Takoma Park is a city in Montgomery County, Maryland, United States. It is a suburb of Washington, and part of the Washington metropolitan area. Founded in 1883 and incorporated in 1890, Takoma Park, informally called “Azalea City”, is a Tree City USA and a nuclear-free zone.
In 1883, developer Benjamin Franklin (B.F.) Gilbert purchased his first tract of land in Washington, D.C. and Maryland. In building a “sylvan suburb of the National Capitol,” he developed Takoma Park as one of first railroad-accessible suburbs in the D.C. area. At 350 feet in elevation, this new suburb was high enough to avoid the malaria and mosquitoes that plagued the nation’s capital.
Takoma Park was incorporated by the State of Maryland in 1890 and by 1913 had become the largest city in Montgomery County. In 1904, Takoma Park became home to the world headquarters of the Seventh Day Adventist Church which maintains a regional hospital, college and several churches and other local facilities in the city. The church relocated its headquarters to Silver Spring, Maryland in 1989.
Takoma was originally the name of Mount Rainier, from Lushootseed [təqʷúbəʔ] (earlier *təqʷúməʔ), ‘snow-covered mountain’. In response to a wish of Gilbert, the name Takoma was chosen in 1883 by DC resident Ida Summy, who believed it to mean ‘high up’ or ‘near heaven’. The city of Tacoma in Washington State is also named after Mount Takhoma (Mount Rainier).
Takoma Park is largely residential, with a mix of single family homes and small and large apartment buildings. About half of the households rent and about half own their own home or condominium unit. Homes range from historic bungalows and Victorians to modest colonials and ramblers.
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