Monday, March 01, 2010

Flickr Find: Silver Spring in the Late 70's

I don't come across a lot of photos of downtown Silver Spring from the 70's and 80's, or even 90's, so I was delighted when I stumbled upon a few shots of late 70's Silver Spring on Flickr from user davidwilson1949. They are primarily transit focused, but they still show a less-developed (and pre-"revitalized") downtown area. Here's a collection of some of the more interesting ones. Click on any picture to enlarge it.

A post-snowstorm shot of the Silver Spring Shopping Center, now the front end of the Downtown Silver Spring development. Note the oddly-placed Coke machine.


A pre-AFI Silver Theatre, which was showing The Warriors at the time. A movie which, incidentally, is a pretty good representation of what Downtown Silver Spring was like in the 80s.


Another snowy shot of downtown, looking north from the Metro Station.


The Silver Spring Metro Station, back when it was fresh and new and still the last stop on the Red Line. It looked much more peaceful back then.


An old school Ride-On bus on display at the Silver Spring station with an even earlier model parked in the background. Why did Ride-On go and switch to that new nasty blue/green/yellow color scheme after all these years? There's no respect for tradition anymore. Ride-Ons should be blue and white, dammit!


Another Ride-On bus.


And some Metrobuses.


Look closely - it's the Luau Hut!

And finally, my favorite of the lot - A mini Ride-On bus chugging down 2nd Avenue in Silver Spring. It looks like it's falling apart. What a bucket!



Terry in Silver Spring said...

In the early 80's when I was at UMd, the only reasonable way to take the Metro from campus was a UMd Shuttle Bus that went from campus to Silver Spring Metro station. The Shuttle Bus stop was up by the Kiss and Ride. I used to take that route to get downtown to do my internship at Natural History. Silver Spring was run down at the heels, but I never remember feeling afraid.

I do recall, however, one day jumping on to a Red Line train at Metro Center as the doors were closing and having one leg and my bookbag caught outside of the train. Apparently, the driver didn't notice that and started to pull the train out of the station. Thankfully, two men jumped up and pulled the door apart to free me. They did think I was wacky when I was more concerned about my Invertebrate Zoology book than I was my leg. I paid a LOT for that book.

Anonymous said...

Holy crap, I actually saw the Warriors at the Silver Theater when I was 14! Talked my dad into taking me and some friends. He regretted the decision.

Anonymous said...

Hey--SSS made the WaPo's "Web Buzz" list on the local home page today!

Anonymous said...

Wow. I live in the Twin Towers, and I hardly even recognize that view!

TJ said...

Those photos are so crazy. Thanks for sharing them via the blog. Good find.

Joe Davidson said...

My guess, from the street scenes and the depth of the snow, is that the snow pictures were taken shortly after the "Washington Birthday" snowstorm in March 1979.

Anonymous said...

How depressing! While the simplicity of the photos conjours up some nostalgia, the bleakness reminds me of how far we've come.

Kevin W. said...

Incredible! THANK YOU for finding and sharing these! It is very, very hard to find any photos of Silver Spring from that era, and that really is how I remember Silver Spring and think of it to this day. Visiting DTSS today feels like "Back to the Future II" where Marty is wandering around 2015 Hill Valley, familiar, yet in some ways starkly different & bizarrely flashy.

The Drug Fair picture was notable to me especially, since it does indeed look like it could date to around the Feb. 1979 "President's Day" blizzard. I recall walking into that Drug Fair with my Mom after errands or a movie or something, it was dry as a bone outside. When we walked out 10-15 minutes later with our purchase, snow was falling briskly, and had already accumulated an inch or so, totally unexpected! We rushed home and stayed there for the next 2-3 days! Good thing we got a new board game at Drug Fair to pass the time!

Loved seeing the old Ride-Ons and Metrobuses. What was the "Downtowner?" It looks like some kind of prototype Ride-On, I don't remember it at all, though I do remember the "premiere" of Ride-On service in the country.

I *don't* remember the mostly-blue, older-looking buses. Were those some early Ride-Ons that didn't last very long? They look like they date to the 60s, but I don't remember any Ride-On earlier than the white ones given the "beauty shots" here, and those came around 1980 or '81 IIRC.

business valuations said...

These are really refreshing and remind us of those golden bygone days. Thanks for sharing. I've never thought that our neighborhood could be so exciting when we recollect those old days. You've done good job by posting these valuable photos.

Debt Lawsuit said...

Time flies. The graph of change indicates improvement in one aspect and decline in another. Over the years there is better relocation of things but looking at the increase in the number of vehicles, it is not encouraging.

nyc bed bugs said...

I do agree that they were less developed or in your language pre-revitalized but they're less polluted and simple too. Life was simple and peaceful as my grandpa often boasts of.

used auto parts said...

I appreciate the nice collection of the interesting and informative pictures of the old town. I've enjoyed watching the pics.

design a product said...

Thanks a lot for the great collection. I appreciate every detail which was then underdeveloped and consequently focused to change for better.

Eviction Forms said...

These photos give us a fair idea about how silver spring was doing then and what improvement has made over the years and what more to refine? These photos are really interesting.

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