Beginning in 1940, a new Art Deco arcade was added to Glen Echo park. Designed by the firm of Edward Schoeppe of Philadelphia, also the chief architect of the Crystal Pool and Spanish Ballroom, the arcade was constructed in stages from 1940 to 1958.
A New Entrance.The new entrance, built in 1940, greeted visitors getting off the trolley with an 11-foot high Glen Echo Park green neon sign supported by 48-foot pylons.
Fun Along The Arcade.A new Art Deco arcade was built to replace an older one which was styled as a castle. The storefront of the new arcade held Hamburger Haven, the shooting gallery, Skee Ball alleys, the Sportsland penny arcade and an archery range. Skee Ball was first introduced to the park in 1915 and remained a popular game. The penny arcade, originally called Pennyland, opened in 1925 and soon had 98 amusements ranging from mutascopes to pinball and fortune telling machines.
The arcade was built to house the park's administrative offices, but it also contained many of the park's refreshment vendors. Cotton candy, popcorn, sodas, candied apples, ice cream, beer and barbecue were all available.
Today's Arcade.A $6.5 million renovation and rebuilding project to repair years of deferred maintenance was started in 2002 and completed in the summer of 2006. This complex will soon house The Puppet Co., Adventure Theatre, Photoworks, glass blowing, administrative offices, galleries, art studios, and general classrooms. Funds for the project came from the Federal Government, the State of Maryland and Montgomery County.
(photo caption on left side of marker)The Arcade stands sold popcorn, creamy whip (frozen custard ice cream) and sandwiches to those strolling the grounds. Sitdown service was also available at the Concourse Cafe and the Roof Garden Cafe on the second floor terrace, where diners could look out over the park.
(photo caption on upper right side of marker)Mutascopes such as this one (left side) would play short films for a penny.Kewpie dolls (right) first appeared in 1912 and were a common prize, especially in the 1920's.
(photo caption on lower right side of marker)The shooting gallery was a popular attraction from the park's earliest days. The gallery had moving steel targets and a pond full of moving duck targets at which players shot using real rifles and live ammunition!