Showing posts with label demolition. Show all posts
Showing posts with label demolition. Show all posts

Sunday, March 17, 2024

Demolition of Rockville home proposed (Photos)

The owners of the home at 115 North Van Buren Street in Rockville would like to demolish it to make room for a new house on the property. They have asked the City of Rockville for a review to determine if the 1961 brick house qualifies for historic designation or not. Their application has been reviewed by City staff, and will be taken up by the Historic District Commission at their next scheduled meeting on Thursday, March 21, 2024 at 7:00 PM. City Preservation Planner Sheila Bashiri has reviewed the house and its history in relation to the criteria for preservation, and has determined that the home does not merit historic designation.

115 North Van Buren Street is actually a quite nice home. Its construction is all-brick and solid. It has some small architectural details that modestly aspire toward a mansion. There's even a full tennis court in the backyard! 

All of the fine details are less surprising when you learn that the home was built for the son of the prominent Judge Charles W. Woodward. Judge Woodward was first appointed to the bench by - arguably - Maryland's greatest and most-famous governor, Albert Ritchie, in 1932. 

Four years later, Judge Woodward and his wife Clarice moved into a new home at 111 North Van Buren Street. During the 1950s, the Woodwards purchased adjacent lots. In 1960, the Woodwards' son Arthur and his wife Elizabeth bought the lot at 115 North Van Buren from them. Their home, complete with a one-story office for Dr. Arthur Woodward's medical practice, was built the next year.

Dr. Woodward passed away in 2006. Elizabeth Woodward continued to live in the home until her recent death in 2021. The current owners acquired the property from her estate in 2022, and a family member of theirs has been living in the house since. Now, as residents of Rockville for over 25 years, they would like to build a new "forever home" in its place.

Many people might look at the pictures and say that, with a little fixing up, this would be a wonderful place to live. However, the owners note that the home's interior and basic systems are in poor condition, although livable for the present. There is a significant amount of termite damage. One of the bedrooms has a floor that is structurally unsound. And the medical office, which the owners say appears to not have been used for a very long time, is an unusable space.

Also in the owners' favor, they have gathered a great deal of community support against historic designation of the property from other longtime Rockville residents. Letters representing 17 residents have been submitted with their application, all opposing historic designation. 

Any resident will have the option to voice their opinion on the application during the HDC meeting, by submitting their name and email address to the Historic District Commission, (by email at no later than 9:00 AM on the day of the hearing (March 21, 2024) to be placed on the testimony list. Written testimony can be submitted to the same email address by 4:00 PM on March 20, the day before the meeting.

Photos courtesy City of Rockville

Tuesday, December 19, 2023

Demolition of home at 110 North Street in Rockville appears likely (Photos)

A home in a Rockville neighborhood that began as an African-American community after Maryland Emancipation is likely to be demolished, after a City of Rockville analysis found it does not qualify for historic designation. The current owner of the bungalow at 110 North Street is seeking an opinion on the matter from the Historic District Commission, to determine if the structure may be demolished or not. A staff report by City Preservation Planner Sheila Bashiri determined that the home in its current dilapidated condition does not meet the standards for designation. The applicant's filing with the city notes that the HDC approved demolition of a similar home next door nine years ago. A McMansion sits on that adjacent lot today, so there is no historic viewshed to preserve.

While the bungalow reflects the style and location of a home built and/or resided in by freed slaves or employed servants following the Civil War, no major figures in Rockville history resided at 110 North Street, and no significant historical events occurred there. The report stated that its "architecture, design or landscape is not significant within the city of Rockville." Bashiri recommended HDC commissioners find the property does not qualify for historic designation. The HDC will take up the matter at its Thursday, December 21, 2023 meeting.

Photos courtesy City of Rockville

Friday, May 19, 2023

Lakeforest Mall owner wants to demolish mall sooner than planned

The now-shuttered Lakeforest Mall in Gaithersburg was not expected to be demolished until next year. But owner WRS Realty is now seeking to bring the building down much sooner. The rationale for waiting until 2024 was that the company would retain the fallback plan of reopening the mall, should the City of Gaithersburg not approve its plan to redevelop the site with thousands of residential units, along with new restaurants and retail. 

WRS Realty now says it would raze the mall sooner, if it could enter a binding contract with the City that provides a guaranteed right to redevelop the property, the Washington Business Journal reported this afternoon. If the City agrees, reporter Daniel J. Sernovitz wrote, it could speed up delivery of the new development by two years. The new plan by WRS Realty may explain why an auction of the mall's contents is now scheduled for next month. If WRS Realty were to reopen the mall, it would have to replace some amount of that stuff to do so.

Thursday, July 28, 2022

Historic Chinese supermarket building demolished in Rockville (Photos)

Wow, that was fast. The historic building most recently home to Meixin Supermarket is literally just a pile of rubble now at 460 Hungerford Drive in Rockville. While the building did not receive historic designation from the City of Rockville after a contentious review, it was designed by famed and award-winning local architect John "Jack" Sullivan. The site will now become the location of a Chase bank branch with drive-thru.

Monday, May 16, 2022

Rockville HDC to review demolitions at Montgomery County jail

Rockville's Historic District Commission will review the proposed demolition of seven unutilized structures at the Montgomery County Detention Center campus at 1307 Seven Locks Road at its meeting this Thursday, May 19, 2022 at 7:00 PM. The Montgomery County Department of General Services is seeking the demolitions, to clear the way for a potential Montgomery County Public Schools school bus depot. 

No formal proposal for the bus depot has been submitted to the City as of yet. The HDC will consider the potential historic significance of the seven buildings. But under the mandatory referral process for government projects, the City can only advise changes; it cannot stop a County project from moving forward.

Friday, September 24, 2021

Rockville gas station destroyed by fire demolished

The Sunoco gas station at 790 Hungerford Drive in Rockville has been demolished. It was heavily damaged in a November 2019 fire. Klotz Construction is the demolition contractor, leveling the service station to its concrete slab. Sunoco itself provides some unintentional humor, as its website lists the demolished station as open and ready to serve you this morning.


Thursday, August 19, 2021

Rockville Wegmans update (Photos)

The retail buildings on the site of the future Rockville Wegmans grocery store have been leveled at the corner of Rockville Pike and Halpine Road. You can see the vacant Fuddruckers restaurant all the way from that corner now, which wasn't possible before. The parking lot that surrounded the stores is still intact. Wegmans will be the anchor retail tenant of B.F. Saul's Twinbrook Corner development here.

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Sports & Social construction begins in Rockville

The construction process to build the new Sports & Social at 11800 Grand Park Avenue at Pike & Rose is now underway. Destruction is the first step, however, and it's sad to see the elaborate interior of former tenant Del Frisco's Grill being demolished. It was almost 7 years ago that Del Frisco's opened with a memorable VIP party, which showed off the upscale decor.

Saturday, May 22, 2021

Demolition begins to clear way for Rockville Wegmans


Demolition to make way for the future Rockville Wegmans grocery store is now officially underway. Fencing has been up for several weeks, while the contractor awaited approval of the demolition permits. Wegmans will be the retail anchor of a large B.F. Saul development to be called Twinbrook Quarter, here at the corner of Rockville Pike and Halpine Road, across from Congressional Plaza.

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Work begins on future Rock Grove shopping center in Rockville

Work has begun on the transformation of the strip mall at the corner of MD 355 and Shady Grove Road in Rockville. Demolition of several vacant storefronts at one end of the shopping center is underway. Dunkin' Donuts remains open and is not part of the work being performed at this time. Property owner JBG Smith is transforming the center into a more upscale retail property that will be branded as Rock Grove.