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Early Family Businesses
Silver Heritage - Georgia Avenue

Silver Spring in the early 1900s saw the construction of several private dwellings fronting the east side of Georgia Avenue, originally named the Washington and Brookeville Turnpike. One of these was an American four-square house built in 1909 by John Dolan for himself and his wife Geneva. Dolan, was a plasterer by profession, worked as a builder, contractor, and director of the Silver Spring Bank, founded 1910.

The residential character of this section of Georgia Avenue soon gave way to development pressure. In 1924, with the increasing commercialism and value of property fronting Georgia Avenue, Dolan decided to move his residence several hundred feet around the corner to 918 Thayer Avenue and construct commercial buildings on the vacated site. The December 1, 1924 Washington Post article "Program of Construction Extends to Maryland" reported that Dolan "...expects to erect three stores on his original home site. All of these stores on the east side of Georgia Avenue are expected to be more valuable construction than some of the present improvements on that side of the street."

By 1926 Dolan had completed work on three adjoining, two-story brick buildings at 8223-25-27 Georgia Avenue. The First businesses to occupy these buildings were Richard J."Pop" Dietle's Silver Spring Bakery (8223), Marcel Zimmerman's Silver Spring Electric Co. (8225) and Frederick Di Vecchia's Silver Spring Hardware & Painting Co. (8227). The shop owners and their families lived on the top floor above the business, whose facades are virtually intact.
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