Town of Riverdale Park. A key factor in the initial development of Riverdale Park in 1887 was its proximityto Washington, D.C. By the end of the19th century, transportation betweenRiverdale Park and Washington wasextremely convenient by either theBaltimore Turnpike, the B & O Railroad,or the trolley line. The town was one ofMaryland's first manifestations of thatsocial phenomenon that in the 20th centuryspawned the "suburb."
It was that same appealing location that provided the impetus for the building ofRiversdale mansion there in 1801, one yearafter the federal city of Washington wasestablished. Riversdale was the home ofGeorge Calvert, a descendant of the fifthLord Baltimore and father of CharlesBenedict, the founder of MarylandAgricultural College which later became theUniversity of Maryland in nearby CollegePark. Today the mansion is a source of pridefor residents of the town that now bears itsname (albeit slightly modified). An annualcelebration of the town's heritage is held onthe grounds of the mansion, now registeredas a National Historic Landmark.
The town's architecture is a mix of stylesranging from Victorian bungalows to capecods to mid 20th-century ramblers. Its stillconvenient location and small-town cultureexplain Riverdale Park's enduring popularity with old and new residents alike.
(captions) The Riversdale mansion, built between 1801 and 1807, underwent major renovation in the 1990s. · The french scenic wallpaper (1812-1814) in the dining room of Riversdale was preserved during the restoration efforts of the 1990s. · Today a reconstruction of the train station in the Town Center serves the MARC commuter train, which provides a10-minute ride toWashington's Union Station. · At the turn of the 20th century, a B&O train and a trolley line linked Riverdale Park to Washington, D.C. · This photograph of the Warren House was taken shortly after construction was completed in 1914. It was designated a Prince George's County Historic Site in 1985. This is one of several historic homes that remain in Riverdale Park today.