Sunday, April 3, 2011

I'm Walking Yes Indeed I'm Talking...

Yesterday I led a two hour, half mile walking tour of Downtown Silver Spring for about twenty folks. The free tour was filmed and will appear as a short segment of the cable television show Paths to the Present: Montgomery County Stories, produced by Barbara Grunbaum for County Cable Montgomery and the Montgomery County Historical Society.  

Mike the cameraman films the group in front of the 1922 Silver Spring National Bank,
scene of our community's first bank robbery.  Photo by Barbara Grunbaum.

The walk was held in association with the Montgomery County Historical Society and the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County as part of the dual exhibits Between Fences and Good Neighbors: Fences in Montgomery County, currently on display at the Silver Spring Civic Building thru April 30, 2011.  Between Fences is a traveling exhibit organized by the Smithsonian Institution and is well worth seeing, as is Good Neighbors, organized by the MCHS.

For me the tour was reaffirming after last Monday's depressing loss before the Historic Preservation Commission of the Silver Spring Historical Society's nomination of the 1956 First Baptist Church of Silver Spring.  It was nice to be surrounded by like-minded individuals who believe that it is important to preserve Silver Spring's history. They were engaged, interested, and asked questions about the many buildings that I profiled, including the ones that were no longer extant. Sadly, some of these lost structures were standing when I first began to offer these tours over ten years ago.

"If you've got a camera, take a photo of this church while it's still here!"
Photo by Barbara Grunbaum. 
A "Currier & Ives" view of the First Baptist Church of Silver Spring.
Photo by Jerry A. McCoy.

Tour participant looks a photos of the 1927 Silver Spring Armory,  a designated historic
structure destroyed by Montgomery County in 1998 for construction of a parking garage.
A piece of the armory is in the background.  Photo by Barbara Grunbaum.

The tour concluded at Silver Spring's restored 1945 Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Station.
Open for free tours the first Saturday of each month, a new attraction at the station is the
installation of a large
model railroad display...swamped by kids!  Photo by Barbara Grunbaum.


Anonymous said...

.....For you and me I'm hopin'
That they'll preserve Silver Spring a hee hing!
JP Haslinger
Bonifant St.

jag said...

Hey Jerry, I'm disappointed to have not known about the walk. Hope to catch the next one!

I have a question, do you know what's happened to the statue in this photo? If it's lost or long since trashed, I think it might be a good candidate for reproduction.

Silver Spring: Then and Again said...

The original statue that appears in this photo from the 1920s was vandalized. In 1955, at the dedication of Acorn Park and the spring site, a not-very-close copy of it was temporarily placed in the spring's grotto (see p. 31 of "Historic Silver Spring"). I suspect that it was used only during the ceremony.

Unfortunately, any type of statuary placed there today wouldn't stand a chance of surviving...

jag said...

Really? Maybe I've got my rose colored glasses on, but I feel like there are enough pocket parks with artwork in Silver Spring that have stood up pretty well so far. The Norman Lane statue has stood for 20 years next to a pawn shop relatively unscathed (as far as I know) over a much rougher period in a much rougher area.

I agree, I don't think it'd be smart to spend a lot of $$ on an intricate replica, but maybe something relatively similar would make for a nice addition? Or do you think the historical/aesthetic value wouldn't be there if it were closer to the "not-very-close copy" than the original?

Silver Spring: Then and Again said...

I have no problem with the installation of even a not-so-close copy. Still, I would feel really bad if someone payed for the purchase and installation of such a piece of statuary and then a vandal lopped off an arm or the head or just stole the entire piece!