Tuesday, October 26, 2010

the silver spring advertiser

Businesses in a newly-revitalized downtown Silver Spring are gearing up for the Christmas season with a series of advertising inserts in the Washington Post. Features include a regular "Silver Spring Woman of the Week," "articles" boasting about the number of surface-parking spaces around the recently-opened Hecht Co. department store on Fenton Street, and an ad for a "sports roadster" bike selling for just $62.50!

If you haven't figured it out already, this actually happened in 1952. Friend of JUTP pago dat, who's sent tips before, delivered these images from the "Silver Spring Advertiser" to our inbox yesterday and had this to say:

Silver Spring Advertiser, Dec. 14, 1952
Cover of the "Silver Spring Advertiser," December 14, 1952.

Hecht's Ad, Silver Spring Advertiser, Nov. 1952
Ad for Hecht's new, later Christmas hours on Monday nights.
Found the photo below in the microfilm of the Sunday, November 16, 1952 issue of the Washington Post and thought you might get a kick out of it and/or want it for the blog.

Check out how prominent the Hecht's that's now part of City Place was back then!  Oh man, the parking, the parking. A lot of it is covered in buildings now, including Twin Towers and the new Tastee Diner (you can see the roof of the old Tastee Diner if you know where to look).

I'm not sure about the brochure about ample parking that the caption mentions, but this was the second Sunday that the DTSS merchants were sponsoring a full-page advertorial thing called "Silver Spring Advertiser" in the Metro section of the Post.  They ran for six straight Sundays during that 1952 season (November 9, 16, 23, and 30, and December 7 and 14).  I've attached images for your enjoyment; both the ads and little tiny articles are interesting.  (I learned from the sixth one that there were Civil Defense sirens on top of City Place!)

I also attached a full-page Hecht's ad from the November 16 edition because I like the stylish illustration of City Place at the bottom, along with the old downtown Hecht's (SE corner of 7th and F NW) and the one at the oh-so-'50s-named "Parkington" (now known as Ballston Common).

"Parking Space," Silver Spring Advertiser, Nov. 1952
This "article" reads, "Silver Spring merchants are so proud of their off-street parking facilities that last week they were preparing a brochure to tell merchandisers and manufacturers about it." (In 2007, Silver Spring Singular noted that Montgomery County's public parking had become quite renowned by the 1970's.)

Better listen up, Peterson Companies: you just got yourself a new marketing campaign. BTW, where's Bethesda in all of this? Can you imagine teenagers at Walter Johnson High School grumbling about their friends at Blair (then still located on Wayne Avenue right near downtown Silver Spring) who could walk to all these stores at lunchtime?

(After further research, I learned that Walter Johnson actually opened in 1956, but things couldn't have changed that much by then.)

Thanks, pago dat!


Patrick said...

I can't imagine why this failed.

Nothing says Christmas season than a giant building surrounded by endless blacktop and cars. Romantic.

When will people learn that the most popular places have the biggest shortages of parking? Silver Spring is better now, but it still has too many surface parking lots and too many garages. That could be better used for office space, retail, dining, and housing.

~Patrick Thornton

pagodat said...

I've got all six weeks of the Silver Spring Advertiser here, for those who are interested: