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A Historic Reunion:  Visit the New Deal Mural at Silver Spring Library, 3rd Floor

L to R: Mary Reardon, MPI; George French, Silver Spring Historical Society (SSHS); Diana Kohn, Historic Takoma; Robin Ross, Silver Spring resident; Jerry A. McCoy, Silver Spring Historical Society; Allen C. Browne, photographer and resident; Lysette House, FOLSS; Marcie Stickle, SSHS; Wendy Woodland, MPI.

After decades of separation, the Silver Spring Post Office and the historic mural “The Old Tavern” again share the same address. The mural was painted in 1937 by emigre Nicolai Cikovsky for the Silver Spring Post Office. The 6’x16’ oil on canvas depicts black and white Civil War Union soldiers, 1864-65, reading mail and relaxing in front of the Eagle Inn, which stood on the SW corner of present day Georgia Avenue and Colesville Road, in the village then called Sligo.

In 1994 Silver Spring resident Jerry McCoy searched for and unearthed the mural,  partnering with Friends of the Library Silver Spring to raise funds for its 1997 conservation and dedication. McCoy founded the Silver Spring Historical Society in 1998.

In 2015, “The Old Tavern” was cleaned and reinstalled in the new Silver Spring Library, with funds raised by Friends of the Library Silver Spring Chapter (FOLSS). On August 31, 2018, the U.S. Postal Service held a ribbon-cutting event for the opening of the SS Post Office at 900 Wayne Avenue.  John Sery of Montgomery Preservation (MPI) captured the moment for the December 2018 FOLSS newsletter.

 

Rockville’s New Deal-Era Post Office Mural will be Featured on a 2019 Forever Stamp

The City of Rockville and Peerless Rockville plan to commemorate this honor on a 2019 date TBD. The 1940 mural by Judson Smith was restored as part of the landmark building’s purchase by the City and re-purposed as the Rockville Police Station in 2012.

In a press release, the U.S. Postal Service stated that the stamp will be sold within a pane of 10 stamps that depict “five different murals designed to add a touch of beauty to Post Office walls and help boost the morale of Americans during the era of the Great Depression.”

Agreement signed for Metropolitan Branch Hiker-Biker Trail by Montgomery Preservation and Montgomery County

In November 2018, MPI and Montgomery County entered into an agreement that established a perpetual easement over MPI’s land for construction and operation of the Metropolitan Branch Trail across the frontage of MPI’s property at 8100 Georgia Avenue in Silver Spring.  The trail will run largely parallel to Georgia Avenue, then cross over Georgia Avenue via a new bridge span.

The County also will have a temporary easement over most of MPI’s surface parking lot for construction.  This includes construction of the trail on the MPI property, and tying the trail in with a new bridge structure that will allow trail users to cross over Georgia Avenue.  According to the latest construction schedule estimates from the County, we expect that there will be work on the MPI property between the fall of 2020 through the spring of 2021.

The County and MPI will work with the Maryland Historical Trust (MHT) to coordinate modification of an existing historic easement that MHT holds on the property to allow for the trail use within this historic easement.

Although the upcoming construction will be disruptive while underway, MPI welcomes the trail use and looks forward to introducing a new audience to its historic site.  In partnership with Silver Spring Historical Society, since rescuing and restoring the station to its 1945 appearance, MPI has opened the historic station to visitors and the greater Montgomery County community. In addition to popular public Open Houses on the first Saturday of every month and Montgomery County Heritage Weekend in June, the station is available for meetings, gatherings, and special events such as birthday parties, weddings, and other celebrations.

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