State of the Art
The Silver Spring Arts and Entertainment District was designated on December 31, 2001 as an Arts and Entertainment District by the State of Maryland. Maryland is one of the first states in the country to develop Arts and Entertainment Districts on a statewide basis. The benefits offered to designated districts include property tax credits for new construction or renovation of certain buildings that create live-work space for artists and/or space for arts and entertainment enterprises, an income tax subtraction modification for income derived from artistic work sold by “qualifying residing artists”, and an exemption from the Admissions and Amusement tax levied by an “arts and entertainment enterprise” or “qualifying residing artist” in a district.
In 1840, Francis Preston Blair, along with his daughter Elizabeth, discovered a “mica-flecked” spring near Washington D.C. (Mica is a type of mineral that flakes easily and is known for its glittery silver color.) He liked the location so much that he bought the surrounding land and created a summer home for his family which he called “Silver Spring.” The city of Silver Spring, Maryland took its name from Blair’s estate. Acorn Park, tucked away in an area of south Silver Spring away from the main downtown area, is believed to be the site of the original spring. Francis Preston Blair (1791 – 1876) was an American journalist and politician. His son, Montgomery, served as Postmaster General in Abraham Lincoln’s cabinet.
The region grew to considerable size and importance at the end of the 19th century when the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad opened its Metropolitan Branch in 1873, which spanned from Washington, D.C. to Point of Rocks, MD — running through Silver Spring.
Since its founding, the city has grown in population and become an extension of the nation’s capital while still developing its own identity.
A View of Silver Spring
Which Neighborhood Will You Call Home?
If you want small homes with walkability to downtown, Blair is for you. The homes were all built in the 1940s, and though some have been remodeled, they keep their charm.
Woodside Park is the best Silver Spring suburb for colonial homes on large lots.
South 4 Corners
South 4 Corners is an affluent Silver Spring community that is full of young families and kids. If you need an easy commute to Washington DC, South Woodside is the perfect Silver Springs neighborhood.
Woodmoor is rich in history and has firework shows, Oktoberfest, and a tree-lighting ceremony each year. There are many families living in Woodmoor, making it one of the largest kid-friendly Silver Spring communities.
Places to Explore in Silver Spring
The Fillmore Silver Spring: The Fillmore Silver Spring brings a dynamic, first-class venue to the arts and entertainment district of Downtown Silver Spring, located just outside of Washington, DC. For more than 40 years, the legendary Fillmore name has stood as the link between some of the most influential artists in music and their fans. With a capacity of 2,000, the Fillmore offers an array of diverse live music programming.
Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Station: The station – one of only two 20th century B&O stations extant in Maryland – represents the evolution of Silver Spring from a small settlement centered around the railroad depot to a major transportation, retail and residential suburb. Located just seven miles from the U.S. Capitol, the station served the commuter and long-distance needs of suburban residents for over 50 years, and the station site represents more than 120 years of continuous passenger rail service by the B&O, Amtrak, and MARC rail lines.
AFI Silver Theater: AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center or commonly known as AFI Silver is a three-screen movie complex in downtown Silver Spring. Its main auditorium hosts the DC Metro area’s third-largest commercial movie theater screen, and the second-largest commercial movie theater screen outside of the Smithsonian Institution. The AFI Silver is the result of a restoration project for the original Silver Theatre in Silver Spring, designed by movie palace architect John Eberson and constructed in 1938.
Silver Spring Library: Spacious desks, places to work, displays of books favored by library staff, get a library card and take out DVD movies or audio books. Often, you can find a cart with books you can own at no cost to you. Download and install the online app so you can download audio books. No need to track these, as the electronic books you access through the app are automatically returned when due, or you can renew them online.
Silver Spring Black Box Theater: At approximately 140 seats, the Silver Spring Black Box is perfect for when you want to really touch your audiences’ hearts and feed off their energy for your play, set list, improv, open-mic, dance concert, and more.
Fun Fact For Your Next Trivia Night
Nora Roberts, famed American author of more than 225 romance novels was born in Silver Spring (and still lives nearby). She was the first author to be inducted into the Romance Writers of America Hall of Fame. As of 2011, her novels had spent a combined 861 weeks on The New York Times Best Seller list, including 176 weeks in the number-one spot.
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