Gaithersburg, Maryland

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Gaithersburg
City
Gaithersburg, Maryland
The NIST Advanced Measurement Laboratory in 2004, the Gaithersburg city hall in 2007, a row of Gaithersburg townhouses in 2008, the Saint Rose of Lima Catholic Church in 2013, the John A. Belt Building in 2009, and the Washingtonian Waterfront in 2006.
The NIST Advanced Measurement Laboratory in 2004, the Gaithersburg city hall in 2007, a row of Gaithersburg townhouses in 2008, the Saint Rose of Lima Catholic Church in 2013, the John A. Belt Building in 2009, and the Washingtonian Waterfront in 2006.
Official seal of Gaithersburg
Seal
Motto: "A Character Counts! city"
Location in the State of Maryland
Location in the State of Maryland
Coordinates: 39°7′55″N 77°13′35″W / 39.13194°N 77.22639°W / 39.13194; -77.22639Coordinates: 39°7′55″N 77°13′35″W / 39.13194°N 77.22639°W / 39.13194; -77.22639
Country  United States of America
State  Maryland
County Montgomery
Settled (as Log Town) 1765
Founded 1802
Incorporated April 5, 1878
Government
 • Mayor Sidney A. Katz
Area[1]
 • Total 26.78 km2 (10.34 sq mi)
 • Land 26.42 km2 (10.20 sq mi)
 • Water 0.36 km2 (0.14 sq mi)
Elevation 106 m (350 ft)
Population (2010)[2]
 • Total 59,933
 • Estimate (2013)[3] 65,690
 • Rank US: 526th
 • Density 2,268.7/km2 (5,875.8/sq mi)
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
Area code(s) 301
FIPS code 24-31175
GNIS feature ID 0593389
Website City of Gaithersburg

Gaithersburg (About this sound pronunciation ),[N 1] officially the City of Gaithersburg, is a city located in Montgomery County, Maryland. At the time of the 2010 census, Gaithersburg had a population of 59,933, making it the fourth largest incorporated city in the state, behind Baltimore, Frederick, and Rockville.[4] Gaithersburg is located to the northwest of Washington, D.C., and is considered a suburb and a primary city within the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV Metropolitan Statistical Area. Gaithersburg was incorporated in 1878.

Gaithersburg is divided into east and west sections, separated by Interstate 270. The eastern section of the city is older and is the original portion of the town before more recent growth. Landmarks and buildings from that time can still be seen in many places but especially in the historic central business district of Gaithersburg called "Olde Town". The east side also includes Lakeforest Mall, City Hall, and the Montgomery County Fair grounds. The west side of the city has many wealthier neighborhoods that were designed with smart growth techniques and embrace New Urbanism. These include the award-winning Kentlands community, the Lakelands community, and the Washingtonian Center (better known as The Rio), a popular shopping/business district. Three New Urbanism communities are under construction, including Crown Farm, Watkins Mill Town Center (Casey East and West), and the massive "Science City". The state has a bus rapid transit line, Corridor Cities Transitway or "CCT", planned for the western portion of the city starting at Shady Grove Metro Station and connecting all the high density western Gaithersburg neighborhoods with a total of eight stops planned in the city.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is headquartered in Gaithersburg directly west of I-270.[N 2] Other major employers in the city include IBM, Lockheed Martin Information Systems and Global Services business area headquarters, MedImmune (recently purchased by AstraZeneca), and the French multinational corporation, Sodexo.

Gaithersburg is also the location of the garrison of the United States Army Reserve's 220th Military Police Brigade.

History[edit]

Gaithersburg was settled in 1765 as a small agricultural settlement known as Log Town near the present day Summitee Hall on Ralph Crabb's 1725 land grant "Deer Park".[5] The northern portion of the land grant was purchased by Henry Brookes, and he built his home Montpelier there in the late 1780s or early 1790s. His son-in-law, Benjamin Gaither, inherited a portion of that land. Gaither built his home on the land in 1802.[6] By the 1850s the area had ceased to be called log town and was known to inhabitants as Gaitherburg.[7]

The Forest Oak Post Office, named for a large tree in the town, was located in Gaither's store in 1851. However, when the railroad was built through town the new station was called Gaithersburg, an officially recognized name for the community for the first time. The town incorporated under its current name in 1878. Gaithersburg boomed during the late 19th century and churches, schools, a mill, grain elevators, stores, and hotels were built. Much of this development focused around the railroad station.[7]

In 1873 the B&O Railroad constructed a station at Gaithersburg,[5] designed by Ephraim Francis Baldwin as part of his well-known series of Victorian stations in Maryland.[8] Rapid growth occurred shortly thereafter, and on April 5, 1878 the town was officially incorporated as the City of Gaithersburg.

In 1899, Gaithersburg was selected as one of six global locations for the construction of an International Latitude Observatory as part of a project to measure the Earth's wobble on its polar axis. The Gaithersburg Latitude Observatory is (as of 2007) the only National Historic Landmark in the City of Gaithersburg. The observatory and five others in Japan, Italy, Russia, and the United States gathered information that is still used by scientists today, along with information from satellites, to determine polar motion; the size, shape, and physical properties of the earth; and to aid the space program through the precise navigational patterns of orbiting satellites. The Gaithersburg station operated until 1982 when computerization rendered the manual observation obsolete.

Gaithersburg remained a predominantly rural farm town until the 1970s when more construction began. As the population grew, with homes spreading throughout the area, Gaithersburg began taking on a suburban and semi-urban feel, leaving its farming roots behind. During the late 1990s and 2000s, it has become one of the most economically and ethnically diverse areas in the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Area as well as the state of Maryland, with people from all walks of life calling Gaithersburg home. This can be seen in the local schools, with Gaithersburg High School and Watkins Mill High School having two of the most diverse student bodies in the region.

During a 1997 rainstorm, the 295-year-old forest oak tree that gave its name to the Forest Oak Post Office crashed down.[9] The tree served as the inspiration for the city's logo, which is also featured prominently on the city's flag.[9]

On July 16, 2010, Gaithersburg was hit by a 3.6 magnitude earthquake, one of the strongest to occur in Maryland.

Geography[edit]

Gaithersburg is located at 39°7'55" North, 77°13'35" West (39.131974, -77.226428).[10]

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 10.34 square miles (26.78 km2), of which, 10.20 square miles (26.42 km2) is land and 0.14 square miles (0.36 km2) is water.[1]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1900 547
1910 625 14.3%
1920 729 16.6%
1930 1,068 46.5%
1940 1,021 −4.4%
1950 1,755 71.9%
1960 3,847 119.2%
1970 8,344 116.9%
1980 26,424 216.7%
1990 39,542 49.6%
2000 52,613 33.1%
2010 59,933 13.9%
Est. 2013 65,690 9.6%
U.S. Decennial Census[11]
2013 Estimate[3]

2010 census[edit]

As of the census[2] of 2010, there were 59,933 people, 22,000 households, and 14,548 families residing in the city. The population density was 5,875.8 inhabitants per square mile (2,268.7/km2). There were 23,337 housing units at an average density of 2,287.9 per square mile (883.4/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 31.9% non-Hispanic White, 16.3% African American, 0.5% Native American, 16.9% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 10.7% from other races, and 4.8% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 24.2% of the population.

There were 22,000 households of which 37.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.3% were married couples living together, 12.7% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.1% had a male householder with no wife present, and 33.9% were non-families. 26.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.70 and the average family size was 3.24.

The median age in the city was 35.1 years. 24.2% of residents were under the age of 18; 7.9% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 33.8% were from 25 to 44; 24.6% were from 45 to 64; and 9.5% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 48.6% male and 51.4% female.

2000 census[edit]

As of the census[12] of 2000, there were 52,613 people, 19,621 households, and 12,577 families residing in the city. The population density was 5,216.2 people per square mile (2,013.3/km²). There were 20,674 housing units at an average density of 2,049.7 per square mile (791.1/km²). The racial makeup of the city is 34.7% White, 19.5% Black or African American, 0.2% Native American, 13.9% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 3.6% from other races, and 3.2% from two or more races. 24.8% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 34.3% of Gaithersburg's population was foreign-born.

There were 19,621 households out of which 34.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.6% were married couples living together, 11.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.9% were non-families. 27.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.65 and the average family size was 3.14 the population was spread out with 25.0% under the age of 18, 9.0% from 18 to 24, 37.7% from 25 to 44, 20.0% from 45 to 64, and 8.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 95.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.4 males.

Economy[edit]

According to the City's 2009 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report,[13] the top employers in the city are:

# Employer # of Employees
1 National Institute of Standards and Technology 2,115
2 IBM 1,100
3 MedImmune 1,027
4 Sodexo USA 1,000
5 Asbury Methodist Village 867
6 The Gazette 428
7 Gene Logic 362
8 BroadSoft 200
9 Qiagen 280
10 Airline Foods 185

Gaithersburg also receives significant income from its conference organization platform including prominent conferences such as the CHI 84 conference.

Government[edit]

Gaithersburg has an elected, five-member City Council, which serves as the legislative body of the city. The Mayor, who is also elected, serves as president of the council. The day-to-day administration of the City is overseen by a career City Manager. Gaithersburg is also the location of the 220th Military Police Brigade of the United States Army Reserve.

The city's current mayor is Sidney A. Katz, who has held the office since 1998. On September 3, 2014, Katz submitted his conditional resignation of mayor effective November 10, 2014 pending his election as District 3 representative on the Montgomery County Council in November’s general election.[14] On October 6, 2014, the Gaithersburg City Council selected City Council Member Jud Ashman to serve as mayor until the next City of Gaithersburg election in November 2015. Ashman will be sworn in as mayor on November 10, 2014.[15]

Previous mayors include:

  1. George W. Meem 1898–1904
  2. Carson Ward 1904–1906
  3. John W. Walker 1906–1908
  4. E. D. Kingsley 1908–1912
  5. Richard H. Miles 1912–1918
  6. John W. Walker 1918–1924
  7. Walter M. Magruder 1924–1926
  8. William McBain 1926–1948
  9. Harry C. Perry, Sr. 1948–1954
  10. Merton F. Duvall 1954–1966
  11. John W. Griffith 1966–1967
  12. Harold C. Morris 1967–1974
  13. Susan E. Nicholson, May–September 1974
  14. Milton M. Walker 1974–1976
  15. B. Daniel Walder 1976–1978
  16. Bruce A. Goldensohn 1978–1986
  17. W. Edward Bohrer, Jr. 1986–1998
  18. Sidney A. Katz 1998 - 2014
  19. Jud Ashman, November 2014

The departments of the city of Gaithersburg and their directors include:

  • Office of the City Manager, Tony Tomasello
  • Finance and Administration, Currently Vacant
  • Planning and Code Administration, John Schlichting
  • Community and Public Relations, Britta Monaco
  • Human Resources, Kimberly Yocklin
  • Information Technology, Peter Cottrell
  • Parks, Recreation, and Culture, Michele Potter
  • Police, Mark Sroka
  • Public Works, Michael Johnson

Transportation[edit]

The Gaithersburg train station in January 2007

Roads[edit]

The primary spine of Gaithersburg's road network is Frederick Avenue, which runs generally north-south through the middle of the city and connects Gaithersburg to Frederick, Rockville and Washington, D.C. Among the most important east-west roads are Diamond Avenue and Quince Orchard Road.

Interstate 270, runs approximately parallel to Frederick Avenue and connects Gaithersburg with the Capital Beltway. Interstate 370 begins in Gaithersburg and is the western end of the Intercounty Connector, a toll highway which provides a direct link to Interstate 95 near Laurel.

Transit[edit]

Gaithersburg is connected to the Washington Metro via Shady Grove station, which is located just outside the city limits and is the north-western terminus of the Red Line.

The Corridor Cities Transitway is a proposed bus rapid transit line that would have 8 stops in Gaithersburg, generally in the western half of the city.

Maryland's MARC system operates commuter rail services connecting Gaithersburg to Washington, D.C. with two stations in the city, at Old Town Gaithersburg and Metropolitan Grove, and a third station — Washington Grove — just outside city limits.

Bus service in Gaithersburg consists of Metrobus routes operated by WMATA and Ride-On routes operated by Montgomery County, as well as paratransit service provided by MetroAccess.

Other[edit]

The mainline of CSX Transportation bisects Montgomery County and runs as many as 50 trains a day through the center of Gaithersburg. The MARC trains run on the CSX tracks, as do Amtrak trains, which go through Gaithersburg but do not stop.

The Montgomery County Airpark (IATA airport code: GAI) is a short distance outside Gaithersburg city limits. The airport is the larger of two general aviation airports in the county. For commercial airline service, Gaithersburg residents use Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, Washington Dulles International Airport or Baltimore-Washington International Airport.

Education[edit]

Gaithersburg High School in March 2010.

Gaithersburg is served by Montgomery County Public Schools.

Media[edit]

Gaithersburg is primarily served by the Washington, D.C. media market.

Newspapers[edit]

Notable people[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The Wikipedia page on Pronunciation of English th lists "Gaithersburg" among the many words and proper names of English origin in which non-initial TH is soft, as in "bathe" and "whether." However, Merriam-Webster.com shows a hard th, as in "thing" and "both." Since Benjamin Gaither lived during the 18th century, it's probable that his name was pronounced with a soft TH as in most native English names and words in which it occurs in the middle, and this would have been carried over into the city name. However, as the population of the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area mushroomed after World War II, and especially after the construction of the Washington Beltway and the D.C. Metro lured affluent government employees and other professionals into the suburbs, the population of Gaithersburg swelled and the influence of the original settlers has waned. Pronunciation has shifted to a hard TH, consistent with the consonant's pronunciation in the multitude of words of Greek origin assimilated into English by scholars during the Enlightenment and invented by scientists and engineers during the scientific and technological boom of the 20th century.
  2. ^ Although NIST's mailing address is in Gaithersburg, and the City of Gaithersburg surrounds NIST's property, the land where NIST is situated is not incorporated into the City of Gaithersburg. Instead, it is in an unincorporated part of Montgomery County. Owing to the piecemeal manner land has been added to Gaithersburg over the years, there are multiple such unincorporated enclaves within the perimeter; see the City's Zoning Map for details (3MB PDF).

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2013-01-25. 
  2. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2013-01-25. 
  3. ^ a b "Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2014-10-23. 
  4. ^ American Factfinder, U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved June 17, 2011.
  5. ^ a b
  6. ^ "20,000 Expected to Wish Gaithersburg Happy Birthday". The Washington Post. September 4, 1950. p. 3. Closed access
  7. ^ a b Offutt, William; Sween, Jane (1999). Montgomery County: Centuries of Change. American Historical Press. pp. 166–167. 
  8. ^ "Gaithersburg Station". The Washington Post (Washington, D.C.). October 17, 1985. p. MDA4. Closed access
  9. ^ a b Vogel, Steve (June 28, 1997). "Gaithersburg Tree Goes Down in History: Storm Fells City's Famed Forest Oak". The Washington Post (Washington, D.C.). p. B1. Closed access
  10. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  11. ^ United States Census Bureau. "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved October 23, 2014. 
  12. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  13. ^ "City of Gaithersburg CAFR" (PDF). Retrieved 2011-11-03. 
  14. ^ http://www.gaithersburgmd.gov/news/press-releases/2014/09/20140903-council-to-select-mayor-from-amongst-its-membership-applicants-sought-for-anticipated-city
  15. ^ http://www.gaithersburgmd.gov/news/press-releases/2014/10/20141006-council-member-jud-ashman-selected-as-mayor-of-gaithersburg

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]