Dale Music Company, the Silver Spring instrument shop where aspiring and professional musicians gathered for lessons and to buy sheet music, will close on June 30, its 64th birthday. Store owner Carol Warden confirmed the news to Arts Desk this afternoon.
Due to several major construction projects in Silver Spring including the yet-to-be-completed Paul B. Sarbanes Transit Center, the George Avenue store has lost sidewalk and alley access at various times over the past five to 10 years, Warden says. Pedestrian traffic is now more concentrated on Ellsworth Drive, she says, and visitors now wander in with less frequency.
Warden also acknowledges that the Internet has transformed the way people buy music products. “I’ll be 70 soon,” she says. “I don’t really know how to run an Internet company.” Moving to a new location would be expensive, so Warden decided to sell the store. According to property records, Washington Property Company, which owns several other commercial and office spaces in Downtown Silver Spring, bought the building at 8240 Georgia Avenue for $1.7 million last November. Washington Property Company did not immediately return calls for comment.
Running Dale has been Warden’s life’s work. Her parents opened the store in 1950 and she took control between 1970 and 1975. She says she’s ready to retire but looks forward to seeing customers in the subsequent months. And as an added bonus, all merchandise will be reduced until the shop closes.