|Title||Chevy Chase Village: The Good Life|
|Author||Thomas Lee Greenbaum|
Chevy Chase Village: The Good Life
Thomas Lee Greenbaum
November 30, 1985
As one travels out Connecticut Avenue approaching the district border and Maryland, one catches a glimpse of the fountain at Chevy Chase Circle. The fountain and its surrounding park, while not only being a nice place to cool off during a hot summer afternoon, is also an important historical marker as well. While it does mark the end of the District of Columbia, it more importantly signals the entrance to Chevy Chase, Maryland, one of the first suburbs in the United States. The fountain itself was dedicated to the founder of the Chevy Chase Land Company, Senator Francis Griffith Newlands, by his second wife in 1933.
The planning and execution of Chevy Chase even today must be viewed as that of a truly remarkable, almost awesome undertaking. Senator Newlands, a wealthy man from the state of Nevada, formed the land company in 1890, "to provide for the National Capital a home suburb, a community where every residence would bear a touch of the individuality of the owner, where each home would possess an added value by virtue of the beauty and charm of the surrounding homes."(1) The development of Chevy Chase would not have been possible without the construction of street railway lines, financed by Newlands at a cost of 1.5 million. The street rail lines were built to tie the suburb, then in the middle of nowhere, into the growing city of Washington. This paper will examine the role of Francis Newlands in creating Chevy Chase,
and will analyze Chevy Chase as an early model for subsequent suburban development in the United States.
1. Fisher, Chevy Chase for Homes, p. 11