Postcard for Downtown Rockville

Postcard of Downtown Rockville, Maryland

Postcard of Downtown Rockville, Maryland

Big beige boxes define the skyline of downtown Rockville, the result of urban renewal. Starting in the 1960s, the City hoped to revitalize its downtown by realigning sreets, relocating 165 businesses, demolishing 111 buildings, adding a parking garage and shopping mall, and welcoming modern skyscrapers, such as the Americana Centre, County Executive Building, and Uni Bank Building. The new downtown turned out to be a disappointment and in 2003, Rockville unveiled plans for a new Town Center to attract residents, visitors, and businesses.

After living in Rockville for several years, I continually heard the complaint that Rockville didn’t have any postcards. Having created nearly a dozen postcards while living in California, I wanted to bring those graphic design talents to the task while also making some social commentary about architecture and community life. My first effort was Glenview Mansion (which will be discussed sometime in the future) and my second effort was downtown Rockville in 2005.

The intent of this postcard is to allow people to see downtown once again from the vantage point of the main roads leading into the city. It’s carefully composed with corrected perspective and taken on a beautiful day with the sun lighting the faces of the buildings. I didn’t want anyone to complain that I intentionally tried to make Rockville look bad, yet it’s not a pretty picture. I doubt many people will send them to their friends and family, but they do pick them up and talk about them. Along with the photo, I’ve added the usual decorations you’ll find on tourist postcards, including embossed lettering, drop shadows, cutouts, and logos. Maryland is well known for using seals and coats of arms, but this one is entirely fabricated with a phoenix symboling redevelopment on the crest and a combination of windows for the shield.

If you are interested in acquiring this postcard, visit Peerless Rockville or City Hall. I occasionally drop off a stack for people to find in surprising locations to provoke discussions.