Detective Bob Bell locates the ghost of WQMR once and for all -

OK, it's bothered me for some time now - I could not "merge" my memories of where the art-deco 11306 Kemp Mill Road was, given how the neighborhood looks today.  Bob Bell did this excellent research and it finally answers the question!  I had told Bob that I thought, somehow that it was near the shopping center where Giant is today; but I really didn't know.  I could kinda sorta picture in my mind that the station was there, as the building was "up front" and the fence with transmission cables back to the tower was on a sort of flat field, a few feet below street level as best I could recall.  That matches up with the shopping center... and so now you can see from the ample evidence below that while 11306 Kemp Mill Road no longer exists, since the stretch it was on became Arcola, IT REALLY WAS THERE I SWEAR.  So now, decades later, we know where it was, and before I leave the area in a couple of months I hope to see the "new" World Building.  Now, all we need is for some wealthy person to take responsibility and put this "relaxing" music back on the air.  I will do the programming, cheap.  I learned a lot listening during the Ed Winton and Bob Chandler years!  There will be showtunes, popular standards, soundtracks, and there will be damned few covers of ROCK.  I expect investors to line up at this opportunity.  Perhaps this could restore the "beautiful music" format and (gasp) people might actually tune in, and stay tuned in for HOURS just because it's good music and repetition will be minimal, and spot load will be kept to a minimum through aggressively high RATES; what a novel idea; it was done, of course, 30-40 years ago - on WQMR and WGAY...

horizontal rule


Here's a news bulletin... courtesy of Judy Horowitz of the Rockville Library.
After a great deal of research on her part, it has been determined that the location on Arcola Avenue that corresponds to the former 11306 Kemp Mill Road is 1206 Arcola Avenue.

In 1967, Montgomery County and the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission approved a new "Master Plan for Four Corners-Kemp Mill and Vicinity". Improvements were slated for the section of road which was known as Kemp Mill Road running from Route 193 westward to the bend where it met Arcola Avenue.

When they widened that stretch of road and added sidewalks, the powers-to-be renamed the entire east-west corridor as Arcola Avenue. Property owners who once had Kemp Mill Road addresses got Arcola Avenue addresses and new house numbers. The house numbers were a consecutive continuation of the original Arcola Avenue numbers which ran westward from Kemp Mill Road to Georgia Avenue.
All of that took place in 1967- early 68 after WQMR had left the area. I don't know exactly when the broadcasters sold the property (that information could be discovered from Land Records), but someone sold the property to the shopping center developers in April of 1969. That would be consistent with my memories: I remember my high shcool classmates who lived around Kemp Mill first got jobs at the new stores in the shopping center during my senior year at Northwood, September '69 to June '70.


1206 Arcola Avenue is currently the site of ... (drum roll please)... the Kemp Mill Urban Park at the Kemp Mill Shopping Center.
Bill Halvorsen wins the history detectives prize for best recall!
The detail that "nailed" the location was data about the home of Mr. Leo Schweer. In the 1966 C&P phone directory, Schweer's home was listed at 11303 Kemp Mill Road. By 1968, Mr. Schweer's home was revised as 1203 Arcola Avenue. (The librarian did not have the 1967 phone directory to refer to.) WQMR was just across the street from 11303.