Building of the Month, April 2011 – GEICO (1959)

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GEICO, Wisconsin and Western Avenues, Friendship Heights

The corporate headquarters for GEICO (1959) is an International Style complex of carefully articulated buildings designed by architect Vincent G Kling. Long low wings are contrasted by higher opaque blocks and sheathed in porcelain enamel and textured glass panels. The 26-acre landscaped campus includes flying saucer light fixtures, a Hovercraft-like fountain perched at the entrance.  Terraced parking lots  are shaded by mature trees.  A taller office tower (left) was added in 1964.


Architect Vincent Kling of Philadelphia worked for Skidmore Owings & Merrill before establishing his own firm in 1946. His expertise was in research labs and commercial space. As he designed the GEICO building, he was engaged in creating, with Edmund Bacon, the master … Continue reading

April 2011 Building of the Month

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guest post: Clare Lise Kelly

Can you identify this Montgomery County Building? Here’s a hint: This complex share ties with Penn Center in Philadelphia.

Tune in next month to find out what building it is and its architectural merits.

Montgomery Modern explores mid-century modern buildings and communities that reflect the optimistic spirit of the post-war era in Montgomery County, Maryland. From International Style office towers to Googie style stores and contemporary tract houses, Montgomery Modern celebrates the buildings, technology, and materials of the Atomic Age, from the late 1940s through the 1960s. A half century later, we now have perspective to appreciate these resources as a product of their time.

Building of the Month

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guest post: Clare Lise Kelly

Weller’s Dry Cleaning (1960) Fenton and Thayer Streets, Silver Spring


Built in 1960, this modernist structure is a great example of what is popularly known as Googie architecture. Defining features include a canted roofline and brightly colored porcelain panels—and a space age sign that looks right out of a George Jetson scene.

Incised in a brick is the name of the architect, Ted Englehardt (1898-1980), founder and first president of the Potomac Chapter of the American Institute of Architects.

The building is still owned by Charlie Weller who is in his 90s. This resource is not listed on the Locational Atlas or designated on the Montgomery County Master Plan for Historic Preservation.

But it … Continue reading