RPMD CENTENNIAL COUNTDOWN EVENT
Saturday, June 15, 2019
4-8 pm Town Center
After Party 8-10 pm@TCM
RIVERDALE PARK BUSINESS ASSOCIATION
JUNE 15, 2019RiverdaleParkBiz@aol.com | www.ShopLocalRiverdalePark.comA publication by the RPBA
SIGNS OF CHANGING TIMES IN RPMD
RPBA PhotosAt 99, Riverdale Park counts down to next year’s Centennial by renaming
the MARC station “Riverdale Park Town Center” at 4pm, then rededicating the town clock in Town Center at 5 pm. The party continues with live music and more than 40 food vendors until 8 when the after party moves across the tracks to Town Center Market until 10 pm.
MARC STATION RENAMED
The Riverdale train station name is gone. Lost to the ages. As of 4 pm today, the 184-year-old “Riverdale” stop will be known as “Riverdale Park Town Center”station, renamed, repainted, wiped clean and gussied up for the next century ofservice. Maryland’s last stop before a brisk 11-minute run to Capitol Hill’s Union Station in the nation’s capital, gets the new moniker after a combination of hardlobbying, friendly cajoling and a dose of reality -- a $6,000 check to Maryland Transit Authority to cover the costs of electronic updates, printing new schedules, crafting and hanging new signs.
“Our Public Works Department has been inside and out of the station, cleaningand repainting everything,” Kevin Simpson told The Biz on Friday. Simpson, thedirector of the Town’s Office of Development Services credited the crew for beautifying Town Center and the entire Town “a place maker, a place where folkswant to come and invest in homes and in businesses.”
Late Friday afternoon, a pleasant woman who described herself as anadministrator with University of Maryland Medical Systems’ Capital Regional Health operation at Prince George’s Hospital Center in Cheverly, sat in the stationhouse waiting for a train to take her home to Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. “I can’tbelieve it. I can see out the windows – they are CLEAN. Everything is clean. It looks great!” Then she noticed the new sign “Riverdale Park Town Center” across the tracks. “Look! They HAVE changed the sign!” A few minutes later she couldhear the rumble of the eastbound Camden Line MARC train in the near distance. She quickly collected her belongings and scampered across the tracks for a relaxing 40-minute ride home.
While to some a name change is only that, a name change, the switch recapturesthe area’s original name of Riverdale Park found on the earliest land plats drawn around 1801 when the Town’s best-known inhabitants, the Calvert family, began building the Georgian mansion Riversdale. In order to get their crops to the market in Baltimore, the Calvert family cut a deal with the fledging eight-year-old Baltimore and Ohio Rail Road Co. A 2006 article about Riverdale Park in The Washington Post set the scene:
“They had a stop for the mansion,” said Douglas McElrath, curator of the Marylandia and rare books department at the University of Maryland library.“He was a planter owning thousands of acres, so he was using it to transport crops and materials.” The Post noted that the station was put in service in 1835, and the train has been stopping in Riverdale Park ever since.
Town Clock Re-Clocked
Two dozen years ago more than a dozen local residents and businesses pitched together to erect an old fashioned, four-faced clock in Town Center. It’s been a source of pride and can be seen in some form on a slew of business and community logos. But in recent years, time has passed it by. It was frequently off by an hour or more, dark and dirty. That changes today at 5 pm when a newly rehabilitated clock is unveiled in a Town Center ceremony. Illuminated by bright light emitting diode components, or LED, the clock now includes a new chime system that plays music and rings bells and can be adjusted to sound in 15- and 30-minute increments. It’s been repainted black with “Riverdale Park” in gold on the top ofthe globe.The overhauling cost $14,000 and there was plenty of help. Anacostia Trails HeritageArea – ATHA – kicked in a $5,000 grant, while Crescent Cities Charities provided another$5,000. Representatives from both groups along with many of the original clockdonors are expected to attend today’s event.
Making Ugly Beautiful: It’s A Wrap!
What’s more beautiful than a galvanized metal box in the middle of Town Center? Everything. What’s the fix? Wrap it in artful, eye-catching vinyl because this durable, graffiti-proof vinyl is final – it lasts about seven years, experts say. Andthat’s what’s being done in a handful of places around Riverdale Park including atleast two traffic boxes along Riverdale Road where the hideous looking but otherwise necessary implements of an advanced driving society are lurking in the open, forcing good people with good taste to avert their eyes. Voila! Ugly becomes art.
The community enhancement program is itself new and unique, the result of the Town of Riverdale Park teaming with the Hyattsville Community DevelopmentCorporation. Riverdale Park’s Kevin Simpson says the idea is to “reduce blight in sight.” And it seems to be working. That age-old box in Town Center looks so coolthat a boomer would ‘60s pop art czar Peter Maxx had been to town. But the creditfor the Jazz Series work goes to artist Andrea Noel.
Simpson is on a mission to spruce up Riverdale Park’s look and make it attractiveto investment dollars. He says the Town is working with HCDC to also land a 12- foot-high sculpture in Mabel Munch Park, that rarely visited but beautifully maintained island oasis that separates Queensbury Road, Lafayette Avenue and Natoli Place in the heart of downtown Riverdale Park. And Town visionaries have other questionable spots are on their fix list including the East-West Highway underpass on Lafayette Avenue. Can a campaign for additional, and quite likelygroovy, bus shelters be far behind? Nope, not too far behind, says Simpson. “I’m working on it.”
JOIN RPBA TODAY!
The Riverdale Park Business Association is accepting new members, rebuilding its committees, and sharpening its focus. If you own and operate a business in Riverdale Park, Greater Riverdale or the surrounding communities, join us and help ignite a thriving business environment in Greater Riverdale.
The business association is currently developing a roadshow series that will conduct meetings in Greater Riverdale Area businesses to showcase those businesses and provide RPBA members with an on-going toolkit to success. Members will also get news and information, and an eye on business development that they won’t get anywhere else. Visit us on the web at www.shoplocalriverdalepark.com.
GET THE WORD OUT!
Want shoppers in Riverdale Park and neighboring communities to know about your services? If you are amember of RPBA, we’llpublish a 300-word feature on your business. Emailriverdaleparkbiz@aol.com. And please visit shoplocalriverdalepark.com
NEXT RPBA MEETING
July 10, 2019 @ 6 PM
Riverdale Park Town Hall 5008 Queensbury Road Riverdale Park, MD 20737
Please complete this application, enclose a $50 dues check toRiverdale Park Business Association, and mail to:
Town of Riverdale Park 5008 Queensbury Rd. Riverdale Park, MD 20737
Representing and Building Businesses in the Greater Riverdale Area
2019 RPBA APPLICATION
Date: ____________ NAME OF BUSINESS:_________________________________________
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Riverdale Park Business Association
Got questions or suggestions? Call/text or email Jeffrey Yorke, 301-502-1243,