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Preserving, protecting, and promoting Montgomery County’s rich architectural heritage and historic landscapes

B&O Station
Bowman, Upton House 2010 Trefethian
Silver Spring Public Library
Zachariah Waters Cemetery Complete
HAPPENING HERE IN MONTGOMERY COUNTY

Calendar

History Happy Hour: The Patuxent River, March 8, 6:30 – 8:00 pm

Sandy Spring Museum presents their long-running History Happy Hour speakers series with Dr. Ralph Eshelman, a specialist in maritime history, War of 1812, polar exploration, vertebrate paleontology, and cultural resource management.

Be a Judge for History Day, March 9, 8:00 am – 2:00 pm

Volunteer to evaluate Montgomery County student projects – research, exhibits, performance, websites, and more. In-person event is an “upper” for all participants!

The Beauty of the Ag Reserve : Historic Medley’s Photography Exhibition, March 10, 2:00 – 5:00 pm

The Historic Medley District invites you to attend the opening of their photography contest and exhibition at Poolesville’s Old Town Hall/Bank building.

Kensington’s Warner Circle: Past, Present & Future, March 18, 7:00 – 8:00 pm

Kensington Historical Society will share the history of Warner Circle, the Mansion & Carriage House, park preservation efforts & Mansion development plans.

April Open House at the B&O Station, April 6, 10:00 am – 2:00 pm

Enjoy activities for kids and adults, including real train spotting, toy train play set, permanent model train display, and kid’s toy engine to ride, plus videos, programs, and pop-up displays.

 

Preservation Maryland Heritage Fund Applications Are Being Accepted

The Heritage Fund is accepting applications through March 29. Open once a year, the fund is intended to serve the needs of tangible Maryland cultural resources that are not likely to be met through existing Preservation Maryland and Maryland Historical Trust programs. Eligible projects fall into three general categories: education & research, planning & feasibility, and repair & rehabilitation. Learn more.

National Capital Trolley Museum Seeks Executive Director

The museum seeks an experienced and dynamic Executive Director to continue its mission as a cultural and community leader.  Download the job description.

Heritage Montgomery Releases New Transportation Brochure

This large, fold-out brochure documents the extensive history of transportation within the county. Learn more about “Rivers, Roads & Rails: Transportation in Montgomery County.”

Local Preservation Victories

Peerless Rockville and Bethesda Historical Society celebrate big wins. Learn more about their achievements.

Monocacy Cemetery Celebrated Wreaths Across America

The third annual Wreaths Across America Day took place at Monocacy Cemetery in Beallsville on December 16, 2023. Read more information and view photos.

More Change Coming to Silver Spring — Metro Branch Trail Construction Has Started

Preparation to construct a new bridge across Georgia Avenue for the Metropolitan Branch Hiker-Biker Trail commenced on November 20, 2023. A temporary security fence will be placed around the station during this time; access will be through a pedestrian gate.

The parking area adjacent to the historic B&O Silver Spring Station will remain closed until further notice. Limited parking will still be available at the lot in front of Progress Place. Additional parking is also available at county garage #4 at 8100 Fenton St. plus public lot #18 at 938 Philadelphia Ave. View additional information and map. Check back for updates.

  
MPI 2023 Fall NewsletterDownload our newsletter.

A Tale of Two Historic Churches

With religion a vital aspect of life for early settlers, places of worship are among our oldest and most valued historic structures and landscapes. Two Montgomery County churches are currently in the news. Find out more.

Bethesda Meeting House

35th Historic Preservation Awards Starred Top-Notch Honorees and Eloquent Presenters

Recognizing extraordinary citizens who conducted excellent projects and programs, an enthusiastic audience celebrated recent preservation triumphs on October 14 in Gaithersburg. Six Montgomery County individuals and groups were honored this year with presentations by public officials, historians, and admirers.

The Awards continued MPI’s tradition of combining friendliness and good food with recognition of excellent projects and programs. Public officials, local historians, and others familiar with each awardee presented heart-felt descriptions in person and on video. In the words of one attendee, “The Awardees were so deserving…. All went seamlessly without a hint of all the work that went into it.” All gathered at historic Grace UM Church were impressed with the great preservation work occurring in Montgomery County.

View more information on the 2022 Award Winners.

Elrich with 2022 Awardees
County Executive Marc Elrich with 2022 Awardees

MPI’s 36th Awards Ceremony will be held in Fall 2025. Nominations are now open and due in Spring 2025. Find out more about MPI’s Preservation Awards.

The Former Flower Theatre’s Facade Restoration Is Complete

MPI congratulates the Silver Spring nonprofit MHP for restoring the facade features, which hearken back to the Theatre’s original condition when it opened in 1950. Learn more.

Fred Schirrmacher, Builder of Model Railroad Display

Fred Schirmmacher
Credit: Leah L. Jones, Gazette Photographer

“Mr. Fred [Schirrmacher] says, ‘It’s designed to make children smile; that’s what it’s for.’ A model railroad display constructed by the former Silver Spring Model Railroad Society made its grand debut returning in 2011 to its hometown roughly 20 years after its creation. Display features miniature people, tunnels, bridges, mountains, a haunted house, and tiny trains that chug around the clover-loop track. Model was built originally for a 1989 holiday showcase at National Geographic’s Exhibitors’ Hall, then resided at the Gaithersburg Community Museum for 17 years, then headed on to our SS B&O RR Station!”
Article by Jeannete Der Bedrosian, Gazette Staff Reporter, March 2011

Fred Schirmmacher at the B&O Station
Credit: John Sery

In fond memory of Fred Schirrmacher 1941 – 2023

Read his obituary.

Mary Reardon, Historic Preservation and Social Justice Advocate

Credit: Alan Bowser

MPI is sad to report the passing of Mary Reardon on July 16.  After moving to Silver Spring in the early 1980s and until her untimely death, Mary dedicated her considerable talents and passion to making the world a better place. She advocated for the respect of history, excellence in architecture, sensible development, affordable housing, and fairness to all.

A number of downtown Silver Spring treasures are still standing due to Mary’s work: Canada Dry Building, Falkland Apartments, Montgomery Arms, and Hecht’s Building. Most recently, she was working with others to preserve Weller’s Dry Cleaning building and the historic Jesup Blair mansion and park.

Mary Reardon was adventurous, thoughtful, intelligent, thorough, kind, and fun to be with. From every aspect of her life Mary left friends and admirers, many of whom were honored to connect with and visit her in her final months. Mary was a founding member and Preservation Chair of Silver Spring Historical Society, and she played a strong role as Vice President of MPI.  Read her complete obituary.

B&O Station Safety Measures and Event Rentals

Montgomery Preservation continues to prioritize the health and safety of our visitors, volunteers, and guests, with social distancing and masking policies that follow CDC and Montgomery County rules.

The station will be closed for rentals for a period of time due to construction of a new bridge to carry the Metropolitan Branch Hiker-Biker Trail over Georgia Avenue. Construction will be accompanied by fencing and improved security. Find out more information about event rentals.

Communities and volunteers along the rail line are celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Metropolitan Branch of the B&O Railroad, which in 1873 began service that forever changed the lives of Montgomery Countians. Watch this space for railroad themed events, activities, programs, speakers — before, during, and beyond the anniversary month of May 2023.

 

Train Excursion Celebrated the 150th anniversary of The Met

Thanks to excursion riders — all 712 of you!  We heard how much you enjoyed the Memorial Day train ride from Silver Spring to Brunswick on The Met branch of the B&O Railroad.

“Wow.  Simply Wow. What a wonderful event! Our grandkids had a blast. How fun :-)”

It was a unique and wonderful trip!”

“I had a great time and it looked like everyone else did too!  I especially want to know how you made the rain stay away until after the event : )    Thank you for putting together such a cool thing for the County!”

What happens when hundreds of rail fans — from young kids to adults young at heart — board a special MARC train at six historic rail stops in Montgomery County for a daytime excursion?  All enjoyed a memorable, smoothly engineered day in the Maryland countryside, that in addition to beautiful scenery included some narrated history and geography, plus a visit to the friendly town of Brunswick. Almost half of the riders boarded at Kensington, where townspeople gathered for a full weekend of events. Many learned about the excursion from Susan Soderberg’s excellent talks on The Met’s history, architecture, and engineering feats; others heard about it from friends and neighbors in Silver Spring, Garrett Park, Rockville, Gaithersburg, Germantown, and Dickerson.  All marveled at The Met line’s surviving historic stations and enjoyed their time in Brunswick. They returned home with a souvenir Excursion Guide and button, Heritage Days flyer, information from Operation Lifesaver, and wonderful memories. A paper copy of the Excursion Guide, which describes all of the stops in Montgomery County, is available for free at the Silver Spring station.

Historic Preservation in Montgomery County

Open House program

Open House at the Station

Join us for the Silver Spring B&O Railroad Station Open Houses, the first Saturday of each month from 10 am – 2 pm. Admission is free. Enjoy real train spotting, toy train play set, permanent model train display, kid’s toy engine to ride, programs and pop-up displays for adults, and videos, including “Next Stop Silver Spring.” We continue to prioritize the health and safety of our visitors, volunteers, and guests with social distancing and masking policies that follow CDC and Montgomery County rules.

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Silver Spring B&O Station

The historic train station is a beloved historic landmark and a community resource. After a disastrous car accident that severely damaged the station’s main facade in 1997, MPI rescued the station and, with assistance from private and public sources, restored it to its 1945 appearance. Today this museum of 20th century rail history regularly welcomes visitors, meetings, celebrations, and the general public. The station is listed in the National Register of Historic Places, designated on the Montgomery County Master Plan for Historic Preservation, and protected by an easement held by the Maryland Historical Trust. Learn more about station history, open houses, and rentals.

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Getting Started?

New to historic preservation or how it works in Montgomery County? Visiting and learning about Montgomery County’s bountiful historic sites is a great way to start. Getting involved with any of the groups that share your interest in local historic places is the next step. Do you prefer Victorian homes, African American history, former schoolhouses, public buildings, Modernist architecture, rural cemeteries, or transportation history? Montgomery County has them all! You can sample local history at Montgomery County Heritage Days. Check out individual groups and historic sites on our Resources section.

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