Thursday, March 24, 2011

Silver Spring News 'N Notes

- I was dismayed to discover this past weekend that the concrete bleachers at the Old Blair field are in the process of being demolished. I liked having the option of doing some stairs on those admittedly infrequent occasions when I went for a run on the adjacent track. After decades of use, they have now been classified as a safety hazard and are being removed in favor of a small set of metal bleachers. (What's next, banning sidewalk chalk?)

Perhaps there's been a recent rash of bleacher accidents I'm not aware of, but with a large county budget deficit was this really the most pressing issue toward which precious education dollars needed to be allocated? It's true the concrete was kind of disintegrating in spots, but it never seemed that dangerous to me. Just tell kids not to play on it or something.

Of course, removing the bleachers may have the unintended consequence of converting the entire hill into a sledding paradise, so there still may be loads of childhood injuries occurring here come next winter.

- Remember how IMP was trying to block state and county funds from supporting the Silver Spring Fillmore? Their lawsuit was dismissed this week.

- In another defeat for obstructionists, The Montgomery County Historic Preservation Commission voted 6 to 2 against designating the Silver Spring's First Baptist Church of Silver Spring as historic. (Here's a detailed explanation of why it isn't historic.) Presumably development of the property at the corner of Wayne and Fenton can now proceed.

The First Baptist Church

Notice to whoever is in charge of demolition: I would love to take one of the Space Needle-esque lamps currently standing outside the church's front entrance off your hands if you aren't going to re-use them. Seriously, email me.



Anonymous said...

Are all the plans approved by MoCo/financing in place or are we still years away from demo and construction? Anyone have insight?

Anonymous said...

Silver Spring Obstructionist FAIL, eh Sligo?

Sligo said...

Well, definitely a commenter FAIL.

Anonymous said...

I hazard to guess that the demolition of the concrete bleachers is being done because the country was afraid that if someone hurt themselves on the crumbling, unmaintained bleachers that they'd sue the county. Blame the lawyers!!

Debbie Cook said...

I was a little upset seeing those concrete bleachers crumbled too. I heard they were going to be replaced with "plastic"? I've also heard "metal" too. I just pray that they are not some loud, gaudy color, like bright electric purple pukey green or yucky yellow. As I remember the old ones were pretty steep with nothing to hold onto if you got dizzy at the top of them. Just surprised the County is spending all the money to do it now.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure the county hates having to spend the money now too, but avoiding liability is necessary.

Can't wait for the development on the church site. Let's hope the public parking lot next to Silver Spring Towers gets redeveloped next. Any ETA on church site development getting started?

Thayer Avenue said...

The church/developer still needs to go through the zoning text amendment hearings (which have the support of ESSCA and its "lesser" sister org, SOECA) and final plan approval. We may see the start before the end of the year, but I don't see it as imminent. Financing is in place, as my understanding is the church is paying for its building by giving the land for the apartment building to the developer. Not a bad deal, if you ask me.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Eric! This is going to go great with the library. Sucks for anyone living in the Crescent, but for the rest of us all this construction will be a great bridge between DTSS and Fenton Village.

Thayer Avenue said...

"a great bridge between DTSS and Fenton Village"

GAAAHHH! Don't use that phrase! The library people might hear you.

Sligo said...

Lesser? Please, SO-E owns ESS. We'd pull a Silver Spring Anschluss on you if we wanted to, but we'd be bringing down our neighborhood by doing so.

Anonymous said...

Crap. I'm surprised I used the word "bridge" without cringing.

Sligo said...

Interesting. According to this map, the church property falls completely within the SOECA territory. Why does ESSCA even get a say?

Thayer Avenue said...

Because ESSCA owns SOECA. You guys even waited to see how we'd vote on the ZTA for the property so you could follow our lead.

That having been said, we might be the crazier (as in mental) group, but I haven't been to a SOECA meeting to gauge insanity level.

I also thought SEOCA went to Wayne and ESSCA went to Bonifant, splitting the area in between the two streets b/t the two groups. Your map sucks. Boundaries, schmoundaries.

Anonymous said...

As a member of SOECA who has read your blog for years, I can tell you we are definitely LESS crazy than ESSCA, however, we are definitely on the spectrum and could snap at anytime if we don't take our meds : )

Vagrarian said...

I think it's time for a SOECA vs. ESSCA steel cage match...

Anonymous said...

I think the bleachers were in such disrepair they were going to have to come down sooner or later. I think the only use they got was for step workouts and a few people lounging out there.

It would seem a little silly to replace them with anything. Unless the school gets a football team and starts drawing a few hundred fans it just isn't needed (remember the bleachers were previously for a high school stadium.) Replacing them with new bleachers would just be a waste of money.

Anonymous said...

If the requirement for having bleachers is drawing a few hundred fans, then the stands could've been destroyed over 30 years ago...

David said...

Where is this track? Is it open to the public?

kristy said...

David - It's the former Blair HS, now Silver Spring International Middle School at the intersection of Wayne & Dale. The track itself is on Wayne and closer to the intersection with Sligo Creek Parkway.

Terry in Silver Spring said...

That church may not be historically significant, but I love the way their name is carved into the stone over the doorway. I hope they save a few of the features like that and integrate them into the new structure for a sense of continuity.

lilkunta said...

Is the church gonna be bulldozed then rebuilt atop retail on the ground level? will there be an underground garage 4 the church? Across the street @ Stmichael's parking is hell bc it is next door to Fresh fields Whole foods.

What is ESSCA & SOECA ?

I too hope the door is saved, and the windows. Hopefully the new church door frame & windows are the same size so the stuff can be recycled.

Anonymous said...

I can NOT believe that not only they demolished the bleachers, but the state that they left the space in... Now what? For one, it would have been a ton easier just to fix the existing structure. Second, this was and still is such a gem in this community, people come to exercise day and night. WHich brings me to the next point: light! There were lighting poles above those bleachers (now gone) and a few poles around the soccer field, now defunct. Why??? As a local resident, I would be happy to donate a few hundred $$ just so they could keep those lights alive. The poles above the bleachers were used to light the 4 tennis courts... All in all it is EXTREMELY saddening to see how such a wonderful facility is being completely MISMANAGED!

John Forrester said...

I have got 80% funding of the total cost for our new church construction including the cost of land.Griffin's Church Loans is really very fast and reliable.It charges fair as well.From every perspective it's best to have loan,funding or financing from Griffin's Church Loans. church mortgage

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