As with any communities, Marlow Heights has changed quite a bit since what we remember it to be from the 60s and 70s. Neighborhoods have a beginning, they reach their peak of popularity and appearance, a decline begins as original, second, and third owners move away, then there is deterioration. Unfortunately this is the case with most communities in and around Marlow/Hillcrest Heights, and Temple Hills. I visited Marlow Heights one afternoon the end of September 2005, and my experience was a bittersweet one. I was pleasantly surprised to see so many local landmarks still standing–the Marlow Heights Shopping Center, Iverson Mall, my old elementary school Sandymount (though it is no longer known as that, nor is it a public school), and Stoddert Jr. High (now a Middle School). Even the old 7-11 across from the Marlow Fairlanes bowling alley on Dallas Drive was still open, and that’s a place while growing up that I brought many a returnable bottle originally for 2 1/2 cents per (and then we hit the jackpot when it was 5 cents per bottle!). There was also the Dallas Kitchen next to it, but apparently that has been closed for years.
Marlow Heights 60s and 70s © 2011
Driving through my old neighborhood of Deer Park Heights was sad. I used to live in the duplexes off of Raleigh Road, which included Akron, Beaumont, and Culver streets, Dallas, and Deer Park drives. As soon as I turned onto Raleigh Road, there were four PG County police cruisers sitting there, lights flashing. I turned onto Beaumont and then to Akron, on up to my old house. Looked pretty dismal. Some houses had been kept up, but a good many were in poor condition. The entire neighborhood looked like this. I drove up Dallas Drive and saw more PG County police cruisers parked on the side of the road. Going up Dallas Drive to the old 7-11, I saw one cruiser parked in front of 7-11 and one in the parking lot of the Marlow Fairlanes bowling alley. I later went to Iverson Mall and saw a PG County police officer, who knew my stepfather, the Chief of Police of the special Marlow Heights Shopping Center police department. When I asked him about all the PG County police at my old neighborhood, he said, “Oh, that’s a hot area around here now.” Very sad. Well, for a view of what Marlow Heights looks like now, click below to look at a photo gallery I created.