The Silver Spring Historical Society led a successful effort to place the architecturally significant section of the 1946 Canada Dry Bottling Plant (the two-story rotunda entrance at the corner of East West Highway and Blair Mill Road) on Montgomery County's Locational Atlas & Index of Historic Sites. This portion will be restored and incorporated into the "Silverton" residential project. The interior of the rotunda will also be restored and feature a permanent exhibit on the history of this landmark structure.
A Silver Spring Landmark
With its yellow brick and glazed tile, glass block rotunda, curved corners, strip windows, and distnctive dual signage, the Canada Dry Bottling Plant is a unique feature of downtown Silver Spring and part of the community's architectural theme. It is the focal point of Silver Spring's historic industrial corridor, East-West Highway. Located half a block south of Canada Dry, at 1110 East West Highway, can be seen the Coca-Cola Bottling Plant (today NTB National Tire & Battery).
Canada Dry's Place in Silver Spring History
Construction of the bottling plant, designed in 1946 by Walter Monroe Cory, was part of a commercial and industrial building boom -- largely of art deco-style structures -- that marked the coming of age of downtown Silver Spring over half a century ago.
About the Architect
The motto of New York City architect Walter Monroe Cory and his partner brother Russell was "Factories CAN be beautiful." Together they designed New York City's Starrett-Lehigh warehouse building, a crown jewel in Manhattan's Chelsea District. The Starrett-Lehigh building was declared an architectural resource in 1988 by the New York Landmarks Preservation Commission.
Support From Experts
Prominent architect and architectural historian Robert A.M. Stern has praised the Canada Dry Bottling Plant and the work of its architect. Stern appeared in the PBS history of New York and hosted the PBS series "Pride of Place." Other prominent architectural historians also urged the perservation of Silver Spring's Canada Dry Bottling Plant.
LEFT: This portion has since been demolished. The original green 1946 neon CANADA DRY letters were to have been saved but were accidentally destroyed during demolition. The developer, JBG Companies, has promised to recreate the sign. The red CANADA DRY letters (ABOVE RIGHT) were erected in the 1970s. Plans call for the retention of this signage. Photo by Jerry A. McCoy.
LEFT: Site preparation for new construction. Photo taken 2004 by Jerry A. McCoy.
RIGHT: Artist's rendition of completed project, to be named "Sovereign Row." SSHS is puzzled as to why, in view of the effort undertaken to save part of the Canada Dry Bottling Plant, the developer's (JBG Companies) website for this project makes no reference to Canada Dry's incorporation into the development. To see this website, click HERE.
RIGHT: Main entrance at corner of East-West Highway and Blair Mill Road. This portion of the Canada Dry complex was retained and will be restored. Photo by Mary Reardon
LEFT: This portion of the Canada Dry complex, located nearest the Metro/CSX railroad tracks, has since been demolished. During the course of the demolition the original 1946 green neon CANADA DRY sign, which had been located at the front of the building (see UPPER LEFT and MIDDLE photo), was accidentally destroyed. Developer JBG Companies has promised to recreate the sign. The original sign had been moved to the back of the plant circa 1970s and a red back-lit flourescent CANADA DRY sign (ABOVE) replaced it. Both signs are to be retained in the Sovereign Row project. Photo by Jerry A. McCoy.
CLOCKWISE: 1. Curving stairway located in rotunda. Glazed yellow brick emulates the color of ginger ale. 2. Top of staircase. Portion of monumental glazed glass block window on right. 3. Entrance to administrative offices on second floor. Door (not seen) from open doorway was saved and is in collection of SSHS. 4. View of glazed glass block window viewed through portion of staircase railing. 5. Massive water tank sits under catwalk in manufacturing portion of complex. This section has since been demolished. All photos taken by Jerry A. McCoy
TOP: Detail of horizontal-ribbed glass from office door. A popular glass used in industrial settings of the time, the glass evoked a feeling of sterility and futurity. Photo by Jerry A. McCoy. A similar glass was used in Klaatu's spaceship (INSET) in the 1951 science-fiction film classic, The Day the Earth Stood Still, starring (R-L) Patricia Neal, Michael Rennie, and "Gort".
BELOW: Within one year of construction of Silver Spring's Canada Dry, a Cory-designed Canada Dry Bottling Plant was erected in Portland, Oregon. The Davis Business Center occupies this structure today. All photos taken 2003 by Jerry A. McCoy
BELOW: This 1940 Canada Dry Bottling Plant is located at 329 Washington Street in Orange, New Jersey. Before and after photos depict the change to the exterior when it was rehabbed in 1997. Today is used by the Print Graphic Facility of New Jersey Transit. Photos courtesy of Rob Lilley, Manager, Print Graphics, NJ Transit.
If you can provided any information on these structures, please send to firstname.lastname@example.org.
"Yeah don't forget the Motor City..."
Located in Highland Park, Michigan at 15004 3rd Street, this Canada Dry Bottling Plant is today the home of the Detroit City Dairy Inc.
Photo by Bode Morin.
"Our Man in Havana"
This pre-revolutionary Canada Dry Bottling Plant is located in the Cerro district of Havana, Cuba. It is now occupied by Latinoamericana, one of the largest soft drink companies in Cuba.
LEFT: Canada Dry served as the backdrop for this cover photograph of Silver Spring author George Pelecanos, City Paper, Vol. 18, No. 33, August 21-27, 1998. Collection of Jerry A. McCoy.
BELOW LEFT: Minneapolis, Minnesota, 3530 E. 28th Street. Photo by Robert C. Mack, MacDonald & Mack Architects, Ltd.
BELOW RIGHT: Seattle, Washington, 12th Avenue and E. Marion Street. Using Walter Monroe Cory's original two-story design, local architect George W. Stoddard created a (rare) one-story version. Purchased and renovated by the University of Washington in 1964, the structure was remodeled again in 1987. Used as the university's Student Services Building, the former lobby space has been converted to offices for financial aid (the spiral stairway was removed) with offices above on the mezzanine level. The new entrance is on the former rear of the building in a new two-story addition that serves as the campus bookstore. Photo courtesy Mimi Sheridan.
Located in San Diego, California at 1895 Hancock Street,
this Canada Dry Bottling Plant is now used as a
Consignment Classics furniture store. Photo by Sande Lollis.
The plant that started it all...
BELOW: An architectural rendering depicts the original Canada Dry Bottling Plant, constructed in the Montreal suburb of Lacine, located at 52E Avenue and Francois Cusson Street. The caption reads, "This architect's drawing of the new Montreal building, which is nearly completed, is typical of the new beverage plants to be constructed after the war in key markets of the United States and Canada." Note the globe above the main entrance. This feature was originally planned for the Silver Spring location but abandoned.
"...dancin' in the streets. Philadelphia, P. A...."
Located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at 5300 Whitaker Avenue (at Foulkrod), the site sat vacant from 1994-96 when it was cleaned up by the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection's Land Recycling Program. Sold to Philadelphia Soft Pretzels, Inc., the property was leased in 1998 to JOMAR Inc., who now uses the structure for its discount clothing and housewares warehouse. Photo by Christopher H. Marston.
Reports have come in of
Canada Dry Bottling Plant sightings in:
Truro, Nova Scotia, Canada
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Stay tuned for more exciting photos!
"Burn on, big river, burn on..."
Located in Cleveland, Ohio at 1674 East 40th Street, this structure has been identified as having been designed by Walter Monroe Cory but appears to be too small to have been a Canada Dry Bottling Plant. It does feature Cory's distinctive curved facade and a (small) ribbon-window. If anyone has information of this structure, please email email@example.com.
Photo by Carol Poh Miller.
Canada Dry featured in Washington Post's "Then & Again" feature. Click HERE.