Community Hardware Store Cut in Half as Move Date Approaches

A lawsuit involving the historic downtown Bethesda structure has been resolved


The historic former Community Paint & Hardware Store has been cut in half for a scheduled move later this month

Andrew Metcalf

The historic Community Paint and Hardware Store in downtown Bethesda has been cut in half as workers prepare the building for a scheduled Aug. 19 move to a new location.

On Thursday morning, the building had been separated down the middle—split into a front half and a back half.

The developer Carr Properties is moving the building from 7250 Wisconsin Ave. to a parking lot on Middleton Lane as part of the demolition process for the Apex Building. Carr plans to redevelop the site into a three-tower structure with 480 residential units. The Bethesda Purple Line station is planned to be built underneath the structure.

The two-story hardware store building, which sits in a corner of the Apex Building, dates to the 1890s. Montgomery County designated it as historic in the 1980s.

Chevy Chase residents Deborah Vollmer, John Fitzgerald and Gutam Prakash had challenged, in Montgomery County Circuit Court, the county’s decision to permit the move of the historic building. They argued that moving it to the parking lot would reduce the structure’s historical significance.

Fitzgerald is also a plaintiff in a long-running Purple Line lawsuit that’s before the federal Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C.

The court ruled Tuesday that the county’s Board of Appeals accurately ruled against Vollmer and the other plaintiffs in March after they first contested the historic work permits granted by the county to allow Carr to move the building. The board ruled that the plaintiffs lacked standing.

Vollmer said Thursday that the plaintiffs plan to appeal the ruling to the Maryland Court of Special Appeals.

She called cutting the building in half a “drastic step,” especially since the opponents could win on appeal and potentially reverse the county’s decision to grant the permits.

“I think, basically, they violated the historic status of it,” Vollmer said.

Below is the community construction notice about the move:

Construction Notice - Historic Bethesda Hardware Store by AJ Metcalf on Scribd


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