Glen Echo Park, Spanish Ballroom, 7300 MacArthur Boulevard, Glen Echo, Montgomery County, MD
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7300 MacArthur Boulevard, Glen Echo, MD
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Documentation compiled after 1933.
Survey number HABS MD-1080-B
Unprocessed field note material exists for this structure (N278).
Significance: The significance of Glen Echo Amusement Park's Spanish Ballroom lies in the memories it stirs of the big band era of dancing. It reminds generations of amusement seekers of what a good time they had. It was Magic. Fun. Elegant. The Spanish Ballroom was -- and is still -- a specific place designed for leisure time activities. Located just outside Washington, D.C., and created for the area's entertainment, the Spanish Ballroom stands as a monument to American popular culture. Built in a commercial haven, an amusement park, the ballroom offered Washingtonians a place to dance. The playful and exotic details in its architectural decoration are reminiscent of its purpose -- as a place for recreation, for excitement, for romance. The ballroom's location in an ever changing setting, bent on fulfilling a promise for "something new" each season, meant it was just the latest reincarnation of the dance pavilions on site since the amusement park's opening in 1911. The Spanish Ballroom rose up around the others' foundations, this time as a modern creation of steel and concrete hidden by stucco and decorated by low relief geometrical designs in vivid colors. Not built to last, ballroom has persevered. Its famous maple floor is though by Glen Echo Park to be original to the dance pavilions of the 1910s; its mission tile topped towers and art deco pylons are worn but the ballroom still stirs park goers' imaginations through its form and polychrome accents.
Boucher, Jack E., Photographer
Historic American Buildings Survey (Library of Congress)
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