Roosevelt Center in Historic Greenbelt

Roosevelt Center, which opened in 1937, is one of the first planned shopping centers in the country. The planners of the City of Greenbelt positioned the center to be within easy and safe walking distance from all the town’s inhabitants. A network of pedestrian paths and underpasses allow residents to walk to the center without having to cross any streets.

The City of Greenbelt named the center after Roosevelt in 1982, in commemoration of his 100th birthday and the key role he played in the founding of Greenbelt. The Greenbelt Historic District was named a National Historic Landmark on February 18, 1997. More than any other part of Old Greenbelt, the Roosevelt Center embodies the qualities and New Deal ideals which formed the basis for the development of the community. It is intended not only as a place for shops, but as a focal point and gathering place, encouraging a sense of community involvement.

Today Roosevelt Center contains the Greenbelt Co-op Supermarket and Pharmacy (the Co-op), which opened in 1984, and the original, historic Old Greenbelt Theatre. It also includes the Greenbelt Arts Center, Greenbelt Federal Credit Union and other businesses such as the New Deal Café, whose name honors the origins of its location. The Theatre, Co-op, Credit Union and the New Deal Café carry on a tradition from the city's inception by operating as non-profit cooperative membership corporations.

The 115 Centerway building which occupies the northwest corner of Roosevelt Center's open-air mall courtyard was added in 1965. It was built in the mid-century modern style of the time and served as the community's first doctor's office. Four doctors saw patients on the plaza (upper) level, which also contained laboratory, x-ray and business offices, and featured built-in furniture and mahogany paneling. A Greenbelt News Review article from the February 4, 1965 issue declared the offices to be "spacious, well-planned and handsome."

In 2021, three Greenbelt families saw a growing need for small office spaces for the increasing number of people working from home. They purchased and rejuvenated 115 Centerway, now known as The Granite Building, to create modern workspaces for small businesses, start-ups and virtual office workers while honoring the building's stylish mid-century roots. These new "home offices" not only serve the Greenbelt community, they bring new vitality to Roosevelt Center and reinforce it's place as the heart of Old Greenbelt.

Roosevelt Center's open-air mall courtyard.