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An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. "A fight is going on inside me," he said to the boy.

"It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil—he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego." He continued, "The other is good—he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you—and inside every other person, too."

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, "Which wolf will win?"

The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."

First People - The Legends. Cherokee Legend of Two Wolves. November 16, 2004. [accessed April 7, 2012].

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Meet the 27 Historic Municipalities of Prince George's County, Maryland - Ready for Adaptive Re-use

               Adaptive re-use of building is not in and of itself an answer to the development challenges and problems Prince George's County faces today. But adaptive re-use is part of a sustainable economic development tool box. The ideas of sustainable development are a solution to the problem of meeting the material needs of the present population of Prince George's County, while simultaneously maintaining the integrity of the environment. The environment and the resources that provide free ecosystem services to our communities are infrastructure that our current policies seem to think we can do without. Economic growth can happen with environmental protection by focusing on "...development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs" (World Commission on Environment and Development, 1987:43)[1] Prince George's County has 27 incorporated municipalities that are candidates for sustainable economic development using adaptive re-use principles. Why can't we enhance what we have before we destroy what is left?

  1.  Bladensburg (incorporated in 1854) was established in 1742 as a regional commercial center. 
  2. Laurel (inc. 1870) grew up around the site of an 1811 grist mill eventually becoming a chartered factory mill town with the coming of the railroads in 1835. 
  3. Upper Marlboro (1870), originally spelled Upper Marlborough, was first settled around 1695 was a shipping port for tobacco  and the Prince George's County seat since 1726. 
  4. Bowie (1882) came into existence with the 1853 railroad charter to construct a rail line into Southern Maryland. A land speculator and developer, sold building lots around the railroad junction and named the settlement, Huntington City, which was renamed Bowie in honor of a Maryland Governor from Prince George's County. 
  5. Hyattsville (1886) was named for its founder, Christopher Clark Hyatt in 1845. The Baltimore & Ohio Railroad tracks and the telegraph lines made the area a good site for a town. 
  6. Berwyn Heights (1896), originally Charlton Heights, was part of the ongoing suburban development of farmland due to the commuter rail lines in the area. 
  7. Capital Heights (1910) began as a developer's promise in 1904 to provide paved roads, sidewalks, street lights, and other public services —including the electric railway to a new subdivision. The citizens incorporated in major part to fix the problem themselves. 
  8. Mount Rainier (1910), on the farm site of Thomas Clemson of Clemson University fame, growth was in part based upon the presence of affordable and modern transportation, connecting Mount Rainier with downtown Washington. 
  9. Riverdale Park (1920) started as a small community of 30-40 homes clustered around a stop on the B&O Railroad on land once belonging to the Calvert family. 
  10. Brentwood (1922) developed beginning in the 1890s around the Highland Station of the Washington Branch of the B & O Railroad and the Columbia and Maryland Railway. 
  11. Cottage City (1924) started out during the 1870s as developers began to promote a residential community with large lots and a grid pattern of streets, stating the advantages of the community called the "The Highlands". Multiple attempts by different developers failed until 1915 when the housing attractive to veterans returning from World War I found the economical homes ready to inhabit. 
  12. Edmondston (1924) came into being World War I, when residents of East Hyattsville and Palestine began a movement toward incorporation to improve services for their residential communities. 
  13. North Brentwood (1924) is the first African-American incorporated Town in the Prince George's County. According to the town's website: "In 1887 Captain Wallace Bartlett formed Holladay Land and Improvement Division. He sold plots of land in the low area, subject to flooding, to African-Americans. He dedicated this land in memory of the black regiment which served under him in the civil war." 
  14. Colmar Manor (1927), site of a famous duel fought on March 22, 1820, as well as battles in the War of 1812 and the Civil War, was developed in the early 20th century offering homeowners modern water and sewer lines. 
  15. Eagle Harbor (1929) originally known as Trueman Point, was a river port established in the early 18th century to serve as a shipping point for tobacco plantations. in 1925, developer Walter L. Bean purchased land adjoining Trueman Point to create creating a resort community for middle class African Americans.
  16. Cheverly (1931) first platted in 1904 and incorporated in order to address concerns for better roads and services - a by now reoccurring theme in Prince George's County. 
  17. Seat Pleasant (1931) was established  around a Washington, D.C. and Chesapeake Beach, Maryland rail line station and the confluence of suburban mass transit lines in the early years of the 20th century.
  18. Fairmount Heights (1935) whose earliest settlers were black families who purchased small plots of land in 1903 now claims the title of the second oldest African-American-majority municipality in Prince George's County. 
  19. District Heights (1936) was developed on former farmland purchased and held by the District Heights Company in 1925. The city charter was proposed in part to get back part of gasoline tax for roads. 
  20. University Park (1936) interestingly has no easy-to-find history on line (hoping a resident will fill in the blank here). 
  21. Greenbelt (1937) on the other hand has a deep and richly recorded history as a "planned" public cooperative community and showcase for USDA research and science. 
  22. Glenarden (1939) started when 1919 when W. R. Smith purchased a group of properties for development and received its charter establishing it as a middle-class suburban community making it the next predominately black incorporated town in the State of Maryland after Fairmount Heights.
  23. College Park (1945), home of the University of Maryland, was platted in 1872 with development beginning in earnest around1889 on the College Station stop of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. 
  24. Landover Hills (1945) started out in 1940 as a planned a subdivision of 148 acres of wooded farm land along Defense Highway. 
  25. Forest Heights (1949), originally a part of a 6,478-acre plantation established in 1687, the town was developed between the 1940s and the 1960s. 
  26. Morningside (1949) with its access to Joint Base Andrews was established as a community for many World War II veterans. 
  27. New Carrollton (1953) was built on the former estate of a horse racing figure after whose death in 1957, the land was acquired by developer to create a planned suburb.[2]

[1] Sustainable Community Development: An Interactional Perspective.
[2] information mostly taken from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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