Silver Spring, MD

The Fillmore

Service Type

Project Type

30,000 sf


2012 NAIOP Maryland/DC Awards of Excellence
The Fillmore
Best Renovation / Adaptive Reuse

The overall project is a joint effort of Lee Development Group, Montgomery County Office of Economic Development, and Live Nation.  It is made up of approximately 389,000 gsf of new construction consisting of the Fillmore on Colesville Road, an office building on Georgia Avenue, and a hotel on Fenton Street.

The Fillmore is an approximately 30,000 gsf music venue that accommodates 2,000 patrons. The project is an adaptive re-use of the 1940s-era J.C. Penney’s façade in Silver Spring, MD across from the historic AFI Silver Theater and the Roundhouse Theater. Currently registered under LEED-NC, targeting LEED Silver Certification and will include a vegetative roof. The two-level venue includes green rooms for the artists and offices for Fillmore staff.

The office building is approximately 220,000 gsf facing onto Georgia Avenue adjacent to Lee Plaza. There is 5,000 sf of retail at sidewalk level, 8 levels of structured parking, and 7 levels of office.

The hotel is approximately 139,000 gsf facing onto Fenton Street across from the Montgomery Arms residential community. The hotel consists of a 2-story lobby, a double-height amenity space with 3 levels of structured parking, and 9 levels of hotel.

The design for the new Fillmore music hall is part of a proposed redevelopment plan for Silver Spring, Maryland that will include new office, retail, and hotel space. The venue site initially owned by Lee Development Group, was dedicated to Montgomery County as part of the approval process. In return, Lee Development Group received additional density on the adjacent site. The County then leased the structure to Live Nation, the world’s largest producer of live concerts. The original Fillmore in San Francisco, California, became the stuff of rock legend after concert promoter Bill Graham hosted psychedelic bands in the 1960s. Live Nation has since turned the Fillmore concept into a branded chain of nightclubs spanning the United States.

Montgomery County requested that the original 1949 J.C. Penny façade of the Fillmore site be preserved. The designers enhanced the historic nature of the Art Deco façade with streams of vibrant neon and three towers of LED lights that move vertically along with the beat of the bands inside–much like equalizer bars on a stereo. Light permeates the entire project–it appears to be everywhere as spot lights with twirling disks produce movement with light that seems to dance around the theater.

The Fillmore Silver Spring marks its presence with the club’s signature chandeliers dripping from the ceiling of the main hall. Vibrant psychedelic colors of blue, green, and magenta illuminate the chandeliers when house lights ebb during the performances. Famous 60’s bands like the Doors, the Grateful Dead, and Jefferson Airplane come alive once again through a myriad of old posters found throughout the space either as framed artwork or reproduced as painted wall murals.

The design embraces the stakeholder’s request for flexible space. Velvet curtains seal off balcony areas and large portions of the hall to provide an intimate feel for smaller audiences, allowing the space to easily contract and expand from 200 to 2000. The first floor’s capacity ranges from 2,000 standing to 750 seated. A five-tiered horseshoe balcony on the second level gives guests an excellent sightline for the performance below. Twin bars flank the main concert hall while a hip VIP lounge on the lower level ignites guests with a wild colored bar face and vibrant lighting. The lounge reflects the current rock world with the bar being “tagged” by street artist graffiti. The room and couches are upholstered in a manner reminiscent of Bridget Riley paintings.

The Fillmore Silver Spring remains true to the spirit of Bill Graham and the original Fillmore. “If Bill Graham were alive today, this is what he would build.”

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