Historic Photographs

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Polychrome House No. 1, 9900 Colesville Road (U.S. Route 29), Silver Spring, Montgomery County, MD



See 30 maps of this location


B&W Photos

HB610703
Exterior View Of The North Elevation, Garage

HB610704
Exterior View Of The South Elevation, Garage

HB610705
Exterior View Of The West Elevation, Garage

HB610706
Exterior View Of The South Elevation

HB610707
Exterior View Of The North Elevation

HB610708
Exterior Detail View Of The Front Door

HB610709
Exterior View Of Blue Aggregate Corrugated Pattern Under Windows

HB610710
View Of Pink Aggregate Detailing

HB610711
View Of Blue Aggregate Detailing

HB610712
View Of Light Brown Aggregate Detailing


Data Pages


Drawings


Photo Caption Pages


Item Title


Location
9900 Colesville Road (U.S. Route 29), Silver%252525252525252525252525252525252525252525252525252525252525252BSpring, MD

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Created/Published
Documentation compiled after 1933.

Notes
Survey number HABS MD-1077
Unprocessed field note material exists for this structure (N118).
0.1993
Significance: John Joseph Earley built Polychrome House Number One in 1935 to demonstrate affordable housing made from pre-cast concrete aggragate mosaic panels. Earley, well known as the "Father of Modern Pre-cast Concrete," worked on famous public and private buildings all over the United States. His attempt at providing simple, cheap housing during the 1930s, however, is not well known. Architect J.R. Kennedy of Washington, D.C. designed the house which John Earley and his partner Basil Taylor built by pre-casting the components at their concrete plant in Rosslyn, Virginia. On site, the panels were hoisted in place with a wooden "A" frame and block and tackle. Once the panels were in place, they were locked together with a system of site-poured concrete columns. Each panel is two inch thick concrete made with aggregate carefully selected for color and size. When the concrete was set, each panel was brushed to reveal the colorful aggregate. Oklahoma jasperite was used for the pinkish-rose color of the main panels, the pillars are of Potomac River gravel, the blue bands and corrugated panels under each window consist of crushed cobalt blue glass and the frieze below the eaves of of bright red, black and yellow-gold crushed glass. Earley built four more aggregate houses in 1935 next to and in back of the first, demonstrating variations in size, design, and color. Although Earley's low cost housing never succeeded commercially, his pre-cast architectural concrete techniques both helped establish the industry and set a standard we are unable to match today.

Subjects
Houses


Related Names
Berg, David C., Photographer
Carter, Virginia L., Delineator


Collection
Historic American Buildings Survey (Library of Congress)

Contents
Photograph caption(s): 
1. EXTERIOR VIEW OF THE NORTH ELEVATION, GARAGE
2. EXTERIOR VIEW OF THE SOUTH ELEVATION, GARAGE
3. EXTERIOR VIEW OF THE WEST ELEVATION, GARAGE
4. EXTERIOR VIEW OF THE SOUTH ELEVATION
5. EXTERIOR VIEW OF THE NORTH ELEVATION
6. EXTERIOR DETAIL VIEW OF THE FRONT DOOR
7. EXTERIOR VIEW OF BLUE AGGREGATE CORRUGATED PATTERN UNDER WINDOWS
8. VIEW OF PINK AGGREGATE DETAILING
9. VIEW OF BLUE AGGREGATE DETAILING
10. VIEW OF LIGHT BROWN AGGREGATE DETAILING


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