The fire truck playhouse.
Potomac The crowd impatiently waited for the orange cover to be removed, then cheered as they grasped the full impact of the fire truck playhouse. The imaginative 10-foot high fire truck immediately captivated every child and adult at the presentation at the Anthony Wilder Design/Build (AWDB) offices in Cabin John.
AWDB co-owner Elizabeth Wilder sounded the fire truck siren as the playhouse was revealed. The playhouse is part of a fundraising partnership for AWDB and Rebuilding Together, Montgomery County (RTMC).
As part of AWDB’s involvement, the firm’s team of architects, designers and carpenters built the AWDB Engine #7913 in support of RTMS’s mission of bringing volunteers and communities together to improve the lives of low-income homeowners.
“The RTMC Playhouse Project marks the first event of its kind for AWDB” said Elizabeth Wilder, CEO and co-owner with her husband Anthony Wilder. “We are excited to be participating in such an important initiative and hope that our playhouse will bring years of happiness and joy to a family while benefiting this important cause.”
Eight architectural and building firms were selected to craft playhouses to delight and inspire children. Each firm designed and constructed an extravagant and detailed playhouse which will be on display through May 31 at the Shops at Wisconsin Place at the corner of Wisconsin Avenue and Western Avenue N.W. Seven playhouses will be auctioned off on Thursday, May 31 at a live auction and reception (ticketed event) from 7:30 – 9:30 p.m. – and the eighth playhouse will be donated to Walter Reed. Fifteen thousand dollars is needed for the Walter Reed initiative. The proceeds from the auction of the seven playhouses will benefit RTMC.
The playhouse designs are whimsical but functional. They include a Lighthouse, Castle, Mini-Mansion, Playhouse of the August Moon, Discovery Pod, Cottage, Old Time Storefront and the Fire Engine #7913.
How did AWDB Engine #7913 evolve? When deciding on a theme for their playhouse, the AWDB team was inspired by their office building at 7913 MacArthur Boulevard — a former Cabin John fire station from the 1930s. The office held a contest for the best design, and the fire truck playhouse, designed by architect Sean Mullin was the mutual selection. The entire team built the playhouse, which includes tubes to crawl through, fenders which are slides, lights that are solar powered and a real fire truck bell.
“The AWDB Engine #7913 is a tribute to the iconic fire station here at 7913 MacArthur Blvd and represents safety, community and family,” said Anthony Wilder. “It has been an incredibly gratifying process to see the way our entire team has collaborated on this project.
Whereas we knew it was going to be an exciting challenge, we had no idea how much fun we were going to have in the process. The entire team here at AWDB is proud to be supporting Rebuilding Together Montgomery County and their life-changing mission of helping others.”
Rebuilding Together, Montgomery County is a nonprofit volunteer organization dedicated to helping elderly and/or disabled low-income homeowners, and families with children through home renovation and repair. According to Susan Hawfield, director of Rebuilding Together, the organization repairs 120 homes per year, doing anything that is needed. Volunteers might install a safety bar in a bathroom, repair a leaking roof, fix a broken furnace or add a ramp for a handicapped person to be able to go in and out of their home.
“We do anything that is needed for as many people as possible. There are a lot of people in great need in Montgomery County,” said Hawfield.
To find out more about the outstanding organization, to volunteer or donate go to www.rebuildingtogethermc.org.
The AWDB fire truck playhouse and the other seven playhouses can be previewed at www.rebuilding-hope.org. It can also be viewed at the AWDB website, http://www.anthonywilder.com. For general questions about Rebuilding Hope: The RTMC Playhouse Project, contact Lee Berkeley Shaw at 301-933-2700 or e-mail her at email@example.com. Tickets are $75 to attend the May 31 live auction and reception. They can be purchased on-line at the above websites.