West Side Development
— Silver Heritage Georgia Avenue —
Silver Spring's First Bank Robbery
occurred in 1928, here on the southwest corner of Georgia Avenue and Oak Street (today's Bonifant Street).
Commerce in this block began on September 1, 1925, when the Colonial Revival-style Silver Spring National Bank, at 8252 Georgia Avenue, became the first business to open. Founded in 1910, the move of the community's first bank (from the corner of today's Georgia and Sligo Avenues) was necessitated by Georgia Avenue's widening and construction of the original "viaduct," or Baltimore & Ohio Railroad underpass.
The bank robbery occurred here on October 27, 1928 when Takoma Park, MD resident Hugh L. McDaniel told assistant cashier Fred L Lutes to "Give me all you've got." Lutes handed over $2,200 but followed up with two shots from his pistol. Cashier Ira C Whitacre joined in with three shots from his gun before running outside and firing two more at the bandit escaping in a taxi. Within hours McDaniel was apprehended and all but about $10 of the stolen money was recovered. Two months later, McDaniel, a photographer, was convicted and sentenced to fifteen years in jail.
In 1938, the bank merged with the failing Takoma Park Bank and was renamed The Suburban National Bank. Expanded business resulted that year in the addition of a 16-foot-deep classical limestone facade designed by the noted Tilghman Moyer Company of Allentown, PA. A second merger occurred in 1951 with Prince Georges Bank Trust Co. Renamed The Suburban Trust Co, with Silver Spring as its headquarters, a rear addition in the international style was added. "Ghost" letters of The Suburban National Bank name are visible on either side of the Georgia Avenue entrance.