The Woodside Park Historic
and Architectural Walking Tour
Robert E. Oshel
Woodside Park was more than a typical 1920s development . . . it was really prototypical. . . . Although there are many neighborhoods with some of the same characteristics and architectural housing types as Woodside Park, staff has concluded that Woodside Park is not only the most intact subdivision of the period, but also that its basic design and development is probably the purest manifestation of the '20s/'30s suburban ideal to have been built in Montgomery County. [Other contemporary neighborhoods do not] have the sylvan, park-like character that many subdivisions of the period aspired to but that few actually were able to create. Woodside Park did create this ideal sort of ambiance and has, amazingly, maintained it over the years to a great degree.
Historic Preservation Planning Staff of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning
This booklet is based on the book Home Sites of Distinction: The History of Woodside Park by Robert E. Oshel with additional text and editing by Marilyn Slatick, published by the Woodside Park Civic Association in 1998 and on the Woodside Park Walking Tour series published in the Woodside Park Civic Association's VOICE newsletter beginning with the September 1997 issue.
The Location and a Brief History of Woodside Park
Woodside Park is the residential neighborhood approximately surrounded
by Georgia Avenue, Dale Drive, Colesville Road, and Spring Street,
immediately north of downtown Silver Spring, Maryland, eight miles due
north of the White House inside the Washington Beltway.
Woodside Park has been recognized by the Montgomery County Historic Preservation
Commission as the county's best preserved example of early 20th Century suburban development.
Marketed in the 1920s and 1930s as "Washington's Most Beautiful Suburb," Woodside Park was
planned and developed as a residential enclave near the city which preserved the beauties of the
land and its foliage in its winding lanes and homes deeply set on spacious lots. Woodside Park
was developed from Alton Farm, the country estate of Crosby S. Noyes, editor and part owner of
the Evening Star newspaper. Mr. Noyes had purchased the main part of the estate in 1882 and
added property to it in later years. He lived at Alton Farm seven months of the year, commuting
downtown first on the B&O Railroad and later on the Washington, Woodside, and Forest Glen
trolley, which ran along the edge of his property on the street now known as Georgia Avenue. His
home was a large "shingle style" mansion which was demolished in 1926. The home at 1000
Mansion Drive was built on its foundations. Following his death and that of his wife, the Noyes
family heirs sold Alton Farm to the Woodside Development Corporation in November 1922. The
farm was the bulk of the current Woodside Park, although additions to Woodside Park along Dale
Drive and near Spring Street were platted from 1925 to 1947. The Woodside Development
Corporation began selling lots in late 1922 and filed the original plats for the neighborhood in
1923. The plats described a subdivision much like today's Woodside Park. The neighborhood's
streets and the unusually deep 40 foot setback requirement were established in these original plats.
Although the original lot sizes were much larger (often over an acre) and many of the original lots
were subdivided, the new lots preserved the deep setbacks and were on the average much wider
and deeper than typical building lots of the times.
In the days before zoning, the developers of Woodside Park attempted to establish a
neighborhood plan which would result in the development and perpetuation of a quality residential
neighborhood. Commercial uses were excluded; buildings were limited to one single-family
dwelling costing at least $6,000 per lot; the Civic Association was established to "promote the
general welfare of the community" and to maintain the improvements.
The 1923 sales brochure for Woodside Park describes the community envisioned at that time:
"Alton Farm . . . from which we are building 'Woodside Park,' has to be seen to be appreciated.
. . . The beautiful grounds . . . are shaded by giant oaks, elms, maples, walnuts, and a variety of
lesser trees, set off by rare shrubs brought from various parts of the world and planted with
infinite care and skill. The rolling hills, wooded slopes, sparkling spring-fed brooks winding
through shaded dells, present a matchless panorama to delight the senses. . . . The property is
now being rapidly developed . . . along park lines, with streets following the contours of the land,
winding through the hills and vales in a manner to preserve the fine old trees and wealth of
plantings." Sales were initially brisk, with lots sold for investment purposes as well as for
construction of homes. By 1927, 107 of the original 146 lots had ben sold. The low point in sales
was in 1931 when only three lots were sold. In 1933 the effects of the Depression caught up with
the developers. A judgment was handed down against them in Circuit Court requiring 32 lots to
be sold for back taxes, some for as little as $58.03. The development struggled on, however, and
was not severely damaged by the Depression. In fact, many of the homes in Woodside Park were
built during the middle and late 1930s. At the beginning of 1931, 74 houses had been built in
Woodside Park. Fifty more houses had been built by 1935, and in the next six years a whopping
169 houses were constructed.
More houses were constructed following World War II and in the 1950s. Since that time houses
have been constructed on almost all of the few vacant lots which remained. Many of the original
houses have been substantially added to or remodeled. Some original houses have been torn down
so new houses could be built on their lots.
Because of the way Woodside Park was developed -- for the most part prospective residents
bought lots, hired architects and built their own custom homes or small scale builders bought a
few scattered lots and built custom designed homes on speculation -- Woodside Park has
examples of virtually all types of residential architecture popular in twentieth century American
The Woodside Park Walking Tour
The Woodside Park Walking Tour is designed to showcase Woodside Park's history and its many fine homes of varied architectural styles. The circular route is over five miles long. Although the tour as described here begins and ends at the corner of Fairview Road and Alton Parkway for the convenience of visitors who might want to park in the Montgomery County Parking lot and garage across Spring Street from Fairview Road, you can begin anywhere along the route and eventually return to that same point if you take the entire tour. Please note that most of the route does not have sidewalks. The developers purposefully did not build sidewalks so as to preserve the park-like nature of the neighborhood. Although automobile traffic in Woodside Park is generally light, and although residents are used to people walking in the streets, please walk with care. Part of the tour route is along Dale Drive, which is designated as a state highway and carries much more traffic than is carried by streets within the neighborhood. Please be particularly careful when walking along Dale Drive since it, too, does not have a sidewalk. The complete tour route is shown below.
Begin the Tour: Fairview Road and Spring Street -- The Woodside Park Walking Tour begins
at the corner of Fairview Road and Spring Street. Although this is not the most scenic entrance to
Woodside Park, it is the oldest. Fairview Road and Spring Street both pre-date the establishment
of Woodside Park. Both Spring Street and Fairview Road (then called Arthur Place) were created
in 1887 when John C. Wilson's widow Selina sold part of the Wilson farm, which had been in her
husband's family since at least 1759, for development as "country estates" for wealthy
Washingtonians. Julian C. Dowell, a Washington patent attorney, purchased 10 ½ acres including
the lots now on the west side of Fairview Road from Spring Street to (and including) 8912
Fairview Road and stretching along Spring Street to Colesville Road and then along Colesville
Road to Noyes Drive. This area is now mostly occupied by office buildings and the ColeSpring
In 1921 Silver Spring businessman and Postmaster Howard Griffith purchased about 8 acres of
this tract east of Fairview Road. He moved into the mansion built by Julian C. Dowell. The
mansion was near the circle at the end the current Cameron Court. The rest of the Griffith
property was used for a pasture, garden, and orchard. The vegetable garden extended all the way
along Fairview Road from Spring Street to the current Woodside Park Townhouse property at
Fairview Court. Cows could be seen on the Griffith property from Colesville Road as late as
1940. Griffith filed a subdivision plat for "Griffith's Addition to Woodside Park" in July 1936 and
began selling building lots for residential construction along Noyes Drive, Colesville Road,
Fairview Road, and Spring Street. He also allowed each of his eight children to choose a lot and
build a home. The home of one of his daughters still stands at 1004 Noyes Drive. Many other
houses similar to those in Woodside Park were built before World War II.
Commercial redevelopment of the area began in the 1960s over the strenuous objections of the
Civic Association. The newest office building, adjacent to Fairview Court, was built in 1979 just
in time to use an expiring loophole in the law that allowed construction of a six story rather than a
two or three story building on the site.
Proceed on Fairview Road to 8908 -- Crosby S. Noyes purchased the
portion of the Dowell property on the west side of Fairview Road in 1901
and incorporated it into his Alton Farm. When Alton Farm was sold to the
Woodside Development Corporation in 1921 and a subdivision plat was
filed for Woodside Park, this area was subdivided into three lots, each
containing an existing house that had been occupied by workers on Noyes'
Alton Farm. Two of these houses remain at 8908 and 8912 Fairview Road although 8908 was
enlarged by the Woodside Development Corporation prior to its sale. These are the oldest houses
in Woodside Park. The third house was to the left of 8908, now the site of a parking lot. The
original lot on which that house stood was subdivided in 1937 and a white frame house on the
northeast corner of Fairview Road and Spring Street, occupied for many years by the Silver
Spring Women's Club and later the Park and Planning Commission's "Fairview House," was built.
Fairview House was demolished in 1995 as part of the effort to establish Fairview Urban Park.
Continue on Fairview Road to Fairview Court -- Across from 8808
and 8812 Fairview Road are the Woodside Park Townhouses. These
townhouses were completed in 1982 and were originally sold by Design
Tech Builders for between $125,000 and $130,000. The townhouses were
built on the site of the former Bergman mansion, home of the Bergman
family of Bergman's Laundry fame. Before Fairview Road and Spring
Street were paved, Mr. Bergman had cinders from the coal burned to heat water for the laundry in
downtown Washington spread on them. The home was later sold to the Gudelsky family, the
developers of Wheaton Plaza and other shopping centers. They were interested in the site's
development potential and let the home deteriorate. They ultimately prevailed in court over a
Civic Association effort to prevent rezoning of the site for townhouses.
Continue on Fairview Road Toward Noyes Drive -- The lots beyond the Bergman mansion on both sides of Fairview Road were part of the original portion of Crosby S. Noyes' Alton Farm. Noyes bought the original portion of the farm from Raymond W. Burch in 1882 and developed it as a country estate in keeping with the many other country estates of wealthy Washingtonians in the Silver Spring area during that period. Across Noyes Drive to the right and stretching all the way to Woodside Parkway were the grounds of the Noyes Mansion itself. Besides the mansion, the grounds contained a large greenhouse, boys' carpenter shop, private bowling alley building, and other improvements, as well as exotic plantings brought from around the world. The mansion and its immediate grounds were sold intact by the Woodside Development Corporation in 1923 to Thomas E. Jarrell, who originally planned to sell the mansion as a country club but began developing the tract for upscale houses as Wynnewood Park in late 1924.
Continue along Fairview Road to 9014 -- The
left site of Fairview Road, which remained part of
the Woodside Devel- opment Corporation's
Woodside Park after the mansion grounds were
sold to Thomas E. Jarrell, remained undeveloped until the mid-1930s. It
contained a prominent Silver Spring landmark, however, the 100 foot high
Alton Farm water tower. The water tower was built in 1895 to serve the mansion using water
pumped from the stream that ran along what is now Alton Parkway. The water tower stood about
105 feet back from Fairview Road between 9012 and 9014 Fairview Road until it was removed in
1935 so the lots could be sold for houses.
Continue Across Fairview Road to 9017 and 9021 -- These two Tudor style stone houses were built in 1928 using stone salvaged from the Crosby S. Noyes mansion, which had stood until 1926 at the location of the current home at 1000 Mansion Drive. Stone masons from the National Cathedral were hired to build the homes. The home at 9021 Fairview Road was featured on the front page of the real estate section of the Evening Star on April 13, 1929. It had been designed by noted architect Gilbert L. Rodier and built by the Stambaugh Construction Company, which was affiliated with Thomas E. Jarrell. As noted earlier, Mr. Jarrell had bought the entire area surrounded by Colesville Road, Woodside Parkway, Fairview Road, and Noyes Drive from the Woodside Development Corporation and was developing it as Wynnewood Park.
The first owner of 9021 Fairview Road was Willard D. Miller, who was
circulation manager of the Washington Post. In 1931 he rented the home
to J.C. Austin, assistant to the president of the Southern Railway. In 1934
Miller rented the home to Julie Means and her children while her husband
Gaston Bullock Means was in prison. Gaston Means at various times had
been a secret operative for the Justice Department during the Harding
Administration, the author of a book claiming Harding had been poisoned by his wife, a $1,000
per week private investigator for the German ambassador in 1914, an investment advisor to the
elite, a suspected murderer, and a convicted swindler. In 1932 he was sentenced to fifteen years in
jail for fleecing Mrs. Evalyn Walsh McLean, the estranged wife of the publisher of the
Washington Post and owner of the Hope Diamond, of $104,000 in a phony scheme to ransom the
kidnaped Charles Lindbergh baby. Means had nothing to do with the kidnaping itself, but thought
he could profit from it. J. Edgar Hoover, who had fired Means shortly after becoming FBI
director in 1924 and who personally interrogated him in the Lindbergh ransom case, called Means
"the greatest faker of all times."
Despite their father's infamy, the Means children were accepted by other neighborhood children and included in activities. In 1935 Willard Miller lost ownership of the home when its mortgage was foreclosed; Julie Means apparently had to move out at this time. The home was put on the market as a "Wynnewood Park Gem at a Sacrifice Price."
Continue to North Mansion Drive, Turn Right to 1008 -- The Colonial style home at 1008 North Mansion Drive and its companion behind it at 1009 South Mansion Drive are the newest homes in the Wynnewood Park section of Woodside Park. They were built in 1986 by Carter Wilson on new lots subdivided from 1000 Mansion Drive.
Continue to 1003 North Mansion Drive -- This home, advertised as "Villa Carmen," is one of two Spanish Colonial style homes in Woodside Park. The other is across the street at 1000 Mansion Drive. Spanish Colonial style homes enjoyed brief popularity in the Washington area in the late 1920s. "Villa Carmen" was built as an exhibit home for Wynnewood Park. With a price of $32,000, the home was more than twice as expensive as most Wynnewood Park homes. It was not sold until 1945.
Continue on North Mansion Drive: -- Across
the street from 1003 North Mansion Drive is
another Spanish Colonial style home, 1000
Mansion Drive, shown above. This home
occupies the site and sits on the foundation of
Crosby S. Noyes' Alton Farm mansion, shown at
right. The mansion's black iron hitching post remains in the front yard at the right near North
Mansion Drive. Crosby S. Noyes commissioned architect W. J. Marsh to design and build a
three-story Queen Anne style mansion in 1891, nine years after he purchased the farm. The
mansion, which was described in American Architect and Building News in 1895, had a 16 foot
wide veranda at first floor level. The interior was marked with a "tremendous hallway with a huge
fireplace and a ceiling of giant height." It was flanked by a 30' by 40' living room on one side and
a library and study on the other. The dining room, which could seat 30 to 40 people, was beyond
the hall along with the pantry, kitchen, and laundry. The mansion was destroyed in 1926 after
Thomas E. Jarrell concluded it could not be sold for use as a country clubhouse and stood in the
way of his new plan to develop the grounds as the Wynnewood Park subdivision. Oak paneling
and "the great fire-side seats" from the mansion were used in the construction of "Stonecroft" at
1201 Woodside Parkway.
In 1922 the Washington Post described the mansion grounds as follows:
The house commands a splendid view of the surrounding country and is situated in a grove of
venerable trees, which have been added to from time to time until today many specimens
contribute to enrich grounds surrounding the home and make it one of the show places on the
outskirts of Washington.
Among the attractive features of the grounds are the tennis court, enclosed in a rose arbor and
provided with a picturesque rustic seat with clusters of rose vines and a thatched-roof summer
house, which provides a charming place from which to watch the progress of the game; the
bowling alley, green houses, kennels and stable; close-clipped grass lanes for walkways and the
spring-fed stream which winds through what is known as the park of the farm, and where
moss-covered stone abutments mark the ruins of the old hydraulic ram which at one time
provided the water power for the farm.
This park is connected with the house by a dogwood lane of rare beauty in the early spring
months. The home itself is a structure of some twenty rooms, the most impressive feature of
which is the spacious porch from which the country for miles southward may be viewed.
The current house at 1000 Mansion Drive was built in 1927 and purchased by R. Branson
Thomas. It was featured in the "Attractive Homes in the Capital" series in the Evening Star on
April 2, 1927. The home's exterior boasted both covered and open court-yards and a sunken
garden which fit into the "L" shape of the house. The house was connected to its three-car garage
by an arcade, with a large brick paved terrace to the right of both the arcade and the garage. The
garage's doors faced the rear. Another paved terrace extended along the entire right side of the
Continue to 906 Mansion Drive -- Another relic from the Noyes
mansion is found on the grounds of 906 Mansion. The large tree to the
right of the house, now partly broken, survives from the days before
Wynnewood Park and Woodside Park were developed.
Continue Right on Mansion to 1004 South Mansion Drive -- Thomas
E. Jarrell's Stambaugh Construction Company built many of the homes in
his Wynnewood Park subdivision, but other builders were also active. One
was Robert Murphy of 1433 Highland Drive, who built homes both in
Woodside Park and in Wynnewood Park. An ad in the Evening Star of
September 25, 1926 offered Murphy's "just completed "Seven Gables"
(presumably some of the gables are in the back) at 1004 South Mansion Drive. According to the
ad, "This charming new English Home is ready for immediate occupancy. Living room with open
fireplace, dining room, breakfast nook, kitchen. All arranged in the popular center hall plan. 4
bedrooms, one with open fireplace." The home was described as being "surrounded by rare shrubs
and trees." "Rare trees and shrubs" were a feature of most new Wynnewood Park homes since the
landscaping which had surrounded Crosby S. Noyes' mansion was left as undisturbed as possible
when new homes were built. The ad also noted that the home was "within a short distance of the
Star's model house for Maryland," which is the next stop on our walking tour.
Turn Back and Go to the Intersection of Mansion Drive and Colesville Road -- On your left
as you approach Colesville Road is 8920 Colesville Road. This home was the Evening Star's
model "ideal demonstration" home for Maryland in 1926. It was selected by a committee of
architects from submissions by builders and developers. The home was featured from its planning
through its completion in a series of 19 articles published between April and July 1926. The home
was built by Thomas E. Jarrell's Stambaugh Construction Company and was designed by Percy C.
Adams. An early article in the series described the home as a frame Colonial "typical of the old
Maryland homes that stand with their whiteness in vivid contrast with the green rolling contour of
Turn Right on Colesville Road and Then Right on North Noyes Drive
to 1005 -- The Washington Post also featured many Wynnewood Park
and Woodside Park homes. From late April into July 1930 the Post ran a
series of articles on the home at 1005 North Noyes Drive. The series
began with a four column wide photo and floor plan of the home on the
front page of the Post's real estate section, accompanied by a long article
and full page high, half page wide ad for the home on an interior page. The Post described the
stone and stucco Tudor style home as "a product of master craftsmanship, situated in a residential
park where artistic considerations outweigh all mercenary questions--a six room and two bath
detached English dwelling built by the Stambaugh Construction Co. for the Thomas E. Jarrell Co.,
realtors and developers of this section."
The initial long story described the home in almost poetic terms. For example: "One glance into
the living room from the hall is sufficient to stamp this house as the creation of an artist and the
work of a master builder. Along the front wall is placed a fireplace that seems to cry for crackling
logs, toasted marshmallows, soft lights and romance. Its depth brings vision of quiet cozy nights
when the howling winds outside will only intensify the pleasant warmth which the cheerfully
snapping logs will bring within."
Go back to Colesville Road, Turn Left on Colesville Road and Then Left on Woodside
Parkway to 1013 -- Thomas E. Jarrell's Wynnewood Park development is on the south side of
Woodside Parkway (on your left as you walk away from Colesville Road). These houses were for
the most part developed much earlier than the houses on the right side, the Woodside Park side,
of Woodside Parkway.
The homes on the right, from 1013 through 1023, were developed as a
group by J. Garrett Beitzell's Mount Vernon Construction Company,
which had purchased three of the original large Woodside Park lots in July
1941, demolished an old home which had probably served as the
gardener's residence on Crosby S. Noyes' Alton Farm, and resubdivided
the lots. Only the group of homes on the north side of Woodside Parkway
were built before World War II put a stop to further development.
The homes, with the exception of the Colonial at 1017 Woodside Parkway, are particularly significant because they were the first modern style homes in Woodside Park. Construction of the homes was rushed beginning in the fall of 1941. By April 1942 the first of the Beitzell homes designed "in the Modern Manner," 1019 Woodside Parkway, had been completed and sold. Aside from some architectural details, this two-story "modern" home was similar in basic design to the other modern homes in the group. The homes varied in window type and placement and other features. The home at 1021 Woodside Parkway, which differed from some of the others by not having the corner windows, for example, was used as the "exhibit home" for the group. Prices for the homes ranged from $13,950 to $16,950.
The homes were heavily advertised in June and July 1942. Some ads emphasized the homes' 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 the 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 Colonial style home in the middle of the modern homes, 1017 Woodside Parkway, was
constructed and sold by Beitzell at the same time as the modern style homes. When it was sold in
November 1942, the Post ran its picture on the front page of the real estate section.
Continue to 1014 Woodside Parkway -- The Dutch Colonial home at 1014 Woodside Parkway
was typical of the varied types of homes built in Jarrell's Wynnewood Park in the mid- and late
1920s. This home was built by Jarrell's Stambaugh Construction Company and sold in early 1926.
Continue to Fairview Road and Turn Right to 9121 -- During July
1950 a committee comprised of a builder, an architect, and a realtor
selected six Washington-area homes as the "Homes of 1950" for the
Washington Post. 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 on lots purchased before World War II. Beitzell had only been able to complete the
homes on the north side of Woodside Parkway between Colesville and Fairview Roads before the
war halted further construction. The brick and stone home at 9121 Fairview Road was described
extensively in the Post during the summer and fall of 1950. 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
Continue to Highland Drive and Turn Right to 904 -- The home at 904 Highland Drive was
the home of two noted authors, Rachel Carson and Alfred Steinberg.
Rachel Carson's 1962 book Silent Spring popularized the environmental movement in the United
States. Her first book, Under the Sea Wind, was published in 1941. She lived at 904 Highland
Drive in 1937 and 1938, before writing her first book. During this period, she was assistant editor
for U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service publications. After World War II she became editor-in-chief of
Fish and Wildlife Service publications and served in that position until 1952. Her 1951 book, The
Sea Around Us, was on the New York Times Best Seller List for 86 consecutive weeks. She later
built a home in the White Oak area. She died in 1964, two years after publication of Silent Spring.
The second noted author to reside at 904 Highland Drive was Alfred Steinberg. Mr. Steinberg
and his wife Florence first rented the house and then purchased it in 1968. Mr. Steinberg wrote
for a number of newspapers and magazines, including The Saturday Evening Post, Harpers, and
Colliers, but he is best known for his many books. Among them are Man from Missouri, a
biography of Harry S. Truman published in 1962; The First Ten: The Founding Presidents and
their Administrations, published in 1967; Sam Johnson's Boy: A Close-up of the President from
Texas, published in 1968; Bosses, published in 1972, which told of Huey P. Long, James M.
Curly, Thomas J. Pendergast, and other political bosses; and Sam Rayburn: A Biography,
published in 1975. He was also author of a series of 13 children's books in the "Lives to
Remember" series. He died in 1995.
The home at 904 Highland Drive has one other distinction. It was, reportedly, used as a stash for
bootleg liquor during prohibition. One account says that the liquor was brought to the house from
Baltimore under lights and sirens escort by the State Police and stashed in a basement room.
Across from 904 Highland Drive is St. Luke Lutheran Church --
Ground breaking for the church took place on November 26, 1944 and
construction proceeded with special approval of the War Production
Board. The building was dedicated on April 7, 1946. The Christian
Education wing was completed in 1954. Another addition was completed
in 1978. The church had been founded in 1940 and services were held in
the Masonic Hall at the southeast corner of Wayne and Georgia Avenues and in the Silver Theater
before the building was completed.
Turn Back Along Highland Drive to Watson Road -- Highland Drive was the first street
completed from Georgia Avenue to Colesville Road in Woodside Park. Construction began in
April 1923 when two crews started grading, one beginning at Colesville Road and the other
beginning at Georgia Avenue, which was then known as Brookeville Pike. The nearly one mile
long street was completed in April 1924.
Watson Road -- Woodside Park's section of Watson Road is only one block long between
Highland Drive and Dale Drive. The street was undoubtedly named after James A. Watson, who
owned the property on the other side of Dale Drive from Colesville Road to just beyond today's
Clement Road. The Woodside Development Corporation may have named the street after Watson
because they wanted him to provide the land for most of the width of Dale Drive.
Continue on Highland Drive to 1006 -- 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 open 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 [of] 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 a 7 foot Kelvinator refrigerator. To make the house ready for display the back yard
was fenced, sodded, and lighted.
Continue on Highland Drive to Alton Parkway -- Alton Parkway was named after Crosby S.
Noyes' Alton Farm. The street was planned as one of Woodside Park's two parkways. Its
right-of-way, like that of Woodside Parkway from Alton Parkway west to Georgia Avenue, is 100
feet wide. Houses on both sides are set back 40 feet from the right-of-way. This width made the
street attractive to highway builders who in 1944 planned to take Alton Parkway for an
expressway connecting Sixteenth Street to proposed new roads from White Oak and along Sligo
Creek. Woodside Parkway would have bridged the expressway, but Highland Drive and Noyes
Drive would have been cut. Alton Parkway is unique in that it is the only street in Woodside Park
never to have been completed. The street was never constructed in the rights-of-way north of
Highland Drive and south of Noyes Drive. The stream along Alton Parkway, which at one time
supplied water for the Alton Farm water tower, often flooded the street to a depth of nearly a foot
after rains. This problem was solved in 1951 when the State Roads Commission buried the stream
in a four to six foot diameter pipe under and along Alton Parkway between Noyes Drive and
Highland Drive as part of the project to widen Georgia Avenue. Woodside Park children played,
and even rode bicycles, in the pipe until it was extended on both ends in 1966, closing off access.
Continue on Highland Drive to 1108 -- Woodside Park was home to at
least six architects who designed and built their own homes. Four of these
homes, all clustered on Highland Drive and nearby Pinecrest Circle, were
designed by Treasury Department architects. The home at 1108 Highland
Drive was designed by Arthur L. Blakeslee, "Senior Architect of the
Treasury Department," who built the home in 1929. This Tudor style
home was featured in a Woodside Park ad in October 1929. Mr. Blakeslee's implied endorsement
was impressive since the Office of the Supervising Architect of the Treasury was responsible for
the design of all federal government buildings until the function was taken over by the General
Services Administration in 1949. Mr. Blakeslee's home had a 17' by 24' living room with a high,
open beamed ceiling and a massive stone fireplace, three bedrooms, two baths, and a witch flying
on a broomstick on its chimney. The Woodside Park ad said in large type: "The Home Shown
Above is Representative of the CHARACTER of HOMES Now Being Designed and Built
Especially for the Owners in WOODSIDE PARK." The ad emphasized that Woodside Park was a
community of 100% home owners and that Hopkins-Armstrong [the developers] would secure
architects and builders for buyers.
Continue on Highland Drive to Pinecrest Circle -- Pinecrest Circle was not a part of the
original Woodside Park plan. It, along with Midwood Road, was added in a resubdivision to
create some smaller lots. The smaller lots were advertised in 1924 but the resubdivision was not
legally filed until 1927.
Turn left on Pinecrest Circle to 1227 -- Architect Graham H. Woolfall
designed and built the Tudor home he called "Pinecrest" in 1928 for his
own use. Like Arthur Blakeslee, Graham Woolfall worked in the Office of
the Supervising Architect of the Treasury. The home consists of complex
gabled roof forms, masterful half-timbering, and stuccoed white walls. The
grouped casement windows are of wood, not metal, and the house
contains several Medieval details such as the crude tapered columns supporting the entrance
porch. It is well sited on its lot on one of Pinecrest Circle's curves so that the house's shape
changes dramatically as one rounds the corner. Mr. Woolfall also built what was probably the first
swimming pool in Woodside Park in his yard. Initially there was no filtration system for the water
which had to be periodically drained and replaced with clean water. Another Woodside Park
resident and architect, Frank G. Beatty of 1401 Woodside Parkway, designed an addition to the
house that was in keeping with the original Woolfall design for a later owner of the house. Most
of the addition was demolished in October 1998 for construction of two new houses at 1223 and
1225 Pinecrest Circle.
Charles A. Horsky purchased the home in 1942 and lived there until his death in 1997. Mr.
Horsky was an advisor to Presidents Kennedy and Johnson on District of Columbia affairs and
was an early architect of D.C. home rule. He was also instrumental in creating a regional transit
system in the Washington area. Earlier he served as an assistant prosecutor at the Nuremberg war
crimes trials after World War II.
Continue to 1234 Pinecrest Circle -- This Tudor home was built in
1928 and 1929 by architect Warren R. Seltzer, who also worked in the
Office of the Supervising Architect of the Treasury with Graham Woolfall
and Arthur Blakeslee, whose homes were discussed above. Mr. Seltzer
was later involved in the design of the Federal Triangle, the Supreme
Court Building, and many post offices, including the Silver Spring post office which was built on
Georgia Avenue just south of Wayne Avenue as a Works Progress Administration project in
1936. He also designed (at no fee) the home at 1519 Dale Drive for his aunt and uncle and was
involved with design of the entrance, altar rails and other elements of St. Luke Lutheran Church.
Mr. Seltzer's Woodside Park home was featured in "Building Age" magazine in 1928 or 1929 and
fully described right down to the provisions in the basement for "a laundry and servant's toilet." It
was also noted that windows in the living room and the master bedroom upstairs faced three sides
of the house and made the rooms "delightfully cool even on the hottest summer nights." "The
English character of the woodwork is carried out into the house. The hewn ceiling beam, plank
oak flooring and built-in fire place with its wood benches and flagstone hearth all add interest and
charm to the well-lighted and cross-ventilated combination living-dining room." In 1989 a
substantial addition designed by architect and Woodside Park resident Steven Spurlock was
constructed to the home's left and front in a way that makes the addition virtually impossible to
distinguish from the original construction. Indeed, the stone used to accent the addition's exterior
walls matches the accenting stone of the original section of the house. This stone, which was
excavated near East-West Highway when Connecticut Avenue was extended, contains unusual
iron deposits that have long since rusted out to leave soft red streaks. The stone accenting the
addition came from original stone that had been used to build a small backyard fish pond and from
extra stone left over from when 1227 Pinecrest Circle was built. The home appeared on the front
page of the "Home" section of the Washington Post shortly after the addition was completed.
Continue on Pinecrest Circle to Highland Drive and Pinecrest Court -- Pinecrest Court, the
cul-de-sac across Highland Drive from the west end of Pinecrest Circle, was created in August
1946 when one of the original Woodside Park "acre plots" which was well over an acre in size
was subdivided. Pinecrest Court was constructed so four lots could be created; in its absence
there could have been only two lots facing Highland Drive. The Court was never accepted by the
county as a public street since its right-of-way is only 30 feet at the lower end and the set back of
the houses from the right-of-way is 5 feet less than required by zoning regulations.
Turn Left on Highland Drive to 1314 -- Willard (Andy) Anderson, still another architect with
the Office of the Supervising Architect of the Treasury, designed and had this Colonial home built
for his own use in 1938.
Continue to 1315 Highland Drive -- The home at 1315 Highland Drive was built or, more
probably, moved to its present location in 1929. This home's lot was purchased in 1924 with a
unique deed provision that allowed construction of a "garage which may also be used for dwelling
purposes" for two years. The garage had to be built at least 150 feet back from Highland Drive.
The garage/dwelling no longer exists on its original site, but its shape as shown on an early map of
the neighborhood matches perfectly the shape of the current house before additions were built,
suggesting that the home was moved and improved to comply with the deed provisions rather
than being destroyed.
Continue to 1318 Highland Drive -- During World War II this lot was
the site of a large victory garden. There was also an air raid siren on the
telephone pole on the corner. This combination led to the only known
World War II casualty within Woodside Park. One day a man was using a
mule to pull a plow to tend the victory garden just as the county's air raid
sirens were tested. When the siren sounded, the startled mule bolted and
broke the plowman's leg.
Turn Right on Crosby Road to 9207 -- This unusual castellated Gothic
Revival style home, which was originally numbered as 1319 Highland
Drive, was built in 1931, before Crosby Road was constructed. The lot
where the home at 9203 Crosby Road now stands was the castle's front
yard and also was the site of a tennis court. Louis and Madeline Baker
built the home in 1931 and lived there until 1937 when they sold it to D.C.
liquor store owner Max Bogen. The neighborhood legend that the home was a foreign embassy
apparently resulted from the fact that the home was purchased in 1946 by diplomat Leon Arthur
Van der Berghe, who was transferred from Washington and sold the home five years later. The
new owners, Lewis and Evelyn Kline, built the tennis court.
Continue to Dale Drive and Turn Right onto the 1300 Block -- The lots on both sides of the
1300 block of Dale Drive except for 1320, 1322, and 1324 were not part of the original
Woodside Park. These lots were developed by Jacob S. Gruver and his son Fulton R. Gruver as
"Woodside Forest," which also included the lots facing both sides of Midwood Road from (and
including) 9212 and 9213 north to Dale Drive. Jacob S. Gruver was a Washington developer and
builder of homes "noted for their high standards." He purchased this land and much of the area to
the north now known as the Woodside Forest neighborhood in 1930. He subdivided the area
along Dale Drive in 1936. The homes along Dale Drive are considered to be in Woodside Park;
they were admitted to the Civic Association before the rest of Woodside Forest was built.
Although they sold a few lots to other builders or people who wanted to custom build their home,
the Gruvers built most of the homes in the 1300 block of Dale Drive beginning in 1936. This
development method of integrating land development with home building is common today, but it
is in marked contrast to how the original Woodside Park was developed. With only a few
exceptions, Woodside Park's developer sold lots, not finished homes.
The new Gruver homes at 1304, 1310, and 1314 Dale Drive were
selected as Washington Post model homes and given extensive coverage
in the newspaper's real estate section in October and November 1936.
Prices were in the $11,000 to $12,000 range. The home at 1314 Dale
Drive was sold in January 1937 to New York Yankee and former
Washington Senator Alvin (Jake) Powell. Powell sold it a month later and
probably never lived there.
In June 1940 the new Gruver home at 1318 Dale Drive was selected as a Washington Post
display home. This Colonial home with a two story high columned portico was described as
"expressing the hospitality of the old South." It was offered for $14,950.
Retrace your steps on Dale Drive and Continue on Dale Past Crosby
Road to 1515 -- This Tudor style brick home is a Sears catalog home, the
Elmhurst model, which was featured in the 1931 through 1933 Sears
Honor Bilt Modern Homes catalogs. Except for the bricks and masonry,
all the pre-cut lumber and other components of the house were shipped
from the Sears home factory in Newark, New Jersey to the B&O's Silver
Spring freight yard, from which they were trucked to the construction site. Each piece of lumber
and component was individually numbered. The builder followed detailed instructions to complete
the home from the parts.
Retrace your steps on Dale Drive to Grace Church Road and Follow
Grace Church to 1505 -- The new home on this site replaced the Gothic
Revival style "Twin Gables Cottage," which was one of four homes in the
1500 block of Grace Church Road designed and built by Jules Henri de
Sibour. De Sibour was one of Washington's most prominent architects in
the early 1920s. Among
other major projects, he designed the McCormick Apartments, now the home of the National
Trust for Historic Preservation, at 1875 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, numerous mansions now
used as embassies, and the Jefferson Hotel at 1200 Sixteenth Street, NW.
Continue to 1512 Grace Church Road -- This Colonial home was also designed and built by
De Sibour, who served as architect for the Woodside Development Corporation and headed its
subsidiary home building company, the Woodside Homes Corporation. The home was advertised
as "The Dale" in April 1926 at a price of $14,450. The name was a reference to the home's
location on Dale Drive; at the time the blocks now known as Grace Church Road were part of
Dale Drive. What is now Dale Drive west of Grace Church Road was Upland Drive. The names
were changed about 1939.
Continue to 1518 Grace Church Road -- Although not explicitly
credited to De Sibour, this Colonial home also was probably designed and
built by him. This home was first advertised in October 1925. It became
the home of M.K. Armstrong, the Secretary and Treasurer of the
Woodside Development Corporation.
Continue to 1524 Grace Church Road -- This home also was designed and built by De Sibour.
It was advertised in the spring of 1926 as "Trail's End" and described as "a substantial, low
up-keep, special design, brick dwelling. Slate roof. The place you can find peace and quiet among
the towering oaks. Price $14,500. Paved street, city water, electricity and phones. Three minutes
walk to bus down SIXTEENTH STREET. Six rooms and glassed-in sleeping porch with radiator.
Continue to the Corner of Grace Church Road and Woodland Drive -- The home on the
southeast corner of this intersection, 9111 Woodland Drive, was the first home ever offered for
sale in Woodside Park. Raphel L. Dondero purchased the lot for this house in April 1924 and built
the house. He retained Hopkins-Armstrong, the developer of Woodside Park, to sell it for him at
a price of $10,500 if the buyer accepted the home on a quarter acre lot rather than the full
Woodside Park "acre plot." The plans for the home had won first prize at "Better Homes Week"
expositions in New York and Chicago. The home was purchased by Ralph Lee, who was an
incorporator and first president of the Civic Association.
Turn Left on Woodland Drive and Continue to 9224 Woodland Drive -- This home was designed by its owner, R. E. Hightower, who hired Frank Beatty of 1401 Woodside Parkway and H. Clay Ashby, who designed many homes in Woodside Forest, to finalize the plans. After receiving construction bids he considered too high from general contractors, Mr. Hightower acted as his own general contractor and hired subcontractors to build his home. Mr. Hightower's successful efforts to design and build his own home were featured by the Washington Post in July 1949.
Return to Grace Church Road and Turn
Right to Grace Episcopal Church and its
Cemetery -- The current Grace Church building is
the third church building but the first actually in
Woodside Park. The first and second churches faced Georgia Avenue,
adjacent to the cemetery. The original church lot was donated in 1855 by
Thomas Noble Wilson, who owned the farm on both sides of Georgia Avenue all the way to
Colesville Road. The first church was completed during the Civil War. U.S. General Ambrose E.
Burnside contributed $100 to finish the roof after the "ladies of the parish" asked him not to
destroy the church while pushing the Confederates -- seventeen of whom are buried near the large
monument at the corner of Georgia Avenue and Grace Church Road -- back from their attack on
Fort Stevens in D.C. The original church burned in 1896 after a member of the choir knocked
over a kerosene lamp during practice. The nearest water to fight the fire was a well at the rectory
across what is now Georgia Avenue. Choir members and others organized a bucket brigade, but
could not save the building.
Water might have been much closer and the building might have been
saved had it not been for bitterness arising from the Civil War. In 1867 the
church bought land to build a rectory where the current church building
stands from Thomas Noble Wilson's son John C. Wilson -- Thomas Noble
Wilson having been bayonetted by three members of the Union's 22nd
Massachusetts Regiment when he tried to stop them from stealing some of
his pigs. The church leaders soon rescinded the sale because they didn't like John C. Wilson's
pro-Union views and instead bought land for the rectory from his pro-Southern brother Richard
Wilson, who had inherited the half of the Wilson farm on the west side of Georgia Avenue. As a
result, the land where the current church building stands eventually became part of Alton Farm
and then the Woodside Park subdivision. The church bought the lot once more in 1924 to expand
the cemetery but ultimately used it to build the current church building in 1955.
Continue to the Corner of Grace Church Road and Georgia Avenue -- The Washington,
Woodside and Forest Glen Railway, better known as the Forest Glen Trolley, once ran on tracks
where the right hand north-bound lane of Georgia Avenue is now. The trolley connected the
Brightwood line along Georgia Avenue in D.C. to the Forest Inne and the National Park Seminary
at Forest Glen. The Vestry of Grace Church granted a twelve foot wide right-of-way for the
trolley line in October 1897 for $1.00 and free electric service for as long as the trolley operated.
Unfortunately for the church, the trolley stopped operating on December 15, 1924 in preparation
for construction of the first Georgia Avenue underpass under the B&O Railroad. The underpass
was built with one lane for the trolley tracks, but the trolley never resumed operation.
"Temporary" bus service along Georgia Avenue became permanent. The trolley's lane in the
underpass was converted for use by automobiles. The trolley served the earliest residents of
Woodside Park; later residents had to rely on bus service.
On the South Side of Grace Church Road at Georgia Avenue -- The lot across Grace Church
Road from the cemetery predates the establishment of Woodside Park. Mrs. Archibald (Rosalie
Groves) Small bought the original acre lot for the home at 9111 Georgia Avenue from the heirs
of Crosby S. Noyes in June 1920, more than two years before Woodside Park was established.
She paid $2,000, which was more than twice as much on a per square foot basis as the Woodside
Development Corporation paid for Alton Farm in 1922. When she completed construction of her
home in 1925, it was the first new home along Georgia Avenue.
Return along Grace Church Road and Turn Right to 9106 and 9108
Woodland Drive -- The lots for 9106 and 9108 Woodland Drive as well
as for 9104 Woodland Drive and 1600 and 1608 Grace Church Road were
part of the first original Woodside Park "acre plot" sold by the Woodside
Development Corporation. Alfred L. Donaldson, who lived in old
Woodside across Georgia Avenue, signed a contract to purchase the lot
for $3,400 on November 25, 1922. In December 1937, in the midst of the Great Depression,
Louis B. Schneider acquired the lot and began building two small houses on small lots (some less
than 6,000 square feet) subdivided from the original lot. The Civic Association, the Woodside
Development Corporation, and a neighbor went to court to enforce the covenant in the deed for
the original lot that said no house could be constructed that cost less than $6,000. The plaintiffs
said that the houses being built were "unsightly, unattractive, [and] cheap in appearance and
construction." They estimated their cost at $4,600. In February 1938 an injunction was issued
prohibiting continued construction. Mr. Schneider agreed to enlarge the two houses then under
construction (9106 and 9108 Woodland Drive) and to resubdivide the original lot into four lots
rather than five.
Continue to 9104 Woodland Drive -- The home at 9104 Woodland Drive is a prime example of
American Foursquare architecture. This style, popular from about 1900 to 1920, is evidenced by
the two ranks of windows, the asymmetrically placed front door, and the hipped roof. This home
was built in the 1920s.
Continue to the Northeast Corner of Woodland Road and Highland
Drive -- The bungalow on the northeast corner of this intersection, 1437
Highland Drive, was built by an early Woodside Park speculative builder,
Robert Murphy, in 1923. He sold the home to another early Woodside
Park builder, John Faulconer. Mr. Murphy also built his own home, the
prairie style bungalow next door at 1433 Highland Drive and the
bungalow on Woodland Drive at 9103. In 1976 the then-owners of 1437 Highland Drive enclosed
the original porch, which may have added space but did little to enhance the architectural style of
the home. The current owners remedied the situation in award-winning fashion. They built a new
porch in front of the house and along the west side. Although the project was controversial in the
neighborhood because the porch encroaches into Woodside Park's almost sacred 40 foot setback
area, the project won an award from the National Association of the Remodeling Industry as the
best specialty remodeling project in the Washington area in 1995. In 1998 it also won first prize in
the exterior fix-ups category of Better Homes and Gardens magazine's home improvement
Continue Across Highland Drive to the Southeast Corner of
Woodland Road and Highland Drive -- The Dutch Colonial
masterpiece at 1430 Highland Drive was built in 1926 by John Dolan, a
builder, banker, and civic leader. Mr. Dolan made the home's decorative
plaster moldings himself. The home is unusual in several ways including its
brick first floor, stucco and half-timber second floor, and siting on its lot
with the large open porch with massive plain stucco columns facing Highland Drive. A more
traditional example of a Dutch Colonial home can be found eight doors down Highland Drive at
Continue East on Highland Drive to 1433 -- This prairie style bungalow was constructed for
his own use by builder Robert Murphy in 1923.
Continue East on Highland Drive to 1424 -- The home at 1424 Highland Drive was one of a
number of outstanding Woodside Park homes built in the decade after World War II. This home
was designed and built for his own use by architect Arthur L. Anderson, who had also designed
other homes in the neighborhood. According to a 1953 Evening Star story about the home, Mr.
Anderson sought to "strike a balance between traditional exterior appearance and contemporary
interior planning" in the home's design. The home was also air conditioned. Mr. Anderson was
able to cool it for 62¢ a day in 1953. Besides air conditioning, another modern feature was the
Retrace Your Steps and Continue to 1509 Highland Drive -- The home at 1509 Highland
Drive is another outstanding example of the bungalow style. The home, which was built before
1931, is a one and one-half story, side gabled, frame structure with a cross-gable porch wrapping
around the front and side of the house. Projecting from the roof is a gabled dormer whose roof
pitch follows that of the porch below. The house is similar to the "Corona" model offered in the
Sears & Roebuck homes catalogs between 1916 and 1922.
Continue along Highland Drive to Georgia Avenue -- The
intersections of Highland Drive and Georgia Avenue and Noyes Drive and
Georgia Avenue were the sites of elaborate Woodside Park entrance gates
with trolley waiting stations designed by noted architect Robert F.
Beresford. Mr. Beresford designed many homes in the Washington area
and Washington's only art deco office building, the Tower Building at
1401 K Street, N.W. These entrance gates were constructed by the Woodside Development
Corporation in 1923 and were removed when Georgia Avenue was widened from two lanes to six
lanes in 1950.
The large home on the north side of Highland Drive at Georgia Avenue, 1515 Highland Drive,
was designed and built in 1937 for the president of the Jacobs Transfer Company, W.E.
Humphreys. In this way it was typical of most Woodside Park homes, which were custom
designed for their owners. Unlike most other owner-built homes, however, because of this home's
site along Georgia Avenue it had generated considerable public attention while it was under
construction. The home's architect, Rees E. Burket, and builder, Martin Brothers, arranged for it
to be open for public inspection during the weekend of October 23, 1937, before the Humphreys
family moved in. Stories and photos of the home appeared in both the Washington Post and the
Evening Star that weekend and the next weekend. Note the nautical weather vane at the right end
of the main roof.
Turn right to 9033 Georgia Avenue -- Immediately south of Highland
Drive on Georgia Avenue is "The Woodside." This large Georgian
Colonial home was built in 1926 for Charles and Sadie Williams, who had
purchased the lot in 1923. In July 1945 the home was purchased by
William P. Wilson and his sisters. The Wilson family had just sold their
farm along Georgia Avenue from Spring Street to south of Noyes Drive
to Morris Pollin for development. For five years in the early 1980s the home was owned by the
Buddhist Association of Washington (Wat Thai) and served as a monks' residence and Buddhist
temple. The home was sold and then restored for use as a private residence in 1987.
Continue South on Georgia Avenue to 9027 -- This large home was completed in 1926 for F.
L. and Alice Waters, who had bought their "acre plot" in 1925. Mrs. Waters continued to live in
the home until the 1980s.
Continue South on Georgia Avenue to Woodside Parkway -- As you
walk along Georgia Avenue, imagine it as a two lane highway, which it
was until it was widened to six lanes in 1950. The right-of-way for the
trolley line and the sites of Woodside Park's entrance gates at Highland
Drive and Noyes Drive are now covered by the northbound lanes of
Georgia Avenue. The most impressive entrance to Woodside Park,
although it had no gates, was Woodside Parkway with its 100 foot wide right-of way. This area
along Georgia Avenue was not part of Crosby S. Noyes' original Alton Farm; it was part of Henry
King, Jr.'s failed 1896 subdivision called "Kingsville." Mr. Noyes bought the entire "Kingsville"
subdivision and incorporated it into his farm in 1899.
Continue South on Georgia Avenue to Noyes Drive -- The Woodside
Synagogue at 9001 Georgia Avenue, contains the remaining parts of the
Thompson house, which pre-dates not only Woodside Park but also
Crosby S. Noyes' Alton Farm. The house was built in 1895 or shortly
thereafter by William S. Thompson, Jr., who bought all the lots on the
north side of "C" Street in William L. F. King's 1891 subdivision, which
was just south of the later "Kingsville" subdivision mentioned above. William L. F. King's
subdivision was designed to capitalize on Benjamin F. Leighton's "Woodside" subdivision
established across the Brookeville Turnpike (now Georgia Avenue) two years earlier. Thompson's
home and some out buildings were the only structures ever built in King's addition. Crosby S.
Noyes bought all of King's subdivision except for the Thompson property to add to Alton Farm in
1900. He bought the Thompson property a year later.
Charles W. Hopkins, president of the Woodside Development
Corporation and Woodside Park's founder, moved into the old Thompson
home in 1922 and purchased the property from the Woodside
Development Corporation after the corporation acquired it from Crosby
S. Noyes' heirs. He and then his widow lived there until the 1970s. Mr.
Hopkins is responsible for moving the Alton Farm stone pillars, which
originally flanked the driveways to Crosby S. Noyes' mansion off Colesville Road, to this site.
One pair flanks the driveway and one pair flanks the walk to the synagogue's front door. Hopkins
had the pillars' capitals installed with the words "Alton" and "Farm" turned away from Noyes
The Woodside Synagogue Avahas Torah purchased the home in 1977 for use as a synagogue. A
fire believed to be arson-related burned much of the original structure just
before Passover in 1986. The rebuilt and enlarged synagogue reopened in
the spring of 1988.
Across Noyes Drive from the Synagogue -- The vacant lot on the
southeast corner of Georgia Avenue and Noyes Drive once was the site of a small wooden
building used by the Woodside Development Corporation and then the Thomas E. Jarrell
Company as a sales office for Woodside Park in the 1920s and 1930s. Directions to this office
were to drive out Brookeville Pike to the first structure on the right past the Woodside School;
the original phone number was "Woodside 86."
Continue East on Noyes Drive to 1310 -- Jules Henri de Sibour, one of Washington's most
prominent architects best known for designing mansions which later became embassies, designed
and built this home known as "The Fireside" in 1925. The home was advertised in 1926 for
$14,850. It was said to have six very large sunny rooms, a massive stone chimney and fireplace,
and a cool, protected porch for summer. The home's elevation, then a selling point for people
wanting to flee hot and swampy Washington in the summer, was said to be almost 400 feet.
Continue East on Noyes Drive to Woodland Drive -- The Dutch
Colonial home at 1300 Noyes Drive was built by John M. Faulconer and
Frank B. Proctor who purchased and subdivided the lot for this house and
the home next to it at 8916 Woodland Drive in April 1924. The home was
sold in November 1924 to Henry G. and Minnie Klinge. They sold the
home at 8916 Woodland Drive seven months later to Mrs. Klinge's sister
Julia and her husband, Victor E. Grotlisch. This pattern of relatives of new Woodside Park
homeowners also buying homes in the area was typical in the early years not only in Woodside
Park itself but also in Thomas E. Jarrell's Wynnewood Park (Mansion Drive area) development
where several of the lots were acquired by various relatives of Mr. Jarrell.
Continue Across Woodland Drive to 1234 Noyes Drive -- In the mid 1930s several builders were active in Woodside Park buying lots and building homes for speculative sale. This was in marked contrast to the earlier pattern of lot buyers commissioning an architect and builder to construct their home on their newly purchased lot. The Dutch Colonial home at 1234 Noyes Drive is typical of the speculatively built homes. This home was completed in December 1935 by builder Charles D. Hobbs for real estate developer and investor Commander F. P. Williams. The home, which was described as "the home with the silver lining ... lovely WOODSIDE PARK, MD., a most delightful suburban area where children are safe, yet within easy access to transportation, schools, churches, shops, and parks," was priced at $11,250. The home was featured in the Washington Post of March 29, 1936 and described in great detail, right down to the wallpaper in the upstairs bathrooms ("little sailboats and fish floating on a sea of white and the material is washable too.") The fact that the home was extensively described in a newspaper article is not particularly surprising; new Woodside Park home were often described in news articles in the 1930s, 1940s, and early 1950s.
Continue East on Noyes Drive to 1226 -- This
bungalow is a Sears "Kilbourne" model Honor Bilt
kit home. It was built in 1925 by Robert L. and
Flora Petzold, who lived in the home until 1958.
Sears' price for the homes's materials in 1925 is unknown, but the 1926 catalog lists the price as
$2,700. Options included plumbing for $285.25, furnaces from $106.04 to $385.93, electric
wiring and fixtures ("knob and tube wiring system") for $82.32, and window shades for $17.00.
Across the Street is 1229 Noyes Drive -- The distinguished Cape Cod
home at 1229 Noyes Drive was constructed between 1935 and 1941 by a
builder for use as his own home. The home is modeled after the Smith's
Fort Plantation home built in the 18th Century on the James River
opposite Jamestown, Va.
Return to the Corner of
Noyes Drive and
Woodland Drive, Turn
Right on Woodland
Drive to Woodside
Parkway -- The home on
the Northwest corner of Woodside Parkway and Woodland Drive (1401 Woodside Parkway)
was designed for his own use by architect Frank G. Beatty, who also designed other homes in the
neighborhood, including the addition to Graham Woolfall's Tudor home at 1227 Pinecrest Circle.
The home won the Washington Board of Trade's Diploma of Merit as of "superior design among
the buildings erected in the year 1937." The home was described as a "charming one and one-half
story brick residence in the Virginia manner." The Beattys found the lot for their new home
through Realtor Thomas E. Jarrell, a friend and patient of Mrs. Beatty's father, who was a
Turn Right on Woodside Parkway to 1312 -- This brick and stone Colonial/Cape Cod was
built in 1932. The home's family room was used as a studio by prominent Washington radio
broadcaster Art Brown during the later part of his career at WWDC radio. He hosted the station's
6 to 10 a.m. show six days a week and joked about his Woodside Park neighbors. He also had a
show from noon to 1:30 p.m. on WWDC and hosted the "Let's Go Fishing" show on WTTG
television, channel 5, during the mid-1950s.
Continue to the Intersection of Crosby Road -- The large stone Colonial home on the corner at
9101 Crosby Road was built about 1939 for Joseph Tucci. According to neighbor-hood 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; the home was offered for sale in 1941 for
$39,500, which was said to be "far below reproduction cost." The home is 90 feet wide and has a
20' by 25' living room with a massive stone fireplace, a 17' by 20' dining room, a large reception
room, a large flagstone porch accessible from both the living room and the dining room, four
bedrooms, and a 21' by 28' game room. The stone walls are 20' thick.
Continue to 1216 Woodside Parkway -- Look for the line of stones set in concrete parallel to
Woodside Parkway about 3 feet from the pavement in the front yard of this home. These stones
are most likely the top of the side railing of one of the original stone bridges that carried the
stream that used to run along Woodside Parkway under the street. There are remnants of the
stream bed in this block, but most of the stream is now in a storm sewer.
Continue to 1221 Woodside Parkway -- This excellent example of
Cape Cod architecture was completed in 1941. The home was built by the
Capital Engineering Company, which offered it for $15,500.
Continue to 1211 Woodside Parkway -- The lot
for this home was the second lot ever sold by the
Woodside Development Corporation. J. Reginald
Boyd signed the contract to purchase this lot,
which now also contains the western part of 1212
Pinecrest Circle and 1214 and 1216 Pinecrest
Circle, on December 6, 1922. He paid $2,221.56 for the lot, paying 10% down and the remainder
at $44.00 per month at 6% interest. Mr. Boyd completed his home in 1928. He was administrative
director of the Crushed Stone Association. His stucco Cotswold Cottage style home, which has 9'
ceilings, Chestnut woodwork, and wrought ironwork on the staircase, was designed by Rodier &
Continue to 1201 Woodside Parkway -- "Stonecroft," the house on the
hill at 1201 Woodside Parkway, was completed in 1927 by Philander D.
Poston. The home, like its neighbor at 1211 Woodside Parkway, was
designed by Rodier and Kundzen. It was built by Thomas E. Jarrell's
Stambaugh Construction Company. The home was featured in Woodside
Park advertising; even before it was completed people were invited to
come out and see the construction in progress. When the home was finished, it was open for
public inspection on Saturday, March 26 and Sunday, April 3, 1927. The home was also featured
prominently in the real estate sections of the Washington Post and Evening Star. The Post said
"hugging the crest of a long, graceful hill, which fades gently into two little winding brooks [now
mostly covered along Woodside and Alton Parkways] lined with large boulders and graceful old
trees, and overlooking three beautiful valleys, is a home of unusual distinction and simple beauty,
quite unlike anything around Washington." The Post also noted that the home was "built like a
Philander Poston, who built "Stonecroft," was a Major during World War
I and was credited with organizing the tank corps. After the war he was
known as Dr. Poston and practiced as a Nature Therapist or "Naturalist."
He was also a real estate promotor in Silver Spring. He lost the home
during the Depression in 1935 when he couldn't pay the mortgage.
Stonecroft was not the first home built on this hill. Mr. Poston himself built a "lodge" on the back
of the lot for his use while the house was under construction. Pinecrest Circle had not been
constructed at this time, and once it was built, the lodge appeared to be at an odd angle to the
street. The lodge was torn down in 1993 to allow construction of the new home at 1212 Pinecrest
Turn Left on Alton Parkway to 9104 -- This distinguished English
Tudor home adjacent to "Stonecroft" on Alton Parkway, was first offered
for sale in 1937. Among its later owners was Benson K. Buffam, deputy
director of the National Security Agency. Note the intricate half timbered
upper floors above the stone main floor.
Note the stone "railings" along the driveway near Alton Parkway. These railings are actually the top of a bridge over the now buried stream that ran along Alton Parkway.
Look Across Alton Parkway to 9105 -- The Tudor home at 9105 Alton
Parkway was built in 1927 for Clarence L. Hubbard and was the first
home on Alton Parkway. Mr. Hubbard was a pioneer dry cleaner who
began his career in 1906 by cleaning clothes in tubs of warm gasoline. He
heated the gasoline by dropping a hot tailor's goose (a 14 pound pressing iron) into the tubs while
his wife stood by with a wool blanket to squelch the fumes. He survived this early experience,
moved to Washington, and founded the Institute of Dyeing and Cleaning for the National
Association of Cleaners and Dyers.
Return to the Intersection of Alton and Woodside Parkways and Look Down(!) -- Under
your feet is a six foot high room with concrete islands rising from the floor. This room is at the
intersection of the 4' diameter Woodside Parkway storm sewer (the main portion of which
originates at a spring at the back of 1300 Woodside Parkway) and the Alton Parkway storm
sewer. The Alton Parkway sewer originally was built only from Noyes Drive to Highland Drive.
Most of it is 6' in diameter. From 1951 when the State Roads Commission built the storm sewers
as an adjunct to their project to widen Georgia Avenue until the Alton Parkway storm sewer was
extended at both ends in 1966, neighborhood children walked and even rode bicycles through the
sewers and sometimes popped up through manholes. The Alton Parkway storm sewer carries the
flow of the spring for which Spring Street was named at the lower end of Fairview Urban Park.
Before the storm sewer was built and the stream was covered, Alton Parkway regularly flooded.
Continuing Along the 9000 Block of Alton Parkway toward Noyes
Drive -- With the exception of the home at 9005 Alton Parkway, the lots
on the south side of this block were undeveloped until after World War II.
This block was probably the site of the Woodside Park community
swimming pool. This pool was more of a stone lined pond than a pool. It
had two openings on one side where water from the stream along Alton
Parkway could enter and exit. Although the pool may have been drained in the 1930s, it was
probably destroyed or covered when the large storm sewer was installed along Alton Parkway and
the stream was largely filled in in 1951.
Continue to 9008 Alton Parkway -- The home at 9008 Alton Parkway
is typical of many Woodside Park homes which were featured in
newspaper stories when they were completed. The Washington Post ran
an article describing this home on July 1, 1934. The Post noted that the
home "is in a delightful residential section" and described it as an "Electric
Kitchen Health Home." The features of the home were described,
including the "maid's room with complete bath." The Post also gave directions to the home: which
included turning at "the signal light" in Silver Spring. The price of the home, which was situated
on a complete original Woodside Park "acre plot" was $14,750. When the home didn't
immediately sell, its builder Thomas E. Clark moved in himself. He liked the home and the
neighborhood so much that two years later he bought half of the adjoining "acre plot" on the right
side of the home to expand his side yard.
Continue to 1200 Noyes Drive, at the Intersection of Alton Parkway and Noyes Drive -- The
home at 1200 Noyes Drive was designed and built in 1952 by W.E. and C.E. Mills. It is typical of
early 1950s in-fill development. This particular rambler is notable because it was the home of the
well-known restauranteur Duke Zeibert. Zeibert opened his famous restaurant in 1950 at 17th and
L Streets, N.W. The restaurant was frequented by many notables including Presidents starting
with Truman, Supreme Court Justice Arthur Goldberg, J. Edgar Hoover, Mikhail Gorbachev,
notorious mobster Jimmy Roselli, and Teamsters Boss Jimmy Hoffa. In later years the restaurant
displayed three Redskins' Super Bowl trophies.
Turn Right on Noyes Drive to 1212 -- The home
at 1212 Noyes Drive was completed in 1933 by
builders Gottwals & Burgdorf and was priced at
$12,500. This home was described in the
Washington Post in August 1933 in an article
titled "Throngs Hail Modern Home in Woodside
Park." The Evening Star published a picture of the home in October 1933 and said it had been
sold to Mr. & Mrs. Charles T. Williams. Mr. Williams was the founder of the Federal
Lithographing Company. He and his wife Gertrude were avid gardeners and constructed the
greenhouses that still stand on the lot and an additional greenhouse on a lot that is now the site of
the homes at 1211, 1213, and 1215 Burton Street. In 1944 Mrs. Williams won the prize for the
best Victory Garden in Montgomery County.
Continuing Along Noyes Drive to 1213 -- The large lot that now is the
site of the contemporary style home at 1213 Noyes Drive was used as a
Victory Garden by 10 to 12 families during World War II. Architect S.
Thomas Stathes designed and built the home for his own use in 1973.
Previously he had designed the homes at 1118 Woodside Parkway and
9021 Alton Parkway.
Return to the Corner of Noyes Drive and Alton Parkway, Turn Right on the Bike Path and
Continue to Fairview Urban Park, on Your Left Past 8911 Alton Parkway -- This lower
corner of Fairview Urban Park was the site of the large spring from which Spring Street got its
name. The spring, which now has been covered and flows directly into the large storm sewer that
runs under Alton Parkway, was most likely in or near the overgrown stream bed along the edge of
the park to your left. The Park and Planning Commission was urged to restore the historic spring
as part of the development of Fairview Urban Park, but chose not to do so. The spring apparently
had a substantial flow since it supplied not only water for the Wilson Farm where the spring was
located but also all the water for Crosby S. Noyes' elaborate Alton Farm water system. Noyes'
water system included a ram pump in what is now the 9000 block of Alton Parkway used to pump
water to the top of the farm's landmark 100' tall water tower.
Continue to Burton Street and Turn Right -- Burton and Ballard Streets and Woodland Drive
south of the original Woodside Park subdivision were developed by Morris Pollin, who bought
the Wilson farm in 1944 for $105,000. The farm had been in the Wilson family since at least 1759
and originally stretched along both sides of Georgia Avenue from Colesville Road to at least
Grace Church. Over the years most of the land had been sold off. By the time Crosby S. Noyes
acquired his Alton Farm, only the area surrounded by Georgia Avenue, Spring Street, and the
Woodside Park lots facing Noyes Drive and Fairview Road remained, plus the area where the
Park and Planning Commission building, the Holiday Inn, and the parking lot behind them are
now. The part of the farm nearest Georgia Avenue and the Woodside Park lots facing Noyes
Drive was used as a golf driving range. The tees were near Georgia Avenue, opposite Ballard
Street in old Woodside across Georgia Avenue. About 200 yards from the tees was a sign saying
"Get that Swing in Silver Spring. Hit me and drive 25 balls free."
Pollin developed the area in a series of eight small subdivisions from 1945
through 1951. He created lots larger than the 6,000 square feet minimum
required by the area's zoning, and in one case resubdivided an area he had
already platted to create even larger lots, but he did not adopt Woodside
Park's 40' setback requirement. As a result, homes in this area are at least
15 feet closer to the street than are most other homes in Woodside Park.
The first five homes on your right as you walk up Burton Street were first offered for sale in May
1950 for $24,950.
Continue to 1211, 1213, and 1215 Burton Street -- These three homes occupy land that
Morris Pollin sold in October 1947 to Charles T. Williams, who owned the adjoining property
facing Noyes Drive. Mr. Williams, who already had greenhouses in his large back yard and on a
side lot, built a large greenhouse which covered much of the lots that now are the site of the
homes at 1213 and 1215 Burton Street. The Burton Street property was sold in 1972 after Mr.
Williams' death, and the three two-story houses now on these lots were built.
Continue to 1221 Burton Street -- All of Morris Pollin's children had houses in Pollin's
subdivision. Abe Pollin, who later built the Capital Centre and the MCI Arena and owns the
Washington Wizards and Capitals teams, lived at 1221 Burton Street. A brother lived around the
corner at 8913 Woodland Drive, and a sister also lived nearby.
Continue to Woodland Drive, Turn Right to Ballard Street, Turn Right to 1211 -- This
home was the model for a group of ramblers in this block with somewhat varied exterior styles.
All were built by Morris Pollin and Sons in 1951 and offered for sale in late 1951 and early 1952
for $31,950. Ramblers were an especially popular home style in the years after World War II.
These particular ramblers were described in a feature article in the Washington Post of January
13, 1952 as having "three bedrooms, three baths, living room with fireplace, recreation room with
fireplace, full basement and completely equipped kitchen." They were said to be "conveniently
located near schools, churches, transportation and shopping facilities" "in Woodside Park, Md."
Note that Mr. Pollin's pattern of development, sale of completed similar houses all built by the
same builder on adjacent lots, which is typical of modern single family housing development, was
quite different from the way the original part of Woodside Park was developed, where the
developer's aim was to sell building lots, not completed houses.
Return to Woodland Drive and Turn Right into the 8800 Block --
The seven townhouses on the east side of this block and the three around
the corner on Alton Parkway were the first townhouses built in Woodside
Park. They were built in late 1972 and early 1973 by D&D Development
Corporation. The 32 "Woodside Station" townhouses on the west side of
Woodland Drive occupy the last undeveloped block in Woodside Park.
They were built for "Woodside Development Associates" by the Braden Construction Company.
The four different models wereoriginally priced from $150,000 to $159,000. Their construction
ended many years of controversy over development of this block. The block's speculator owners
pressed for years to have the zoning changed from single family to commercial. They had various
proposed uses at different times, including a mortuary, high rise apartment hotel, and a post
office. The Postal Service, which as a federal entity could ignore zoning restrictions, had gone so
far as to draw up plans for a post office on the block. That proposal was dropped when the Civic
Association suggested there would be a major effort to stop the project but that the home owners
along Second Street south of Spring Street, whose property had just been rezoned commercial
and whose real estate taxes had increased tremendously, would welcome sale for a post office.
Continue to Spring Street and Follow Spring Street to Fairview
Road -- As you walk along Spring Street, Fairview Urban Park is on
your left. Various commercial uses of this area, including a high rise
apartment building, were proposed in the early 1960s at the same time a
notorious pro-development County Council allowed the homes farther
along Spring Street between Fairview Road and Colesville Road to be
destroyed for commercial and even high rise apartment development. The development threat for
this section of Spring Street ended when the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning
Commission used state park land acquisition funds to purchase most of the current park tract in
1963. Rather than developing a park, however, the Park and Planning Commission built a
"temporary" parking lot for its employees. The Commission enlarged the "park" in 1977 by
purchasing the frame Silver Spring Women's Club house on the corner of Spring Street and
Fairview Road. Unlike the rest of the park, which had been part of Wilson's farm, the Women's
Club property was one of the original Woodside Park lots developed on Crosby S. Noyes' Alton
Farm. The Park and Planning Commission used the house, which it named "Fairview House," for
offices and storage.
The "temporary" parking lot continued in use for 30 years. Finally in 1995 after years of effort from the Civic Association and particularly Dr. Dean W. Gibson, and with pressure from the County Council, the Park and Planning Commission removed the parking lot and "Fairview House." Planning for a park was begun with substantial input from the Civic Association. The idea was to design a park that primarily served families with small children and workers from the business district seeking a place to have a picnic lunch. The Civic Association raised money for playground equipment and monitored the park through the "Adopt a Park" program. Through the effort of many Woodside Park residents, most notably Susan Miles, Jon Lourie, and Larry Lint, the playground equipment was purchased and installed in the Spring of 1998. The playground equipment was formally dedicated at the Civic Association's June 1998 picnic in the park.
Continue to the Corner of Spring Street and Fairview Road -- This corner, which is the end of the walking tour, was also the beginning of the tour.