Field of Grass and Flowers

Roosevelt Center

131 Centerway
Greenbelt, MD 20770
(301) 982-0044
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    Roosevelt Center, which opened in 1937, is one of the first planned shopping areas in the country. During the New Deal Era, it was built as the centerpiece of Greenbelt, one of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Resettlement Administration’s three “greentowns” (the others Greenhills, Ohio and Greendale, Wisconsin). A precursor to the modern shopping mall, the planners of the City of Greenbelt positioned the center to be within easy and safe walking distance from all the town’s inhabitants. It served as a major community/commercial hub and Greenbelt residents cooperatively owned all of the center’s commercial businesses. This included a grocery store, variety store, gas station, drug store, tobacco shop, barber shop, beauty shop, movie theater, and valet shop. The center continues to flourish and support the residents of Greenbelt. And, several of the cooperative businesses remain operational including the grocery store and New Deal Cafe. The elegant Old Greenbelt Theatre re-opened in 2015. The City of Greenbelt name the center after Roosevelt in 1982, in commemoration of his 100th birthday and the key role he played in the founding of Greenbelt.