Dart Drug, Steward Manor, Steward Towers: 1988

This is a clipping my mom pulled from the Laurel Leader on November 17, 1988—a little over a year after we moved from Steward Manor. It wasn’t that often that we saw Steward Manor in the newspaper, and she correctly assumed that it’d be something I’d want to hang onto.

The focus of the photo is obviously on the Dart Drug shopping center, which was about to undergo some significant transformations in the coming years. When I was a kid, there was just Dart Drug and Safeway. Safeway was the first to go, when it was relocated to a larger space in the new Laurel Lakes shopping center. The old building became a thrift store for much of the early 90s, and eventually the Office Depot it is today.

If I’m not mistaken, Dart Drug became a fabric store for several years, but was ultimately divided into several smaller businesses—including the PanAm Supermarket and Sherwin-Williams Paints which exist there today.  The façade is barely recognizable today. Steward Manor and Steward Towers, fortunately, look very much as they always have. Although I did recently discover that Steward Towers has changed to the singular “Steward Tower”. Perhaps, after all this time, someone realized that there’s only one building? 😉

This photo was likely taken from an upper floor of what used to be the Arbitron building on Marshall Ave.—the only other “high-rise” in the immediate area. And seeing the familiar view of Dart Drug—a favorite alternative to 7-Eleven for us neighborhood kids—brings back a rush of memories. But another interesting thing about this clipping is the mention of Melvin and Wolford Berman as the owners of “the land under the Steward Manor apartments”. That’s significant, because it provides another possible lead for historical artifacts.

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About Richard Friend

I'm a graphic designer and creator of "Lost Laurel"—a collection of photos and print ephemera chronicling the countless stores, restaurants, and other long-lost merchants of Laurel, Maryland. I'm interesting in hearing from any former/current residents, especially those with vintage photos, literature, and recollections of the community. richardfrienddesign.com lostlaurel.com facebook.com/lostlaurel
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