Greenbelt in 2012

A photo blog about Greenbelt, Maryland in its 75th anniversary year

Archive for the ‘History’ Category

Greenbelt Panorama: Subdivisions

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Greenbelt has many housing developments beyond the original GHI row houses and garden apartments in the city center. Here are photos from some of them.

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Written by eric

January 2, 2013 at 6:00 am

Posted in History, Neighborhood

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Greenbelt News Review 75th Anniversary Dinner

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The Greenbelt News Review published its first issue on November 24, 1937 (then called the Cooperator) and is the second oldest cooperative in Greenbelt (the oldest being the Greenbelt Federal Credit Union). On Sunday, November 18, the paper’s 75th anniversary dinner was held at Greenbelt Marriott.

A few issues of the News Review (out of 3900) are on display at the back of the ballroom.

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Written by eric

November 28, 2012 at 6:00 am

Posted in Anniversary, History

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Prince George’s County Historical Society Library

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October 6

In the basement of the Greenbelt Library is the Frederick S. DeMarr Library of County History of the Prince George’s County Historical Society. It started as the private collection of Fred DeMarr and contains 6,000 books, maps, photos, journals, and newspapers on Prince George’s County history.

The DeMarr Library is open on Saturday from noon to 4 p.m. and by appointment.

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Written by eric

October 12, 2012 at 6:00 am

Posted in History

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Greenbelt’s First Family

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September 30, October 1

Who was the first family in Greenbelt? Cathy Knepper’s book “Greenbelt, Maryland: A Living Legacy of the New Deal” contains this intriguing sentence on page 209: “At the 1988 Labor Day festival… celebrants also unveiled a plaque marking the first home occupied in Greenbelt, 1G Gardenway, whose residents moved in on September 30, 1937.” On Sunday, September 30, 2012, exactly 75 years after the first residents moved into Greenbelt, I went to 1G Gardenway to check out the plaque.

1 Court Gardenway

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Written by eric

October 2, 2012 at 6:00 am

Posted in Anniversary, GHI, History

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James Roosevelt Speaks in Greenbelt

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September 22

As part of Greenbelt’s 75th anniversary celebration, James Roosevelt, grandson of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, visited the city and spoke to a large crowd in the Greenbelt Community Center. The Greenbelt Combined Choir performed before the speech, and a birthday cake and refreshments were served afterward.

Greenbelt’s 75th birthday cake

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Written by eric

September 26, 2012 at 6:00 am

Posted in Anniversary, History

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Greenbelt 75th Anniversary Symposium: Keynote Address

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April 28

After five sessions over two days, the Greenbelt 75th Anniversary Symposium culminated in a keynote address by British architect and town planner Dr. Mervyn Miller. The title of his address is “From The British Garden City to Greenbelt and back to the English New Towns.” “The talk will document [the] transatlantic dialogue that connects Ebenezer Howard’s Garden City ideas with the planning of Greenbelt and the design of important New Towns beyond.”

Isabelle Gournay, symposium chair and associate professor in the School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at the University of Maryland, introduces the speaker. Dr. Mervyn Miller is a renowned authority on Garden Cities. He has written several books including Letchworth: The First Garden City, Raymond Unwin: Garden Cities and Town Planning, Hampstead Garden Suburb, and English Garden Cities. Gournay tells that she and Mary Corbin Sies, another Greenbelt resident and University of Maryland professor, have attended many planning conferences with Dr. Miller, in Helsinki, New Delhi, and London. When they were planning for this symposium, they thought that they must have Dr. Miller speak here. She also thanks GHI for providing Dr. Miller a guest suite.

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Written by eric

August 25, 2012 at 8:00 am

Posted in Anniversary, History

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Behind the Scenes at Greenbelt Theatre

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August 18

On Saturday, after the showing of Little Miss Broadway, I had a chance to go up to the projection booth of the Greenbelt Theatre and observed the breaking down of the film into reels.

A circular iron stairway leads from the lobby level to the projection booth.

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Written by eric

August 23, 2012 at 8:00 am

Posted in Art, History

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Old Greenbelt Theatre Shows Little Miss Broadway

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August 18

Old Greenbelt Theatre in Roosevelt Center opened its doors on September 21, 1938. The film shown that night was “Little Miss Broadway” starring Shirley Temple. Admission was 30 cents for adults and 15 cents for children. This year, as the city celebrates its 75th anniversary, the theatre showed the same movie again last Saturday, this time free of charge.

The theater has a tall curved front with an art deco marquee that says Greenbelt vertically. It operated as a movie theater continuously from 1938 to 1976 when lack of profits forced its closure. From 1980 to 1987, the Greenbelt Cultural Arts Center leased the theater as a performing arts venue. Since 1990, it has been a movie theater again operated by a small theater chain called P&G Theaters. This marquee was renovated in 2000, and in 2002, the city purchased the theater from its landlord while P&G continues to operate it. The movie that is being shown currently here is Hope Springs starring Meryl Streep, Steve Carell and Tommy Lee Jones.

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Written by eric

August 22, 2012 at 8:00 am

Posted in Anniversary, Art, History

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Three Greenbelt Cemeteries and Indian Springs

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August 14

When the federal government purchased the land for Greenbelt, three cemeteries were included within its boundaries–those of the Hamilton, Turner, and Walker families. On a recent morning, I visited these three cemeteries and also the famous Indian Springs.

Intersection of Hamilton Place and Ridge Road, with crepe myrtles full of blossoms. The Hamilton Cemetery is located at the end of Hamilton Place.

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Written by eric

August 16, 2012 at 8:00 am

Posted in History, Walk

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Excursion: Riversdale House: Battle of Bladensburg Encampment

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August 11

So far this year I have written entirely about things happening in Greenbelt, but Greenbelt does not exist in isolation. This is the first of a series of posts on short excursions from Greenbelt. I hope to visit some of Greenbelt’s immediate neighbors such as NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, University of Maryland, Beltsville Agricultural Research Center, etc, where many Greenbelters work or visit. Last Saturday, I visited Riversdale House Museum in Riverdale Park to check out its annual Battle of Bladensburg Encampment. I ran into quite a few Greenbelters there.

One of the most notable events in American history happened about six miles from Greenbelt’s city center. On August 24, 1814, during the War of 1812, British forces defeated an American army at the Battle of Bladensburg and then went on to occupy Washington, D.C. and burn the U.S. Capitol and the White House. Each year on a Saturday in August, a Battle of Bladensburg Encampment is held at Riversdale House Museum near the site of the battle. It is attended by reenactors on both sides.

Reenactors representing British Royal Marines tell the British perspective of the battle. In the distance is Riversdale House, a five-part, stucco-covered brick plantation house built between 1801 and 1807. When the Battle of Bladensburg took place, the home was occupied by George Calvert, a descendant of Lords Baltimore, Maryland’s founding family, and his wife Rosalie Stier Calvert.

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Written by eric

August 15, 2012 at 8:00 am

Posted in Annual, History

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