Endangered: Silver Spring Library by Rhees Burket

Author

Michael Shapiro

Affiliation

Docomomo US/DC

Tags

Newsletter, Threatened, Advocacy, Library, Rhees Burket, DC

The mid-century modern Silver Spring Library by noted local architect Rhees Evans Burket, AIA, is facing an uncertain future. The county has put out a request for proposals from developers to turn the site into senior housing and child day care facilities through either incorporating the existing building or knocking it down and starting from scratch. 

Local activists, including the Silver Spring Historical Society (SSHS), are urging any development plan to integrate the existing structure into the future design. Proposals are due Feb. 28.

“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,” the SSHS said in a statement, “This public building is Burket’s legacy to Silver Spring and Montgomery County.”

Burket (1899-1963), a Silver Spring resident, was a noted architect in the D.C. area for his homes, commercial and public buildings, including schools. His Stratford School in Arlington, Va., is on the National Register of Historic Places.

This article is written by Michael Shapiro and originally published on January 27, 2017