Thursday, July 08, 2010

Token Silver Spring Civic Building Post

So as you probably are aware, our Silver Spring Civic Building finally opened today after countless years of construction, fretting about the design, lamenting the loss of The Turf, etc. I figured I'd share a few photos I snapped at the grand opening event this evening.

I arrived at the Civic Building later than planned, thinking I'd missed the chance to be there for the ribbon cutting. However, since a seemingly endless progression of politicians needed to get their turn at the microphone, I actually ended up having to wait awhile to go inside. The sound setup was poor, so I couldn't really hear what they were saying as I waited impatiently in the sweltering heat.



My wife's initial impression of the building was that it looks a lot like Redwood restaurant in Bethesda, and I have to agree that it kinda does. Of course, that's not really a bad thing, IMO.



Anyway, once the pols finally concluded their bloviating...



...there was a rush to get inside.



At the front of the building is the main lobby:



...doors from which lead to the large hall:



My personal favorite feature of the building is its courtyard:



They even have little outdoor dinner trays available for use. What's the over-under on the number of days before these are all busted?



If you look closely, you can see that some of the windows looking out onto the courtyard are frosted with mini penguins (Thanks to JK for pointing this out to me.) A nice touch, despite how I feel about Silver Spring and penguins.



This guy wins the Suit of the Night award. By a landslide.



Along with some other visitors, I unintentionally wandered into the county offices on the upper level before we were all kicked out. This expulsion led some guy to start repeatedly yelling about how he wanted his tax money back. The crazies are already staking their claim on our Civic Building.

There are a number of other smaller rooms intended for use as classrooms, exhibit space and the like, but I won't bore you with photos of these.

I must say that the Civic Building is really quite nice. I am very interested to see types of things it ultimately gets utilized for. What is certain is that the newly-opened Veterans Plaza and its plentiful seating will get loads of use this summer and for many years to come.



I do hope those seats are skateboard proof.



40 comments:

ForestGlen said...

I was there too...wearing a "Maryland's On Top Shirt" that I found through your website :).

The inside seems nice, but I doubt I will ever have the need go to in there again.

Anonymous said...

This opened already? Damn. I live literally a block away (looking out at the building now) and had no idea it would open this soon. I swear I passed by on Fenton during the holiday weekend, and the whole front area was still a construction zone.

On a side note - for the past week whenever I've logged in and tried to comment, nothing shows up in the word verification box. I have to refresh the site and, on the second time, it's inevitably fixed. But something's wrong with the site.

Anonymous said...

What are those classrooms going to be used for? I volunteer teach ESL in DC, but if an organization were going to organize that in Silver Spring that would be far more convenient. Is there a civic center website with information on what it will be used for?

Jennifer Deseo said...

I kinda like the penguin-frosted window pane. Of course, I'm biased.

Thayer Avenue said...

Isn't it supposed to be "Civic Building" (not "Center")? See - this confusion is why "The Box" is so much better.

Anonymous said...

You didn't address the important question - is the ice rink open yet?

Terry in Silver Spring said...

"This expulsion led some guy to start repeatedly yelling about how he wanted his tax money back. The crazies are already staking their claim on our Civic Building."


When I was in Alaska, I saw a bumper sticker that said "We're all here because we're not all there". I think that can equally apply to Silver Spring at times.

Big Bubba said...

I got nothing against skateboarders, but what a shame it was to see them out there in Veterans Plaza. I, too, hope the seating is skateboard protected. I doubt it. The concrete isn't going to hold up much better. I could without the noise from the skaters, too.

The Plaza isn't the proper place for them. And, I agree, they deserve their own park.

I'm betting a no skaetboarding goes up soon.

Anonymous said...

The skateboarders were out in force at the proto-ice-rink tonight. The loud smacks of wheels and boards on concrete put my nerves on edge. But I guess, if they aren't using that cement oval, then no one would be using that spot right now at all. Still, it's annoying. So annoying.

wombat said...

If they'd stick to the oval I wouldn't mind, but they're taking off from the seating area and crossing the main path through the plaza. With that and the noises, never mind walking my worried little blind dog through there in the evenings.

I thought the plaza would be nicer than the turf - aside from aesthetically - because I would be able to walk there without worrying about getting beaned by a frisbee or a ball, but this is no improvement. Why do people think it's OK to make public spaces into their own sports arena? Is there really not a rule against skateboarding there?

JKS said...

Today Saturday, it rained (finally). Turns out the big steel and glass clunker in front of the Civic leeks. Water pours down the middle and gathers as a giant puddle below, because there is no drainage. Performance space? Yikes!

Brian said...

As someone who skateboarded at the original Armory for 15 years I can only hope they are not skate proof. kids could be doing worse things than sliding on the wood or cement.

I still have part of the original armory in my closet. F- the yuppies. go back to Bethesda.

Anonymous said...

"...kids could be doing worse things than sliding on the wood or cement." Isn't that kind of a blackmail type argument? If you don't let us come barreling on a piece of wood with wheels straight at or around you and your kid, we'll go do drugs, or rob a store, or mug you? Are those really the options? Either put up with the skateboarding or some horrible thing will befall them/us? How about just not skateboard in a public plaza that wasn't intended for skateboarding? Is that really so hard? F- skateboarders. People in Silver Spring work hard all day, paid the taxes to build that plaza, and want to relax, not be jumping at every loud smack behind them.

wombat said...

Brian, I come from the Bronx and I've been living here since Whole Foods was a parking lot. Many of us who would like to enjoy a public space in relative peace have no Bethesda to go back to. But enjoy your stereotypes - you're certainly doing a fine job of validating other people's stereotypes of your skateboarding friends.

Anonymous said...

Didn't we settle the whole skateboarding is not a crime thing back in 1988? This argument is not rad.

Gary said...

I think the "Suit of the Night" wearer is Charlie Barnett, film composer and chair of Maryland Youth Ballet board of directors.... Always wears a cool suit. Real nice guy.

Sligo said...

Mind you, when I said 'skateboard proof', I meant skateboard damage resistant, rather than skateboard preventing. The seating is wood, FWIW.

wombat said...

It doesn't have to be a crime for it to be an inappropriate use of the space. I don't think anyone would think it was OK for a group to commander the space for a baseball game. Why is skateboarding different?

But back to the building - anyone know when it is going to be open other than for the opening ceremony? So far I've been unable to get in to see it any other time.

ian.swank said...

Why is it that skateboarders seem to think they have the right to cause a nuisance in every open expanse of concrete? They need to put tables or something under the glass to discourage the skating.

Anonymous said...

Skateboarders were out in force on Friday night inside the ice skating rink. It was a beautiful site to behold. Free entertainment for everyone.

Anonymous said...

IHATEYUPPIES SAID:

Yep, the skater boys have taken over the outdoor civic center space.

Hello...Montgomery County. Build a skate park for these dudes. They can hang out among themselves and the public won't be bothered by them.

I want the turf back! The stupid civic center is for the blue-blood shrimp and champagne crowd of Montgomery County. This building does not benefit the middle-class resident of this county.

Springvale Roader said...

But is it zombie-proof?

wombat said...

No way, too many glass doors

Anonymous said...

The water coming through the pavilion is because the flashing is not completed. There are several punch list items the contractor has to finish.

Anonymous said...

Epic fail!

Anonymous said...

Tear it down and bring the turf back so the average middle class joe can sit down with his kids and eat a of slice pizza. My little girl used to have ball playing with other kids while running back and forth. I have never seen anything so ugly and out of place it doesnt even fit.

What a total waste of county dollars.

Anonymous said...

Seriously the outside of that building is a schizophrenic mess and assault of nonsensical slate/brick/wood that collectively makes no visual sense. Stare at the structure from the strosnider's parking lot and it looks like a 3 section squatted train or a bizarro caterpillar. Not that there has ever been any semblance of continuity in silver spring architecture, but this monstrosity is particularly stick out like a sore thumb in its noncomfority to aesthetic sensibility. The architect apparently subscribed to the 'throw 3 random elements up in the air and see what happens' school of architecture. Seriously the architect is laughing all the way to bank at having foisted a mocking inside joke to our community. No wonder you focus on etched penguins...your subconscious is trying to comfort you.

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