Tuesday, October 27, 2009

More Silver Spring Sign Goodness

Here's another cool Mid-century sign in Silver Spring. The sign resides over the entrance to the arcade at the Glenmont Shopping Center, located at the intersection of Georgia Ave. and Randolph Rd. (Yes, this may be SSINO and borderline Wheaton, but whatever.)

Glenmont Arcade

Contrary to what the sign indicates, there is not actually a bowling alley located here - at least there isn't anymore. I don't recall ever bowling here when it was open, so I dug into it a bit. The bowling alley that formerly resided here was Glenmont Lanes, founded by former New York Giants football player "Tuffy" Leemans, who operated it until his death in 1979. Sadly, yet not surprisingly, the alley closed for good in 2002. Being a proper Maryland bowling alley, it was of course duckpin. I may be mistaken, but I believe the underground alley is now home to a church. These may or may not be photos of the current interior.

"Tuffy's" did live on in a sense until earlier this afternoon by way of its zombie website, hosted by mid-90's time capsule Geocities. Of course, with the plug finally being pulled on Geocities today, the site can now only be found in archived form. The last update appeared to be a league stat sheet from November of 2000. Sadly, the website included no photos of the interior of the alley. I imagine the interior as being a a bit of a throwback, similar to the (amazingly) still-operational White Oak Lanes.


More Silver Spring Googie: Miles Glass Sign
Silver Spring Googie (Weller's Dry Cleaners)
A Hidden Silver Spring Gem - White Oak Lanes


Anonymous said...

I've been there a few times in my life. No pictures sadly. It is a bit like the White Oak one. Good stuff.

Megan Farrington said...

I used to bowl there with my dad when I was a kid. I don't remember exactly what it looked like inside, but I do remember there was a vending machine shaped like a hen, which laid a plastic egg with a junky trinket inside. I loved that thing and would beg my dad for a quarter every time we went.

Dan Reed said...

Am I the only one who's tired of SSINO? I'm pretty sure this was Silver Spring when Glenmont Lanes opened forty years ago.

Sligo said...

Yes, and SSINO is not necessarily a pejorative, it just reflects the fact that the definition of "Silver Spring" is way too loose. It seems like the county/postal service/whoever just got lazy used "Silver Spring" for everything that couldn't be classified as something else. One could say that the location in question is in Silver Spring, Wheaton, or Glenmont. That is a bit confusing.

Flounder said...

I spent many days at that bowling alley as a kid, as well as the video arcade next door. That's where faux tough guys like me hung out. The genuine tough guys hung out at the Cue Club pool hall across the parking lot.

Dan Reed said...

Then just say Glenmont. People will know where that is and, yeah, as someone who lives above the Beltway I take it as kind of an insult.

The boundaries are only too loose if, for some reason, everything that's not Downtown isn't worth calling Silver Spring. Why can't "Silver Spring" mean farms and suburbs and Downtown as well? For most people, I think it already does.

Sligo said...

Sorry, Dan, but I don't think it makes a lick of sense that "Silver Spring" goes all the way to the Howard County border. If they are unincorporated areas, why define these places as Silver Spring when they can be called anything, thereby creating more of a local identity? Perhaps you and I know where Colesville and Glenmont are, but I always here them referenced to as a generic "Silver Spring" in news stories, etc. And no, I don't think of Silver Spring as consisting only of the downtown area, but at the same time I don't think that its borders should extend indefinitely. Maybe my issue is just with the US Postal Service. They even consider Wheaton Silver Spring.

Perhaps you should clarify your own geographic definitions. For someone who claims their blog is about "Columbia Pike. Not the one in Rockville", you sure write about Rockville a lot.

Sligo said...

Maybe 20901 and 20910 can be "Silver Spring" and the rest can be "Silver Springs".

ThayerAvenue said...

/me registers domain name "www.silverspringsplural.com" before anyone else can...

stitchbones said...

I bowled at Glenmont, Fonatana Bowlarama and White Oak back in the day. I'm pretty sure that the Duckpin Bowling Hall of Fame was at Glenmont Lanes.

Sligo said...

I definitely remember going to birthday parties at the Fontana Bowlarama. Now it is an Asian & Hispanic supermarket.

Silver Spring: Then and Again said...

The 1960 "Polk's Silver Spring, Bethesda, Chevy Chase, Kensington, Takoma Park and Wheaton Montgomery Co. City Directory" lists Glenmont Ten Pin Bowl as being located in "Glenmont, Maryland."

Bruce said...

I seen to remember the Fontana Bowlarama had a pretty impressive sign as well.

Anonymous said...

I don't believe Dan said Silver Spring's name goes all the way to Howard, I thought he was saying If it's in Glenmont, call it Glenmont.
or GINO if you are a hip and ironic blogger!

Sligo said...

There is a Silver Spring ZIP code that extends to the Howard County line.

It seems that people who live in Glenmont generally self-identify as being in Silver Spring. And why wouldn't they? It is what's on their mailing address.

Dan Reed said...

Does it really hurt someone's perception of Downtown Silver Spring if someone gets killed in Glenmont and they say it happened in Silver Spring? Probably not as much as you think.

It's possible for places within the "Silver Spring" umbrella to have their own local identity, but to identify with Downtown as well. Even if you live on the Howard County line. Everyone I went to high school with did.

I don't like being told that I don't live in the "real" Silver Spring because I'm not walking distance to the Majestic. It's what my address says, it's what I identify with, and it's a place I'm proud to say I'm from, every last vaguely defined square inch of it.

Dan Reed said...

So I guess it's overreacting for me to say I'm "insulted" by SSINO, but perhaps frustrated by the sentiment of it. I think we sort of agree that people should identify with Silver Spring, but not as to how far away they should be able to.

I write about Rockville whenever my homies at Rockville Central are doing something (like tomorrow's Zombie Walk), and it so happens that I've worked there for three years, so Rockville naturally tends to make its way into what I write. That's it.

Sligo said...

If people want to identify so much with Silver Spring, why did Colesville place large "Welcome to Colesville" signs where you enter the neighborhood (or whatever it can be defined as)? Clearly they are trying to create their own identity, yet to 99% of the people outside, where they live will be referred to generically as "Silver Spring". (The post office accepts either, though Silver Spring is preferred.) The name Colesville has been around a lot longer than Silver Spring, FWIW.

I'm not saying I don't want to be associated with Colesville or other places within the so-called "Silver Spring Area" that I often see referred to on Craigslist and elsewhere. (Colesville is actually pretty close-in when compared to some other places.) I just think that it's really confusing and makes Silver Spring seem like just a generic name applied to a large swath of Montgomery County.

And Dan, you can say you are from wherever you want. In fact, I am going to start telling people I live in Paris.

Anonymous said...

Why do you care if someone identifies with Silver Spring if there from Colesville or Glenmont? While I agree it's a bit confusing, I think you are creating an air of exclusivity with the SSINO lable, and Silver Spring is anything but exclusive. That might be one reason why we all(here)love it.

Sligo said...

As long as "Silver Spring" remains a generic label for a large portion of Montgomery County (and part of PG county, even), it will never be able to create its own identity, nor will the places that probably should have their own mailing addresses.

Anonymous said...

It's nothing to do with "labeling" rather it has to do with the anonimity of a lot of these suburbs that don't have real centers. If we continue building places where people want to congergate (like DTSS) we will foster real geopraphic identity and thus names of places people genuilny love and consequently identify with. Until then, people will want to be part of something greater. Take it as a compliment mon ami Paresienne.

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