RFPs submitted months ago for the 2.35 acre parcel on Colesville Road, home since 1957 to the Silver Spring Public Library, have been narrowed by County government to two. Local civic associations teamed up with the Silver Spring Historical Society to convince County government to preserve the library site for parkland and an adaptive reuse of the handsome building that will continue to benefit the community. This serviceable building is well situated on the total parcel for green space as well as newer uses.
Local civic associations, Silver Spring Historical Society, and individuals submitted comments on the final two proposals. MPI’s comments in favor of one of these proposals can be viewed here.
Designed by Rhees Burket, a noted architect with a lifetime of civic and professional leadership, the library is an icon of Montgomery Modern architecture. The Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired flagship structure came early in the new County library system, when other towns operated facilities out of smaller makeshift buildings. The Silver Spring Library was a harbinger of mid-century design and of local public services yet to come. Its open floor plan fills with light, highlighting natural materials of brick and native quarried stone and surrounding hilly landscape, and is considered one of Burket’s best works.
For the time being, you can visit Friends of the Wheaton Library’s Used Book Store at this library.