While it may have been coincidence that brought the three families together, the stable lifestyle they have enjoyed in the Prince George’s County neighborhood has kept them there for more than 20 years. Glen Allen has also evolved over that period, from a stark landscape of newly built homes to a mature neighborhood with large, leafy trees and landscaped lawns. A number of the original homeowners still live in the 400-house subdivision, built in phases.
On a recent weekend, Schult and Paquin were installing a light fixture at Sikorsky’s home. “We’re best friends. [The] wives do everything together,” said Sikorsky, 53, a teacher at St. Pius X School in Bowie. Paquin noted that six children living nearby were born in 1994. “They all hung out together growing up. . . . The kids played together, and the parents played together, too,” said Paquin, 49, whose four children are now 23, 20, 18 and 15. Those children took vacations together growing up, Schult said, and the families are also active at nearby St. Edward the Confessor Catholic Church.
When it came time to raise their own families, the Paquins, Schults and Sikorskys were attracted to Glen Allen, one of the “new Bowie” subdivisions along Mitchellville Road near U.S. 301. The new sections offered larger homes than those in the original Levitt developments north of Route 50. “A lot of people in [Glen Allen] moved from other parts of Bowie,” said Paquin, who lived in the Kenilworth section of Bowie as a youngster.
Will Johnson, 45, and his wife, Karen, had lived in a Bowie townhouse before having their Glen Allen house built in 2000. On a recent Saturday, Johnson was talking in his front yard with his wife and two sons, 15 and 13, after his youngest son’s youth football game. “This neighborhood is good for kids,” said Johnson, 45, a train operator for Metro. “People are nice, very respectful. They keep up their properties.”
Adavi and Jyothsna Venkat, original Glen Allen homeowners, also moved from a Bowie townhouse in 1990. Over the years, they battled commuter traffic to jobs in Northern Virginia and considered moving there. But they would have had to pay considerably more for housing in Virginia, Adavi Venkat said. When their son, Rohit, was accepted into Eleanor Roosevelt High School’s magnet program and eventually went off to college, the Venkats decided to stay in Glen Allen. Adavi Venkat, 57, a native of India, has come to appreciate the neighborhood’s diversity. “From day one, we have been welcomed,” Adavi Venkat said. Even when he travels to India, “I just don’t get the feeling of home until I come back to Bowie. . . . Half of my life has been spent here.”