Wednesday, January 21, 2015


While advocates of the Capital Crescent Trail would likely favor anything that draws public attention to the linear park that runs through downtown Bethesda, naming a garage after a nature trail does have its ironies. I'm reminded somewhat of the "is this really appropriate" questions raised when Rockville was considering naming a town center garage after the celebrated F. Scott Fitzgerald. But the practical matter of using a landmark that might be easier for the directionally-challenged than another number likely prevailed in Bethesda (Fitz's namesake garage did not, but the Great Gatsby author did get a condo building in the end). "Capital Crescent Garage" makes more immediate sense than, "I'm over in Garage 89...or was it 98?"

Another unique aspect of this new garage, which opened yesterday, is the public art found inside. Mainly behind glass cases to shield it from exhaust particulates and vandals, it pays tribute to really Old Bethesda. We're talking about before Hot Shoppes and even the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad. Old old.

Developer StonebridgeCarras has already paid tribute to Bethesda's "founding father," William E. Darcy, above ground with its Darcy ultra-luxury condo (making him even with Fitzgerald in terms of luxury real estate). Now you'll find additional nods to Darcy below ground in this garage, and much earlier days in a very different downtown Bethesda. Even if Bethesda's Native Americans were actually here before that, and founded some of the most famous roads on these Bethesda maps...

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