A little history of the Pike District

A little history of the Pike District

For those of you who grew up here and/or hung out in the Pike District of 40 years ago, here’s a little bit of history. Do you remember of the Rainbow Inn? Check out this document from the Maryland Historical Trust.

The Rainbow Inn was located at 11520 Rockville Pike, which is now a strip mall with Palm Beach Tan, Mirage Nails, and Stella’s Bakery and will one day be Saul Center West.

According to the document, “This is a massive, two-story frame structure, with several adjoining wings, etc. The main block is a hip-roofed, three bay section that faces east. An imposing, two-story, pedimented portico projects from the center section. There is a central door here, that is flanked on each side by large, 6/6 windows. The other bays also have large, 6/6 windows. A massive brick chimney stack exits from this slope of the roof, south-of-center. The north and south end slopes feature double dormers. To the SW rear, is a slightly-lower wing of similar design. All in all, an imposing edifice left over from the early-20th Century Rockville Pike “estate era .. ” Now used as a rather seedy-looking motel.”

I’m pretty sure my friends and I at Woodward High School in the late-70s believed The Rainbow Inn featured ladies of the evening, though we never tested the theory nor had any proof, so we we could easily have been mistaken.

Amy Ginsburg


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