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Maryland's National Register Properties



Photo credit: Mariann Seriff, 04/2003
Rock Creek Woods Historic District
Inventory No.: M: 31-37
Date Listed: 12/15/2004
Location: Silver Spring, Montgomery County
Category: District
Period/Date of Construction: 1958-61
Architect/Builder: Architect: Charles M. Goodman, Builders: Herschel and Marvin Blumberg of Bancroft Construction Company
Resources: 77 (73 contributing, 4 non-contributing)
Description: Rock Creek Woods, a suburban development consisting of 74 Contemporary houses, is nestled in a wooded valley between two creeks. These houses, designed by Charles Goodman, were built between 1958 and 1961 by Herschel and Marvin Blumberg, merchant builders who headed up the Bancroft Construction Company. Located roughly one mile north of Kensington, the subdivision consists of three streets that form a large, self-contained and wooded cul-de-sac tucked away at the end of a Connecticut Avenue service road. The development's two curving dead-end streets (Spruell Drive and Rickover Road) hug the contours of the land and are linked by Ingersol Drive, which loops between them. In addition, two Goodman houses are located at the end of the service road, adjacent to the Rock Creek Woods entrance on Spruell Drive. The streets in Rock Creek Palisades were named after World War II admirals, including Byrd, Dewey, Rickover, and Spruell, a practice possibly related to North Kensington, where street names commemorate such earlier admirals as Perry and Farragut. The subdivision contains three basic house models, each of two stories, with liberal use of glass walls. A fourth model, with three stories, was used fro two houses on lower Rickover Road. All houses were built with a living and dining room, family or recreation room, three bedrooms, two baths, and with provision for a fourth or fifth bedroom and a third bath on the lower level. Lots in this hilly terrain vary from about 1/5 to 1/3 acre, and on the south and west sides of the development houses have outlying back lots abutting the creeks. Every house is individually sited according to the topography of the land an in relation to its neighbors. All houses have been carefully angled to the street, with some floor plans flipped, to preserve privacy and to maximize a southern exposure. The siting was supervised by Charles Goodman, who made every effort to preserve the trees indigenous to the area and blend the houses into the existing topography so they become a part of the natural surroundings. In addition to the Goodman houses, a Protestant church built in 1961 sits at the intersection of Spruell and Ingersol Drives--a Church of the Brethren. The church was not designed by Charles Goodman and is not considered a contributing resource to the district. However, it has simple unadorned lines and blends in with the Contemporary houses. The church has been in active use since 1961. Now, in addition to the basic congregation, it is being sublet to other religious groups and to a Montessori school. The Rock Creek Woods neighborhood and the church have maintained a close relationship since its inception. Over the years, the neighbors have staffed the church's nursery school, which serves both the neighborhood and other children. In a reciprocal arrangement, Rock Creek Woods residents have often used the church as a meeting place, and they volunteer on clean-up crews to maintain the wooded and recreation areas around the church. Significance: The Rock Creek Woods Historic District is significant as an excellent example of a merchant builder subdivision planned and designed by Charles M. Goodman Associates. Charles M. Goodman is increasingly recognized as a figure of national prominence in residential architecture of the post-World War II period; a man who, in addition to other accomplishments, brought affordable Contemporary housing in naturalistic settings to middle-income people. Rock Creek Woods is a Contemporary housing development designed by Goodman and built by the Bancroft Construction Company. It is the largest merchant builder subdivision designed by Goodman in Montgomery County, with 74 houses reflecting variations of the same design ideal, built to high quality standards and sited individually on lots of under 10,000 square feet. Goodman carried out not only the architectural designs but the site planning as well. His vision entailed houses embedded within the natural environment and, in the Rock Creek Woods subdivision, he retained the existing topography, specimen trees, and woodlands surrounding the area. The original layout, including roads, lot configurations, and sidewalks, remains unaltered.

District Resources (77) (73 contributing, 4 non-contributing)

From associated listing in National Register nomination form. C = Contributing, NC = non-contributing, blank = not evaluated.

AddressStatusResource Name and MIHP (if any)
3937 Rickover RoadC 
3938 Rickover RoadC 
3941 Rickover RoadC 
3942 Rickover RoadC 
3944 Rickover RoadC 
3945 Rickover RoadC 
3946 Rickover RoadC 
4000 Rickover RoadC 
4002 Rickover RoadC 
4004 Rickover RoadC 
4005 Rickover RoadC 
4006 Rickover RoadC 
4007 Rickover RoadC 
4008 Rickover RoadC 
4009 Rickover RoadC 
4010 Rickover RoadC 
4011 Rickover RoadC 
4012 Rickover RoadC 
4014 Rickover RoadC 
4015 Rickover RoadC 
4016 Rickover RoadC 
4018 Rickover RoadC 
4019 Rickover RoadC 
4020 Rickover RoadC 
4004 Ingersol DriveC 
4005 Ingersol DriveC 
4006 Ingersol DriveC 
4007 Ingersol DriveC 
4008 Ingersol DriveC 
4009 Ingersol DriveC 
4010 Ingersol DriveC 
4011 Ingersol DriveC 
4012 Ingersol DriveC 
4014 Ingersol DriveC 
4015 Ingersol DriveC 
4016 Ingersol DriveC 
4018 Ingersol DriveC 
4019 Ingersol DriveC 
11504 Connecticut AvenueC 
11506 Connecticut AvenueC 
3702 Spruell DriveC 
3908 Rickover RoadC 
3909 Rickover RoadC 
3910 Rickover RoadC 
3912 Rickover RoadC 
3913 Rickover RoadC 
3914 Rickover RoadC 
3915 Rickover RoadC 
3916 Rickover RoadC 
3917 Rickover RoadC 
3918 Rickover RoadC 
3919 Rickover RoadC 
3920 Rickover RoadC 
3921 Rickover RoadC 
3922 Rickover RoadC 
3923 Rickover RoadC 
3924 Rickover RoadC 
3925 Rickover RoadC 
3926 Rickover RoadC 
3600 Spruell DriveC 
3601 Spruell DriveC 
3606 Spruell DriveC 
3607 Spruell DriveC 
3609 Spruell DriveC 
3610 Spruell DriveC 
3611 Spruell DriveC 
3612 Spruell DriveC 
3614 Spruell DriveC 
3700 Spruell DriveC 
3929 Rickover RoadC 
3930 Rickover RoadC 
3933 Rickover RoadC 
3934 Rickover RoadC 
3936 Rickover RoadNC 
3932 Rickover RoadNC 
3701 Spruell DriveNC 
3928 Rickover RoadNC 

 

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