Over the last couple of years, multiple folks in the media have asked me for photos of the old storefronts. It’s one of those things that comes up once a month so, finally, I broke down and started searching online and through the mildewed boxes in storage. I’ll post some highlights from my collection so far… Many of them were untitled and undated, so I’ve had to piece things together from memory. If I have a storefront wrong and you’re one of those local history types, give me a shout!
First up is the Arlington store on Lee Highway. The cars tell me it’s late 40’s early 50’s, eh?
The Bethesda store on Wisconsin Avenue was the jewel in the crown. The second store opened, in the early 40’s, and the first to close in 1982.
Wisconsin Avenue, circa 1940…
And in the late 50’s…
And the interior of the Bethesda store…
The HQ — the “Plant” — was in Silver Spring on Georgia Avenue. The first store, built in 1938.
I’m still debating with family members, but I now think this is the Silver Spring store. The car has me thinking this is early 40’s.
A better shot of the Silver Spring store. The back of this photo says it’s 1955, but I think it’s later.
And now we’re moving into the modern era. Looks like 1970 or so to me. The caption says “1960’s.”
The last store to close was the one at Bailey’s Crossroads in Virginia. It stayed open until the middle of 1985, ordered to sell off the rest of the Gifford’s inventory to attempt to pay for the debts my dad ran out on. The store is now the Bailey’s Crossroads Cleaners and is, remarkably, intact. I wonder if there are any unexplored corners of their basement.