Vitro

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Vitro Labs was a defense contractor, located in the heart of Aspen Hill. Perhaps you will want to see the WikiPedia article on Vitro Corporation.

History

In 1957, Vitro built a large building in the middle of the former Gill property. This was thereafter referred to Building One. In roughly 1996, Building One was razed and rebuilt as Home Depot.

Approximately 1968, they acquired offices in the so-called "Grant's Tomb", which is now a part of Acorn Self-Storage.

In 1968 or so, Building Four was built near Aspen Hill Road. It still remains. It was the offices of a division of BAE Systems until April 30, 2010, when all BAE Systems personnel relocated to a new facility in the Redland Corporate Center on the King Farm property in Rockville.

Sometime in the late 1970s, another building was constructed between Building One and Building Four, called Building Twelve (I think).

Vitro's ownership changed hands several times over the years, though it remained engaged mostly in contracts with the Federal government and the military establishment. In the early 1980s it was Montgomery County's largest civilian employer, with somewhere around 5000 employees in the area.

Eventually, the main headquarters shifted out of Aspen Hill.

Building Twelve was razed sometime in the early 1990s, and Building One was converted to the needs of Home Depot sometime thereafter.

Building Four wound up in the hands of BAE Systems until they relocated at the end of April 2010 (see above). "Building Four" embraces a smaller corner lot, and has a dual address of 4115 Aspen Hill Road / 13900 Connecticut Avenue.

The building is listed at the website of the property owner, Lee Development Group, as being available for leasing beginning in April 2011 (as downloaded April 30 2010).

Land Use

Vitro Labs used to be set apart from the surrounding residential area by a fairly large second-growth forested zone. In roughly the late 1960s, most of that area was cut down and replaced mostly by parking lots. A stream which ran through the woods was diverted into an underground five-foot diameter pipe. Part of that original stream valley which used to be quite near to Building One still remains next to the northwest corner of the Home Depot, near the entrance to the gardening center.

At the time that Building One was razed and rebuilt for Home Depot, the vast majority of the main parking lot was removed and most of that expanse has been replaced by a stormwater retention and cooldown pond. The remaining second-growth forest is starting to return between the edges of the property and the areas used by Home Depot or BAE Systems.


Further Reading

  • Sugawara, Sandra, "Penn Central Looking to Sell Silver Spring-Based Vitro," Washington Post, December 11, 1992, p. D1.
  • Tucker, Elizabeth, "Vitro Corp. Settles Suit by California Subcontractor," Washington Post, January 21, 1989, p. D12.

External Links

  1. Vitro Corp History ("Funding Universe")
  2. Lee Development Group, owner of the former BAE Systems property in Aspen Hill