Friday, September 25, 2015

TD Bank opening in Pike District this Saturday (Photos)

Here's a bit of a preview of what's to come in downtown Bethesda on two former gas station sites. Not the transit-oriented high-rise you'd expect, but a small TD Bank building. This new branch is about to open in the Pike District. After this virtual tour of the design and green features, you can check it out in person when it opens this Saturday in the Montrose Crossing shopping center at 12003 Rockville Pike. Between 10:00 AM and 2:00 PM Saturday, they'll be providing food, giveaways, "fun and games", and - of course - banking offers.

Green features at the bank include solar panels, modern-design bike parking, LEED certification, and native plants growing in the landscaped area outside.

The bank also has an interesting easter egg inside that hints at the future of this site, which is currently labeled many things - Rockville by the USPS, North Bethesda by many, White Flint by many others, but newly branded as the Pike District. All of that nomenclature may be irrelevant in the not-so-distant future.

That's because there is real potential that the City of Rockville may eventually extend southward to Montrose Parkway, as more unincorporated territory is annexed by the city. The possibility is such that it frequently comes up in discussions of the city's Planning Commission regarding long-range annexation plans.

Tour the bank, and you'll find a premonition of that future on display. A display recalls a historic drugstore in Rockville's now-demolished and redeveloped downtown. That drugstore was built in the 1880s, and is known to many as Vinson's Drugstore, after it was bought in 1911 by Robert William "Doc" Vinson. But a previous owner of the store was D.F. Owens. 

A document on the Rockville website says the drugstore was also a popular gathering place for city politicians, and that President Woodrow Wilson once personally traveled there to buy Wolfhound tablets (they don't say what Wolfhound tablets were, though...). The building was torn down in 1962, and replaced with an office building during Rockville's "urban renewal" craze. According to Joanna Church of the Montgomery County Historical Society, artifacts from the drugstore can be found today in the Stonestreet Museum and Rockville Memorial Library (which has the store's soda fountain in one of its meeting rooms).

Here in this mural inside the bank is Owens Drug Store, as it looked at some point between the 1880s and 1911.
It's particularly interesting because the bank is not near the site of the former drugstore. But the bank will now be perfectly positioned if it finds itself annexed into the City of Rockville one day - the historic mural already on the wall in anticipation.


Anonymous said...

A 443-word article about a drive-thru bank opening miles away from downtown Bethesda?

Anonymous said...

7:14 AM We're about to get 2 of these in downtown Bethesda, so quite relevant to us downtown.

And let's not forget those readers in the Pike District who are getting this new bank :)

Love seeing that they are trying to be environmentally friendly.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know why in the last year TD banks have been propping up everywhere in Montgomery County? Is our banking market that competitive?

Robert Dyer said...

7:14: You must need a remedial course in reading. The bank is opening this Saturday. In the Pike District. Which every other Bethesda news outlet that has existed covers as part of North Bethesda. And the bank is a preview of what we're getting downtown here. Reading 101.

Anonymous said...

Like we really need another bank, when most people conduct their banking now days online. This bank also has a nefarious reputation of holding customer funds for various reasons. Canadian bacon yes, banking no thanks.

Anonymous said...

"Here's a bit of a preview of what's to come in downtown Bethesda on two former gas station sites."

-Green and white signs saying "TD Bank"!

-Plants in mulch!

-Daily hours posted!

-Green office chairs!

Oh, the excitement is too much for me.

And "Bethesda" ends at Strathmore. Garrison's was, and always will be, the first store in Rockville.

Anonymous said...

When did "@ Bethesda Row" become "@ Pike District"?

Frendship Heights, Kensington, Silver Spring and even Tenleytown and Wheaton are closer to downtown Bethesda than most or all of the so-called "Pike District".

Robert Dyer said...

8:05: If that's so, why did another outlet last night report a Randolph Road incident as being in North Bethesda, and more importantly, why aren't you complaining about that with the same vigor?

Robert Dyer said...

8:24: You've got a lot of complaint writing to do, as every other outlet includes the Pike District in Bethesda coverage. Kensington and Wheaton are NEVER referred to as North Bethesda; the Pike District is.

Anonymous said...

As usual, your reading comprehension sucks. I never called Kensington or Wheaton "North Bethesda". I just pointed out that they are closer to downtown Bethesda than the Pike District, and thus might be of more interest to readers in downtown Bethesda.

Anonymous said...

Oh, my. Anonymous still needs GPS to find his way around :)

Anonymous said...

No, that would apply to Dyer. He doesn't seem to know anything east of Wisconsin Avenue/Rockville Pike or south of Western Avenue.

Anonymous said...

Dyer reading his "competitors" nice.

Anonymous said...

Well that was certainly called for. Insult other readers. Go you.