Laurel: Then and Now [Interactive Blog]

'Laurel: Then and Now' is a blog by the Laurel Leader staff that will focus on a city establishment or institution and how it has changed over the years.


Each week, we will take an older photo from our archives and place it next to a recent photo of the same area or building. Using an interactive slider and carefully imitated photos, you will be able to see the changes Laurel has seen.



- Jon Sham



This blog is produced by Melanie Dzwonchyk, Jon Sham, Kelsey Hughes and Dana Amihere.

Laurel, then and now: First United Methodist Church [Interactive]

Laurel, then and now: First United Methodist Church [Interactive]

Laurel, then and now: First United Methodist Church THEN: The brick building at 414 Main St. that would house First Methodist Church in 1884 was known originally as Centenary M.E. Church. The parsonage next to the church was built in 1893, a wing was added to the church in 1909 and more additions followed mid-century, expanding the fellowship and education areas. NOW: The parsonage was torn down in 1984, and a memorial garden was created adjacent to the sanctuary, where the parsonage stood. In April 1999, a two-year expansion project began at the church, which resulted in a renovated sanctuary, expanded educational facilities and the addition of a new, circular entry. Tweet !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+'://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js';fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document, 'script', 'twitter-wjs');  Read more ...

Laurel, then and now: Laurel Museum [Interactive]

Laurel, then and now: Laurel Museum [Interactive]

Laurel, then and now: Laurel Museum THEN: Built in the 1840s as housing for workers at nearby Laurel Cotton Mill, this brick structure was informally known for years as "the oldest house in Laurel." With funding supplied by the state, the city began restoration of the house In 1989, and in 1991 entered into an agreement that would allow the Laurel Historical Society to use the house for the Laurel Museum. NOW: The Laurel Museum opened in May 1996, and its first exhibit, "From Mill House to Museum," told the story of the building. Since then, the Laurel Museum has welcomed more than 200,000 visitors and offered a dozen different exhibits. Its John Calder Brennan Library has a collection of photos, books, records and artifacts that tell Laurel's history and are available for researchers. Tweet !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+'://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js';fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document, 'script', 'twitter-wjs');  Read more ...

Laurel, then and now: Citizens National Bank [Interactive]

Laurel, then and now: Citizens National Bank [Interactive]

Laurel, then and now: Citizens National Bank THEN: Organized in March 1890, Citizens National Bank of Laurel has anchored the corner of Fourth and Main streets for more than 120 years and is the oldest national bank in Prince George's County. Charles H. Stanley was elected the first bank president, and served from 1890 to 1913. A 1938 album of Laurel businesses, published by Wm. H. Anglin, described Citizens National Bank of Laurel as "a safe, sound institution (that) provides all modern banking facilities." NOW: Maintaining its signature turret roof and corner entry, Citizens National Bank has expanded along Main Street, has its brick facade painted white and has a new name: PNC Bank, which acquired Citizens National Bank of Laurel in September 2007.  Read more ...

Laurel, then and now: The Library [Interactive]

Laurel, then and now: The Library [Interactive]

Laurel, then and now: The Library THEN: The Stanley Memorial Library, which opened at Seventh Street and Talbott Avenue in 1967, was named for Charles H. Stanley, Laurel's mayor from 1891 to 1893. In the 1990s, the library underwent an expansion, and in 1996 the Friends of the Laurel Library was formed to advocate for the library and support its program. NOW: Laurel's current library, a 12,000-square-foot building, is the busiest library per square foot in Prince George's County. To help meet the needs of its many patrons, groundbreaking for a new Laurel Library is slated for this fall, when the current building will be demolished and replaced with a 32,000-square-foot library with an expanded parking lot that will require about one acre of adjacent Emancipation Community Park. The new library is expected to be completed in 2014.  Read more ...

Laurel Main Street, then and now [Interactive]

Laurel Main Street, then and now [Interactive]

Laurel Main Street, then and now.  Read more ...

Laurel, then and now: The Municipal Pool [Interactive]

Laurel, then and now: The Municipal Pool [Interactive]

Laurel, then and now: The Municipal Pool THEN: The pool at Ninth and Main streets, now the Laurel Municipal Pool, was built in 1953 near the site of the former Laurel Cotton Mill. In 1968, the city bought the pool complex -- for $1 -- from the Laurel Park Commission, a corporation to which the city deeded the pool property in 1949. Under ownership of the Laurel Park Commission, the pool was private and segregated, despite requests at the time from members of the Laurel Grove Improvement Committee to allow admission to blacks. When the pool reopened as a public, municipal pool under the city's ownership, there were no restrictions on who could swim. NOW: After considerable damage from Hurricane Agnes and other flooding in 1972, the city renovated the original pool complex. In 2005, the city spent $613,000 in future renovations, replacing pool filter systems, pool decks and electrical wiring; upgrading the bathrooms/locker rooms; and resurfacing the pool. Today the 92,000-square-foot complex includes three pools, a diving well, a snack bar and a meeting room. More than 12,000 visits were recorded last year, according to Laurel Parks and Recreation Director Mike Lhotsky.  Read more ...

Laurel Mall, then and now [Interactive]

Laurel Mall, then and now [Interactive]

Laurel Mall, from above in 1999 and in 2013 THEN: This 1999 aerial photo of the former Laurel Mall was found onsite during the demolition. The 30 x 40-inch print survived the demolition but one corner has gravel embedded, proof that the photo was run over. An equipment operator gave the photo to Mike McLaughlin, who is creating a photo timeline of the mall's demolition. A sticker on the back of the photo gives credit to Sky High Studios in Laurel. NOW: At the suggestion of Mike McLaughlin, Laurel Police officer Matt Jordan took a ride with a flyover unit of the Anne Arundel County Police in March 2013, and caught this "after" photo of the former Laurel Mall. McLaughlin calls the brown footprint of the Laurel Mall "mallstain." He plans to get another aerial shot when the new Towne Centre at Laurel is completed next year, creating a triptych that tells the story of then and now.  Read more ...

SUBMIT LAUREL NEWS

Have news from the Laurel area? Submit your news and photos here, or contact editor Melanie Dzwonchyk. Email her at mdzwonchyk@tribune.com or call at 410-332-6594.

PHOTO GALLERIES