Chevy Chase Lake Block B

Chevy Chase, MD

Chevy Chase Lake Block B, located next to the upcoming Connecticut Avenue Purple Line Station in Montgomery County, MD, is a 9.5-acre mixed-use development prioritizing transit accessibility. Originally the site of the Chevy Chase Lake Amusement Park from 1894 to 1937, the area is now a well-established neighborhood known for its traditional architecture, retail spaces, and pedestrian-friendly design. The development project embraces this rich history, focusing on enhancing community life and connectivity while offering new opportunities for shopping, housing, and public spaces.

The design of Block B emphasizes craftsmanship, flexibility, sustainability, and multi-modal transit options. It includes various spaces such as a Town Square, a Transit Plaza, Amenity Courtyards, and residential penthouses. Each area is designed to maintain human-scale spaces despite the challenges posed by tall buildings and limited space. The Town Square acts as the project’s focal point with features like tree-lined streets, decorative planters, and a monumental entrance sign, all enhancing user experience and historical connections. The development also includes interactive features like a trolley sculpture and water elements, promoting engagement with both the history and natural setting of Chevy Chase Lake.

Overall, Chevy Chase Lake Block B combines modern design with historical and environmental sensitivity, aiming to create a cohesive, vibrant community space.


Baltimore Waterfront Partnership 

  • MD ASLA Merit Award 2024
  • AIA Baltimore Excellence in Design Award Honorable Mention
Key Features

From 1894 to 1937, the site was home to the Chevy Chase Lake Amusement Park, a recreation destination that 19th and 20th century Washington, D.C. residents could reach via trolley. The founders of Chevy Chase Lake envisioned it to be “a tranquil yet convenient community away from the bustling city.”

Chevy Chase Lakes - History and Context - Mahan Rykiel

The site presents certain challenges such as fire truck access, limited east end space, significant grade changes, tall buildings, and stormwater management requirements. The views to and from the site, the pedestrian and vehicular movements, grades, and programming, inform the framework of the design.

Site Analysis at Chevy Chase Lakes Block B

The site comprises a series of spaces that span multiple types, including a Town Square, a Transit Plaza, two Amenity Courtyards, three penthouses, and the streetscape. Each space offers unique opportunities for people to connect with each other and interact with nature in a rich and comfortable environment.

Chevy Chase Lakes Site Plan

Acting as the heart and soul of the project, the Town Square features a central open space and four distinct edges that accommodate both daily use and programmed functions like concerts, seasonal markets, and festivals.

The Town Square at Chevy Chase.

The west edge of the Town Square functions as the main entrance to the site. A stormwater management area is located here, double functions as a soft separation from the noise and traffic of Connecticut Avenue. A central open lawn provides flexible space, accommodating passive activities and programmed events.

Chevy Chase Lake Open Lawn

Constructed from recycled acrylic and salvaged steel, an interactive trolley sculpture sits in the middle of the Square, engaging visitors with the history of Chevy Chase Lake and providing an opportunity for art and play.


Two “shared streets”, also function as firelanes, bind the north and south edges of the Square. They are defined by tree allées, decorative planters, bollards, and light poles. These tree-lined streets evoke the feeling of the historical Chevy Chase Lake neighborhood and simultaneously highlight views of retail storefronts.

Streets at Chevy Chase Block B are designed for residents and visitors to talk to neighbors, meet new friends, promote health and wellbeing, and appreciate nature. The materials and scale of these streets have been studied extensively to accommodate functional needs and carry the spirit of the traditional neighborhood character.


Acknowledging the contemporary setting and the Art Deco-style architecture of Chevy Chase Lake, the materials on site honor both the site’s history and its present. Material selections combine traditional brick, precast pavers, wood, and painted metal to create a rich, warm palette that makes the space feel natural and relaxed.


The active pool courtyard carries the themes of ripples and wind, which recall nature, and promote rest and relaxation.

Chevy Chase Lakes Pool Courtyard

The passive North Courtyard draws inspiration from the waves of Chevy Chase Lake itself, dividing space with layered planter boxes that create smaller outdoor “rooms” for residents to gather with family to relax and reflect. Filled with native, shade tolerant plants, these raised planters also act as bioretention planters.


As a Transit-Oriented Development, the Transit Plaza presents a public arrival platform for visitors arriving via rail and creates a comfortable private edge for the residents. An interactive water feature and open lawn area provide engagement opportunities for both residents and visitors alike.


The design of Chevy Chase Lake Block B highlights design drivers like craftsmanship, flexibility, togetherness, sustainability, and multi-modal transit. From spatial planning to fine details, the design expresses a subtly crafted landscape that prioritizes the user experience, introduces context – appropriate materials, and blends art and nature.