Due to its unincorporated nature, the boundaries are difficult to precisely define, but the center of the community is located at the intersection of Randolph Road and Georgia Avenue(Maryland State Highway 97).
The village of Glenmont in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries contained a few house and small farm lining the Washington-Brookville Turnpike, as Georgia Avenue was then called. The area remained largely undeveloped until after World War II, when suburbanization began with the construction of the Glenmont Subdivisions. The State Roads Commission began planning to widen Georgia Avenue in 1948, and commercial and residential development began transforming the rural area known as Glenmont in 1949 with two major developments – Glenmont Village and Glenmont Forest. In 1947 the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission built the 189‐foot tall Glenmont Water Tower, which is a multi‐columned elevated water tank with a 500,000‐gallon capacity.
Glenmont is a suburban crossroads of sorts. Georgia Avenue (Maryland Route 97) passes through the community. Southbound along Georgia Avenue is Wheaton, downtown Silver Spring, and the District of Columbia. North of Glenmont on Georgia Avenue is Aspen Hill (another unincorporated community) and Leisure World, a large retirement community. Route 97 continues north through Howard and Carroll counties to Pennsylvania.
Meeting Georgia Avenue at the heart of Glenmont is Randolph Road. The intersection of Georgia Avenue and Randolph Road is heavily congested, and there are plans to replace the current, at-grade intersection with a grade-separated interchange. Georgia Avenue is under study as a bus rapid transit (BRT) route in the Countywide Transit Corridors Functional Master Plan. The State Highway Administration is also studying BRT along Georgia Avenue between Glenmont and Olney.
Layhill Road (Maryland Route 182) has its southern terminus at Georgia Avenue, just north of Randolph Road.
The Glenmont Metro station serves the area. This underground station, which opened in 1998, is at the east end of the Red Line, and has a large parking garage. From Glenmont, the Red Line heads south to downtown Silver Spring and to the District of Columbia before re-entering Montgomery County and terminating at Shady Grove.
The Kensington Volunteer Fire Department has a fire station at the intersection of Randolph Road and Georgia Avenue. The station was designed by architect Ted Englehardy as a large Colonial Revival wing-and-gable building. the exterior of the building is of brick construction and contains an exterior chimney and clock tower.
Montgomery County Police District 4 headquarters is also located at the intersection. The police station was designed by Bagley, Soule & Associates of Chevy Chase in 1958. The construction was completed in 1959. The building has several additions, which reflect a change from the original Colonial Revival design. The complex features traditional details including denticulated cornices, brick laid in American bond course, molded brick surrounds, and double hung sash windows.
The Maryland-National Capital Park Police has its headquarters in an old elementary school on Layhill Road.
There is a large shopping center on the northeast corner of Randolph Road and Georgia Avenue. It has a supermarket, pharmacy, office supply store, one gasoline service station, local pub, convenience store, barber shop, sporting goods store, numerous small markets and restaurants, and a branch office of the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration. There are also other restaurants and stores scattered along Georgia Avenue.
The Glenmont Land and Development Corporation began construction of the shopping center in 1956. The center was not constructed in one building campaign. It was expanded as the developers were able to bring in new businesses. In its original construction, each store had large plate glass display windows held in by tubular aluminum, known as an “open design.” One portion of the shopping area, know as the “Arcade,” included a 24 lane bowling alley. The alley was named for Alphone “Tuffy” Leeman, who played for the New York Giants in the 1930s and 1940s. By 1957, the shopping center included the bowling alley, a dry clearer, a hardware store, and a restaurant. By 1962, the shopping center included a hairstylist, barber shop, shoe service, insurance agency, Glenmont Inn Restaurant, a Chinese restaurant, a hardware store, a saving a loan association, a High’s Dairy Store, a glass and mirror store, a bicycle store, a People’s Drug Store, a post office, and a Grand Union Supermarket.
There are three large garden apartment complexes and a condominium at the heart of Glenmont. The rest of the area consists of single family homes and a few townhouses. Most of the housing stock west of Georgia Avenue is older and smaller; east of Georgia Avenue, the homes are newer and larger. However, there are a few sites west of Georgia Avenue where homeowners have demolished small, older homes and built larger, newer ones in their place. Nearly two-thirds (62 percent) of the area’s housing units are owner-occupied, though this is less than the countywide homeownership rate of 75 percent.
Glenmont Village is a residential subdivision of single family homes on the west side of the center of Glenmont. The homes were constructed in 1949 and 1950. The village originally included 30 blocks and approximately 350 buildings. The Cape Cod-style houses were advertised as “Modern Bungalows” by Glenmont Village Inc. and sold for $9,875. The houses featured full basements, gas heat, hot water, and an expandable attic level with a full-width dormer in the rear. There were four basic varieties of houses. Over the years, the houses have been customized.
Public schools within the Downcounty Consortium (DCC) serve the Glenmont Sector Plan area. The consortium “includes five high schools and their feeder middle and elementary schools. Two public high schools (John F. Kennedy High School and Wheaton High School) are in the area. There are three middle schools in the area: Argyle, Col. E Brooke Lee, and A. Mario.Loiederman. There four elementary schools in the area: Georgian Forest, Weller Road, Glenallan, and Arcola.
There was a school (Glenmont Elementary) located at the intersection of Randolph Road and Georgia Avenue. The original school was constructed in 1935, with a gymnasium added in 1946 (designed by V.T.H. Bien), and a subsequent addition was built in the 1950s. The grounds included a play area and a large grassy field. The school has since been demolished.
The area consists of modest rolling hills broken by small streams, all of them fed mainly by run-off from storm drainage, although the community contains at least one natural spring still producing acquifer-fed water. All streams to the east side of Glenmont are part of the Anacostia River watershed; they flow into the Northwest Branch of the Anacostia, which empties into the Potomac. Streams to the west of Glenmont generally reach the Potomac River by way of Rock Creek, with Georgia Avenue serving as a rough dividing line between the two drainage areas.
There are three public parks near the center of Glenmont: Glenfield Local Park, Saddlebrook Local Park, and Glenmont Greenway Urban Park. Glenfield Local Park is 11.3 acres and features a diamond/rectangular field overlay, a playground, two tennis courts, a picnic shelter, and a petanque court. Saddlebrook Local Park is nearly 15 acres and includes a rectangular field, playground, and a basketball court. Glenmont Greenway Urban Park is approximately three acres, and includes an eight‐foot wide asphalt trail and sitting areas. The land is owned by WMATA, but operated and maintained by the Maryland‐National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M‐NCPPC) as parkland.
In addition to these three parks, there are 11 parks within a few miles of the core Glenmont area, totaling over 1,100 acres. Chief among these is Brookside Gardens and Wheaton Regional Park, both managed by Montgomery County.
In October 2008, the Greater Glenmont Civic Association (GGCA) was founded to address rising crime rates in Glenmont, and to encourage the Montgomery County government to re-vitalize the Glenmont area, just as the county had done in the neighboring Wheaton and Silver Spring areas. According to GGCA documents, crime has been reduced in the Glenmont area by about 15% as of June, 2010. The GGCA has won several awards and grants for its activities.
Points of interest
For more information about Glenmont (Layhill), visit its Wikipedia page.
Walk Score for Glenmont
Glenmont School Data
Glenmont School Districts
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