PreservationDirectory.com
PreservationDirectory.com
 
home
preservation events & conferences
press releases & job postings
› main menu
› article guidelines
› submit an article
grants & funding sources
heritage marketing services
preservation library:
articles, regulations & policy
preservation organizations
& resources
museums & historic structures
historic real estate
preservation businesses,
products & services
historic lodging:
inns, b&b's, hotels
historic tours
preservation general resources
historic photo galleries
preservation bookstore
frequently asked questions
about us
join email list
contact us
site map


member login

Featured
Property For Sale
View more information about this historic property for sale in St Joseph, Missouri

Washington School building

St Joseph, MO
PreservationDirectory.com
30 Bromley Road
Pittsford, NY 14534
Phone: (503) 308-0500

Email Us!
foo




Atlas Preservation

Mad Dog Primer

University of Oregon



PreservationDirectory.com

Endangered History     


Endangered History
Back to Press Releases Print   Submit an Article
Burket's Silver Spring Library, Wright-Inspired: Adaptive Reuse, Stand Alone, Sensitive Incorporation Into New Development to Protect, Preserve, Honor It
Historic Preservation Blog from PreservationDirectory.com - Burket, Library, Adaptive Reuse, Protection, Wright-Inspired, Silver Spring, Unique Mid-Mod Public Structure
Contributed By: Marcia L Stickle
Email The Author: marcipro@aol.com
Website: https://www.facebook.com/sshistory/

Burket's Silver Spring Library, Wright-Inspired: Adaptive Reuse, Stand Alone, Sensitive Incorporation Into New Development to Protect, Preserve, Honor It
Rhees Evans Burket's Silver Spring Library, Wright-Inspired: Adaptive Reuse, Stand Alone, Sensitive Incorporation Into New Development to Protect, Preserve, Honor It

Adaptive Reuse! Silver Spring Historical Society enthusiastically supports adaptively reusing our former 1957 Silver Spring Library designed by leading Metro D.C. area architect, Mo Co Civic Leader, and Silver Spring resident Rhees Evans Burket, along with its environmental setting and its parking lots of 2.35 acres to continue to serve the community.

Just as it integrates itself into the hilly landscape, it's a perfect fit to serve the community! In “harmony with nature,” this "Parkitecture" building and its setting are Burket's legacy gift to Silver Spring and Montgomery County. 

One excellent vision for adaptive reuse is as a Children's Center; with immediate access to the adjacent Ellsworth Urban Park and Playground! Kids' Gardens can spring up in the green and treed lawns surrounding Burket's Library. What a hands-on healthy green learning tool for the kids!

Adaptively reusing unique existing community structures preserves OUR Silver Spring’s tapestry, unique architecture, our history, our stories, our singular Time Line! Burket notes his S.S. Public Library as a “principal work” in the AIA Directory 1962. The Silver Spring Library was the linchpin of the new County Public Library system established in 1951:

"The formal merger of the S.S. Library and other participating libraries into the County library system took place on July 1, 1951. Takoma Park, Rockville, and Bethesda elected not to join the system initially, although Rockville and Bethesda joined later. The S.S. Library with its two branches and large reference collection, was the linchpin of the new County system.

"A New Library on Colesville Road. The County began planning for a new S.S. Library. Rhees Burket, a local architect, was hired to design the new building. . . . County Library Board unanimously approved the site on Jan. 21, 1954" [Oshel, Bob & Friends of the S.S. Library, "The S.S. Library, 1931-2001: Enriching Lives for 70 Years," P. 8].

Rhees Burket (1899-1963), Silver Spring resident, was a noted architect in the greater D.C. area for his homes, commercial and public buildings, including myriad schools. His Stratford School, Arlington, Va., is on the National Register of Historic Properties, and recently achieved local designation: 
https://arlingtonva.s3.amazonaws.com/.../HALRB.STRATFORD...

Rhees Burket was a Civic Leader: Montgomery County Civic Federation President, 1946-1948, and MCCF Washington Star Cup Recipient, 1947, “for performing most outstanding public service on behalf of Montgomery County.”* 

Inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright's "organic modernism," "in harmony with nature," his 1957 S.S. Library of stone and glass and brick, integrated into the hilly landscape, was the largest County library at the time. This public building is Burket’s legacy to Silver Spring and Montgomery County. 

Burket’s Mid-Century Modern structure, “ ‘an architect’s dream,’ was the phrase used to describe the new S.S. Library when it was given its final inspection last Th. Morning by the County Manager, the County Council, and several members of the County Library Board,” The Maryland News, 12/28/1956.

Built on a 200-footwide strip running from Colesville to Ellsworth Drive, on land given by the Hecht Co., “the Building was designed to fit into the naturally landscaped lot which adds to its attractiveness. The few trees that had to be moved to make way for the building were saved and replanted. The many dogwood, blue spruce and beech were undisturbed,” The Maryland News, 2/28/1956.

“Rhees Burket, the Architect, went all out on this building. And from the looks of things he had a fairly free hand in design and equipment. . . . . if the sign wasn’t out front we doubt if you would guess it to be a library. It looks more like a new home built by some Texas oil or ranch man . . . . we would suggest you stop by this beautiful building and take advantage of the books and the atmosphere. You will thoroughly enjoy it,” Silver Spring Record, 1/26/1957.

“Library Pioneer” Journal in “A Dream Comes True,” glowingly describes with photos and floor plan diagram Burkett’s elegant, light-filled library structure and its conveniences, attached, Sept./Oct. 1958.

Frank Lloyd Wright’s “organic modernism,” “in harmony with nature,” is expressed in Burket’s structure with its low horizontal lines, low-pitched hip roofs and projecting eaves to create an integrated-into-the-landscape quality. A massive fieldstone chimney rises at the axis of intersecting roof planes. Library has a cross-shaped open floor plan.

Walls of native uncoursed stoneyhurst stone, a polychrome mica schist, quarried at Seven Locks and River Roads, Montgomery County, appear to undulate in juxtaposition with glass and aluminum framed window walls, awning windows, continuous bands of clerestory windows and red brick walls.

Stone chimney and several stone walls carry through into the interior spaces of the singular structure.

An elegant, very long and wide, approx. 70’ X 20’, flat-roofed entrance canopy doubles as a carport for auto pick up and drop off point welcoming patrons arriving via the access road. Three large canopy roof openings allow light and moisture into the raised planter beds below.

This building is unique; there is no other community structure of this style in all of S.S.'s CBD, or adjacent.

Looking forward to working together to achieve and celebrate the adaptive reuse of Silver Spring’s unique former Library, “in harmony with nature,” and its continuing service to the community: Rhees Burket’s legacy gift to Silver Spring and Montgomery County! Interior and exterior Photos are available.

Jerry A. McCoy, sshistory@yahoo.com, Marcie Stickle & George French, marcipro@aol.com, 301-585-3817
Silver Spring Historical Society, https://www.facebook.com/sshistory/


Keywords: Burket, Library, Adaptive Reuse, Protection, Wright-Inspired, Silver Spring, Unique Mid-Mod Public Structure

Posted: December 31, 2016
Back to Press Releases Print   Submit an Article


Unless noted, the thoughts and opinions expressed in the article are solely that of the
author and not necessarily the opinion of the editors of PreservationDirectory.com.
   



PreservationDirectory.com | preservation events & conferences | press releases & job postings | organizations & resources
museums & historic structures | historic real estate | preservation businesses, products & services | historic lodging
historic tours | preservation general resources | historic photo galleries | preservation bookstore | preservation library
frequently asked questions | about us | join email list | heritage marketing services | contact us | site map

© Copyright 2019 - PreservationDirectory.com | website by Stolutions