Demolition Begins at Former Reed Brothers Dodge

Reed Brothers Dodge Demolition

Dealership Front

A long time landmark in Rockville is coming down. Two large backhoes started demolishing the car dealership building on Thursday, May 16, 2013 to make way for a mixed use development. When the state widened the roads in 1970, Reed Brothers Dodge relocated from its original facility at the intersection of Veirs Mill Road and Rockville Pike (now Veterans Park) to a new 26,000 square foot showroom and Dodge/Chrysler/Jeep service complex located at 15955 Frederick Road in Rockville, Maryland. (click on images to enlarge)

A business landmark in Rockville since 1915, Reed Brothers Dodge was one of the 15 dealerships in Maryland and 789 dealerships nationwide notified by Chrysler that their franchise agreement would not be renewed. During this time when many car dealers had to close their doors, Reed Brothers drew on its traditions, got creative, and managed to come up with the right stuff to survive. The signs that stood outside on Rockville Pike still said Reed Brothers Dodge, but inside, a new business was forming: Reed Brothers Automotive. Reed Brothers changed its name from Reed Brothers Dodge to Reed Brothers Automotive, and continued on as a used car dealer and repair shop until May 2012.

Reed Brothers Dodge Demolition

Service Dept being reduced to rubble

After almost a century of serving Rockville – and three years after Chrysler terminated the Reed Brothers Dodge franchise – the dealership property went to settlement on August 30, 2012. The site was sold to Bainbridge Shady Grove, LLC whose plans include constructing a $90M project to include a 6-story residential building with 417 multi-family units and a 517 space parking structure.

Reed Brothers Dodge Demolition

What’s remaining of the Showroom, Parts Dept and Body Shop

Reed Brothers Dodge Demolition

On the side looking back at the rear lot.

A couple of funny things happened to me while I was photographing the demolition… In order to get decent shots, I had to pull my car onto the neighboring CARMAX lot. Well, as soon as I got out of my car and pointed my camera at the work in progress, a CARMAX salesman approached and asked, “would you like me to appraise your car, ma’am?” When I told him who I was and what I was doing (and no, I did not wish to have my car appraised…haha!), he reached out, shook my hand and replied, “no problem ma’am, nice to meet you.” So, I went on about my business without being bugged by anymore car salesmen.

Reed Brothers Dodge Demolition

View from CARMAX lot of the Service Department being demolished

Next, I wanted to get some pictures from a different angle, so I decided to try to go (sneak?) through the front entrance — past the sign on the gate that said “NO TRESPASSING”. Eeek! I usually do not even THINK about doing those kinds of things, but I did anyway knowing it was going to be my only chance to get these photos. No sooner did I get out of my car and point my camera, a worker came over to inform me that I was on private property. That was the weirdest feeling of all. After yet another brief explanation of who I was and what I was doing he was very polite and warned me to stay clear of the heavy equipment. Yes sir!!

Reed Brothers Dodge Demolition

Reed Brothers Dodge Demolition

Front entrance “gate guards” and remains of street signage laying on the ground

Reed Brothers Dodge Demolition

Parts Department

Reed Brothers Dodge Demolition

Heavy equipment parked on side lot

It was a bittersweet moment for me to stand there and watch as workers tore down what had been my family’s livelihood for 97 years. As part of the third generation of the family, we leave behind us many good memories and a true legacy for the people in our company, the community, and our family.

It’s change.

It’s time for another chapter in Reed Brothers Dodge history.

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About Reed Brothers

I am a co-owner of the former Reed Brothers Dodge in Rockville, Maryland. Lewis Reed, the founder of Reed Brothers Dodge was my grandfather. We were a family-owned and operated car dealership in Rockville for almost a century. I served in the United States Air Force for 30 years before retiring in the top enlisted grade of Chief Master Sergeant in July 2006. In 2016, I received the Arthur M. Wagman Award for Historic Preservation Communication from Peerless Rockville for documenting the history of Reed Brothers Dodge in both blog and book format. This distinguished honor recognizes outstanding achievement by writers, educators, and historians whose work has heightened public awareness of Rockville’s architectural and cultural heritage, growth and development.

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