Artist’s Rendering of New Formalist-Influenced Reed Brothers Dodge Dealership

Reed Brothers Dodge 1970

After 55 years at the original location at the triangle at Veirs Mill Road and Rockville Pike, Lee Gartner purchased 4.37 acres of land from Eugene Casey and relocated Reed Brothers Dodge to a new state-of-the-art showroom and Dodge/Chrysler/Jeep service complex on Route 355 at 15955 Frederick Road in Rockville Maryland.

The new building, a complete automotive sales and service facility marked Reed Brothers 55th year of selling Dodge’s. The state-of-the-art dealership contained the newest customer-focused features throughout which combined technology and comfort. Design and construction of the new dealership was managed by the Glen Construction Company of Gaithersburg.

In 1948, General Motors produced their first guide to help shape the look of their auto dealerships. Entitled, Planning Automobile Dealer Properties, the guide provided ideas and building layouts “for car sales, administration and personnel, service, parts and accessories, and store front details—including everything from the showroom to the janitor’s closet.” Based on the success of this model, other car brands also adopted strict design standards for their dealerships.

The Reed Brothers Dodge dealership in Rockville (1970), demolished in 2012, was an example of a dealership with a New Formalist influence. Hand-drawn architectural rendering by Cooke Brackett, Washington, D.C.

Character-defining elements of auto dealerships representative of this Period include, but are not limited to:

  • One story
  • Rectangular form with secondary service areas
  • Flat roofs are most prevalent
  • Large expansive showroom windows and minimal windows at service areas
  • Extensive use of corporate branding including street signs, rooftop signs, and various brand color schemes
  • Set back from, and parallel to, the adjoining major roadway

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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.

One response to “Artist’s Rendering of New Formalist-Influenced Reed Brothers Dodge Dealership”

  1. Patrick T. Kernan says :

    Next time I’m in the area I will try to check out the “new location” current day.

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