February 19, 2014 Mid-Century Modern

Take Action: Help Save the Wheaton Youth Center


Wheaton Rec Center

A Feb. 25 Montgomery County Council public hearing on the early 1960s Wheaton Youth Center may be the last time for supporters to make a pitch to save the building from demolition. Montgomery County would like to demolish the building and construct a new library/recreation center facility on an adjacent parcel. Historic designation is supported by the Historic Preservation Commission and the Montgomery County Planning Board. However, the County Council has the final say on the building’s future.

While some are concerned that preservation of the historic building will prevent the planned new library and recreation center from being constructed, the Planning Board has found that it is possible for preservation and redevelopment to occur at the same time. The preservation community believes that a new use can be found for the Wheaton Youth Center, and the new library can be constructed on the site without any impact to the planned program for the new facility.

The award-winning Japanese-inspired design was done by Keyes, Lethbridge and Condon. The center is said to have served as a premier spot for concerts back in the day, including Alice Cooper, Bob Seger and Rod Stewart. Some even say that Led Zeppelin played a show there in 1969.

The Feb. 25 hearing will take place at 7:30 p.m. at 100 Maryland Ave. in Rockville. Written comments/testimony may be emailed to Council President Craig Rice at [email protected] and County Executive Ike Leggett at [email protected] or by mail to the Council’s Office of Legislative Information Services, 5th Floor, Council Office Building, 100 Maryland Ave., Rockville, MD 20850. Those who wish to testify in person can sign up at 240-777-7803 and follow the instructions.

Wheaton Rec Center

Wheaton Rec Center

A close up of the wavy window screens.

Wheaton Rec Center

The side of the gym. Did Led Zeppelin play in there?