GREENBELT CENTER
Centerway and Crescent Road
Greenbelt, Maryland

Of the 3 New Deal-era green suburbs, Maryland's Greenbelt was the predominant project. This was due to its close proximity to the nation's capital. Construction cost overruns had undermined the implementation of Ohio's Greenhills and Wisconsin's Greendale to some degree. Greenbelt, on the other hand, was built (pretty much) as planned.

GREENBELT CENTER was situated at the core of the new garden city. It commanded a 7.3 acre site, located 11 miles northeast of the United States Capitol. There were 2 main buildings in the original complex. In total area, they encompassed approximately 18,200 square feet.    

The bulk of these structures had 1 level, with a movie theater having a basement heating plant. There were also small upper level offices in each building, as well as a freestanding Police & Fire Station / Auto Repair Garage and Co-op Service Station. When fully leased, the shopping hub housed around 14 stores and services. 

The first transaction at the Greenbelt Co-op Food Store took place on December 15, 1937. This was followed by the grand openings of a Co-op Variety Store, Drug Store, Barber Shop, Beauty Shop and Furniture Store. The single-screen Greenbelt Theatre showed its first feature September 21, 1938.

Greenbelt's Co-op Food Store proved so successful that it had to seek new quarters. A 2-level (20,000 square foot) structure was built adjacent to the GREENBELT CENTER East Building. It opened in November 1948 and was expanded in the mid-1950s (to 40,000 square feet). The building was gutted by a fire in early 1962. It was refurbished, with the Co-op Supermarket & Pharmacy opening in October 1962.

By decree of a 1949 Congressional bill, America's 3 federally-owned-and-operated green suburbs were sold to residents or to the highest bidder. In the case of Greenbelt, the main transaction closed December 31, 1952.   

GREENBELT CENTER was added to the National Register of Historic Places in November 1980. National Historic Landmark status was bestowed in February 1997. Known today as ROOSEVELT CENTER, the complex, at the center of the "Old Greenbelt" historic area, houses around 13 stores and services.

Sources:

Library of Congress /Prints and Photographs Online Catalog /  http://www.loc.gov/pictures/
Wikipedia
Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation
www.greenbelt.gov
"Prince George's County Historic Site Summary Sheet" / 1993
"To Make America Over; The Greenbelt Towns of the New Deal" / Julie D. Turner / Miami University term paper / 2010
"Historic American Buildings Survey: Old Greenbelt" / LaDale Curtis Winling and Sally Kress Tomkins / 2005
https://greenbelt2012.wordpress.com
www.greendale.org
The Greenbelt News Review
www.cinematreasures.org
http://greenbelttheatre.org
http://www.greenbeltmd.gov / "Greenbelt Theatre Proposal" / P & G Theatres, Incorporated-Paul Sanchez / December 1, 2014