drive (the northeast corner
of Highland Drive and Georgia Avenue) was designed by Rees E. Burket and built by Martin
Brothers for Mr. and Mrs. W. E. Humphreys. Mr. Humphreys was President of the Jacobs
Transfer Company. By arrangement with the Humphreys family, the home was open to the public
for inspection on the weekend of October 23, 1937. The Evening Star ran a picture of the house
and reported its availability for public inspection. The Washington Post ran a long article
describing the home on October 24th and a large picture of the house on October 31st. The
architect and 26 of the various contractors and subcontractors who built the house also placed a
large ad inviting the public to tour the home. The ad said, in part:
To Visit a Distinctive Privately Built Home
at the Corner of
Georgia Avenue and Highland Drive
Woodside Park, Md.
This residence, just completed, was designed and planned by a registered architect to suit the requirements of the owners who will soon take occupancy. Competitive bids were obtained from a group of qualified contractors and the contract awarded to the low bidder, who has constructed the house under the supervision of the architect.
Due to the prominent location and distinctive design, the house caused much favorable comment and numerous persons have expressed a desire to inspect the house when completed. The owners have graciously offered to allow the architect and builder to open the house prior to their taking possession.
The Architect, the Builders, and the Sub-Contractors offer this opportunity for an inspection and
appraisal of the results obtainable when the standard procedure in securing plans, specifications,
and bids is followed, and when the construction is done by competent builders and subcontractors
working in co-operation with and under the supervision of an architect.
The practice of lot buyers finding their own architect and contractor was typical of Woodside Park and explains why many Woodside Park homes were never offered for sale at the time of their construction. This practice is in sharp contrast to the pattern in many other real estate developments of the time and almost all development now. The usual pattern was for builders to secure a large tract of land and build most, if not all, the houses on the tract for speculative sale. This was the pattern in Woodside Forest, Section One, along the center portion of Dale Drive, for example, which was being developed at this same time and which is now considered to be a part of the Woodside Park neighborhood.
The Washington Post described the new home at 1515 Highland Drive as having beautiful proportions and a Williamsburg Colonial design. The home was sited so "sunlight will enter the principal rooms from early morning until sunset. The spacious porch, secluded from the street and facing north-east will be a pleasant place on even the hottest days." The home was built of hand-made light orange to red Colonial brick set in a Flemish bond pattern. The dining room was paneled in birch from floor to ceiling in a Colonial design. The study was paneled in knotty pine. "Adjacent to the fireplace in the study is a closet for firewood with a secret door which opens when pressed at the right place." The living room's fireplace was faced with Verde-Antique marble. "In the kitchen and pantry, as well as in the three bathrooms and the lavatory, the colonial tradition so apparent elsewhere in the house is missing. These spaces, planned and equipped in the most modern manner, will delight the housekeeper or stir her envy. Bedrooms are spacious and all bedroom closets have double doors, an unusual feature." The home had two fireplaces, front and rear stairs, a "residence escalator," four bedrooms, three baths, and a "house cooling apparatus."
Woodside Park was the site of another "show" house during this period. The Nash-Kelvinator Corporation of Detroit sponsored a number of homes around the country to showcase its new home air conditioning system, which was described as "summer refrigeration." The home at 1006 Highland Drive, built by Smith and Gottleib to Kelvinator's specifications, was the first "Kelvin" home in the metropolitan Washington area. In November 1937 the newly completed home was opened for inspection every day including Sundays until 9 p.m. Apparently the system required a well insulated home to work well; the "entire house, side walls included, [was] insulated with four inches super-fine rock wool." On the side walls this was behind the brick veneer and a layer of vaporseal celotex. The home was built to high standards with special windows and Venetian blinds, a 7 foot Kelvinator refrigerator, "de luxe range," Oxford flush door kitchen cabinets, an overhead ventilating fan, and a built-in breakfast set. It also had brass thresholds, quartered oak floors, and a Buckingham slate roof. It had three bedrooms. The master bedroom had a large dressing closet with built-in drawers. There were two "gleaming" baths. There was also a large side porch and a two-car garage attached to the house with a macadam driveway. To make the house ready for display the back yard was fenced, sodded, and lighted.
The home at 9219 Woodland Drive was also sold during this period. The Evening Star of November 13, 1937 contained its picture with a caption saying it had been sold to Mr. and Mrs. Delmar S. Taylor.
Another 1937 home was 8910 Colesville Road. It was a custom built brick and stone home with a living room and stone fireplace, a dining room opening onto a large porch, bedroom, den, kitchen and bath all on the first floor. The second floor had two bedrooms and a bath. The basement had a recreation room and there was a built-in garage under the screened porch. The roof was slate and the home was heated with an oil-fired hot water system.
Two other homes completed about this time were 1604 and 1611 Dale Drive. The "Southern Colonial" home at 1604 Dale Drive had 6 rooms, two baths, and a detached garage. James F. Dalton, who was originally from Ireland and was chief building inspector for the District of Columbia, built his home at 1611 Dale Drive "barn raising" style by building the wall frames on the ground and raising them into position. Brick veneer was then added. The home features limestone window sills.
There was little additional activity until the middle of 1938. The Charles D. Hobbs Company, which had built other homes in the neighborhood, completed the home at 9102 Fairview Road and sold it to Mr. and Mrs. Howard Noack. The Evening Star of June 18, 1938 showed a large picture of the home and reported its sale. That same date the Evening Star also printed a picture of the new home at 1109 Highland Drive, which had also been built by Charles D. Hobbs, and said it had been sold to Mr. and Mrs. Henry J. Mehserle.
About this same time the new home at 9002 Woodland Drive was offered. It was described as "a beautiful center-entrance brick [home] on a large lot surrounded by lovely homes, shady streets and lanes." It had six rooms and two baths, including a bedroom and bath on the first floor. There was also an "immense living room with wood-burning fireplace, side porch, full size dining room, [and] a kitchen fully equipped [and] large enough for a breakfast table." The second floor had "two large bedrooms, large clothes presses [and] storage space." The home also had a garage. It was offered in June and July. Its picture appeared in the Evening Star in September with a caption saying it had been sold to Mr. and Mrs. R. M. Warren. The home had been built by Steuart Brothers and designed by Frank G. Beatty. Beatty also reportedly designed 9005 Woodland Drive.
In July 1938 the new "distinguished English Tudor home" at 9104 Alton Parkway was first offered for sale. The home was described as being of stone and brick construction with a center entrance hall, spacious living room, stone fireplace and a "de luxe" kitchen with a breakfast corner and "plenty of cabinets." It also had a wood paneled library. On the second floor were three bedrooms and two baths. Servants' quarters were on the third floor. Other features included air conditioning, steel casement windows, random width oak floors, gumwood trim throughout, and "double insulated" walls. There were nine rooms in total and a two-car garage. In late November the Evening Star showed the house on the front page of its real estate section and reported it had been sold to Mr. and Mrs. J. Louis Monarch. The home was later owned by Benson K. Buffam, deputy director of the National Security Agency.
In November 1938 the home at 1601 Grace Church Road was offered. It was described as "a nicely planned and located new brick dwelling of 6 large rooms and 2 baths. Extra lavatory on 1st floor. Large and light recreation room in basement."
Another house built during this period was 1519 Grace Church Road. This Colonial home had a living room with fireplace, den, kitchen with electric dishwasher, breakfast room with powder room, and a screened and glassed porch off the living room. The second floor had three bedrooms and two baths. The basement had a recreation room and an attached two-car garage. The home also had "gas air-conditioned heat."
According to tax records the home at 1111 Noyes Drive was also built about this time. It was built of brick and stone and had a center hall plan, 15' by 24' living room with fireplace, side porch, spacious dining room, 3 bedrooms, 2 baths plus "two piece baths" on the first floor and in the basement. There was a recreation room and a 15' by 24' "trophy room" finished in glazed tile.
The home at 1528 Dale Drive was also completed about 1938. This brick home was custom built for its owner and had an entrance hall, large living room with fireplace, dining room, kitchen with pantry, breakfast nook, library and half bath on the first floor. The second floor had a master bedroom with a bath, three other bedrooms, and a second bath. There was also a walk-up finished, floored, and heated attic. The basement had a recreation room with a fireplace and a bath. The garage was attached.
Irwin I. Kaplan and his wife Lillian had their home at 1000 North Noyes Drive built in 1938. They moved in on Halloween. Mr. Kaplan, who at the time was a site engineer for the Park and Planning Commission, co-designed the house with architect Ronald Senseman. Chestnut trim was used in parts of the home. Mr. Kaplan knew of Woodside Park from his work with the Park and Planning Commission. Once while working as a surveyor for the WSSC, he had climbed the old Alton Farm water tower and used it for a surveying landmark. He also had attended Washington's Central High School and remained friends with Karl E. Jarrell, who lived at 1001 North Mansion Drive.
The custom built center hall brick Colonial home at 9020 Alton Parkway was also completed during this period. The home featured a living room with fireplace, dining room, kitchen, powder room, and large screened side porch on the first floor. The second floor had three bedrooms and a storage room. The basement contained a recreation room with a fireplace. The home also had an attached garage.
Another 1938 home was 1314 Highland Drive, the home of Willard (Andy) and Gretta Anderson. Mr. Anderson, an architect with the Office of the Supervising Architect of the Treasury, designed his own home.
The brick Cape Cod home at 9220 Woodland Drive was also completed in 1938. The home had a large living room with fireplace, dining room with bay window, kitchen, large den, and a "powder room" on the first floor. The second floor had two bedrooms, a nursery, and a bath. There was a recreation room and lavatory in the basement as well as a built-in garage. The home was constructed speculatively by Baltimore builder Henry Pepper, who also built the adjacent houses at 9218 and 9222 Woodland Drive. Pepper's son and daughter-in-law, Milton and Ruth Pepper, became the owners of 9218 Woodland Drive. Pepper's daughter Lillian and her husband Charles Crawford became owners of 9222 Woodland Drive.
The first new home advertised for sale in 1939 was offered early in January. Paul T. Stone, Inc., had completed the home at 1200 Woodside Parkway and offered it for $12,950 (1997 equivalent: $147,800). The home, which was "open and lighted, daily and Sunday," was described as "In Beautiful Woodside Park, a charming Colonial home, authentic in architecture, exemplary in construction, delightful in location and environment. Center-hall style, in choice face brick, this home contains six rooms and two baths. Oil heat and air conditioned. Spacious landscaped grounds, about a quarter of an acre encompassing the house. Side porch balances the attached garage." Another ad for the home showed a picture of the home above a three line headline: "A Better Life Awaits You In BEAUTIFUL WOODSIDE PARK." Other ads for the house described it under the headlines "In Sylvan Woodside Park" and "In Lovely Woodside Park." One ad went on to say "You'll enjoy living in this idyllic retreat, with Sligo Creek murmuring at your front yard." The Sligo Creek claim was not as farfetched as it seems today since when the house was built there were creeks which were tributaries of Sligo Creek along both Woodside Parkway and Alton Parkway in the home's front yard. Remnants of both remain, but they are much reduced from their original size. The creek along Alton Parkway in particular was a substantial stream fed by the spring for which Spring Street was named. This creek once provided the entire water supply for Alton Farm and then served Woodside Park's swimming pool before the creek was placed in a four to five foot diameter storm sewer in 1951. The home was offered until the end of May 1939.
At about this same time the home at 1119 Woodside Parkway, diagonally opposite 1200 Woodside Parkway, was completed. This home was pictured in the Evening Star's real estate section with a caption noting that it had been built for Mr. and Mrs. Phillip R. Vernier by George E. Ferris. It had been designed by Arthur L. Anderson, who was later to build his own home at 1424 Highland Drive. With the completion of these two houses, three of the four homes now at Woodside Park's central intersection of Woodside and Alton Parkways were in place.
Another early January 1939 addition to the neighborhood was "A Spacious Home of Exceptional Character in One of the Capital's Most Beautiful Developments." This was the new home at 1306 Noyes Drive. The home is most notable for the unusual curved edges of its roof. It was advertised periodically from January into September. The home had two bedrooms and a bath on the first floor and four bedrooms plus a bath on the second floor. There was also a living room with fireplace, dining room, de luxe kitchen, and paneled recreation room. It had automatic oil heat and a built-in garage.
In May 1939 the new stone and frame home at 1223 Woodside Parkway was offered. It was described as a "charming New England Colonial, located in one of Washington's most desirable residential sections." As it appears today (and as it appeared by 1945), the home has an impressive front porch, brick fence and gate in front of the two-car garage with a studio room above, and other architectural details. These were all added after the home's initial construction but before it was offered for resale in 1945. The home's price was not specified, but terms were described as "easy." The home had 7 rooms, 2½ baths, a recreation room with fireplace, and a large finished attic.
The new home at 1223 Noyes Drive, which had just been completed by Charles D. Hobbs, was also offered for the first time in May 1939. It was available for $12,450 (1997 equivalent: $142,100) on a well-wooded half acre lot. The home was described as a "center-hall Colonial with 6 rooms and 2 baths, fully screened. Chrysler air-conditioning system."
The impressive columned home at 1505 Dale Drive, which became the residence of Minnesota Congressman and Marine Corps General Melvin J. Mass, was another of the homes completed in the spring of 1939 by Paul P. Stone. Although advertised as being in Woodside Forest, it was actually on one of the original Woodside Park lots along Upland Drive, which was later renamed as a part of Dale Drive. One ad called the home "the Show Place of Dale Drive." "On entering from the porch with its lofty columns, one sees a hall with a circular staircase. All rooms are large, bright and beautifully decorated. Two screened porches. 2nd floor sitting room, recreation room, maid's room, air conditioned heat, all electric kitchen, built-in garage. . . . This is truly an exceptional value." Besides the circular staircase, the first floor contained "entertaining size" living room and dining rooms, a small den, a half bath, and a kitchen. The second floor had a master bedroom with a dressing room and private bath. The other two bedrooms shared a connecting bath. There was also a large sleeping porch above the first floor screened porch in the rear. The basement opened to ground level in the rear and contained a recreation room and a two-car garage.
Pinecrest Circle was the site of another new home available in mid-1939. The six room center hall Colonial brick home at 1230 Pinecrest Circle was offered for $10,500 (1997 equivalent: $119,900). The home was said to be "surrounded by homes of high value in this exceptionally charming close-in suburban community." While Woodside Park is definitely "close-in" today, the description was less than accurate in 1939. The home was purchased by Mr. and Mrs. Edward A. Burns, who in 1944 also acquired the previously unsold adjoining lots facing Woodside Parkway between 1225 Woodside Parkway and 9101 Crosby Road from the Woodside Homes Corporation.
The very large stone Colonial home at 9101 Crosby Road, at the corner of Woodside Parkway, was also built about this time. Joseph Tucci purchased the site of the home and had it built to his specifications. According to neighborhood legend Mr. Tucci was a successful Italian plumber, and the home was to be a present for his bride. The marriage either did not take place or did not work out, and the home was offered for sale within two years. The home, which was 90' wide, had a 20' by 25' living room with a massive stone fireplace, a 17' by 20' dining room, and a large reception room. There was a large flagstone porch reached from doors from the living and dining rooms. The large kitchen was "lavish in its electrical appointments" and had "numerous cupboards." The first floor also had a breakfast nook and pink and blue "beautifully tiled" powder room with a dark blue porcelain sink and matching vanity table. The second floor was reached by a circular staircase which leads to a large hall. There were four large bedrooms with "an abundance of cedar closets" and individual baths, "the master suite having an elaborate and spacious bath with a separate shower stall of Italian marble with glass doors." There was also a 21' by 28' "game or club room." Another circular staircase "of natural oak" led from the first floor down to "a large oak paneled and elaborately fitted cocktail room." The third floor contained "a vast amount of storage space." The home was built with 20" insulated stone walls and an insulated floored attic and roof. It also had oak floors and trim, automatic gas heat, a heavy Vermont slate roof, wrought-iron plumbing, casement windows with storm windows, copper gutters and flashings, and a three-car garage built into one of its wings. Mr. Tucci offered his house for sale in 1941 for $39,500 (1997 equivalent: $426,900), which was said to be "far below reproduction cost." In 1942 he reduced the price to $32,500 (1997 equivalent: $317,500), which was "many thousands of dollars less than cost to owner-occupant." Mr. Tucci finally sold the home in May 1943.
The home at 1115 Noyes Drive is also believed to have been built in 1939 and was probably the last home built by Thomas E. Jarrell. The Martino family designed the home themselves.
The home at 9209 Midwood Road was also completed about this time. It was a two-story brick Colonial with a center hall and 8 rooms plus a paneled recreation room with a fireplace in the basement. It also had a screened "living porch," a built-in garage, a slate roof, and copper pipes and gutters.
Another 1939 home was the custom built brick center hall corner Colonial at 1211 Highland Drive. The home had eight rooms, including a large bedroom or den and full bath on the first floor. The kitchen was 18' long and had a long snack bar. The dining room had a picture window looking out to the rear garden. On the second floor there were three "master sized" bedrooms, each of which had two "immense" closets, and two baths. The third [attic] floor had a "large dormitory style bedroom." The home also had a two-car garage and a maid's room with bath in the basement. The home featured random width oak floors, "many extra electrical outlets," and other special features.
The house at 1200 Highland Drive was also built in 1939. It was designed by architect Larry Smith and built by Fred Strouther of Alexandria, Virginia, for Hogarth and Marjorie Colston. Mr. Colston was co-owner of Beitzell and Company, a Washington, D.C. wine and spirits firm.
The home at 1400 Dale Drive, which actually faces Crosby Road, was built in 1939 for Herbert Grinder, who was in the plumbing business.
There were also resales in 1939. In May 1939 the home at 925 Highland Drive, described as "nearly new," was offered. It had probably been built in 1932. Its price was $10,500 (1997 equivalent: $119,900). For this price one could obtain a "lovely detached brick home ... with 7 large rooms, 2 tiled baths, 2 car attached garage. Air conditioned oil heat." It was also described as "near [the then-new] shopping center [at Georgia Avenue and Colesville Road], schools and churches." It would be even nearer to churches when the new St. Luke Lutheran Church was completed in the same block seven years later. The home contained a large living room with fireplace, dining room, kitchen, breakfast room, and screened porch on the first floor. The second floor had three bedrooms and two baths. There was a maid's room and bath in the basement. There was also a two-car garage. Gutters and downspouts were copper and the roof was slate.
Another home offered for resale in mid-1939 was "Stonecroft," the home built by Philander D.
Poston at 1201 Woodside Parkway. Thomas E. Jarrell had acquired the home in a foreclosure sale
in 1935 and advertised it for sale in both 1935 and 1936 with no success. Jarrell tried to take
advantage of the 1939 boom in home sales by again advertising the home as "A Miniature
Estate."Again he had no success. The home finally was sold in August 1945 for $51,500 (1997
Pre-War 1940s Homes in the Original Alton Farm Woodside Park Development
As the war began in Europe, the United States debated neutrality, but eventually war production for the Lend-Lease program and the pre-Pearl Harbor U.S. military build-up made it more and more difficult to continue to build homes despite the availability of building lots in Woodside Park.
In June 1940, as President Roosevelt committed the United States to begin aiding the allies with war materials, another new home on Crosby Road was ready for sale. Builder Louie D. Keller offered the new brick home at 9111 Crosby Road. The first floor contained a studio living room, dining room, bedroom, bath, and "exceptionally fine kitchen with a breakfast nook." The second floor had three rooms and a bath. The basement had a large paneled recreation room and another full bath. There was also a built-in garage on the left side of the house and a screened porch on the right. John Thompson, a civilian engineer with the Army Signal Corps, and his wife Evelyn purchased the home.
Another home in the same block of Crosby Road was also built at this time. Although the lot for 9114 Crosby Road had been subdivided from its original large lot and sold by the Woodside Development Corporation in 1926, no house was built on it for fourteen years until after Byron C. Brunstetter had purchased the property to build his home. This center hall home was designed by A.W. Smith and built in a style common to mid-Atlantic and southern planation houses. It had a large living room, dining room, bedroom or den, kitchen, and bath on the first floor. There was a screened porch off both the living room and bedroom/den. The second floor contained a large master bedroom with windows on three sides of the home and another bedroom and a bath. There was also a full basement and a third bath.
The first home built on Noyes Court, the cul-de-sac off Colesville Road between Noyes Drive and North Noyes Drive, was also built at this time. Noyes Court had been established in 1937 when the lot on the southwest corner of Colesville Road and North Noyes Drive and the lot adjacent to it on Colesville Road were combined and re-subdivided. One of the lots was owned by Ira C. and Rachel Whitacre, who had purchased it in 1923 as only the fourth lot sold by the Woodside Development Corporation. The other lot was owned by the Silver Spring National Bank. By combining the lots and establishing Noyes Court, nine lots were created on the original two lots. The new Dutch Colonial home at 2 Noyes Court was offered for $9,950 (1997 equivalent: $113,600). It was described as "An outstanding new home value in a most desirable residential section [with] 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, air-conditioned, oil heat, slate roof, screened porch, detached garage, large and beautifully landscaped lot. Reasonable terms." There was also a center hall.
The home at 1417 Highland Drive was also completed in 1940. This large Cape Cod style home was designed and built for Mr. and Mrs. B. H. Colbert by the Newbold Development Company. The Washington Post ran a picture of the newly completed home in June.
Kenneth and Ida Laws had Jim Draper build their home at 1603 Dale Drive during 1940 using plans drawn by architect Kenneth Nutler. They had purchased their lot in 1937 and cleared the land themselves.
Another 1940 completion was the stone home at 1215 Highland Drive. It was built by William E. Welch & Son for Mr. and Mrs. Bernard Grant. Its picture was printed in the Evening Star in early January 1941.
The Dutch Colonial home at 1317 Woodside Parkway was also built in 1940 for the Wilkinson family.
J. Everett and Rachael Schrider built their home at 1515 Grace Church Road in 1940. Mr. Schrider was a home builder. They purchased their lot from Harry B. Huhn, who subdivided his "acre plot" on the northeast corner of Grace Church Road and Woodland Road in December 1939 to create five lots.
Another custom built home completed in 1940 or 1941 was the large brick Cape Cod home at 1226 Woodside Parkway. This home had a first floor reception hall; large step-up "studio" living room with a beam ceiling, three exposures and a fireplace, picture windows, a door onto a "living porch;" a bay-windowed den with a door to a porch and brick terrace; dining room; kitchen; master bedroom "with two closets and colored tile bath." The second floor had three bedrooms, numerous closets, and bath. The basement contained a paneled recreation room, maid's room, and bath. There was also a two-car garage under the house.
In the spring of 1941 the new homes at 1410 and 1412 Dale Drive were completed and offered. Both were described as having "6 large bright rooms and 2 baths." They had a paneled den and lavatory on the first floor along with a kitchen with breakfast corner, a wood-floored and paneled recreation room with an open fireplace in the basement, and a finished attic which included a bedroom. They were also air-conditioned and "de luxe throughout" and had two car garages. The home at 1412 Dale Drive, a white-pillared Georgian Colonial, was offered for $16,500 (1997 equivalent: $178,300).
Two other Dale Drive homes were completed in early summer 1941. The two-story Colonial style homes at 1322 and 1324 Dale Drive were offered by their builder, Claude G. Johnson, for "$12,950 up" (1997 equivalent: $140,000). An ad describing 1324 Dale Drive noted: "You will enjoy the cool quiet comfort of Country Life in this imposing new corner home overlooking a picturesque valley in this convenient new home area." Both homes had a wide center entrance hall, three bedrooms, two baths plus a first floor lavatory, a "picture book kitchen with breakfast table" and "delightful sun deck over the screened living porch" which looked over "the cool dells and virgin forests." Samuel and Alice Louise Moss purchased the home at 1322 Dale Drive. Mr. Moss was a Vice President of the C&P Telephone Company.
Another house completed about this time was the brick and stone half-timbered home at 9008 Fairview Road, which was custom built for its first owner. It had an entrance hall, three fireplaces, a "large informal library with a beam ceiling." The first floor also contained a bedroom with a full bath and a screened porch. The second floor had three bedrooms and a sewing room. There was also a maid's room with a full bath. The garage was connected to the house by a breezeway. Another feature was the "recessed radiation" heating system.
By the summer of 1941, the approach of World War II was having an effect on new home building. Although the United States would not enter the war until the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Priorities Division of the Office of Production Management began to restrict the availability of potential war materials. Generally materials were made available to allow completion of homes under construction, but new starts were restricted. Aluminum was impossible to obtain, and it was becoming difficult to obtain copper. Since copper was essential for electrical wiring, if builders could not obtain copper wire, they could not build houses. Steel was also controlled, as were over 250 other products. In some instances substitutes were available, galvanized iron pipes could be substituted for copper water pipes although supplies of the zinc necessary in the galvanizing process were also controlled. Black iron stovepipes were substituted for galvanized stove pipes.
One new home that was completed was 1221 Woodside Parkway, which was built by the Capital Engineering Company and offered for $15,500 (1997 equivalent: $167,500). The Cape Cod style home's first floor had a center entrance hall, a 13' by 22' living room, dining room, fully equipped kitchen, den with built-in bookcases, tiled lavatory and two closets. The second floor had a 13' by 30' master bedroom and 2 other large bedrooms, 2 complete baths, and "unusually large closets;" there was also an attached garage and large screened porch. The home was "fully insulated," air-conditioned and "built of the finest materials and workmanship."
Another home completed in 1941 was 9005 Alton Parkway, which was built for its owner. It had a large master bedroom, two other "bright sunny" bedrooms and a tile bath on the second floor. The living room had a fireplace and the dining room had a bay window. Besides a "de luxe" kitchen, the first floor also contained a den and lavatory. The owner also held title to the two lots next door where the homes at 9007 and 9009 Alton Parkway were built after the war.
Another custom built home completed in 1941 was the brick Cape Cod home at 1320 Woodside Parkway. The home had a center entrance hall, large living room with fireplace, screened porch, dining room, kitchen and library on the first floor. There were three bedrooms and a bath on the second floor and a recreation room in the basement. A detached garage at the rear of the lot faced Woodland Drive.
The large brick Cape Cod home at 1415 Highland Drive was also custom built in 1941. It featured a 22½' by 13' living room with a fireplace, a 12' by 15' dining room, kitchen with breakfast nook. and a large bedroom with full bath on the first floor. The second floor had two bedrooms and a bath. The basement included a recreation room with a bar and a bath. The home had "recessed radiators;" copper plumbing, gutters, and downspouts; and a slate roof. There was also a garage.
The home at 1606 Dale Drive was also completed in 1941. Nathan and Edith Fuller signed the agreement to purchase the house on December 7, 1941, the day Pearl Harbor was attacked by the Japanese to bring the U.S. into World War II. They moved into the new home on December 15th. The home had been designed by architect Ronald Senseman. Builder Arthur Stack had intended to live in the home himself. He was unable to pay his subcontractors and had to sell the home.
Development of the last group of pre-war Woodside Park homes began in June and July 1941 when J. Garrett Beitzell's Mount Vernon Construction Company purchased three original Woodside Park lots comprising all of the block bounded by Woodside Parkway, Fairview Road, Highland Drive, and Colesville Road except for the lots fronting on Colesville Road. Mr. Beitzell was an active Washington realtor and developer. In September Mount Vernon Construction re-subdivided its three lots into thirteen new lots of from about 6,500 square feet to about 14,000 square feet. Construction of homes on the lots facing Woodside Parkway began shortly thereafter. By April 1942 the first of the Beitzell homes designed "in the Modern Manner," 1019 Woodside Parkway, had been completed and sold to Dr. and Mrs. Martin O. Cooley. Aside from some architectural details the two-story "modern" home was similar in basic design to the new home at 1023 Woodside Parkway which Beitzell advertised about this same time.
The "modern" style Beitzell home at 1023 Woodside Parkway was described as having six rooms, two baths, recreation room with a fireplace, and built-in garage. The living room had a stone fireplace. The first floor also contained an "unusually large dining room" as well as a den and kitchen. The second floor had three bedrooms, two baths, and a sun deck. There was also a screened porch which stretched all the way across the front of the house on the first floor level. The wall above the porch was made of stone to the level of the second floor windows. The window design on the second floor was unusual as well; windows were built in both front corners of the house.
A week after advertising 1023 Woodside Parkway, Beitzell advertised the
home at 1021 Woodside Parkway. Although differing in architectural
details (not having the corner windows, for example), the home was
similar to its neighbor next door. One interesting feature was the "fluted
glass" partition separating the kitchen and den. The home was furnished
and was used as the "exhibit home" for the group of homes Beitzell was
building. Prices for the group ranged from $13,950 to $16,950 (1997 equivalents: $136,200 to
$165,600). The Washington Post printed a news photograph of the home's living room that same
week. The home was advertised almost weekly in June and July. Some ads emphasized the home's
modern design: "For a home that is really different--one that sums up all home-building progress
to date--make your inspection TODAY!." Other ads emphasized location "in Exclusive
Woodside, Md." and the fact that war-time materials controls were bringing home-building to an
end. One ad was headlined: "LIMITED SELECTION OF QUALITY HOMES IN EXCLUSIVE
WOODSIDE, MD. No More Available For the Duration." The ad's text went on to say:
These are times that call for good judgment and careful decisions. And so, in the selection of your
new home, you must determine where your investment will be most protected--where your dollar
will mean more in comfort, durability and living pleasure. That is why we urge you to see this
home, built of pre-priority materials in a lovely suburban atmosphere, BEFORE YOU DECIDE.
Home contains 6 large rooms, 2 baths, sun parlor, recreation room, built in garage. Other Homes
of Modern and Colonial Architecture Nearing Completion.
The Beitzell Colonial style home was 1017 Woodside Parkway. It was never advertised in its own right but was reported sold in November when the Washington Post ran its picture on the front page of its real estate section.
Beitzell began advertising another of the "modern" homes in the group in August when the new home at 1015 Woodside Parkway was first singled out. It was available for $13,950 (1997 equivalent: $136,200) and had the same basic six-room, two-bath design as the other Beitzell "modern" homes but did differ in architectural details. The ad also noted that another home with seven rooms and three baths was available for $16,950 (1997 equivalent: $165,600). This was probably the Beitzell Colonial home in the middle of the group at 1017 Woodside Parkway. In mid-October the Washington Post ran a picture of 1015 Woodside Parkway on the front page of its real estate section and noted that it had been sold. A week later the Washington Post ran a picture of the similar home at 1013 Woodside Parkway with a caption saying it had been purchased by Mr. and Mrs. N. G. Frederick. Mr. Frederick was Beitzell's sales manager. With this sale and that of the Colonial home at 1017 Woodside Parkway, which was reported sold in the Washington Post with a front page of the real estate section photo in late November, there were no new Beitzell homes in Woodside Park "for the duration."
The Beitzell group of homes were not the last new homes available in Woodside Park in 1942, however. Two other new homes were sold. One was the "English Cottage" at 1115 Woodside Parkway. It was shown on the front page of the Evening Star's real estate section in early September and reported sold by its builder, Charles D. Hobbs, to Mr. and Mrs. Herbert R. Munck. Apparently the home had been on the market for some time since Hobbs had purchased the home's lot in 1937 and the home had been completed by 1941.
The other new home available at this time was the large two-story brick Colonial home at 1000 Dale Drive. The home had seven rooms, including three bedrooms and a first floor library. The living room had a fireplace and custom cabinets. The dining room also had custom cabinets. The first floor also contained a lavatory. Besides the three bedrooms, the second floor included two baths. There was a screened porch on the south side of the house. A sun deck was on top of the porch. Another sun deck (or perhaps more of a shade deck) was above the library on the north end of the house. The attic was finished as a large room. The basement contained a recreation room with custom bar and maid's quarters.
At least one custom built home, the brick Colonial at 1301 Noyes Drive, was also completed in 1942. This home had 6 rooms plus two baths, a maid's room, and a shower. It also had a screened side porch, paneled recreation room, and a detached garage. The house was probably built by the Steuart Brothers, which had owned the lot.
After these homes were sold, no new homes were available in Woodside Park until after World
The War Years
There was no new home building in Woodside Park during 1943, 1944, or
1945, and relatively few homes were offered for resale. Houses offered for
re-sale during 1944, sometimes because their owners were transferred
elsewhere for war work, were 9005 Alton Parkway (which could have
been purchased for $13,000; two adjoining vacant lots were available separately), 1508 Grace
Church Road, 1519 Grace Church Road, 1207 Noyes Drive, and 1200 Woodside Parkway. The
only new construction in the neighborhood was St. Luke Lutheran Church, which managed to get
approval from the War Production Board to build its new church at Highland Drive and Colesville
Road during 1944.
Post-War Homes in the Original Alton Farm Woodside Park Development
The first home completed and offered for sale after the war was the "Brand New Williamsburg Colonial" at 1600 Grace Church Road. The white-painted brick Cape Cod style home was first advertised in April 1947. The first floor had a center hall, a 15' by 23' living room, dining room, den with adjoining lavatory, a "General Electric dream kitchen with dishwasher and abundance of fine metal cabinets," a porch, a "tool room," and an attached garage. There was a winding stairway to the second floor, which had a large master bedroom, two other bedrooms, a nursery, and two baths. The basement included a fireplace, bar, and sink, and "electric home laundry." The home also had 19 closets and a laundry chute. The builder emphasized the home's pre-war workmanship and style of construction, which included a heavy slate roof, copper gutters, copper pipes, and gas air-conditioned heat. The home was offered for $27,500 (1997 equivalent: $196,800). The home was used for a while as the Grace Church rectory.
David H. Volland and his wife Pluma built their home at 1101 Noyes Drive in 1946 and 1947. The project was slowed because of a lack of building materials immediately after the war. Mr. Volland was a builder who later helped construct Wheaton Plaza. The Vollands had purchased their lot on the northwest corner of Noyes Drive and Fairview Road at the urging of his sister and her husband, Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Wurtz, who lived just down the block at 9010 Fairview Road. Shortly after buying their lot, the Vollands subdivided it into two lots.
Mr. Volland speculatively built the brick Colonial home on the second lot, 9004 Fairview Road in 1947.On the first floor this home had a center hall, large living room with fireplace and adjoining porch, dining room, kitchen, and bedroom with a half bath. The second floor had three bedrooms and two baths. The home was oil heated with "recessed radiators." It also had a slate roof. The home was purchased by Fred and Agnes Arnold.
The brick Colonial home at 1705 Luzerne Avenue, the only Luzerne Avenue home on a lot which was part of the original Woodside Park subdivision, was also completed about this time. The home featured a center hall design, three bedrooms, recreation room, "glassed-in heated sun porch," and a kitchen with an "automatic electric dish washer." Other homes on the north side of Luzerne Avenue had been developed as part of the Woodside Village subdivision before World War II and are now considered a part of the Woodside Forest neighborhood.
Another home completed about 1947 was the corner Colonial at 1101 Woodside Parkway. This custom built brick home had a total of five bedrooms. It had a front porch with a tile floor, a 16' by 21' living room with fireplace and picture window, kitchen with dishwasher and disposal, and two bedrooms with a connecting bath on the first floor. The second floor had three bedrooms and a bath with a built-in sun lamp. There was also a full basement and a built-in garage, slate roof, and copper pipes, downspouts, and gutters.
The large custom tapestry brick Colonial home at 1313 Woodside Parkway was also completed in 1947. The first floor had a large living room with a fireplace, a dining room, a den, and a kitchen with a screened dining porch. The second floor had three bedroom and two baths; the master bedroom had a shower. Two additional bedrooms were on the third [attic] floor. The home also had a full basement with a recreation room, bar, laundry, and a two-car garage.
The home at 1202 Pinecrest Circle was also built about this time. This brick Cape Cod home had a living room with a fireplace, a dining room, kitchen, bedroom, half bath, and a porch on the first floor. The second floor had two additional bedrooms and a bath.
Another home built by David H. Volland was completed in 1948. This home, at 1112 Woodside Parkway, was purchased by Claude "Worth" Owen.
The brick Colonial home at 9104 Watson Road was completed in 1948. This home, which was advertised with the headline "Superior Woodside Park," had six rooms; an "enormous" screened porch over the attached garage; a slate roof; and copper plumbing, gutters and downspouts.
The two-story white brick home at 1108 Dale Drive was also completed in 1948. This home was built by T.E. Chalmers based on Good Housekeeping magazine's "holiday house" plans and was "ideal for refined and hospitable living." The first floor contained an 18' by 22' living room with a stone fireplace the entire width of the room, a hall and a dining room which both had Spanish tile floors, an all-electric kitchen, and a powder room. There was also a pine-paneled stairway to the second floor which had "two master bedrooms," another bedroom, and a large colored tiled bath with double lavatories. There was also a full basement, attached garage with work room, and a patio with stone barbecue. The house was described as "finely constructed of the best materials such as copper plumbing, gas hot-water heat and convector type radiation, steel Venetian blinds, etc." The price was $28,500 (1997 equivalent: $188,100).
Ramblers were becoming popular after World War II and began to appear in Woodside Park. One such home completed in 1948 was the white brick rambler at 1110 Dale Drive. This one-story home had a center hall, 12' by 22' living room with a stone fireplace and a large picture window, a "dining ell," "gallery kitchen," and three bedrooms and a tile bath. It also had parquet floors, copper pipes, and copper gutters and downspout. The basement was partitioned for a recreation room and also included a garage.
Another one-story home completed in 1948 is the U-shaped home at 1100 Highland Drive. This home was offered in early 1949 for $29,950 (1997 equivalent: $200,200) and was described as a "luxurious H-type rambler." It had four bedrooms, two tiled baths, an "immense" living room with fireplace, a dining room, a large kitchen with breakfast space and an pantry, and a foyer entrance. The home had a full basement, gas heat, "Venetian blinds and combination storm windows throughout." There was also a patio, detached two-car garage, and a "stream in yard" which was filled in about a year later when the large storm sewer was built along Alton Parkway. The home is believed to be a U.S. Steel product. Its construction upset neighboring residents not only because of its unorthodox metal construction but also because its one-story white siding style was quite unlike other houses on Alton Parkway or Highland Drive.
The rambler at 1528 Grace Church Road was custom built for its first owner in 1948. The home had a "huge" living room, a dining room, kitchen with large dining area, a paneled study, two large bedrooms, and two baths. It also had a screened terrace and a patio. The garage was under the left wing of the house.
The home at 1201 Highland Drive was also probably built in 1948 by Sheldon Magazine and his brother, who were developers.
The brick home at 1516 Grace Church Road was first offered in April 1949. It was said to be in "one of Washington's most beautiful suburbs. Close to stores, schools, and buses." The home had an entrance "with a glass wall arrangement," 14' by 24' living room with a fireplace, dining room with a picture window, kitchen, two bedrooms (or a den and one bedroom), a bath, and a "delightful side porch with paneled ceiling" on the first floor. The second floor had four "twin-sized" bedrooms, two baths, and "many fine closets and built-in chests of drawers." There was also a full basement with lavatory, gas heat, slate roof, copper plumbing and gutters, and an attached brick garage under the side porch. The home was said to have "the ultimate in fine materials, workmanship, planning, and location. Situated on a lovely wooded ½ acre lot, it is surrounded by homes of a similar character." In late June the home's price was "drastically reduced to $29,500" (1997 equivalent: $197,200).
In May 1949 the "DISTINCTIVELY DIFFERENT FOR MODERN LIVING" home at 9009
Alton Parkway was first advertised:
Here is charm, distinction and individuality blended into a masterpiece of Modern Architecture, in this most attractive new home in one of the finest sections of Woodside Park, surrounded by beautiful homes. Built by an outstanding builder of the finest materials and workmanship, no expense was spared in any appointment of this home.
Situated on a beautifully shaded lot (65 x 235) with natural stream flowing in front, the home of
true modern design contains entrance hall, step-up living room with unusual modern fireplace and
picture windows, circular dining alcove, completely equipped kitchen with electric dishwasher and
garbage disposal, breakfast nook and side screened porch. Ground level bedroom or den with
complete tile bath; 2nd floor, two master bedrooms and tile bath, with lots of closet space. The
basement on ground level has finished recreation room, full tile bath and utility room with gas a.c.
heat. Built-in garage. Other features include Venetian blinds, copper gutters and downspouts,
slate roof and screened. THE INTERIOR IS TASTEFULLY DECORATED IN MODERN
The home did not immediately sell and by August was advertised for $32,000 (1997 equivalent: $213,900), which was said to be below its assessed value.
The home at 9224 Woodland Drive was also completed in 1949. This home was featured on the
front page of the Washington Post real estate section on July 17, 1949 under the headline
"Amateur Builder Takes Housing Bull by Horns in $22,000 'Gamble.'"
The way to own a new $32,000 home at a cost of $22,000 [1997 equivalent: $213,900 and $147,000] is to be your own general contractor, designer and all around supervisor.
Proof is R.E. Hightower's unique U-shaped bungalow under roof on a $4000 [1997 equivalent:
$26,700] lot at 9224 Woodland rd. in the Woodside section of Silver Spring, Md.
The long article went on to describe the home and its planning and construction in detail. Mr.
Hightower created the basic design for the home himself and then had architects Frank G. Beatty
(of 1401 Woodside Parkway) and H. Clay Ashby, who designed many of the home in Woodside
Forest, finalize the plan. After getting high price quotations from builders he approached, Mr.
Hightower "figured he could absorb a $5000 [1997 equivalent: $33,400] mistake like pouring the
basement on quicksand without first installing plumbing and other minor building horrors, and still
come out ahead of the quoted bids. So he became a builder." He hired subcontractors to do the
construction. The house has many specially designed features such as three closets in the master
bedroom, a dumb waiter off the center hall, and a special radiant heating system:
Hot water radiator heat was originally to be used, but the Hightowers were prejudiced against the system because of the inconvenience incurred in furniture placement, so physicist Hightower designed a radiant piping system for ceiling installation and then attempted to find heating contractors sufficiently acquainted with such systems to install it.
"Contractors were scared to death of such a new system -- the vast majority had no experience at all with radiant heating," he recalled. "The two bids I received were fantastic -- $2400 and $1850 [1997 equivalents: $16,000 and $12,400). The contractors just set such high figures so that if they got the bid they would have plenty of 'cushion' in case something went wrong.
The result was that the system was installed by a plumber, carpenters, laborers, and Hightower.
It's fully okayed for all purposes, he said. Final cost: an estimated $950 [1997 equivalent: $6,350),
including the boiler.
The home at 1319 Woodside Parkway was also completed in 1949 after an unusually long
construction period. The home's first builder went bankrupt during the early stages of
construction and left a very large uncompleted basement. Neighbors were relieved when another
builder bought the property at auction and completed the home. It was first offered in December
1949 for $27,500 (1997 equivalent: $183,800). The home, which was advertised as being in the
"most exclusive section of Silver Spring, Maryland, surrounded by other beautiful homes,"
featured on the first floor a center hall, large living room, dining room, large kitchen, sun porch,
and two bedrooms with an adjoining bath. On the second floor were two bedrooms and a second
bath. The basement contained a large recreation room with a fireplace.
Early 1950s Development in the Original Alton Farm Woodside Park
New Woodside Park homes were also prominent in 1950. A committee comprised of a builder, an architect, and a realtor selected six homes as the "Homes of 1950" for the Washington Post in July. One of the six was the "contemporary-style ranch-type" home at 9121 Fairview Road. The home and its neighbors at 9109, 9113, and 9117 Fairview Road were all built by the Beitzell Construction Company. The brick and stone home was described extensively in the Post. The home was "modern from top to bottom, with livability stressed. Built-in dressers and closets will be found in the bedrooms; the south wall of the living room will be of plate glass. Floors will be of parquet. Unusual window treatments, because of the large glass areas in the house, will be made by Clifford Powell, Malcolm Scales, Inc., decorator. He plans interesting combinations of new fabrics and colors. Traditional cherry furniture will be used against a modern background." Furniture was provided by P. J. Nee. The home had "an exceptionally large living room with fireplace and a dining area," three bedrooms, two tile baths, a "beautiful G.E. kitchen with dishwasher, garbage disposal unit and the newest of refrigerators with the magnetic door," an entrance hall with double closets and a tile floor, and a recreation room with fireplace in the basement. The basement also had a storage room, laundry, and lavatory. In addition there was an attached carport. The home was priced at $32,500 (1997 equivalent: $214,400).
Another brick and stone rambler was completed in 1950. The new home at 9106 Watson Road was offered for $26,500 (1997 equivalent: $174,900). It had a center hall, large living room with a fireplace and picture window, dining room with French doors to a screened porch, an all-electric kitchen with a dishwasher and disposal, and a breakfast nook, as well as three bedrooms, a bath and a half, and "plenty of closet space." There was a full basement with a fireplace and a full bath. Tax records indicate that the homes at 1100 and 1102 Dale Drive were also completed about this time. The lots for these two homes and 9106 Watson Road were all subdivided from the same original Woodside Park acre plot by Edward M. and Evelyn Perkins in March 1950.
The new center hall brick rambler at 1401 Highland Drive was also completed about this time. This home, which was offered for $29,500 (1997 equivalent: $194,700), had a master bedroom with twin closets and a private bath, two additional bedrooms, and another tile bath. It also had a living room, dining room with French doors to a large side screened porch, and a kitchen with a dishwasher and disposal. There was a full basement with a full tile bath and "plenty of room for a recreation room and maid's quarters," and a large built-in garage. The buyer could choose his own decorating scheme.
Still another rambler was completed about this time. The new home at 1216 Pinecrest Circle was described as a "beautiful new brick rambler with front patio, nestling among beautiful wooded estates in Silver Spring's most exclusive residential section." The home had a 22' living room with a fireplace, a "guest size" dining room, all electric kitchen with dining area, three "twin-sized" bedrooms, and two tile baths. The full basement had a fireplace and picture windows as well as a toilet. The home also had a garage. The price was $28,950 (1997 equivalent: $191,000).
Traditional styled houses were also built in 1950. The new brick Cape Cod home at 1233 Noyes Drive was offered for $21,950 (1997 equivalent: $144,800). The home had a living room with a fireplace, dining room, kitchen, two bedrooms, a garage, full basement, and "a large expandable attic."
Another traditional home, the brick Colonial at 1009 Highland Drive, was completed and first offered for sale in January 1951. The price was $33,500 (1997 equivalent: $205,000). The home featured a center hall, large living room with fireplace, large dining room, kitchen with G.E. disposal, dishwasher and refrigerator as well as a gas range, and a powder room on the first floor. A screened porch was also off the first floor. The second floor had three bedrooms and two tile baths. There was a full basement with an outside entrance, gas heat, and copper plumbing.
Lot buyers continued to build their own homes. Lawrence and Elsie Maloney built their new home at 1114 Woodside Parkway in 1951, for example.
Building in Woodside Park slowed after 1951. Fewer empty lots were available. One home which was completed in 1952 was the rambler at 1200 Noyes Drive. This brick rambler, which was purchased by noted restauranteur Duke Zeibert, was described as "featuring a huge screened porch, large 2-car garage, beautiful all-electric kitchen, finished recreation room with unusual fireplace, entire basement floor covered with tile, a truly family house with ll large rooms, closets, 2½ baths, and finished stairs to storage attic." The home was also described as being "in the exclusive section of Woodside Park, Montgomery County, and within easy walking distance to Silver Spring department stores, churches, and schools." It was designed and built by W.E. and C.E. Mills.
Two other homes completed about this time were 9021 Alton Parkway and the home next door at 1118 Woodside Parkway. These homes were designed by architect S. Thomas Stathes, who moved into 9021 Alton Parkway. His sister and her husband, Helen and Spiros Versis, moved into 1118 Woodside Parkway. Mr. Stathes designed and built his current home at 1213 Noyes Drive in 1972 .
A few empty lots remained in the neighborhood after 1951. Their development is discussed in the
Streets and Utilities in the Original Alton Farm Woodside Park Development
In order to sell lots, the Woodside Development Corporation needed to create salable building lots. Streets had to be constructed and utility service had to be secured. In addition, some of Alton Farm was heavily forested. Until the first houses were built, at least selective clearing was needed to demonstrate to potential buyers that a residential subdivision was really being created. Crews began clearing trees as soon as the Development Corporation had purchased Alton Farm, perhaps even sooner. Rather than simply burning the cleared trees, at least some of them were cut into lumber for use in building houses. A Hopkins-Armstrong ad in the Evening Star of August 8, 1925 showed two houses (8908 Fairview Road and the now-demolished home that was to its left) "built by our own day labor, largely of lumber cut by ourselves and seasoned since 1922."
The Woodside Development Corporation also moved quickly to arrange utility service for their new lots (utility construction dates for all blocks are shown in Appendix 1). Some buyers were apparently suspicious that the Corporation might not follow through in this regard. In December 1922, for example, the buyer of the original lot on the southwest corner of Highland Drive and Crosby Road, for example, required the Corporation to "arrange for electric light extension" as well as to construct gutters and Tarvia roadways and to set out shade trees as a part of his contract to purchase the lot. The Corporation was able to make arrangements to get water and electric service into the subdivision as soon as the mains and lines could be constructed. The C&P Telephone Company was granted a right-of-way to place poles and run its lines in the neighborhood in October 1925; C&P was also granted permission to trim trees to "keep the wires cleared to at least three feet" and to let other companies use its poles. Residents were served by the Woodside exchange. In 1926, for example, Hopkins-Armstrong listed two phone numbers in Silver Spring, Woodside 86 and Woodside 342. Later, when phone numbers were converted to 7 digits, many Woodside Park numbers were in the JUniper exchange. Party lines were the norm until the early 1950s. No gas or sewer lines were immediately available. All the early houses had septic tanks. Sewer lines were laid in the early 1930s. Domestic gas service came in 1930 to houses along Georgia Avenue and Colesville Roads as well as to the 1400 and 1500 blocks of Highland Drive. Most other streets received gas service between 1934 and 1936. The gas supplied was manufactured gas until Woodside Park's gas supply was converted to natural gas during the week of October 3, 1946 by the Washington Gas Light Company. Garbage and trash collection was handled by a private contractor, the Wootton Company. There was no mail delivery service until about 1930. Most residents had to have a box at the post office, which was then on the southeast corner of Georgia and Thayer Avenues. Door-to-door mail delivery in Silver Spring started in 1925-26, but came up Georgia Avenue only as far as Fenwick Lane. Rural delivery routes ran out Colesville Road and out Georgia Avenue. Early residents of Wynnewood Park (Mansion Drive and North and South Mansion Drive and the lots facing Woodside Parkway, Noyes Drive, and Fairview Road that back onto lots facing the various Mansion Drives) had a single large box across Colesville Road where their mail was left by the rural carrier.
The construction of streets was also a major concern. The streets shown in the 1923 subdivision plan (and on the 1928 map) for the most part constituted the street system we have now in the Alton Farm portion of Woodside Park, except that the current Grace Church Road was then called Dale Drive and what is now Dale Drive west of Grace Church Road was then called Upland Drive. The original names were changed about 1939. The original plats were inconsistent in the name of Woodland Drive; the "key map" plat and one detailed plat called it Woodland Road. Another detailed plat called it Woodland Drive, which became the official name of the entire street as part of the renaming. The Brookeville Road is now Georgia Avenue. The name of the Colesville and Ashton Turnpike was shortened to Colesville Road. The streets now in Block D are not shown on the map since this area technically was not a part of the Woodside Park development after Mr. Jarrell purchased it and re-subdivided it as Wynnewood Park.
Midwood Road and Pinecrest Circle were also not on the original plan for Woodside Park. These streets were established in a re-subdivision plat filed on May 24, 1927. Noyes Court, the cul-de-sac off Colesville Road between North Noyes Drive and Noyes Drive, was established in a re-subdivision plan filed on May 20, 1937. Pinecrest Court, which is opposite the western intersection of Pinecrest Circle with Highland Drive, was established in a re-subdivision plat filed on August 5, 1946.
Some Woodside Park streets were never actually constructed for traffic although they remain public property. Alton Parkway was never paved both between Highland Drive and Dale Drive and southeast of Noyes Drive in the original development area. Ridge Road was never constructed east of Upland (now Dale) Drive. Ridge Road to the west of Upland Drive was paved and is now called Luzerne Avenue, but only 1705 Luzerne Avenue and the corner lots at the intersection of Luzerne Avenue with Woodland and Dale Drives are actually in Woodside Park. Spring Street today intersects Georgia Avenue farther north than it did when Woodside Park was established.
The widths of streets (property line to property line) provided by the original Woodside Park
dedication and those subsequently filed in various additions to Woodside Park, as discussed in
later chapters, are listed below:
Alton Parkway 100 feet
Ballard Street [Wilson's Farm addition] 60 (Georgia to
50 (Woodland to Alton)
Burton Street [Wilson's Farm addition] 50
Crosby Road 50
Dale Drive [Woodside Park and Woodside Forest] 60
Fairview Road 50
Grace Church Road 60
Mansion Drive [Wynnewood Park] 44
Midwood Road 50
North Noyes Drive 60
Noyes Court 30
Noyes Drive 60
Pinecrest Circle 50
Pinecrest Court 30
Watson Road 30
Woodland Drive [Woodside Park and
Wilson's Farm addition] 60
Woodside Parkway 100 (Georgia to Alton)
60 (Alton to Colesville)
In addition to setting forth the widths of the streets, the original subdivision plan specified 40 foot set-back or building restriction lines, which is 15 feet more than the amount later required in other neighborhoods zoned R-60, which is how Woodside Park was zoned when zoning was introduced in Montgomery County. Since houses had to be built at least 40 feet from the front property lines and since many streets were established with wide rights-of-way, Woodside Park took on its distinctive spacious character. On parts of Woodside Parkway and Alton Parkway at least 180 feet separate houses facing each other across the street. Even on narrower streets such as Crosby Road facing houses are at least 130 feet apart. Building restriction lines were not so far back for streets not in the original Woodside Park subdivision plans. Pinecrest Circle had only a 25 foot set-back requirement, as did Midwood Road, Noyes Court, Pinecrest Court, and the streets within Wynnewood Park and in the later Griffith's and Wilson's Farm additions to Woodside Park.
Since the objective of the Woodside Development Company was to sell lots, and access to the lots required access roads, street building began at once. An ad in the Evening Star of October 23, 1923 noted that the Corporation was spending over $1,500 (1997 equivalent: $14,000) per week on constructing "drives." Apparently they got their money's worth. In one builder's opinion, the streets were the best of any subdivision in the area. The county readily took them over for maintenance about 1930. Highland Drive was cut through first in April 1924.
The opening of Highland Drive in April 1924 was followed by Woodland Drive, what is now Grace Church Road, and Woodside Parkway. Only part of Dale Drive was constructed. Its middle section (between Crosby Road and some distance southeast of Midwood Road) was outside Alton Farm and, therefore, the original limits of Woodside Park. There was a trail stretching from about where Grace Church Road intersects Dale Drive to Sligo Creek. In addition, neither Columbia Boulevard (the street that connects Dale Drive to Georgia Avenue) nor Crosby Road were open in the early 1930s. Residents of the 1500 block of Dale Drive (originally named Upland Drive) had to go in and out via Woodland Drive or Grace Church Road (which was originally designated Dale Drive).
Crosby Road was also constructed in 1939 or 1940, although at least one house facing Crosby Road had been built earlier. A 1937 aerial photograph shows a path probably passable by cars from Woodside Parkway to Dale Drive, with grading work on the north end of the block of Crosby Road between Highland Drive and Woodside Parkway. In August 1938 the County Engineer estimated that paving the block between Highland Drive and Woodside Parkway would cost $3,500 (1997 equivalent: $39,500). Before Crosby Road was paved its right-of-way was used for access to the large stone "castle" at what is now 9207 Crosby Road but was originally designated 1319 Highland Drive.
Noyes Court, the cul-de-sac off Colesville Road between Noyes Drive and North Noyes Drive, was established as a part of the increased building activity in the last half of the 1930s. Three original lots fronted on Colesville Road between Noyes Drive and North Noyes Drive. The two northernmost of these lots and a very small portion of an adjacent lot facing Noyes Drive were re-subdivided in May 1937 into nine new lots. The re-subdivision was a cooperative effort by Ira and Rachel Whitacre, who had owned one of the lots since purchasing it from the Woodside Development Corporation in 1923, and the Silver Spring National Bank. The bank had acquired its lot in 1935 from the Silver Spring Investment Company, presumably because of a defaulted loan. The Whitacres also purchased 700 square feet of the lot next to theirs on Noyes Drive from W. Edgar and Anna L. Hauser for the re-subdivision project. This 700 square feet gave one of the new lots an additional 35 feet of frontage on Noyes Drive and thereby made it legally buildable. Not counting one lot with almost 14,000 square feet, the lots now averaged just over 7,000 square feet in size. Noyes Court, which was platted with a 30 foot right-of-way, was dedicated as a public street. Houses had to be set back from it at least 25 feet.
As lot sales slowed with the Depression various proposals were considered to boost lot sales and land values. One proposal was to dedicate new streets between and parallel to Noyes Drive, Woodside Parkway, Highland Drive, and Dale Drive. A variation of this idea had been implemented in 1927 when Pinecrest Circle was added to the street plan. Creating the new streets would have allowed splitting the deep lots in half front to back and would have created many new but smaller and more affordable building lots. Even without the construction of these new streets, most of the original one acre or larger lots were divided in half from side to side, creating narrower (but by no means narrow) and quite deep lots.
Another proposal in 1930 concerned the extension of Sixteenth Street which then ended at the East-West Highway, just above the District Line. As shown on the map, one option ("Route No. 1") called for Sixteenth Street to be built straight north and enter Woodside Park at the intersection of Georgia Avenue and Highland Drive. It would have continued straight north bisecting the block and then following Woodland Drive to its intersection with what is now Dale Drive, where it would leave Woodside Park and continue northeast to the proposed Sligo Creek Parkway. A second option ("Route No. 2") was for Sixteenth Street to be built north through old Woodside as before, but it would then turn northeast and after crossing Georgia Avenue follow Woodside Parkway to the right-of-way of Crosby Road, which had not yet been built. It was then to follow Crosby Road north to Dale Drive and then curve northeast through the undeveloped area which would eventually become Woodside Forest to the then-proposed Sligo Creek Parkway. This route would have put a major thoroughfare through the heart of Woodside Park, presumably spurring development. The Civic Association endorsed this route, but nothing came of it, much to the benefit of today's residents.
Besides showing the proposed routes for the extension of Sixteenth Street, the map from 1930 shows several other interesting items. Note that the Colesville and Ashton Pike has been renamed Colesville Road by this time, but Georgia Avenue is still called Brookeville Road. The lettered streets in Woodside (across Brookeville Road to the west) were later renamed to correspond to their names in Woodside Park. "A" Street first was renamed Anson Street in 1940 and then was renamed Spring Street when Spring Street east of Georgia Avenue was relocated to intersect it in 1958. East-West Highway was then called Bethesda-Silver Spring Highway and did not extend east of Sixteenth Street. Dale Drive had not yet been built in what would become Woodside Forest Section One between Crosby Road and its right-of-way in Woodside Park southeast of Midwood Road. Upland Drive had not yet been renamed Dale Drive, and what is now Grace Church Road in Woodside Park was still called Dale Drive. The trolley tracks along Brookeville Road were gone by this time. Note also the indication of the traffic light at the intersection of Brookeville Road and Colesville Road; it was the only traffic light in Silver Spring in 1930.
Efforts to extend Sixteenth Street to Georgia Avenue opposite Woodside Park continued in the 1930s. In 1935 the Board of County Commissioners, the Park and Planning Commission, the Montgomery County Civic Federation, and other citizens groups supported extending Sixteenth Street straight north to Georgia Avenue from its end at East-West Highway. The extension would have cut through several blocks of old Woodside and would have intersected Georgia Avenue at Highland Drive. The County Council recommended to the State Roads Commission that this project be the first use of federal highway funds in Montgomery County. The project was claimed to have advantages in that it would increase the tax base, directly connect Montgomery County with the most beautiful street in Washington, and relieve traffic congestion at the Georgia Avenue and Colesville Road intersection. It was also supposed to reduce traffic on Georgia Avenue south of Colesville Road, which carried more traffic than any other road in Montgomery County. Regardless of these advantages and wide-spread public support, Sixteenth Street was not extended at this time.
Sidewalks were not built along streets in the original Woodside Park subdivision. They were seen as not in keeping with the scenic suburban beauty of the area. Sidewalks were built along Georgia Avenue and Colesville Road when these streets were widened. They were also built when required in recent years when lots were subdivided and built upon as in the case of the new houses at 1408, 1410, 1412, and 1414 Woodside Parkway. Otherwise sidewalks have been built only at property owners' request, such as the sidewalk on the north side of Highland Drive between Georgia Avenue and Woodland Drive and the sidewalk on Highland Drive in front of St. Luke Lutheran Church, which was built at the Church's request in 1949. That project cost $1,276 (1997 equivalent: $8,500); of this amount the church paid $720 over a 10 year period. Removal of four trees represented almost a third of the total project cost. Aside from ascetics of sidewalks themselves, the necessity to remove trees is a major impediment to sidewalk construction in Woodside Park.
Storm sewers were another major concern of Woodside Park residents during the neighborhood's first thirty years. The original streams in the neighborhood have largely disappeared because most of the water is now carried away by a system of storm drainage installed over the years. The biggest storm sewer problem concerned the stream on Alton Parkway. The stream began at a spring near Spring Street (hence the name) and flowed through the Wilson Farm and then down the Alton Parkway valley into Sligo Creek, ultimately carrying not only water from the spring but also rain water run-off from most of the neighborhood, more or less from Fairview Road to Highland Drive and west to Georgia Avenue. At Woodside Parkway the Alton Parkway stream was joined by another stream arising near Georgia Avenue and flowing (mostly) down the south side of Woodside Parkway. Although most of these streams have been replaced by storm sewers, the stream banks and beds are somewhat preserved near the intersection of Alton and Woodside Parkways in the yard of 1200 Woodside Parkway.
Prior to 1951, when the State Roads Commission constructed a large storm sewer along Alton Parkway between Noyes Drive and Highland Drive as an adjunct to its project to widen Georgia Avenue to six lanes, it was not unusual to find Alton Parkway flooded to a depth of nearly a foot due to the inadequacy of the drainage facilities to handle the water from a sudden heavy prolonged downpour. Residents frequently complained to the County about this problem. In 1942, for example, all the residents of Alton Parkway between Noyes Drive and Woodside Parkway requested that the 18 inch storm sewer under Alton Parkway be replaced by a larger pipe. They said that each time there was a heavy rain water from the storm sewer broke through the road bed and left a hole that was approximately three feet in diameter and two feet deep. The county, after repeated phone calls, would come and repair the hole, but it would reappear after the next heavy rain. The State's 1951 project finally solved the problem by installing a four to six-foot diameter pipe under most of Alton Parkway, although a section near the intersection of Alton Parkway and Woodside Parkway is a six foot high box, and much of the area under the intersection itself is a large six foot high room with some concrete "islands" built into its floor. Most of the stream along Alton Parkway was filled in as a result of this project. A branch of the storm sewer was constructed along Woodside Parkway toward Georgia Avenue. This section is only four feet in diameter. One part of it originates in the back yard at 1300 Woodside Parkway, where a spring was reportedly located. A small creek flowed from the spring down Woodside Parkway to Alton Parkway. Remnants of the creek can be seen along the 1200 block of Woodside Parkway. Before the Alton Parkway storm sewer was extended from Highland Drive to Dale Drive in 1966, neighborhood children played and even rode bicycles in the Alton Parkway storm sewer.
The 1951 Alton Parkway storm sewer project did not solve all the problems. About this same time the County built the parking lot on the west side of Spring Street north of Fairview Road without allowing for adequate drainage of the newly paved surface. Runoff soon eroded a gully on the property of 1112 Noyes Drive and also exposed the sewer pipe serving 8912 Fairview Road. This sewer ran through the home's back yard toward Alton Parkway. Eventually a new storm sewer was constructed to connect the parking lot to the large Alton Parkway storm sewer and the area was regraded to fill in the gully.
Another runoff problem area has historically been on the south side of Dale Drive near its
intersection with Grace Church Road and the northern extension of Crosby Road into Woodside
Forest. Although a storm drain serves this area, water continues to collect there during and after
heavy rains since runoff from all of Grace Church Road, the 9200 block of Crosby Road, the 9100
block and most of the 9200 block of Woodland Drive, and the 1400 block and most of the 1500
block of Highland Drive must pass through this storm drain. This situation created problems as
early as 1939 and probably before. In 1939 the County Engineer reported that a 24 inch culvert
under Dale Drive carried the runoff to a "natural drainage ditch" through the lot that is now 1401
Dale Drive--the house there was not built until 1940. The Engineer added that it was entirely legal
for storm water to be dumped from the culvert into the lot at this low point. If the property owner
wanted to divert the water from the drainage ditch, he would have to bear the expense of doing
so. The expense was estimated to be about $1,500 (1997 equivalent: $17,200). The lot was sold
in 1940 by the Woodside Homes Corporation, successor to the Woodside Development
Corporation, and a house was constructed on it. Presumably the storm runoff was diverted from
the lot at this time.
The Bankruptcy and Reorganization of the Woodside Development Corporation
Because of the Depression and poor lot sales, Hopkins-Armstrong, as noted earlier, closed its downtown office in 1931. For a time the company then attempted to sell lots in Woodside Park and Carderock probably from the small wooden building across Noyes Drive from the Hopkins residence but perhaps in the Hopkins residence itself. In any event, the Hopkins home telephone number was used for the office. In 1932 the company's address was listed as the Hopkins' home address as well. By the late spring of 1933 Hopkins-Armstrong was a thing of the past; the company was dissolved.
Despite the end of the Hopkins-Armstrong company, the Woodside Development Corporation continued to operate. Lots were sold in 1933 by the Thomas E. Jarrell Company, which became the exclusive agent for the Woodside Development Corporation. Thomas E. Jarrell advertised his "suburban office" at the corner of Noyes Drive and Georgia Avenue, the one room wooden former Hopkins-Armstrong office that had been built across the street from the Hopkins home in 1925. The lot was still owned by the Woodside Development Corporation, which also continued to advertised this location as its office. The Woodside Development Corporation and M.K. Armstrong were both listed in the telephone directory at the same downtown address as the Thomas E. Jarrell Company; Armstrong was also listed at the same address as the Jarrell "suburban office." Jarrell offered new homes in Woodside Park and Wynnewood Park for $8,500 (1997 equivalent: $104,000) and up and lots for $1,250 (1997 equivalent: $15,300) and up. Charles W. Hopkins, meanwhile, operated out of his home until late 1935, when he again rented space at 1319 F Street, NW, the site of his first Washington office. A year later he moved his office to 1746 K Street, NW, where he stayed until 1938. He may have retired at this time; he is not found in later telephone directory "real estate" listings.
The Woodside Development Corporation was unable to pay the taxes owed on many of its lots in 1932 despite having mounted the first ad campaign for Woodside Park since 1929. A Circuit Court judgment for nonpayment of taxes was handed down against the Corporation on July 6, 1933. Fifty-eight Corporation-owned lots with unpaid taxes were sold at a tax auction. The Bank of Bethesda bought a few of the lots, but most were bid-in by the County. A few lots were redeemed by the Corporation by paying the taxes before expiration of the two-year statutory deadline for redemption. But in September 1935, following expiration of the statutory redemption period for lots auctioned in 1933, by payment of the taxes owed--and by this time taxes were owed for 1933 and 1934 as well--thirty properties were deeded over to the Montgomery County Commissioners. The County had bid as little as $46.40 (1997 equivalent: $570) for one of these lots at the 1933 tax auction; the county's highest bid for a lot was $120.12 (1997 equivalent: $1,475). Eighteen of the Corporation's lots were auctioned by the County in the 1934 tax sale; 10 of these were lots that the Corporation had kept out of the 1933 tax sale by paying the taxes owed. Four additional lots were auctioned in 1935, two were auctioned in 1936, and four were auctioned in 1937. Some of the lots were redeemed by the Corporation by payment of back taxes only to be auctioned again in a later year. The Corporation later bought back some of the lots that had been deeded to the County Commissioners in 1935. The county was paid $296.63 (1997 equivalent: $3,465) for part of lot 3 in Block I and $347.81 (1997 equivalent: $4,065) for lot 33 in Block N-3, for example. Other lots taken by the County were sold to other parties, some of which, like the Union Investment Company of Washington, sold many of them back to the Development Corporation. Sometimes the Development Corporation bought the lots and immediately resold them to an individual buyer. In other instances, they were held for sale. At the time of its bankruptcy in 1938, the Development Corporation owned 37 lots. No lots were still owned by the County.
The Woodside Development Corporation's problems seem to have stemmed from excessive borrowings in good times that could be paid off only by other loans in bad times when there were few lot sales. Although the Corporation paid off the $120,000 it owed the Noyes heirs for the purchase of Alton Farm in 1925, two years before expiration of the five year term of the loan, this was far from typical. The Corporation began borrowing money in 1925 and continued to borrow every year through 1936 except for 1934. County land records indicate that between 1925 and 1936 the Corporation borrowed almost $134,000, pledging unsold lots as security. $58,750 of this amount was borrowed before the 1929 stock market crash. The early loans came from individuals, sometimes from persons who had purchased lots in Woodside Park and sometimes from persons involved in the Corporation itself.
Even before the stock market crash, the Corporation apparently had difficulty paying back its borrowings. Most of the loans were paid off at least a year late; some were paid nine years late. Some of the lenders eventually had to foreclose on the lots they held as security. There were three such foreclosure auctions in 1935 for loans with three year terms that had been issued in 1925 and 1928. After the crash, the Corporation increasingly turned to the Silver Spring National Bank and the Schmelz National Bank of Newport News for funds. Money was also borrowed from the Evening Star Newspaper Company and the Equitable Life Insurance Company.
The Woodside Homes Corporation, which was a subsidiary of the Woodside Development Corporation, and which was used primarily to build a few houses in Woodside Park, also borrowed heavily during these years. Woodside Homes borrowed $120,822 between 1925 and 1933 by pledging land as security. All of this amount except for $50,000 was apparently related to activity in Woodside Park. $50,000 was borrowed to purchase land for the Carderock subdivision, which was later taken by the U.S. Government for the Navy's David Taylor Model Basin. Most of these loans were also paid back long after they were due. Technically the corporate charter of the Woodside Homes Corporation had been forfeited for nonpayment of taxes on January 23, 1931, but the corporation's charter was revived in November 1935.
The extent of the financial difficulties facing the Woodside Development Company and even Mr. Hopkins personally is revealed by the fact that in August 1937 Mr. Hopkins borrowed $1,500 (1997 equivalent: $16,600) from William P. "Willie" Wilson, who owned the farm on Georgia Avenue adjacent to Woodside Park, in a second mortgage transaction involving property Hopkins owned in the Blair subdivision just north of Takoma Park near Georgia Avenue. The loan had a two year term, but was paid off about seven month late.
The end for the Woodside Development Corporation came in a stockholders' suit filed in 1938. The Schmelz Liquidating Corporation (Schmelz National Bank) of Newport News joined with the First National Bank of Hampton, the Armstrong Land and Improvement Company, M.C. Armstrong (a brother of M.K. Armstrong, one of the founders of both the Woodside Development Corporation and the Woodside Homes Corporation, who had died six months earlier), Grace Taylor Armstrong (M.C. Armstrong's wife), and Richard Armstrong (another brother of M.K. Armstrong) to bring suit against the Woodside Development Company in a "bill of compliance" action for the Corporation's liquidation. This appears to be more of a legal maneuver for the stockholders and creditors to close the books on a corporate entity that was technically no longer legally able to operate and to take control of the day-to-day management of the ongoing business rather than a bankruptcy per se. The surviving Armstrong brothers held all the common stock and 180 of the 350 preferred shares. Other family members or family companies held 85 of the remaining 170 preferred shares.
An exhibit filed with the suit showed that the State of Virginia had revoked the Corporation's charter on May 31, 1932 for failure to pay registration and franchise fees in 1930 and 1931; under Virginia law the company had three years to liquidate. Despite failure to meet the May 31, 1935 deadline, Charles W. Hopkins had continued to operate the company until the receiver was appointed.
The suit was filed on July 29, 1938. M.C. Armstrong, who had loaned money to both the Woodside Development Corporation and its Woodside Homes subsidiary at one time or another, held 35% of the Corporation's preferred stock and 88% of its common stock when the suit was filed. Other holders of preferred stock included the Schmelz Liquidating Corporation (Schmelz National Bank) of Newport News, Virginia; the First National Bank of Hampton, Virginia; and the Armstrong Land and Improvement Company. Apparently some of the corporation's debt had been exchanged for preferred stock, but the Corporation still owed the Schmelz Liquidating Corporation $1,268 (1997 equivalent: $14,300), the First National Bank of Newport News $585 (1997 equivalent: $6,600), Anna G. Jarvis $1,322 (1997 equivalent: $14,900), and the Mount Vernon Mortgage Company $5,857 (1997 equivalent: $66,100). The Corporation's assets were 999 of the 1,000 outstanding shares of the Woodside Homes Corporation and 37 unsold lots. Some of the lots, however, were encumbered by tax liens or had been pledged as security in loans or both.
Charles W. Hopkins answered the suit for the Corporation by agreeing with the complainants. The Circuit Court appointed a receiver to liquidate the Corporation. The receiver held an auction on the Courthouse steps on October 15, 1938. The Corporation's assets, including the 37 lots, were sold to the Woodside Homes Corporation for $15,000 (1997 equivalent: $169,400). Stock in the Woodside Homes Corporation had already been transferred to the personal ownership of the stockholders of the Woodside Development Corporation. In effect, the owners had killed off the Woodside Development Corporation but continued operations as the Woodside Homes Corporation, which they now held directly instead of indirectly. Charles W. Hopkins was no longer involved in the Corporation's management; control shifted to the Newport News area. Joseph. T. Healy became President and G.B. Bradford of the First National Bank of Hampton, Virginia, became Secretary.
A reference plat filed in the county land records office in June 1938 shows the ownership of all but eight lots in Woodside Park. The Woodside Development Corporation is shown still owning 37 properties--the 37 sold by the receiver five months later to Woodside Homes--of the total 328 properties then in Woodside Park (excluding Wynnewood Park). Many of the original lots, including some still owned by the Corporation, had been subdivided; the Corporation's holdings at the time the receiver took over equaled about 14 of the original 149 lots. Most of the unsold lots were in blocks between Woodland Drive and Alton Parkway. The block bounded by Woodland Drive, Noyes Drive, Alton Parkway, and Woodside Parkway had nine unsold properties, almost twice as many as any other block. Many blocks had no unsold properties at all. The only activity on behalf of the Corporation after the receiver's sale of the remaining lots to the Woodside Homes Corporation was the issuance of corrected deeds by the Corporation's receiver to clear title of previously sold lots. Two such actions came as late as 1947 and 1948.
The Woodside Homes Corporation operated at least through 1944 selling the 37 lots it took over from the Woodside Development Corporation. There were technical revisions to its charter in July 1939 to create preferred stock, but the Corporation had neglected to pay its corporate taxes which had actually caused its charter to be forfeited in February 1939. The legalities were corrected when the charter was revived in October 1943. The last two of the Corporation's 37 lots (1204 Dale Drive and 1705 Luzerne Avenue) were sold in early December 1944.