The house that would one day become City Hall was built for Henry Miller, an active businessman in early Gaithersburg, and his wife Rosa. In 1913, the house was bought by Edward P. Schwartz, a Washington, DC real estate broker. Here he established a famous flower garden containing 410 varieties of peonies obtained from all over the world. The beautiful garden which stretched from the railroad tracks to what is now Hutton Street was visited by President Woodrow Wilson and photographed by the National Geographic Society.
The town of Gaithersburg purchased the property in 1958 as a prime location for a civic center in close proximity to the central business district, accessible from all parts of the city with room for expansion. In 1986, to accomodate the needs of a growing city government, construction began on a new office addition on the rear of the house. Making the town's past part of the city's future, the exterior of the Schwartz house was restored to its early restored to its early twentieth century grandeur. The building, with its new city council chambers and second-floor gallery, was dedicated to community use on Olde Towne Gaithersburg Day in 1989.
(picture caption): Edward Schwartz in his Peony Garden, c. 1918