Thursday, February 11, 2010


By now you probably know that our Silver Spring Civic Building at Veterans Plaza will open this summer. The facility will have spaces for community use, including the plaza and skating rink. There will also be an art exhibit space, an activity room, and a ‘Great Hall’ capable of accommodating literally hundreds of people. The design is inviting and welcoming; fresh and clean… The physical facility will be indeed magnificent.


But, what exactly will we make of the space? How will it ‘breathe’? Who will be there? What will it ‘feel like’? How will it evolve? What activities will ‘activate’ this new, unique public space?

To get the conversation started, here are some statements that try to capture the spirit of those many folks that have been instrumental in making this space happen:

The Silver Spring Civic Building at Veterans Plaza will be a unique space for civil dialogue. It will be a truly exemplary 21st century community engagement venue.

It will be in this building – and this plaza – that our community will engage in public discourse to maximize our community’s assets and connect them to our community’s challenges and opportunities.

This public space will be our community’s living room and patio. It will be where people will bump into each other by happenstance and design. Some will choose to stick around and get involved in traditional ways… Others will connect for that particular issue or to volunteer for that particular event…

The Silver Spring Civic Building at Veterans Plaza will be a welcoming space. Our diverse cultures will all feel that this is their space; that this is where they feel comfortable with others like them; and feel equally as comfortable with others unlike them…

…The youth will mingle with their elders; the elders will tell their stories; the new Americans will rejoice in their new homeland; the traditional Americans will proudly share their heritage…

What will unify us all in this space is our universal commitment and support for our veterans. All people – regardless of age or cultural heritage – recognize the veterans as worthy of homage; worthy of honor… Our Veterans Plaza will serve as the gathering place for us to celebrate as well as commemorate their invaluable contributions to our culture.

This new public space in Silver Spring will activate the downtown area and generate economic activity throughout the year. It will be a place where we:
- Honor veterans;
- Share heritage and traditions;
- Welcome new Americans;
- Celebrate diversity; and,
- Promote community engagement and civic discourse.

{What is missing? Your thoughts? Additions? Comments?}


Dan Reed said...

I've been following the Civic Building construction for the past year and am really happy to finally see it come together. We have windows and doors now!

Your description is awesome, Reemberto. It makes me even more excited to have this civic building in our community. I can't wait to see it in action.

Dan Reed

Susan Hoffmann said...

Have you seen the building today? It's almost fully covered with the charcoal masonry siding, alongside the exterior wood finishes! Quite impressive, considering the kind of weather we have been experiencing. Kudos to everyone on the construction team, especially MC Project Manager Mike Lowe!

WashingtonGardener said...

I saw them working away out there in the driving snow - they are dedicated!

WashingtonGardener said...

Bunch of us are meeting today to dig out bus stops in downtown #SilverSpring - join us w/ shovel at 12:30pm at Safeway on Thayer - in the lower garage portion - we will fan out from there

Anonymous said...

It's Silver Spring's front porch, and the civic space is the living room. It's amazing how such mediocre buildings can look so good together. Thank god only the civic building is a sparce modernist building, I love it!

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