20th Century

Suburban Growth

In the late-19th century and the early-20th century, numerous residential suburbs were developed to the north and east of Washington, D.C. along the path of two railroad lines. The National Register of Historic Places of the US 1 Corridor lists the suburbs as Mount Rainier, North Brentwood, Hyattsville, Riverdale Park, West Riverdale, University Park, and Calvert Hills in College Park.

Streetcar Suburbs

The Maryland and Washington Railway was the first streetcar line established in Prince George’s County in 1897. It extended from Washington, D.C. to Hyattsville, Riverdale, and Laurel by 1902. New suburbs, such as Mount Rainier, Brentwood, North Brentwood, and Cottage City were also developed along this line.

In 1900, the Chesapeake Beach Railway was built to transport summer vacationers to the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay. Streetcar service eventually expanded and provided access into the winter months to the new suburbs of Seat Pleasant, Capitol Heights and Fairmount Heights.

In 1908, the Washington, Baltimore, and Annapolis Railway began operation in the county and facilitated the development of communities like Glenarden, Ardwick, Ardmore, and Lincoln.

Residential Architectural Styles

Fine examples of historic domestic architecture from the 1700’s to the 1950’s can still be seen in different communities throughout Prince George’s County.

Special activities, programs, and events are held at our Historic sites throughout the year.