Mount Rainier Living
Mount Rainier has been listed as an historic area, due to its history not only as a primary streetcar suburb of Washington DC, but also due to the vast number of Sears houses and Craftsman-style homes, many of which have been restored, and thus have attracted home buyers.
There is a vibrant Arts Culture that is supported by affordable housing for artists where they can showcase their work. Mount Rainier Day, held in May, is one day in which the artistic community opens its doors to the public. Other artists are not just the visual sort – the town is home to at least one Helen Hayes Award-winner for theatrical direction, as well as the duet Emma’s Revolution. Two of the artists in the artists’ housing have opened a cafe, which along with wraps, coffee, and wine, serves a diverse menu of poetry, song, and discussion.
Joe’s Movement Emporium is the community performing arts center of World Arts Focus, a 501(c)(3) arts organization whose mission is to promote participation and practice in dance, movement and performing arts traditions from around the world, using the arts as a tool for revitalizing community.
A vegetarian, organic food cooperative, Glut, has existed since the 1960s and draws people from all over the area.
Did your Know?
Exploring Our Town facts (by Arts.gov) : Read Here
Mount Rainier Receives Prestigious Sustainable Maryland Certified Award at Maryland Municipal League Conference – And is 2015 “Sustainability Champion” for Highest Points
Mount Rainier was one of the first four Maryland municipalities to become Sustainable Maryland Certified when the program launched in 2012, and successfully became re-certified again in 2015.
A detailed summary of Mount Rainier’s sustainability Actions can be found in their Certification Report, attached as a PDF.
Highlights of Mount Rainier’s accomplishments include:
Installed a solar array on top of City Hall, which produces about approximately 14,000 kilowatt hours/year and reduces energy costs approximately $8,000 annually
Created a Bicycle Coop to enable residents of Mount Rainier and the surrounding area to own, maintain, and ride bicycles affordably.
Formed a Corn Bin Cooperative to help supply residents with bio-fuel for home heating
Operates a community garden program with 32 plots
Created more than 300 bicycle parking spaces through installation of bike racks in the city’s downtown historic core
Created a Bicycle Master Plan and a Green Infrastructure Master Plan
Created a Carbon Footprint Report that illustrates the city’s energy usage across buildings, vehicles and operations
Adopted a tree ordinance in order to better protect, preserve, and promote Mount Rainier’s urban forest
Developed a waste reduction guide with handy information for residents on recycling and local businesses and programs that help support waste reduction and reuse
About Art Lives Here
Mount Rainier is the gateway to the Gateway Arts District in Prince George’s County, MD’s Historic Route 1 Corridor. Artists and arts organizations are pointing the way to creative life and sustainable small business development in the Gateway Arts District.
Find out what’s happening in the arts district: MyGatewayArts.org
Learn about the Gateway CDC here: GatewayCDC.org
By partnering with local businesses and developers, two community development corporations, four municipalities, and Prince George’s County, the project has increased regional visibility for the arts district and enlivened the two-mile corridor of historic U.S. Route 1.
Using a mix of short and long term strategies and working in phases, the project supports existing small businesses, attracts commercial in-fill, prepares for the next round of commercial development, and further strengthens our diverse and streetwise creative communities.
The Art Lives Here magazine download the PDF here
Many of the articles and bios were shortened for the print publication, you can read the in-depth versions here: https://artlivesheremd.wordpress.com/alh-report/
Play at our Parks and Playgrounds
Mt. Rainier South Park
3711 37th Street
Mount Rainier, MD 20712
Experience the tall green tree play structure and the climbing webs, and listen to animal sound panels at the Forest Village Playground. The playground has large climbing walls and rocks, as well as multiple play web structures for fun!
Those looking for a slide adventure will enjoy the three tall slides that swiftly take children down from the tree top forest village.
Mount Rainier Skate Park is located just behind the imagination theme playground, on the corner of Wells Avenue and Otis Street, wedged between a residential area and train tracks. At approximately 6,000 square feet, it provides great space skaters and all.
The skate park features a plaza design for beginner and intermediate skaters, as well as two raised plaza areas connected to steps, rails and ramps. Skaters are encouraged to wear personal safety equipment at all times. The skate park also has picnic tables and benches.
Mount Rainier Upshur Park – Green Garden Playground
4229 34th Street
Mt. Rainier, MD 20712
This wonderful environmentally-friendly park includes Maryland native plantings, botanical signage, educational rain garden panels, a community flower garden, and children’s handprints, which are set in the paving surrounding the playground to portray a symbol of “protecting the earth.”
A Green Garden storybook was produced with the help of the local elementary school children to tell the story of the magic of the green garden. The story is as creative as the playground but provides a conservation message of earth, environment, and education.
Mount Rainier Nature/Recreation Center
Prince George’s County’s only urban nature center, the Mount Rainier Nature and Recreation Center features hands-on exhibits, live animals, educational displays, a game room, an outdoor amphitheater, campfire pit, and a playground.
A variety of natural history interpretive programs for community and school groups are available. The center has a fully-equipped recreation room available to rent for meetings and special occasions. Please call for more information.
Search for more local parks and playgrounds in Mount Rainier at KaBoom’s Map of Play.
Shop at our Local Businesses
Experience our community through the eclectic mix of local businesses in Mount Rainier.
Joe’s Movement Emporium (World Arts Focus, Inc.) is a performing arts center in Mount Rainier, Maryland that offers programs in education, production and artist services. Joe’s offers rehearsal space, performances, event-rental, and classes year-round for adults and children.
View Joe’s Events Calendar
Historic Mount Rainier
The city is a designated National Register Historic District, and also includes the following county-designated historic sites.
- Bellman House, 4012 33rd St.
- Richards House, 3806 30th St.
- Thomas W. Smith Farmhouse, 3426 Newton
- Ziegler Cottage, 3424 Newton
- St. James Catholic Church, 3700 Rhode Island Ave.
- Prince George’s Bank, 3800 34th St.
Sears Mail-Order Houses in Mount Rainier
Sears offered mail-order houses through its “Honor Bilt Modern Homes” catalog. In addition to the materials, Sears also offered financing. The sale of the homes ended in 1940 during the mortgage foreclosure crisis of the Great Depression. The catalog listed a variety of styles, each with a name (see list below). The buyer would receive blueprints and instructions for installation of heating, plumbing, and electrical. They were marketed as easy to construct. All wood components were pre-cut and shipped to the site along with nails, screws, siding, roofing shingles, interior wall and floor sheathing, window sashes, decorative interior moldings, doors, floors, and paint. Plumbing and wiring were available but at added cost. Sears did not supply plaster or masonry. “Sheet plaster,” the forerunner of drywall, was available at extra cost.
Materials were shipped by rail and deliveries were timed to arrive as needed; therefore, the materials did not sit waiting at the construction site.
Other companies offered mail-order houses: Alladin and Montgomery Ward being an examples. Sears also offered a selection of homes of lower quality and cost than the Honor Bilt Modern Homes.
There are two sources for identifying Sears houses in Mount Rainier. The National Register of Historic Places and the survey conducted by the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission. More Sears houses exist in the area and confirmed examples will be added to the list as they are documented. In addition, other mail-order homes from other companies likely exist in the city.
National Register of Historic Properties
- 3424 Newton “Winona”
- 3112 Varnum. “Oak Park”
- Sears, Roebuck and Company Mail Order House Survey in Prince George’s County, Maryland (M-NCPPC, by Marina King, 1988)
- 4115 28th. “Lakecrest”
- 4203 28th. “Conway”
- 4118 29th. “Vallonia”
- 4215 29th. “Vallonia”
- 4507 29th. “Cornell”
- 3004 Upshur. “Conway”
- 3114 Upshur. “Conway”
- 3207 Upshur. “Windsor
Visit “Green” Buildings and Projects in Mount Rainier
Police Department, 3249 Rhode Island Ave.
Artspace, Mount Rainier Artist Lofts, Rhode Island Ave. and 34th St. ( In picture below)
Coming Soon – 2016
Urban Green LLC Single Family Net-Zero Demonstration Home, 3719 34th Street in Mt. Rainier, Maryland Learn More
Perry Street Net-Zero Townhomes, Learn More