Polychrome Homes in Silver Spring MD


silver spring MD art deco home

This polychrome home on route 29 in Silver Spring is my favorite example of John Joseph Early’s work.

Those of you who regularly drive into Silver Spring via route 29 are probably well familiar with John Joseph Early’s famous polychrome homes. There are five of these home located just outside of the Beltway. Three of them are on Route 29 and the other two are on Sutherland Rd just one block away. The one pictured above is a favorite of mine.  I discovered an old photo of this home while under construction in the Art Deco Society of Washington web page.  The five homes which now constitute a historical district were built before World War II  and are the only examples built. Early was attempting to build simple low cost housing. However the idea did not take and the project was commercially a failure and no other homes were built. It is too bad as the polychrome  homes proved to be amazingly durable over the years and the idea of cast concrete siding placed over a wood frame for simplicity and ease of construction was not a bad one.  If he had only began the venture after the war when thousands of veterans were purchasing low cost homes and there was a greater supply of building material.

polychrome home in Silver Spring, MD

Here is the same home as it is being constructed photo from the Art Deco Society of Washington

If you want to see more of Early’s work you need only to go down 16th Street in the district and pay a visit to Meridian Hill Park where Early’s construction techniques were incorporated in the Park’s design. There are many more examples of his work around the DC area. I suggest doing a search under his name in Google images.

Washington DC Parks

The cascading fountain at Meridian Hill Park features cast concrete as pioneered by Early


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