When Maureen Booth and her husband, Walter, were looking for a larger home close to the Forest Glen Metro station nearly 30 years ago, they wanted to be on a quiet street in hopes of getting to know their neighbors. They looked at more than 100 houses before happening upon a home on Rosensteel Avenue in the heart of Forest Glen. Walter Booth died in 2012, but Maureen Booth still lives there with her nephew and his partner, having found everything she’d been hoping for in the tightknit community.
“The residents of Rosensteel are just wonderful people,” Booth says. “On the day of my husband’s funeral and wake, my neighbors banded together and raked my yard and swept my driveway. It was October and I hadn’t the energy or desire to do yard work. Since my husband’s passing, my two neighbors have shared mowing my yard. It is a wonderful place.”
Like Booth, Laura Pawlowski has lived in Forest Glen for more than 20 years and loves how community-minded it is. She describes Forest Glen as the type of place where neighbors borrow an egg or cup of milk from each other without question and look out for each other.
“My husband was out of town when we got 43 inches of snow. My neighbors noticed I didn’t dig out my furnace or my dryer vent from snow. This L.A. girl didn’t know that I had to do that, but my neighbors did,” Pawlowski says.
Residents stay connected through a private Facebook group called Friends of Forest Glen. Every month, a different family hosts a potluck at their home. Besides the block parties and collaborations with other community groups across Silver Spring and Montgomery Hills, there is an annual Halloween parade near the Forest Glen Metro Station, Christmas caroling in the winter and ice cream socials in the summer. Residents are proud of the Forest Estates Farmer’s Market, which features farm vendors selling fresh vegetables, fruits, eggs and other wares.
Pacci’s Trattoria, an Italian restaurant housed in a historical general store, dishes out such traditional Italian specialties as Neapolitan pizza, calzones and pasta, as well as Sunday brunch. Goldberg’s New York Bagels offers kosher bagels and classic Jewish fare, and Nothing Bundt Cakes is a bakery chain offering cakes, candles and cards. Snider’s Super Foods on Seminary Road is a local favorite that residents describe as a “gem.” Forest Glen resident Sterling Mehring describes Snider’s as part of the fabric of living in Forest Glen.
“All of our children worked there as baggers and you never go without seeing at least one friend and neighbor,” Mehring said.
There are several parks in or close to Forest Glen, including McKenney Hills Neighborhood Park, General Getty Neighborhood Park, Evans Parkway Neighborhood Park, and Sligo Creek Stream Valley Park, to name a few. Several of the parks, in addition to ample green space, have amenities such as basketball and tennis courts and playgrounds.
The Montgomery County Planning Board recently drafted a plan to implement improvements to the neighborhood, including increasing the number of community gathering places, preserving affordable housing and adding another entrance to the Forest Glen Metro station. That addition should improve traffic and pedestrian safety at an intersection where there have been several fatalities as people try to cross the busy street to the station. The plan also includes adding retail and residential developments near the Metro station, which residents have welcomed.
“I’ve heard neighbors be concerned with the additional traffic mixed-use may bring but everyone loves the idea of a place to get coffee on their way to the Metro,” Pawlowski says.
Another welcome change under construction is the Purple Line and its Lyttonsville station, a 12- to 15-minute walk away for most Forest Glen residents.
“The Purple Line will provide additional connectivity to Bethesda, which is a major economic engine of the county and also to University of Maryland in College Park,” says Montgomery County Planning Board Commissioner Partap Verma.
Living there: Forest Glen stretches from Colesville Road on the south to Plyers Mill Road on the north and from Capitol View Avenue on the west to Sligo Creek Parkway on the east.
According to Cindy Holland of Long and Foster Real Estate, 180 homes have sold in Forest Glen in the past year. There are 35 active listings, including a one-bedroom, one-bathroom condo for $151,000 and a four-bedroom, three-bathroom detached home priced at $865,000.
National Park Seminary, a residential community just south of the Capital Beltway, is where most of the townhouses and condos available are located. The 32-acre enclave was once a private finishing school for girls and an annex for Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Since 2004, developers have restored many of the historical structures into single-family homes, condominiums, townhouses and apartments. There is a three-bedroom, three-bathroom converted firehouse for sale for $1.1 million and a 3,620-square-foot, two-bedroom, two-bathroom former concert hall on the market for $999,500.
Transportation: The nearest Metro station is Forest Glen, which is on Georgia Avenue just north of the Capital Beltway. There are numerous bus routes on Georgia Avenue. Major thoroughfares include the Capital Beltway and Routes 97 and 390.
Schools: Flora M. Singer and Glen Haven elementary, Sligo Middle, and Montgomery Blair High.