Arlington, VA

Developers of a new office building in Ballston have added another historical touch to commemorate the old Bob Peck Chevrolet dealership that for decades served as a neighborhood landmark on the same site.

Alexandria-based Bowman Consulting, the landscape architecture firm on developer JBG’s 10-story office building at 800 N. Glebe Road, recently designed and installed a historical marker to honor the dealership’s iconic Googie architecture style.

In January, builders added a diamond-shaped facade to the front of the building to mimic the style. Bob Peck Chevrolet was demolished in 2008.

From the text of the historical marker:

Bob Peck opened his first Chevrolet dealership in 1939 on Wilson Boulevard in Clarendon. In 1964, he moved the dealership west to Ballston to the very prominent corner of North Glebe Road and Wilson Boulevard, 300 feet south of this marker. Taking advantage of the site’s unique location and visibility, local architect Anthony Musolino designed a transparent circular showroom of glass and chrome, with a butterfly roofline whose frieze of diamond-shaped blue panels spelled out “Chevrolet.” The building was an excellent example of Googie architecture, reflecting the era’s prevailing interest in the future — space travel, nuclear energy, rockets — through the use of upward slanting and cantilevered roofs, geometric patterns, acute angles and large sheets of glass.

Musolino’s design evoked thoughts of flight and movement, with its walls of transparent glass and a roof that appeared to float skyward. The transparent showroom was a living billboard. Motorists could see the chrome-trimmed vehicles from the street. Peck Chevrolet became a community icon and a landmark for motorists traveling to and through Arlington. The showroom’s design is represented in the new diamond-shaped frieze of the office building now located at the former Bob Peck site.

 

Photos courtesy Bowman Consulting

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