Langley Park, Maryland

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Langley Park, Maryland
Census-designated place
The Langley Park Mansion in September 2010
The Langley Park Mansion in September 2010
Location of Langley Park, Maryland
Location of Langley Park, Maryland
Coordinates: 38°59′39″N 76°58′54″W / 38.99417°N 76.98167°W / 38.99417; -76.98167Coordinates: 38°59′39″N 76°58′54″W / 38.99417°N 76.98167°W / 38.99417; -76.98167
Country  United States of America
State  Maryland
County Prince George's
 • Director, Action Langley Park Bill Hanna
 • Total 1.0 sq mi (2.6 km2)
 • Land 1.0 sq mi (2.6 km2)
 • Water 0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
Elevation 151 ft (46 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 18,755
 • Density 19,000/sq mi (7,200/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP codes 20783, 20787
Area code(s) 301
FIPS code 24-45525
GNIS feature ID 0597659

Langley Park is an unincorporated area and census-designated place (CDP) in Prince George's County, Maryland.[1] It is located inside the Capital Beltway, on the northwest edge of Prince George's County, bordering Montgomery County, Maryland. It is surrounded by the communities of Adelphi, Silver Spring, Takoma Park, Carole Highlands, and Lewisdale. The neighborhood is contained between University Boulevard to the south, the Anacostia River to the north, the Prince Georges / Montgomery county line to the west, and Phelps Road to the east. As of the 2010 census, it had a population of 18,755.[2]

Two transit station locations on the proposed Purple Line are being planned to serve Langley Park.[3] One is at New Hampshire Avenue and University Boulevard, which was named the one of the most dangerous intersections in Maryland for pedestrians to cross. The danger is due to crossings of these six-lane routes mid-block at curbside bus stops.[citation needed]

The other proposed station is at University Boulevard and Riggs Road. The current bus system issues more transfers at these two intersections than at any other Prince George's County location not yet served by a Metro station.


Langley Park Plaza in 2010

"Langley Park" refers to the Langley Park estate established in 1923 by the McCormick-Goodhart family in the Chillum District of Prince George's County. The name McCormick-Goodhart represented the linking of one of Chicago's oldest families, that of Cyrus McCormick, with that of British barrister Frederick E. McCormick-Goodhart. Frederick's wife Henrietta (Nettie) was the daughter of Leander J. McCormick, a brother of Cyrus.[4] They named the 540-acre (2.2 km2) estate "Langley Park" after the Goodharts' ancestral home in Kent, England. In 1924, they erected an 18,000-square-foot (1,700 m2), 28-room Georgian Revival mansion, designed by architect George Oakley Totten, Jr., at a cost of $100,000. It remains a community landmark at 8151 15th Ave.[5] CASA of Maryland purchased the property in 2009, making the site its home base,[6] and a US$31 million Multicultural Community Center is now open in the mansion.[7] This property was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on August 29, 2008.[8]

During the late 1930s-early 1940s, Leander McCormick-Goodhart, son of Frederick and Nettie, served as personal assistant to Ambassador Lord Lothian and supervisor of American Relief to Great Britain through the British embassy.[9] As a result, the Langley Park estate became a regular site of social activities related to the British embassy including hosting the regular games of the Washington Cricket Club and, in June 1941, a British Relief Country Fair.[10][11]

The estate was first subdivided during and immediately after World War II, and was developed as a planned community by Pierre Ghent & Associates of Washington, D.C. The last major section would be developed in 1963. Because of the wartime and immediate postwar demand for housing, the 540-acre (2.2 km2) estate was quickly developed for low-rise apartment homes, semi-detached, and single family homes. Starting in 1949, a 1,542 garden apartment complex, Langley Park Apartments, now located along 14th Avenue, was built to house the exploding postwar population.[12] That same year, M.T. Broyhill and Sons started building on a 200-acre (0.81 km2) tract for 600 single family homes to be priced at around $10,000. These homes now lie north of Merrimac Drive. Both the apartments and homes were completed and occupied by June 1951.[13] In 1951, plans were unveiled for 500 additional multi-family rental dwellings and a 15-acre (61,000 m2), $4 million shopping center.[14]

In 1963, the last major segment of the Langley Park estate opened for development. It was a 25-acre (100,000 m2) parcel located directly around the manor house. It had been acquired in 1947 from the McCormick-Goodhart family by the Eudist Order for use as a seminary. The property was acquired for $900,000 by developers, who built the 400-unit Willowbrook Apartments on the site and opened them the following year.[15][16] The mansion then operated until the early 1990s as Willowbrook Montessori School.

The Langley Park Elementary School, now known as Langley Park-McCormick School, opened in 1950, at 15th Avenue and Merrimac Drive.[17] In 1988, Leander McCormick-Goodhart, real estate developer and descendent of the estate owners, sent the school a $10,000 donation after receiving an invitation to attend a school event.[18] That same year, 60 percent of the school population of 610 students was foreign born from 45 different countries and spoke 27 languages.[19]

In 1955, Langley Park was "the fastest growing trade area in Metropolitan Washington", with 200,000 people located within a 3-mile (4.8 km) radius. Affordable housing attracted a community consisting mostly of young couples with families. In the following decades, Langley Park became a middle-class enclave of predominantly European-American, Jewish residents.[20] During the 1970s, after desegregation, increasing numbers of African Americans moved into the community. Although some established families remained, the white population declined due to white flight to the outer suburbs. In 1970, the first language of 6.1 percent was Spanish; by 1980 that number had climbed to 13.4 percent.[21] During the 1980s, Hispanic and Caribbean immigrants from countries such as El Salvador, Mexico, Guatemala, Colombia, Bolivia, Peru, Jamaica and elsewhere in the West Indies led a new wave of migration into the community. In addition, Asian and African immigrants from places like Vietnam, India, Ethiopia and Nigeria settled into the area. It proved to be an attractive locale for immigrants due to the availability of affordable housing that could also accommodate families. The integration of these new groups into Langley Park reflected a larger trend of increased migration to the Greater Washington area during the 1980s and 1990s. By 1990, the area was 40 percent Hispanic.

At the same time, the area suffered through a period of physical decline and increases in crime. During the 1980s, the community struggled with blighted residential and commercial areas. The apartment complexes experienced substantial turnover in occupancy. Residents in the 14th Avenue and Kanawha Street area in particular were subjected to "open air drug markets" and other criminal activity. Long-time residents and the new immigrant communities were both victims of crime. Some homeowners organized to address neighborhood concerns about rising crime. For the 1988–89 school year, bus service for children who lived in walking distance to school was implemented to ensure their safety. Police also increased their presence in the community. Apartment complexes, under new management, initiated safety measures to discourage drug activity such as installing new lighting, security doors and maintaining general upkeep of their properties. At the same time, police in Prince George's County conducted multiple raids in an effort to shut down drug activity in the county. By 1991, officials were taking note of an increase in illegal immigrants from Central America, and day laborers were beginning to become a common sight on area streets.[22]


Langley Park is probably best known as a center of commercial activity in northwestern Prince George's County. At each of the two corners of the New Hampshire Avenue / University Boulevard intersection is a large strip shopping center. One is known as the Langley Park Plaza (northeast corner), while the other is known as the Langley Park Shopping Center (northwest corner).

  • Langley Park Plaza is the main shopping center that serves the Langley Park neighborhood. It was once the second largest strip mall in Maryland. Plans were originally announced in 1951 for development of the 15-acre (61,000 m2) site to include 40 stores and a six- to eight-story office building. The site remained undeveloped until 1954, when the Washington, D.C.-based department store Lansburgh's announced plans to open a three-story, 126,750-square-foot (11,775 m2), $2 million store. It was the first major department store opened in Prince George's County.[23] Through the demise of the Lansburgh's chain in 1973, it would remain its most profitable store. At the store's opening in October 1955, in addition to substantial displays and a payroll of 350, it contained the "Hampshire Room" — a luncheonette seating 90 and a community room to hold about 200.[24][25] The remainder of the plaza opened shortly thereafter and included a Giant Food store[26] and Peoples Drug store. After Lansburgh's closed in 1973, it was occupied by E. J. Korvette, then Klein's[27] , followed by K-Mart from 1981 to 1996, and Toys "R" Us from December, 1996 to January 31, 2007[28]. Regency Furniture has been operating in that space, since Toys "R" Us closed and is still currently operating there today. The Giant Food store closed around 1998. Since that year, Giant's former spot inside the plaza has been occupied by Atlantic Supermarket[29], a local Latino supermarket. Also, the Peoples Drug store was converted into a CVS Pharmacy[30] store when CVS corporation bought the 490-store Peoples Drug chain in the early 1990s.
  • In recent years, the plaza has become a shopping destination for many recent immigrants, especially those from Central America. An attraction in the plaza is a fountain, nestled in a section of the mall, where recent immigrants take photos to show their families and friends at home that they have arrived in the United States.[31][32] The center continues in the hands of a descendent of the original Langley Park estate owner, Leander McCormick-Goodhart.
  • The other shopping center that serves the Langley Park neighborhood is known as the Langley Park Shopping Center. Its volume is 135,000 square feet(12,500 square meters). Currently, its two main tenants are a Rite Aid drug store and Woodland's Indian restaurant. The shopping center initially opened in August 1951, when a Food Fair supermarket opened; it was later converted to an Acme, then Grand Union. This center was home to a Dart Drug, Hot Shoppes, and the 1,000-seat Langley Theater, which opened in March 1952. Later converted to a multi-screen theater, it closed in the early 1990s when the owner, K/B Theaters, went out of business.[33] The shopping center is now home to the landmark Woodlands Indian restaurant. The long planned Takoma/Langley Crossroads Transit Center finally opened its doors on December 22, 2016 in the Langley Park Shopping Center parking lot. It mainly serves as a bus transfer point. At this transit center, people can get off one bus and transfer to another bus that gets them to their destination.


Langley Park is located at 38°59′39″N 76°58′54″W / 38.99417°N 76.98167°W / 38.99417; -76.98167 (38.994060, -76.981759).[34]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the place has a total area of 1.0 square mile (2.6 km2), all land.


The racial and ethnic composition of the community has changed considerably as development patterns have evolved in the metropolitan Washington, D.C. area. Today, approximately 23,000 people live in proximity to Langley Park, including immigrants from an estimated 120 different countries, turning the area into one of the region’s most distinctive and broadly representative international communities. Hispanics with origins in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, other Central American countries, and South America now comprise one of the largest ethnic groups in the area. Other significant immigrant groups include West Africans, Chinese, Vietnamese, Koreans, Indians, and Caribbean nationalities.

As of the census[35] of 2010, there were 18,755 people, 5,082 households, and 3,375 families residing in the area. The population density was 18,682.8 persons per square mile.

76.6% of the population is Hispanic or Latino of any race (note that this includes a combination of Hispanics from all different parts of Latin America).[2]

There were 5,082 households, out of which 32.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 33.1% were married couples living together, 14.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.6% were non-families. 18.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 2.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.67, and the average family size was 3.69.[2]

In the community the population was spread out with 21.7% under the age of 18, 15.4% from 18 to 24, 43.6% from 25 to 44, 15.4% from 45 to 64, and 3.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 29.4 years. For every 100 females there were 152.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 166.8 males.[2]

At the 2000 census, the median income for a household in the community was $37,939, and the median income for a family was $36,018. Males had a median income of $22,356 versus $21,931 for females. The per capita income for the community was $12,733. About 11.3% of families and 16.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 21.4% of those under age 18 and 6.7% of those age 65 or over. A 2011 news article noted that "About one in five residents ... lives below the poverty level...."[6]

In 2000, 21.48% of Langley Park residents identified as being of Salvadoran heritage. This was the largest percentage of Salvadoran Americans of any place in the United States.[36] Over the last couple of years, there have also been growing communities of Guatemalans, Puerto Ricans, Nicaraguans and Mexicans.


The Prince George's County Public Schools operates public schools. Langley Park-McCormick Elementary School is located in Langley Park.[37][38]

In Literature[edit]

Langley Park of the early 1960s is featured in the short story "Blue Divisions" by Cuban-American author Alfredo Franco.[39]


  1. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Langley Park, Maryland
  2. ^ a b c d e "Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (DP-1): Langley Park CDP, Maryland". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved December 20, 2011. 
  3. ^ Lazo, Luz (September 30, 2011). "In Langley Park, Purple Line brings promise, and fears, of change". The Washington Post. 
  4. ^ "Sues for Loss of Love of M'cormick-Goodhart," The Washington Post, Apr 28, 1925, p. 8.
  5. ^ Maryland National Capital Parks and Planning Commission, "Inventory of Historic Sites" (Prince George's County), Entry 65-007, p. 36 (retrieved Sep 7, 2008).
  6. ^ a b Luz Lazo (30 September 2011), "In Langley Park, Purple Line brings promise, and fears, of change", The Washington Post, retrieved 15 November 2011 
  7. ^ "Where We Are Now," by CASA de MD, "CASA de," April 2010 (accessed July 14, 2010).
  8. ^ National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Registration Form for Langley Park (PG#65-7) (retrieved Sep 7, 2008).
  9. ^ Obituary of Leander McCormick-Goodhart, The Washington Post, Times Herald, Dec 18, 1965, p. E4.
  10. ^ "Local Cricketers Play Ripping Game But Lose, 106-59," The Washington Post, May 24, 1939, p. 20.
  11. ^ "British Relief Country Fair," The Washington Post, May 18, 1941, p. SC9.
  12. ^ "4000 Apartment Units Planned," The Washington Post, Feb 6, 1949, p. R4.
  13. ^ "Two Virginia Builders Plan 1850 Homes in 1950," The Washington Post, Jan 8, 1950, p. R1.
  14. ^ "Shopping Center, Homes Will be Next Projects," The Washington Post, Apr 22, 1951, p. R1.
  15. ^ "McCormick-Goodhart Tract Sold for Apartment Complex," The Washington Post, Times Herald, Aug 17, 1963, p. E10.
  16. ^ "Developers Relax at Willowbrook," The Washington Post, Times Herald, Aug 8, 1964, p. C9.
  17. ^ "Work on Langley Park School Moves Ahead," The Washington Post, Jan 26, 1950, p. B1.
  18. ^ "Langley Park School's Invitation Gets RSVP in the Form of $10,000," The Washington Post, Jan 21, 1988, p. MD1.
  19. ^ "Langley Park School Bridges Cultures," The Washington Post, Sep 22, 1988, p. MD21.
  20. ^ "Langley Park: Coping With Change," by Gwen Ifill, The Washington Post, Aug 26, 1984, p. 35.
  21. ^ "Langley Park Bridging Age and Language Gaps," by Keith Harriston, The Washington Post, Nov 14, 1987, p. E1.
  22. ^ "Hispanics Carve Niche in P.G.," by Jim Naughton, The Washington Post, Aug 19, 1991, p. A1.
  23. ^ "Lansburgh's Soon to Build a New Store," The Washington Post, Times Herald, Nov 21, 1954, p. M1.
  24. ^ "Lansburgh's New Store Opens," The Washington Post, Times Herald, Oct 18, 1955, p. 17.
  25. ^ "Lansburgh's Prince George's County's First Department Store," The Washington Post, Times Herald, Oct 23, 1955, p. L1.
  26. ^ "before langley park was langley park". Retrieved 2017-06-26. 
  27. ^ "before langley park was langley park". Retrieved 2017-06-26. 
  28. ^ "Toys R Us leaving Langley Park". Retrieved 2017-06-25. 
  29. ^ "Atlantic supermarket - supermercado latino -". Retrieved 2017-06-26. 
  30. ^ "CVS Pharmacy - Wikipedia". Retrieved 2017-06-26. 
  31. ^ "Immigrants Give Md. Fountain a Global Reach," by Allison Klein, The Washington Post, May 22, 2006.
  32. ^ "A Stream From Ipala," by David Montgomery, The Washington Post, June 9, 2008 p. C1 (retrieved Sep 6, 2008).
  33. ^ Cinema Treasures website, Langley Theater, Langley Park, Md (retrieved Sep 6, 2008).
  34. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  35. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  36. ^
  37. ^ "Langley Park CDP, Maryland." (Archive) U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on January 7, 2012.
  38. ^ "langleyparkmcc_banner2.jpg." Langley Park-McCormick Elementary School. Retrieved on January 7, 2011. "8201 15th Avenue, Hyattsville, MD 20784"
  39. ^ Franco, Alfredo (Spring 2014). "Blue Divisions". Euphony Journal. 14 (2): 12. 

External links[edit]