A Bold Idea, A Comprehensive Plan by Judith Helm Robinson
© Kathryn Schneider Smith, 1993. Reprinted with permission from Washington at Home: An Illustrated History of Neighborhoods in the Nation’s Capital, Kathryn Schneider Smith, editor. ~Chevy Chase: Bold Idea, A Comprehensive Plan~ by Judith Helm Robinson. With Special thanks to The Historical Society of Washington, D.C., sponsor.
The Chevy Chase Free Library Association was formed in 1896 by Janet and Edith Newlands and Miss Birney (Mrs. Harold Walker). Senator Newlands donated the property for the building in 1901 and the ladies raised enough money to fund the structure. In addition to housing the library, the building afforded space for the beginnings of several local churches, including the Christian Science Church, Blessed Sacrament Church, All Saints Church, and Chevy Chase Presbyterian Church, and was the center for social gatherings, plus a school for local residents.
In 1906, the name was changed to the Chevy Chase Association. This new entity became the local government for Chevy Chase Village. The building then functioned as a governmental facility and local community center. It was also home for the hand-drawn fire fighting apparatus until 1927. The building was expanded in 1912 to house a postal facility and then changed very little until a major renovation in the 1940's.