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The Mary Kay Harper Center For Suburban Studies presents:

An Online Exhibition on

The Suburbanization of Montgomery County, 1950-1960

April, 2018


This exhibition is presented by the Montgomery History’s Mary Kay Harper Center for Suburban Studies as part of “BOOM: The 1950s in Montgomery County,” a year-long collection of themed programs, including a physical exhibit at the Beall-Dawson House, two online exhibitions (on school desegregation and suburbanization), a lecture series, and many other engaging events.

The physical exhibit in the Beall-Dawson House museum organized by Montgomery History is a dynamic multi-room exhibit that uses a floor to ceiling time-line and exciting artifact displays to communicate major events and popular culture in America during the 1950s. You won’t want to miss getting your picture taken in the iconic Hot Shoppes Booth, exploring Christmas morning with 1950s toys and holiday decorations, and learning how to “Duck and Cover.” The museum exhibit runs through July 2018.

The Mary Kay Harper Center for Suburban Studies of Montgomery History is supporting “BOOM: the 1950s in Montgomery County” through the following online exhibition that presents focused descriptions and images of how Montgomery County grew as a suburban jurisdiction in the 1950s. The suburbanization of Montgomery County started in the late 19th /early 20th century along the B&O railroad and streetcar lines, accelerated during the automobile oriented 20th Century and continues in the early 21st Century through pedestrian friendly, higher density development oriented to public transportation. The Mary Kay Harper Center for Suburban Studies of Montgomery History is proud to tell this story to residents of the County and other interested audiences.

Please explore the first few driveways in our “cul-de-sac” of suburban growth topics by following the links below or using the navigation menu above. Additional topics listed will be addressed in this exhibition over the next eight months. Check back for new content!

How Montgomery County GREW in the 1950s: an overview of the many facets of suburban growth that occurred in the County, from the 1950 to 1960

How Montgomery County SHOPPED in the 1950s: a look at how the County developed a network of retail business districts, neighborhood shopping centers, and regional shopping centers, setting the stage for the shopping mall of the late 20th century

Bibliography and Further Reading: your source for information on the suburbanization of Montgomery County, in one place.

Coming soon!

  • Where Montgomery County Lived in the 1950s
  • Where Montgomery County Was Educated in the 1950s 
  • Where Montgomery County Played in the 1950s
  • How Montgomery County Stayed Healthy in the 1950s
  • How Montgomery County Was Governed in the 1950s

BOOM is made possible thanks to the generous support of our sponsors: