Interview with Roger Berliner
CCCFH to address changes to Wisconsin Place
Five Historic Houses
For this edition of The Bugle, I am pleased to report significant
progress on two improvements to Brookdale and one development on the
Improvements in and around Brookdale
First the good news — thanks to the hard work and persistence
of so many, Brookdale Park now has brand new playground
equipment! It took a while—over 5 years from the
date promised—but the early reviews, particularly from the
under 10 crowd, are very positive. Many, many of our
neighbors were involved in making this new park possible
over several years, but I want to say a special word of
thanks to Marina Bowsher, Fiona Carson, Maureen
McRaith, Mikel Moore, Ashley Olters, Peter Smith, Laurie
Sparling and others whose persistence in recent months
really pushed this project over the goal line. See the article on
the "Grand Opening" for Brookdale Park on April 26.
Also in the "new and improved" category, Brookdale North
will start to see new curbs and street repairs as part of the
"Renew Montgomery" initiative launched several years ago
by the County. Practically speaking, over the next several
weeks, we should start to see crews in the neighborhood
ripping out and replacing old curbs (although after the
scheduling issues surrounding Brookdale Park, I'll believe
it when I see it!). For those of you who have no curbs, as a
result of the petitions that were signed several years ago,
you will be getting curbs where the County determined that
it is feasible to install them.
While replacing curbs, the contractor will distribute information
about how you can get your driveway apron (the
part that is on the County Right of Way) replaced at a relatively
low cost. This is entirely optional, but my father had
this work done by the County's contractor several years ago
in Bethesda, and it was a pretty good deal.
You may have also noticed that a good number of street
trees in Brookdale are now sporting orange spots on them.
This is the County's way of marking dead or dying trees for
removal. After these trees are removed, you can order a
new tree from the County Department of Public Works and
Transportation, Highway Maintenance Division by calling
(240) 777-6000. The County arborists will offer you a
choice of several trees to replace your old trees. You may
be aware of the concerns region-wide that our tree canopy
is rapidly shrinking. Shade trees planted in Brookdale in
the 1930s are now in their elder years. Many trees have
been removed in home renovations. Please help expand
our tree coverage by planting new trees or requesting street
trees from the County.
Developments on Development
As reported in the last edition of the Bugle, the New England
Development Company (NED), the entity that is developing
the old Hecht's site, has applied to the Maryland
National Capital Park & Planning Commission (Park &
Planning) for a site plan amendment. NED's original proposed
amendment sought to add 8,500 square feet of retail
space to their project. Of the 8,500 square feet, NED
sought to add 1,000 to 1,200 square feet between Bloomingdale's
and the corner of Western and Wisconsin Avenues
for a coffee stand, and to convert a 2,000 square foot-space
previously slated as a management office into a retail
space. We repeatedly pressed NED to identify where the
remaining 5,000 square feet of retail that they were seeking
(under a complicated formula tied to the size of the Whole
Foods store) and until recently, they were unable or unwilling
to do so—even to the point of refusing to rule out using
current open space in the future.
I am pleased to report that when NED finally filed their site
plan amendment, they reduced the size of the coffee stand
to 650 square feet and the only additional retail space that
they are seeking is the conversion of the previously designated
management office for a grand total of 2,650 square
Having said that, some have raised the question of whether
NED— or any developer—ought to be able to revisit final
site plans to modify them after a final decision has been
reached and development begun. NED's proposal raises
questions of finality and precedent. On the other hand,
when I asked for comment on the Listserv in January, most
of the feedback from neighbors in Brookdale was positive
with most expressing interest in a coffee stand at the location
As of press time for the Bugle, a date for Park & Planning
to review NED's proposal has not been set yet so there is
still time to make your voice heard. If you have an opinion
on this issue, please feel free to contact me or one of the
other officers of the Citizens' Association.
Public Safety in Brookdale
No report from me would be complete without a reminder
to take any valuables out of your car at night, lock your car
doors and please report any suspicious activities to the
Montgomery County Police Department. There were a
few incidents in recent weeks over in Westmoreland Hills
of property being taken from individuals' cars, so we all
need to be vigilant.
A Word of Thanks
I would like to thank two outgoing members of the Executive
Committee for the Brookdale Citizens' Association.
For the past three years, Suzanne Richman has served as
our Treasurer. Besides being a strong advocate for Brookdale
and our natural surroundings, Suzanne has been the
person who ensures that we keep our books balanced and
collect dues each year. Sarah Jessup has been our Secretary
for the past two years and is the person responsible for
the biannual Brookdale Directory. Although Sarah and her
family are relatively recent additions to the neighborhood,
we are grateful for her contributions. Please join me in
thanking Susanne and Sarah for their service.
Finally, I would like to say thanks for giving me the chance
to be Brookdale's President for the past two years. It has
been a great way to get to meet more of my neighbors and
to make an impact in ensuring that Brookdale continues to
be a great place to live. While the challenges facing
Brookdale in recent years (other than the rash of thefts
from autos) have not been as dire as when the Friendship
Heights Sector Plan was under consideration, I am pleased
that Brookdale and Boundary Parks were renovated with
new equipment and trees, respectively. Assuming all goes
according to plan, we should have new curbs, dead trees
removed and much of our community "renewed" by Summer.
Going forward, I encourage you to get more involved
in our community — and not just at the Fourth of
July or Halloween. Brookdale is what we make of it and
I'm glad I had the chance to help make it a little better.
On May 21, 2008 at 7:30 p.m. the Brookdale Citizens' Association
will hold its annual meeting in the Westbrook
Elementary School cafeteria. We will elect new officers
and discuss issues of concern to all. I encourage you to
|Schedule on Wisconsin Place — Bob Cope|
|Completed||• Bloomingdales and retail A and B (wings behind Bloomingdales)|
|Fall 2008||• Rental Apartment Building|
• Community Recreation Center (but County will take an additional six months to fit it out)
|April 2009|| • Whole Foods
• Office Building
• Retail C (small two-story building on Wisconsin)
• Kiss & Ride, additional lane on Wisconsin, reopening of Metro entrance, and tree lined median on Wisconsin near Western that is on the plaza and adjoins Office
Meeting on New Community Recreation Center|
The Montgomery County Department of Recreation
will hold a town hall style meeting on programming
for the new community recreation center
located on the Wisconsin Place site. The meeting
will be at 7 pm on April 21 at the Friendship
Heights Village Center. Be there!
|INTERVIEW WITH ROGER BERLINER
Roger Berliner represents District 1, which includes
Brookdale, on the Montgomery County Council. He is one
of 5 members representing geographic districts; the other 4
are elected "at large." Mr. Berliner has been on the council
16 months. On March 20th Mr. Berliner graciously gave
me a half hour of his time for a telephone interview for the
The Planning Board's initiative on "Teardown/
Mansionization" resulted in a bulletin issued August 2006.
When asked about this initiative, Mr. Berliner told me that
the Infill Development Task Force met for 6 months and
wrote rules he feels provide protection for communities
from mansionization. Neighborhood Conservation Districts
per se were not supported by the community and
business representatives on that task force, he says. (See
Mr. Berliner's website [URL revised].) On R-60 residential lots (all of Brookdale
homes are zoned R-60), currently, no more than 35%
of the lot may be covered by the home and accessory buildings.
There are a number of reforms that will give neighbors
more input on new in-fill buildings and home expansions.
Berliner's recommendations are to unlink size of
homes from their zone and to make them proportional to
the size of lot. Lots less than 6000 sq. ft. would be reduced
to 30% of the lot, and this would decrease by 1% for every
1000 sq. ft. increase in lot size. When asked how likely
these bills are to be passed by the Council, Berliner said he
expects a close vote.
I asked whether the county budget will outfit the Community
Recreation Center being built on the Wisconsin Place
site. Mr. Berliner told me that the present proposed Council
budget has $180,000 in it for operating the center and
that the Planning Board plans to submit a request for another
$400,000 to outfit it.
An issue of concern to some Brookdale residents is the
blocking of roads and sidewalks during development. Berliner
initiated a road code bill amendment that has passed
and is permanent law stating that any development can
close a sidewalk or road for a maximum of 15 days. Because
of his efforts with Permitting Services, Clark Construction
was fined over the extended closure of a lane on
Arlington Road. He says that he cannot take credit for the
new wooden walkway along Friendship Blvd, but will look
into the lack of walks around the rest of the Wisconsin
Mr. Berliner's major legislative effort has been the proposal
of 7 bills with 26 initiatives on global warming. All
have been acted on by committee and will be on the Council
Agenda on April 22, Earth Day. He is seeking a requirement
that 12 months of utility bills be given to new
owners. This is important because energy consumption by
homes is a major source of green house gas emission. He is
very disappointed that his initiative to require new homes
to meet energy-star standards of the EPA was defeated in
committee due, he feels, to others' concerns about the additional
expense for developers at this time. He says that he
will continue to fight this battle. He is lead for Energy and
environment on the Transportation and Environment
Committee of the Council.
When asked about possible expansion of recycling in the
County, Mr. Berliner said he has been behind the Bethesda
Green initiative that is installing recycling bins in public
places. In addition, he has been involved in a 2-community
competition to have children gather and recycle metal.
In line with his efforts to protect the environment, Mr. Berliner
is formulating legislation for the protection of trees on
individual lots, and has formed a task force to work on this
legislation. One of the provisions of his global warming
package is to require the County Executive to develop a
Tree Canopy Action Plan. In addition, he says the Forest
Conservation law is likely to be strengthened. Further, Mr.
Berliner is involved in an initiative to promote bike use
through expanding the number of bike paths in regional
master plans of Park and Planning.
|Working Memory: Is Yours Working?
Have you ever gone to the kitchen for a drink of water,
then stood there wondering, "What did I come in here for?"
Ever put the toothpaste in the refrigerator while unpacking groceries?
Lost your train of thought in the middle of telling a
story? Read a page and realized that you had no idea what you
If so, you've had a momentary lapse in working memory;
that is, the ability to hold information in mind while using it to
guide thinking and behavior.
Working memory develops from childhood through adolescence
and peaks at about age 25. After that, working memory
begins to decline, with deficits becoming more noticeable
—and more disturbing—as we age. Baby-boomers laughingly
call them "senior moments," but they don't find them amusing.
In fact, an entire industry has sprouted to support the boomers
in their quest to keep their minds, as well as their bodies, in
Working Memory in Daily Life. Working memory is crucial
for countless everyday activities, ranging from cooking to
calculus. Meal preparation, for example, involves combining
ingredients in a specific order for individual dishes. Then, the
cook must time and monitor every dish so that all are ready to
be served at the same time, with each at its peak.
In the classroom, math computation involves holding precise
bits of information in working memory as each step is entered
into the equation. Reading comprehension involves
working memory, since the meaning of each sentence must be
held in mind as the next is read until the end of the paragraph is
reached. Written assignments put enormous demands on working
memory: while holding the overall plan in mind, the writer
must organize the contents of each section and subsection into a
coherent whole—all the while mindful of sentence structure,
grammar, spelling, punctuation, and even how individual letters
are formed or typed. Whew!
For people with working-memory deficits, daily life can be
difficult. Students with such deficits—many of whom are also
diagnosed with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder—
struggle in school because they can't follow instructions, recall
what they've read, or remember to turn in their homework. In
the workplace, people with working-memory problems often
miss deadlines, lose important papers, and arrive late for critical
appointments. Home life, too, suffers: the inability to hold information
in working memory means that daily routines are hitor-
miss, with pets going unfed, laundry not done, and bills unpaid.
Can Working Memory Be Improved? Can we train the
brain, much like we train our bodies? Can mental exercises
really enhance the brain's ability to hold more information in
working memory? Neuroscientists and other have tried for
years to develop such training programs but, until recently,
there's been scant evidence to support their efforts.
In fact, as a clinical psychologist with almost 40 years of
experience in treating AD/HD, I'm skeptical of treatments
promising miracle cures for AD/HD—or for anything else, for
that matter. Indeed, I've written a book urging parents and professionals
to beware of such treatments if they are not supported
by solid research.
Evidence-based Interventions. However, the research on a
computer-based, at-home training program known as Cogmed
Working Memory Training was so compelling that I traveled to
Stockholm, where the program was developed at the famed
Karolinska Institute, the largest biomedical research institution
in Northern Europe and the institution that awards the Nobel
Prize in Medicine. When I came home, I began using the program
in my clinical practice and I've been gratified with the
results. It's been particularly exciting to be involved in such
cutting-edge work and to see the changes that such a training
program can bring about.
I've been impressed, too, with the fact that the changes I've
seen tend to be very long-lasting: in fact, follow-ups out to a
year after training show that gains are maintained over the long
haul—not surprising since brain imaging studies have shown
actual changes in the brain following training.
The program has been used successfully not only with individuals
with AD/HD, but with those whose working memory
has been impaired by stroke and traumatic brain injury. In fact,
the program may benefit veterans who suffer from brain injury
incurred in the war in Iraq, an application that is being actively
Are There Alternatives? I'd be the first to say that the
Cogmed Working Memory Training program is less than perfect.
Success rates are in the range of 80-90 percent and, although
that's about the same figure for stimulant medication,
the program is more costly in terms of money and time, at least
in the short run. And, sadly, it isn't covered by insurance at this
Are there promising alternatives?
A short cruise on the Internet will turn up many less costly
programs that promise to train working memory. But these
programs, while glitzy and full of testimonials, can't offer hard
data to back up their claims so it's "buyer beware."
Note: Interested readers can obtain more information at
www.cogmed.com or can contact me at
Dr. Ingersoll is a child psychologist in private practice with
expertise in treating children and adolescents with learning,
attention, and behavioral problems.
|Brookdale's 2008 High School Graduates|
Congratulations to the following residents who will graduate from high school in June!
Cody Hochheiser Merivale
Matthew Bechtel Dover Rd.
Walter Beller-Moralis River Rd.
Emily Carson Westport Rd.
Ian Glennon Dalton Rd.
Reid Lawrence Park Ave.
Morgan O'Marra River Rd.
Best wishes guys, and good luck for the future!
|CCCFH to Address Proposed Changes to Wisconsin Place Site
- Norm Knopf
At its April 16th meeting (to which all are invited at 8 p.m. at the
Somerset Town Hall) the Citizens Coordinating Committee of
Friendship Heights (CCCFH) will discuss and vote on the issue
of whether to support New England Development Company's
(NED) proposal to amend its Wisconsin Place site plan to add
additional retail space. Part of the proposal is to add a small (650
sq ft) building to house a coffee shop in the area that is now plaza,
along Western Ave. near Wisconsin. The purpose is to help "activate"
the plaza. Another 2,300 sq ft of retail space is to be added
by converting storage space and a management office at another
location near the plaza, next to the recreation center. This also is
aimed at activating the area.
At the last CCCFH meeting, everyone liked having a coffee shop
and keeping the plaza activated. However, to achieve this would
require a very unusual interpretation of the zoning code as well as
a parking waiver. There seemed to be agreement that such precedent
would be very undesirable and could come back to hurt the
community in the form of greater development for future projects
e.g. on the Geico tract.
David Gilmore of NED will address CCCFH at the next meeting
to try to change minds and get support.
The Sector Plan placed a cap of 1,090,000 sq ft on the total New
England Development, of which 750,000 sq ft is retail plus an
additional 40,000 sq ft for a grocery store. Only the County
Council can lift the cap—a time consuming process. In order to
get around this cap, an usual interpretation ( read "fudged") is
offered of what square footage counts toward the overall cap and
retail cap. A total of 2,950 sq ft that would normally be considered
coming within these caps is removed, thus " freeing up" the
new square footage for the coffee shop and additional retail
square footage where there was an office and storage. The additional
retail would also require two more parking spaces for
which a waiver is requested.
Hopefully answers to the following questions will be obtained
before voting on the proposal:
1. Why won't this precedent be applied to other developments
to our the community's detriment?
2. If the coffee shop, etc. is so important, why won't NED
eliminate the equivalent retail space in the huge development
to use it for these new locations.
3. Why not locate the coffee shop at the opposite side of the
plaza, with open air seating etc., as a replacement for the traditional
closed door retail stores now proposed at that location?
4. The plans now call for a number of movable carts selling
items in the plaza to "activate" it. Why not have a large movable
cart/ food stand that could sell coffee, with outdoor
seating, to serve the same function as the proposed 650 sq ft
building. The cart presumably would not count toward the
square foot caps of the Sector Plan.
Norm Knopf is a zoning attorney, a past president of the Brookdale
Citizens' Association, and a founder of the CCCFH.
|Help Protect and Improve Little Falls Stream Valley Park|
A stewardship group called Little Falls Watershed Alliance is
being formed to help the Little Falls Stream Valley Park. An initial
meeting was held at St. Dunstan's Church on March 2. This
park has become progressively less healthy and overgrown, and
many of us realize that we need to become involved in order to
improve it. The scope of the stewardship group will be defined
by its members. We have started to form committees on trash
collection, storm water management and water quality, and removing
invasive plants. If you are interested in becoming part of
this worthy effort, please contact Suzanne Richman at 301-951-
0365 or Suzanne_Richman--at--hotmail.com.
If you are a certified Weed Warrior with Montgomery County
Parks and are interested in helping, we are in the process of setting
up dates to meet at the park and work on the invasive plants.
—Compiled by Sarah Jessup
Pierre and Christine Habib of 5326 Saratoga Avenue welcomed
son Michael in October 2007.
Born on February 2, 2008, to Mike Adlin and Helene Krasnoff of
4600 Dalton Road, a baby boy named Heath, a brother for Rebecca.
Andrew and Carolina Renart now live at 4808 Park Avenue.
Amelia Charlotte Menefee, of 4701 River Road, celebrated her
first birthday on Monday, the 25th of February, and was christened
at St. Columba's on Easter Sunday, March 23rd.
On January 25, 2008, Loretta Fioretti of 5306 Westport Road died of lung cancer. She came to Washington from Italy with her parents in 1945, and the family took up residence in Brookdale in the mid 1950s. She was a dedicated dental hygenist and real estate agent who took great pride in maintaining the most beautifully manicured lawn and garden in Brookdale. She continued on in the house after the death of her mother Olga in 2000. Her daughter Roberta Viola Cordova (Andrew) lives in Laurel.
|If you are a newcomer, we hope you have already received a warm welcome. We would like to publicize your presence and other transitions in the Bugle. Please send items to the secretary, as listed on the website.|
|Five Historic Houses
Shoemaker Family Farmhouse
The original Shoemaker family farmhouse is located at 5305
Saratoga Ave. It is thought to have been built in the 1890s. The
original three-bedroom, two-bath house was located on Shoemaker
Lane (called Saratoga from at least 1950). From the top
floor you could see Virginia and the Blue Ridge Mountains in the
At least two children of the Shoemakers, Mary and Ruth, were
born in this house. Ruth, who never married, represented the district
in the state legislature for many years and lived on River
Road. Mary married Rudolf Bopp in 1920, and remained in the
neighborhood all her life.
When Arline and Samuel Gordon bought the property in January
1950, the house was owned and lived in by Mr. Vigeland, who
had purchased it from the Shoemakers, they believe. He was a
construction overseer for a number of houses built in Orchardale
in the 1940s and 50s. There was a well on the property and a barn
that was torn down to build the Gaist house next door. During
1954 or 55, the Gordons experienced a fire in their home. As a
result, they moved into another Orchardale house for six months,
while their house was repaired and expanded to include three
more bedrooms and a new sitting room. These renovations entailed
removing a large porch.
Mr. Gordon worked for many years as an administrative law
judge for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Mrs. Gordon
has designed and furnished many large dollhouses.
The First Bopp House
Mary Shoemaker and Rudolf Bopp were given some of the family
farm land on which they built a house in 1921. The house was
basically a farm house. The exterior was stone on the lower half
with siding above. The first floor had a living room, dining room,
and kitchen with a tiny side room with a suspected ice room underneath.
The second floor had four bedrooms and a bath. Its
address became 5317 Baltimore. Most of the surrounding land
was in orchards around that time.
In the 1950s, Mary Bopp built another house at 5300 Saratoga
and moved her family there, selling the house on Baltimore to the
Schumanns. In 1960, Reginald G. Pocock, a cabinetmaker with
Lank Woodwork, and his wife, Millicent L. N. Pocock, were the
residents. "That explains all the cabinetry," said current resident
In 1986, Boyd and Astrid McHugh bought the property. Astrid
McHugh reports that then there were two cherry trees and an apple
tree from the original orchard. Now only one cherry is left.
She thinks the property probably stretched from Baltimore to
Saratoga originally. The house exterior by then had asbestos siding
instead of wood. Over the years a side screened porch was
added between the dining room and side room, and a basement
The McHughs, in 1994-95, remodeled to enclose the porch and
add a powder room and master bath. In 2002, they removed the
separate garage, added a family room and mudroom to the house,
and built a covered front porch.
This house has a friendly, male ghost who appears only when
there are babies in the house. From the nursery, he could be heard
coming up the stairs.
The McHughs have two children, Carrena (now 20) and Brad
(now 16). Astrid is a kindergarten teacher at the Maret School;
Boyd is a manager of the Ski Center in D.C.
The Sullivan House
In 1903, Daniel F. Sullivan built the house at 4704 River Road on
six acres of land. It was surrounded by fruit trees. Originally, the
house was a classic four-square building with three stories,
probably of Queen Anne style, with front and back porches. The
house is known to have changed hands around the time of the
FDR administration to someone associated with the Netherlands
Embassy. The story goes that Eleanor Roosevelt visited the home
at that time, probably more than once, to experience the cooler air
away from the city.
By 1928, at least one house (on Overbrook) was built on land that
was originally part of the Daniel F. Sullivan property. By 1938,
five acres of the property were subdivided into lots that eventually
would have 15 more houses built on them along River Rd., Newport
Ave., Overbrook Rd., and Keokuk St.
In the 1940s or 50s, John F. Davis, an attorney for the Justice Department,
bought the house. He added a swimming pool in the
mid-50s. Davis became chief clerk of the U.S. Supreme Court
during his career. In 1982, his son Marcus acquired the property.
During the Davises' ownership, the house was modified to convert
the kitchen into a dining room; to remove the wall dividing
the front and back parlors; and to add a new kitchen.
In September 1993, Richard and Diane Monash bought the house
on one acre of land. Their extensive restorative work on the
house and expansion of the kitchen took nine months. Since
moving in, the Monashs have added a small family room at the
back. The Monashs take pride in keeping the house and property
close to their original state. The house is filled with period antiques,
in line with Diane's business in her shop "River House" on
Macomb St. The original chicken coop had to be removed for
safety's sake, but they retain the pad of its original location as
well as other outbuildings.
The house is the same style but larger than the house at 4520
River Road, in the District, that was built in 1897 and is owned by
the Monashs' son.
A native of New Jersey, Rich spent 30 years in the Navy as a Surface
Warfare officer. He is currently a program manager in the
information technology field.
The Ball House
1713 Lord Baltimore grants patent for this land to Colonel Thomas
Addison and James Stoddart.
1899 Tract deeded by Frank E. Murray to John D. Croissant,
George W. Rickett, and Galen L. Tait, as joint tenants. Eight
months later the parcel is divided into lots and boundary park is
dedicated.1905 Bertha Ball is born to George Ball and his wife.
1911 The existing lots are sold to George Ball.
1913 George Ball builds house.
19__ Bertie Ball marries William E. Wise.
1950s George Ball dies. Bertie Ball Wise and Bill Wise buy
house and move back into Bertie's childhood home.
1960 William E.Wise listed in Chevy Chase Directory as foreman
at Shell Elec.
1987 Bertie Wise dies. House passes to her daughter Billie Minnamen,
whose children live in the house until 2007.
2007 House purchased by Bob and Judy Cope from Wise grandchildren.
According to Bob Cope, Bertha Ball Wise said that her grandparents
built the house at 5062 Park Place about 1915 (records say
1913) on land that consisted of two lots. She lived in the house
until she married William Wise. The family never owned a farm
in conjunction with the house, although there is a small barn at
the back of the site, adjacent to Brookdale Rd. When she and her
husband bought the house, they also bought and added an extra
lot which was farmed as a vegetable garden.
When the Copes moved to Brookdale Rd. in 1975, Bob started
helping Bertie with the yard and her vegetable garden. She told
him that the original road was Park Place, not Western Ave., and
he thinks she meant that Park Place went through to River at one
point. (This is shown to be the case on early maps.) Bertha lived
there until she died in1987. Because the Copes were close with
Bertha, her family asked Bob to be a pallbearer at her funeral.
The house was in her family until last year, when Bob and Judy
Cope bought it. Brookdale Rd. curves because when the subdivision
of Brookdale was plotted, Wise wouldn't give any of his land
for the road. Hence, there is no right of way on Brookdale Rd.
alongside this particular property.
Bob and Judy have already been renovating the house and yard.
Bob is an attorney in private practice involved in transportation
law, and Judy Cope, M.D., works in the Commissioner's office at
FDA. Their three children were born and raised in Brookdale:
Christopher (27), Suzanne (25), and Stephanie (21).
The Menefee House
The house at 4701 River Road was built in 1918. It started life as
a wood-frame American Salt Box-style house with living room,
dining room, and kitchen on the first floor and three bedrooms
and bath on the second. It had a porch, which later was screened,
then glass-enclosed, and now is a room. A "den," a wood paneled
room with a fireplace, was added in the 1940s, according to a
neighbor. You will notice the house is closer to River Road than
other houses. The property is quite large, almost 1/4 acre, partly
because the county abandoned the right of way intended to continue
Keokuk Street through to Wisconsin Ave. The prior owners
of this home and the neighboring property bought the abandoned
land from the county and split it between them.
We do not yet know about the early ownership of this house or
property. During the '40s the Kupper family lived in this house.
Their son Henry attended Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School
(with resident Millie Imirie) through 1947, after which the family
moved away before Henry could complete high school. According
to the1960 Chevy Chase Directory, the residents were Thormod
A. and Agnete F. Andersen; he was an economist for the
World Bank. By the late '60s, the house was empty, run down,
and lived in by hippies. So Jay Wohlfarth, who was building new
houses around it, took it over and fixed it up.
Robert H. and Faye Brooks Purl purchased the home in the 1979.
Faye worked as a teller at Riggs Bank and later bought and sold
antiques. Robert was an attorney for the Federal government.
Mrs. Purl had a laundry room built to the back of the house in her
Bernadette and Patrick Menefee purchased the house in 2001.
Since then they have been renovating their home. They added a
two-story addition to the back of the house to increase the master
suite to include a bath and to add a bedroom to the ground floor.
They have moved the functions on the first floor around considerably.
They replaced siding with new wood siding and have continued
to install hardwood floors to match the original flooring.
In painting the exterior, 11 coats of paint had to be stripped, and
shutters uncharacteristic of the type of house were removed. The
outside has been painted a subdued yellow.
Bernadette, who is Irish, is a manager of human resources for
Intelsat. Patrick, who is from Rockville originally, is a construction
superintendent for Bovis Lend Lease. In 2007, their daughter
Amelia was born.
|New Playground at Brookdale Park
With Spring finally here, it is the perfect time to enjoy a brand
new playground in our neighborhood. That's right—after much
anticipation and some lengthy delays, the new playground at
Brookdale Park officially opened on a crisp blue day the Friday
before Easter. The playground is located on Dalton Road immediately
across from the green space adjacent to Geico. The playground
reconstruction was a culmination of many years of work
by numerous Brookdale citizens, some of whom have children
who have long since outgrown the playground. Without the
foundation their hard work laid, however, we would not be enjoying
the new equipment that you find there today.
The new playground was purposefully designed in neutral
tones of dark brown, burgundy and green to blend in to its
natural wooded environment. There are two separate areas
that make up the playground. In the middle of the park,
there is an older child play structure with three slides, a rock
climbing wall and monkey bars, just to
name a few of the highlights, along with a swing set containing
four swings. At the top of the park, stands a younger tot structure
with two tot swings nearby. A swing designed for children with
special needs was planned for the playground, but inadvertently
excluded during construction. The oversight has been brought to
the attention of the Department of Park and Planning and we
have been assured that the swing will be provided in short order.
It will replace one of the current swings at the playground. In
addition, the Brookdale Citizens' Association will continue working
with Parks and Planning to add new trees surrounding the
Whether your children are young or grown or if you do not have
children, I hope you stop by and check out the new addition to our
neighborhood. A party celebrating our new park will be held at
the park Saturday, April 26 at 3:30 p.m. (Rain date: Sunday,
April 27 at 3:30 p.m.) Please bring something yummy to share.
|New Parents Play-group
The New Parents Play-group is poised to restart its weekly meetings
starting in April. The New Parents Play-group is an informal
play-group for new parents or caregivers in the neighborhood.
The Play-group meets on Wednesdays between 3:30 - 5:30,
weather permitting, at the Brookdale Park Playground.
All are welcome!
|Westbrook Kindergartners-To-Be Play-group|
A new informal play-group has been formed this spring to allow
the neighborhood children entering Westbrook Elementary School
kindergarten this fall an opportunity to meet each other in the
relaxed setting of a playground. The play-group is scheduled to
meet every Thursday at 3:30 at the Brookdale Park playground
and every Sunday at 10:30 at the Westbrook playground. Come to
as many or as few as you choose. The play-group will run from
the beginning of April until the third week of August. The goal of
the play-group is to allow our children to see some familiar faces
when they walk into a new classroom, with a new teacher at a
new school come the end of August. If you have any questions,
contact Marina Bowsher at marinabowsher--at--comcast.net or 301-
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