A history of Hillcrest Heights and Prince George's County, Maryland
I lived the first fourteen years of my life, from 1962 to 1976, in a
house on 25th Place in Hillcrest Heights, Maryland. I don't get back
there very often, but the place is still etched in my psyche.
One thing I've always wondered about the town is, what was there before I
was? The answer, it turns out, is, "Not much." Hillcrest Heights, like
Levittown, was a product of the post-WWII suburban explosion. Read on:
- The best history of Hillcrest Heights
and the surrounding communities I could find is
- A page from the 1878 Hopkins Atlas of Prince George's County, showing the
Spaldings District (22kb).
Notice that the only towns present in 1878 were Silver Hill, Suitland,
Oakland, Forestville, Centreville (now the site of Andrews AFB), and
Allentown/Camp Springs. Temple Hills is not yet a town, but you can see
that E. Temple is a major landowner, and "Temple Road" is there, the
forerunner of today's Temple Hills Rd. A larger (200 kb) version of this
map is here. Hillcrest Heights would
occupy the mostly-empty rectangle of land just southwest of the label
"Silver Hill P.O.".
- An 1895 map of Maryland. (big -- 1.72 Mb!)
Evolution of the
National Capital, showing
in four maps the growth of urban areas in and around the District
of Columbia from 1800 through 1947. ["People and Land",
National Capital Park and Planning Commission, 1950.]
- A 1943 street map of the
area. Hillcrest Heights is the big empty spot in the middle.
- A 1944 USGS topo map of the
area. (Warning: 640 kB) This is basically a more detailed
version of the 1943 map above.
- A 1948 map of the area (200 kB).
The land that will become Hillcrest Heights seems to be almost
- For comparison, a 1971 street map (as a 547 kB
color image, or a somewhat smaller
198 kB black-and-white version).
- A satellite photo of the
Hillcrest-Marlow Heights area. (168 kB)
- A 1951 Market
Analysis of the proposed Hillcrest Heights Shopping Center
(with some interesting maps and aerial photos).
- A 1941 postcard of Strick's Restaurant, at the intersection of Branch Ave. and Naylor Rd. in Silver Hill. In its heyday, Strick's hosted some of the top country & western acts,
including Roy Clark and Patsy
Cline. (It's gone downhill
Website for the nearby Hillcrest neighborhood of Southeast Washington, DC. (from which Hillcrest Heights got its name).
History of the nearby town of Morningside, Md.
- Hyattsville Volunteers - Incident Capsule w/Photos - April 19, 1998 - Hillcrest Heights Two Alarmer
- Hillcrest Heights Elementary School - washingtonpost.com
- Iverson Mall
- Sanborn Maps of Washington, DC
- Salon.com's review of Howard Kohn's "We Had a Dream"
- Last Taste of a Tradition
depalma at rascal.med.harvard.edu