Last week FFG reported on MoCo’s decision to merge the Forest Glen and Montgomery Hills Master Plans as MoCo envisions economic revitalization for both areas. But what if this Master Plan included a 2nd Forest Glen Metro entrance on the southern side of Georgia Avenue at Montgomery Hills? According to MoCo – there is space at the end of the metro platform for a such a tunnel extension.
WMATA already owns land right next to the shopping center where the current FG Metro’s power station resides (pictured below).
If FG and Montgomery Hills develop as the Master Plan suggests, the roughly 25-acre combined area could be rebranded as a mini-city. Could a second FG metro entrance connect the two areas in a way that the Georgia Ave Pedestrian Bridge developers could ever imagine? Although there are plenty of DC stations that have multiple entrances such as Dupont Circle or U-Street, there are also a few suburban stations that have multiple entrances such as the White Flint Metro Station in Rockville (pictured below).
The Georgia Ave Pedestrian Bridge is useful for crossing over I-495 by foot – but its design, elevation and exposure to the elements often make it cumbersome to use. A southern Georgia Avenue metro entrance could prove to be more useful than the currently underutilized pedestrian bridge.
Even though the Montgomery Hills Shopping Center was deemed as a non-historic property in 1987, the tudor revival styled area is one of the largest operating shopping centers in MoCo that has retained its original architectural features. As Silver Spring began to grow in the 1910s and 1920s, corner grocery stores began to appear in suburban areas where these kind of developments were isolated as commercial structures in mostly residential neighborhoods. Communities such as Chevy Chase deliberately banned commercial development as they were unfitting to the prestigious nature of its residential neighborhoods. Recognizing that such shopping facilities were inevitable, a few forward-minded developers took it upon themselves to design and build a block of stores in areas deemed for commercial use (pictured below a 1987 photograph of Montgomery Hills).
Plagued by traffic and congestion, a new FG metro entrance could breathe life into this once thriving neighborhood shopping center and create a new urban oasis nestled between downtown Silver Spring and Wheaton. If the new FG/Montgomery Hills consolidated Master Plan materializes along with new transit friendly mix-used development, Silver Spring could add another revitalized neighborhood with a rich history to its list.
Now the hard part is coming up with a name – FG Hills anyone?