Neighborhood Profile: Silver Spring

Located just north of Washington DC, Silver Spring, MD is a sprawling suburb that is constantly growing, expanding, and improving. With the addition of major office, residential, and retail development, and a slate of festivals and activities throughout the year, you’ll find there’s always something happening in Silver Spring.

Silver Spring was founded by Francis Preston Blair in 1840; Blair later helped found and organize The Republican Party. Blair and his daughter saw a small spring flowing with mica on the north edge of DC, in what is today Acorn Park. The glittering effect thus created was the origin of the name Silver Spring and within two years Blair had built a large mansion on the site. As the family’s political fortunes continued to rise over the ensuing years, this was followed by a number of other grand homes built by members of the Blair family.

The large estates in the area began to be broken up during the late 19th century, resulting in more residential development. The construction of roads and commercial development resulted in rapid growth throughout the early 20th century. The addition of the Capital Beltway and Metro Rail service were also elements that sparked exponential growth throughout the mid- and late- 20th century.

Today, Silver Spring is one of the most diverse and culturally rich areas of the DC Metro, with a wide variety of dining options, arts venues, and a wide variety of events.

The Arts and Entertainment District provides a number of incentives for artists and art venues, resulting in a wide array of options for the art lovers of this highly educated population. There are also regulations that encourage public art projects in this area. The downtown Silver Spring shopping and entertainment district, the renovated by the American Film Institute, and the Fillmore Silver Spring concert venue all contribute to the liveliness of the area.

The Civic Center and Veteran’s Plaza plays host to an array of festivals and civic events throughout the year. From the Silver Spring Jazz Festival to Restaurant Week to film festivals and more, Silver Spring is the site of events big and small. Many of these are hosted by representatives of Silver Spring’s culturally diverse population, including those hosted by Telemundo and the Silver Spring Ethiopian Community Center, as well as the annual Taste the World Festival which highlights the food styles of many of the local citizens.

Housing is always in high demand in Silver Spring, resulting in continual development and building projects. In addition, because of the area’s history and the many different time periods during which it has experienced explosive growth, there are a variety of older homes of many different architectural styles. If you have a passion for Art Deco or mid-century modern, you’ll particularly love some of the neighborhoods which feature vintage examples of these styles.

Outdoor areas and greenspace are particularly valued by those living in Silver Spring. Rock Creek Park borders the area, along with Sligo Creek Park, Wheaton Regional Park, and many other options. These offer a variety of recreational and play opportunities for area residents. In addition, Shades of Green, a program of the Montgomery County Planning Commission, provides free trees and planting for qualified property owners in the area in order to increase the urban canopy in the area.

The construction of the light rail Purple Line with a station in Silver Spring promises to connect it even more conveniently to other areas of Maryland, so that the area will benefit from proximity to both DC and the state’s other urban locales. In addition, there is some talk of expanding the Purple Line into areas of Northern Virginia, including Alexandria and Tysons. If this happens, Silver Spring will truly be a hub with easy access to the entire DC Metro.

If you are interested in Silver Spring or any of the great areas in and around Washington DC, we’ve got you covered. We know so many great neighborhoods and we want to help you find the one that fits your budget, your aesthetic, and your lifestyle. Sign in at our website and let our Eng Garcia Grant pros start a custom search for you in Silver Spring, or wherever you want to be.

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