Bethesda__Maryland by zzzmarcus


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Bethesda, Maryland

Bethesda, Maryland
Bethesda, Maryland ZIP codes Area code(s) FIPS code GNIS feature ID
Panorama of downtown Bethesda from the Residence Inn Bethesda at 7335 Wisconsin Avenue

20800-20899 301 24-07125 0583184

Boundaries of Bethesda CDP from U.S. Census Bureau

Location of Bethesda in Montgomery County, Maryland

Coordinates: 38°59′5″N 77°6′47″W / 38.98472°N 77.11306°W / 38.98472; -77.11306 Country State County Area - Total - Land - Water Elevation United States Maryland Montgomery 13.2 sq mi (34.2 km2) 13.1 sq mi (34.0 km2) 0.1 sq mi (0.2 km2) 318 ft (97 m)

Bethesda is a census designated place in southern Montgomery County, Maryland, United States, just northwest of Washington, D.C. It takes its name from a local church, the Bethesda Presbyterian Church, built in 1820 and rebuilt in 1850, which in turn took its name from Jerusalem’s Pool of Bethesda. (In Aramaic, beth hesda means "house of mercy".) It is one of the most affluent and highly educated locales in the country, placing first in Forbes list of America’s most educated small towns [1] and eleventh on’s list of top-earning American towns.[2] In addition, in April 2009, Forbes ranked Bethesda second on its list of "America’s Most Livable Cities." [3] As an unincorporated area, Bethesda has no official boundaries. The United States Census Bureau defines a Census-Designated Place named Bethesda whose center is located at 38°59’ North, 77°7’ West. The United States Geological Survey has defined Bethesda as an area whose center is at 38°58′50″N 77°6′2″W / 38.98056°N 77.10056°W / 38.98056; -77.10056, slightly different from the Census Bureau’s definition. Other definitions are used by the Bethesda Urban Planning District, the United States Postal Service, and other organizations. According to figures released by the U.S. Census Bureau in 2000, the community had a total population of 55,277. Most of Bethesda’s residents are in Maryland Legislative District 16. The National Institutes of Health has its main campus in Bethesda.

Bethesda is located at 38°59′5″N 77°6′47″W / 38.98472°N 77.11306°W / 38.98472; -77.11306 (38.984660, -77.113135)[4]. According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 34.2 km²

Population (2000) 55,277 - Total 4,205.8/sq mi (1,623.9/ - Density km2) Time zone - Summer (DST) Eastern (EST) (UTC-5) EDT (UTC-4)


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(13.2 mi²). 34.0 km² (13.1 mi²) of it is land and 0.1 km² (0.1 mi²) of it (0.38%) is water. The main commercial corridor that runs through Bethesda is Maryland Route 355 (known as Wisconsin Avenue in Bethesda and as Rockville Pike and Hungerford Drive in more northern communities), which, to the north, connects Bethesda with the communities of Kensington and Rockville, ending, after several name changes, in Frederick, Maryland. Toward the South, Rockville Pike becomes Wisconsin Avenue near the NIH Campus and continues beyond Bethesda through Chevy Chase, Friendship Heights, Maryland and into Washington, DC, ending in Georgetown. The area commonly known as "downtown Bethesda" is centered at the intersection of Route 355 (Wisconsin Avenue) with Maryland Route 187 (Old Georgetown Road), and Maryland Route 410 (called "East-West Highway"). Much of the dense construction in that area followed the opening of the Bethesda station on the Red Line of the Washington Metro rapid transit system, also located at this intersection and the centerpiece of the Bethesda Metro Center development. The "downtown," which includes the restaurant districts of Bethesda Row and Woodmont Triangle, lies about 0.7 miles south of Bethesda’s other Red Line stop, Medical Center, which serves the NIH Campus, the National Naval Medical Center, and the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences.

Bethesda, Maryland
7.92% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 1.23% from other races, and 2.11% from two or more races. 5.43% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. There were 23,659 households out of which 28.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.4% were married couples living together, 6.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 38.9% were non-families. 32.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.30 and the average family size was 2.92. In the community the population was spread out with 21.9% under the age of 18, 4.6% from 18 to 24, 29.2% from 25 to 44, 27.1% from 45 to 64, and 17.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females there were 87.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 84.0 males. Bethesda is a very wealthy and well-educated area. According to the 2000 Census, Bethesda is the best-educated city in the United States of America with a population of 50,000 or more. 79% of residents 25 or older have bachelor’s degrees and 49% have graduate or professional degrees. According to a 2007 estimate[7], the median income for a household is $117,723, and the median income for a family was $168,385. Males had a median income of $84,797 versus $57,569 for females. The per capita income for the area was $58,479. About 1.7% of families and 3.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 1.8% of those under age 18 and 4.1% of those age 65 or over. Many commute to Washington D.C. for work. Bethesda is often associated with its neighboring communities, Potomac, MD, Chevy Chase, MD, Great Falls, VA, and McLean, VA for their similar demographics.

Historical populations Census Pop. %± 56,527 — 1960 1970 1980 1990 71,621 62,736 62,936 26.7% −12.4% 0.3%

55,277 −12.2% 2000 [5] source: As of the census[6] of 2000, there were 55,277 people, 23,659 households, and 14,455 families residing in the defined area. The population density was 1,624.2/km² (4,205.8/mi²). There were 24,368 housing units at an average density of 716.0/km² (1,854.1/mi²). The racial makeup of the community was 85.86% White, 2.67% Black or African American, 0.17% Native American,

Bethesda is situated along a major thoroughfare that was originally the route of an ancient Native American trail. Between 1805 and 1820, it was developed into a toll road called the Washington and Rockville Turnpike, which carried tobacco and other products between Georgetown and Rockville, and north to Frederick. A small settlement grew around a store and tollhouse along the


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turnpike. By 1862, the community had been named Darcy’s Store after the owner of the store, William E. Darcy. The community was renamed in 1871 by the new postmaster, Robert Franck, after the Bethesda Meeting House, a Presbyterian church built in 1820 on the present site of the Cemetery of the Bethesda Meeting House. The church burnt in 1849 and was rebuilt the same year about 100 yards south at its present site.[8] Throughout the 1800’s, Bethesda was a small community, consisting of little more than a post office, a blacksmith shop, a church and school, and a few scattered houses and stores. It was not until the installation of a streetcar line and the beginnings of suburbanization in the early 1900s that Bethesda really began to grow. Subdivisions began to appear on old farmland, becoming the neighborhoods of Drummond, Woodmont, Edgemoor, and Battery Park. Further north, wealthy men like Luke I. Wilson, Brainard Parker, Gilbert Grosvenor, and Merle Thorp built mansions and helped establish the original Woodmont Country Club on land that is now part of the National Institutes of Health. Thorp’s mansion Pook’s Hill, on the site of the current neighborhood of the same name, became the home in exile of the Norwegian Royal Family during the Second World War.[8] That war, and the expansion of government that it created, further fed the rapid expansion of the community. Both the National Naval Medical Center and the National Institutes of Health were built just to the north of the developing downtown. This, in turn, drew further government contractors, medical professionals, and other businesses to the area. In recent years, Bethesda has consolidated as the major urban core and employment center of southwestern Montgomery County.[8]

Bethesda, Maryland

Building 50 at NIH. east is the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS). The headquarters of defense conglomerate Lockheed Martin, managed health care company Coventry Health Care and hotel and resort chains Marriott International and Host Hotels & Resorts, Inc. are located in Bethesda. Software company Bethesda Softworks was originally located in Bethesda, but moved to Rockville, Maryland in 1990. The Discovery Channel also had its headquarters in Bethesda before relocating to Silver Spring in 2004. On the professional services side, numerous banks (PNC, Wachovia, Chevy Chase Bank, which is headquartered in Bethesda) brokerage firms (SmithBarney, Merrill Lynch, Charles Schwab, Fidelity) and law firms (JDKatz, Paley Rothman, Learch Early & Brewer) maintain offices in Bethesda. Bethesda is renowned for its extensive collection of restaurants—180 were listed at the end of 2004—offering cuisine ranging from Afghan to Vietnamese. Bethesda is also home to two vibrant farmers markets, the Montgomery Farm Woman’s Cooperative Market and the Bethesda Farmer’s Market, as well as numerous cinemas, art movie houses, book stores (including used, and second hand books) and art galleries.

Important institutions located in Bethesda include the National Institutes of Health campus, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, and the Naval Surface Warfare Center Carderock Division. Bethesda is also home to the National Naval Medical Center, commonly referred to as Bethesda Naval Hospital. The Bethesda Naval Hospital is also the place where the President goes to get his yearly check-up. Adjoining the hospital to the


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Bethesda, Maryland
along this "strip near the corner of Bethesda Avenue and Arlington Road". The development also includes "Upstairs at Bethesda Row, 180 luxury apartments with rents ranging from about $2,000 to $4,000 a month," although the apartment complex experienced delays in opening and resident complaints [2]. And with "three new restaurants, including Redwood Restaurant and Wine Bar -- a concept from the owners of Mendocino Grill in Georgetown and Sonoma in Capitol Hill -the neighborhood’s dining options grow to 25. A Giant Food grocery store and Marvelous Market are in the area too." [9] Bethesda is also home of the AT&T National, Tiger Woods’ golf tournament, the exclusive Burning Tree Club, the Bethesda Country Club, and the Bethesda Community Baseball Club which operates the Bethesda Big Train, a summer collegiate baseball team. Bethesda is also home to America’s favorite men’s fall league softball team, The Swamp Donkeys. The series of books The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares take place in Bethesda, Maryland, as the author has ties to this area.

Bethesda Avenue at Night Federal Realty Investment Trust (FRIT) has developed much of the west side of Bethesda into a vibrant area known as Bethesda Row. The vibrant district includes many varied restaurants, shops (including Barnes and Noble and the Apple Store). Built in the early 1990s, it became a model for the new, walkable, town-like developments now favored. Also located in downtown Bethesda is one of just 12 Madonna of the Trail monuments, erected by the National Old Trails Association working in concert with the Daughters of the American Revolution. Judge Harry S. Truman, later 33rd President of the United States, presided over the dedication of the Bethesda monument, on April 19, 1929. Eleven others were erected as well, and they stretch from Upland, California, to Bethesda, the easternmost of these monuments, which commemorate the spirit of pioneer women during the westward expansion of the United States. Nearby is the Bethesda Post Office, probably the oldest standing building in the downtown area. Also starting in the heart of downtown Bethesda, is the Capital Crescent Trail Capital Crescent Trail which follows the old tracks of the B&O Railroad stretching from Georgetown, Washington, D.C. to Silver Spring, MD. The Writer’s Center in Bethesda publishes Poet Lore, the longest continuously running poetry journal in the United States. Bethesda is also the home to many trendy clothing boutiques, restaurants, specialty stores, and coffee shops including those just recently completed in summer 2008 on the new Bethesda Lane. This walk-only. "44,000-square-foot hub of new retail at Bethesda Row" was a " $77 million project, being developed Federal Realty Investment Trust of Rockville, including 16 retail spaces"

In addition, Bethesda’s public high schools were ranked by Newsweek Magazine in 2008 as among the best in the country. Walt Whitman High School was ranked 44th nationally, Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School was ranked 53rd, and Walter Johnson High School 75th. It also has several private schools, including Landon, Holton-Arms, Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart and Norwood. The public middle schools are Thomas W. Pyle Middle School, Westland Middle School, and North Bethesda Middle School. The public primary schools are Ashburton Elementary School, Bannockburn Elementary School, Bethesda Elementary School, Bradley Hills Elementary School, Burning Tree Elementary School, Carderock Springs Elementary School, Glen Haven Elementary School, Seven Locks Elementary School, Westbrook Elementary School, Wyngate Elementary School, and Wood Acres Elementary School. The private primary schools include Sidwell Friends Lower School, the lower school of St. Andrew’s


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Episcopal School. School and the Little Flower [5]

Bethesda, Maryland
www/gazetteer/gazette.html, retrieved on 2008-01-31. "Census of Population and Housing", U.S. Census Bureau, decennial/index.htm, retrieved on 2007-03-19. "American FactFinder", United States Census Bureau,, retrieved on 2008-01-31. U.S. Census Bureau: Bethesda CDP ^ Offutt, William; Sween, Jane (1999). Montgomery County: Centuries of Change. American Historical Press. pp. 161-162. Gaynair, Gillian. "Bethesda Row to Welcome New Stores." Washington Business Journal (2007).

Major companies
• Broadpoint • Cardiocore • Hallmark Windows And Siding • Marriott International* • Immune Tolerance Network • Radio Shack (*=corporate headquarters in area) [6]

[7] [8]

See also
• Bethesda Magazine • List of people from the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area


External links
• "Best Educated City: Bethesda" • Greater Bethesda-Chevy Chase Chamber of Commerce • Bethesda Urban Partnership • National Naval Medical Center • National Institutes of Health • Downtown Bethesda Interactive Guide • Bethesda Magazine

[1] America’s most educated small towns [2] 25 top-earning towns - Bethesda, MD (11) - Money Magazine [3] [1] [4] "US Gazetteer files: 2000 and 1990", United States Census Bureau, 2005-05-03,

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