Tuesday, September 15, 2009

guest post: history of the cissel-lee building

Bonifant At Georgia, July 2008
The following is a post from Marcie Stickle, advisory chair of the Silver Spring Historical Society, on the Cissel-Lee Building at Georgia and Ripley. Built in 1922, the historic edifice is undergoing a dramatic renovation to become the new home of ALC, Inc., a Rockville-based translation company. JUTP is always looking for guest blogs. If you've got something to say, send it over to justupthepike at gmail dot com.

Dan & All,

The original 1922 building at 8222 to 8226 Georgia Ave was the "Building that Built Most of Modern Day Silver Spring." Colonel E. Brooke Lee had his North Washington Realty Company on the top floor, and James Herbert Cissel had his Silver Spring Building Supply Co. on the lower floor, with an expansive lumber yard behind the structure and a millworks immediately across Ripley Street.

Lee & Cissel collaborated on institutional, commercial, and residential structures stretching throughout Silver Spring's central business district & beyond. The significant two-story brick structure was Spanish Colonial Revival, all the "rage" at the time. With its unique black slate canopies angled around two sides of the roofline, the Cissel-Lee Building was the ONLY remaining such structure in all of the CBD.

In 1910, James Herbert Cissel was also the founding president of Silver Spring's very first bank. The Silver Spring National Bank (later the Suburban National Bank and, after that, Suburban Trust Co.) was built in 1925 at the corner of Ga. Ave. & Bonifant Street in the Classical Revival Style. (That building is now home to the Bethel World Ministries Church. -ed.) Cissel also donated part of his vast landownings to establish Montgomery County's park system in Silver Spring, as enjoyed along our Sligo Creek.

For sixteen years throughout the 1960's and 70's Throughout the 1960s, 70s and 80s, the renowned Track Recorders had their headquarters on the second floor of the Cissel-Lee Building. Linda Ronstadt, Peaches & Herb, and other musical notables recording there. It's also where the "Mattress Discounters" jingle ("Get a good night's sleep on us . . . Mattress Discounters!") was coined amd recorded!

8222-8226 Georgia Avenue and Ripley Street was the veritable cornerstone and keystone of Modern Day Silver Spring, designed at that time by our very own Silver Spring architects.

Marcie Stickle, Silver Spring Historical Society Advocacy Chair,
and longtime S.S resident, 301-585-3817, MarciPro@aol.com

JUTP is always looking for guest blogs. If you've got something to say, send it over to justupthepike at gmail dot com. This post was corrected to say that Track Recorders was open through the 1980s.

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