Wilson Estate, 9100 Rockville Pike, Bethesda, Montgomery County, MD
9100 Rockville Pike, Bethesda, MD
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Documentation compiled after 1933.
Survey number HABS MD-1105
Building/structure dates: 1920 initial construction
Significance: The Wilson Estate derives historical significance from the role played by the Wilson family in attracting the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to Bethesda through their initial donation of land, and from the continuing growth of NIH into its suburban campus setting. Luke and Helen Wilson's donations of land to the federal government enabled the National Institute of Health, which had been crowded into buildings at 25th and E Streets, N.W., the opportunity to expand. As the scope of the institution's mission grew, so too did the physical plant; work at NIH soon covered the entire spectrum of research on human disease and encompassed several distinct institutes. This rapid and orchestrated growth dramatically changed the face of Bethesda. Today NIH is the most dominant institutional presence in Montgomery County. The Wilson's gift of land to the federal government augured this physical transformation of the local community. On a national level, the bequest enabled the growth of the institution into one of the world's preeminent medical research facilities. This collection of buildings within its landscape is also significant as one of the architecturally distinguished Rockville Pike estates of the early twentieth century, representing an important phase in the development of Montgomery County. The Wilson Estate, or Tree Tops, as it was known, was part of a corridor of large, early twentieth-century country estates built by wealthy Washingtonians along Rockville Pike. The Wilson Estate evolved at the height of an era of great country houses in Montgomery County. The Wilson Estate was distinct from many of these other country houses, however, in its rustic English style; most of the grand houses along the Pike reflected the colonial history of the country and were designed in a corresponding Georgian Revival style, such as the neighboring George Freeland Peter Estate (Building 16 on the NIH campus).
National Institutes Of Health
Dean, Edward Clarence
Heaton, Arthur B.
Smalling, Walter, Photographer
Williams, Paul K., Historian
Ewing, Heather P., Historian
Historic American Buildings Survey (Library of Congress)
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