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Greenbelt Community Center

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Greenbelt Center School
1937, Resettlement Administration. 15 Crescent Rd.
  • (Photograph by Jack E. Boucher, HABS)
  • (Photograph by James Rosenthal, HABS)
  • (Photograph by James Rosenthal, HABS)
  • (Photograph by James Rosenthal, HABS)
  • (Photograph by Lisa P. Davidson)

Greenbelt Community Center was built as a school, library, and meeting space for the New Deal planned community in 1937. Architects Wadsworth and Ellington employed Streamlined Moderne/Art Deco features such as glass block, angular fluted buttresses, curving corners, and stylized bas reliefs on the exterior. The WPA-funded limestone bas relief panels by sculptor Lenore Thomas feature scenes representing the Preamble of the U.S. Constitution, such as We the People over the doorway on the main elevation facing Crescent Road. Five more panels below the windows between the buttresses depict To Form a More Perfect Union, Establish Justice, Insure Domestic Tranquility, Provide for the Common Defense, and Promote the General Welfare. The gymnasium, classrooms, and other interior spaces now host a variety of community events, classes, and activities, including a nursery school. The Greenbelt Community Center is carefully preserved and integral to the continued vibrancy of the neighborhood.

Writing Credits

Lisa P. Davidson
Lisa P. Davidson
Catherine C. Lavoie



  • 1937

  • 1947

    classroom wing addition to north of existing wing
  • 1968

    addition to north side of main block

What's Nearby


Lisa P. Davidson, "Greenbelt Community Center", [Greenbelt, Maryland], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

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