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

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News and Events around Montgomery County

Maryland Cemetery Preservation Act of 2018

HB877 has been filed in the Maryland General Assembly, headed for
a hearing on February 28 before the House Health & Government Operations Committee. Long overdue, this bill
tackles several obstacles to cemetery protection and preservation and provides incentives for descendants, property
owners, and cemetery advocates. Link to a summary of this bill here. For further
information and to help pass this important legislation, contact Eileen McGuckian at phileen3@gmail.com.

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Petition the Montgomery County Council

SRA 17-01, also passed by the County Council, requires a new full-time
dedicated employee at Montgomery Planning to activate protections for burial sites during subdivision and
development. To ensure that the position is included in the County’s FY19 Operating Budget by the bill effective
date of July 1, 2018, citizens are encouraged to contact the Council this spring, with individual letters and emails,
or/and to sign a petition urging this funding. Click here for a copy of the petition and call 301-468-7331 with any
questions.

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Montgomery County Cemetery Inventory Revisited Off To A Great Start!

Montgomery County Cemetery Inventory Revisited off to a Great Start!

Under the enthusiastic and steady hand of project coordinator Glenn Wallace, this initiative is right on schedule. By the February 9, 2018, effective date of Bill 24-17 — Burial Sites, passed by a unanimous County Council, cemetery advocates were in the field revisiting the initial Montgomery County Cemetery Inventory (MCCI) conducted 2004-2009. Accomplishments thus far include converting the 2009 list of known cemeteries to Excel, revising the survey form, adding newly discovered cemeteries, providing FindaGrave links and creating new entries, coordinating with Montgomery Planning GIS personnel, conducting research on sites identified as Lost or Relocated, and scanning paper files on every known cemetery. Three training sessions were conducted (in Rockville, Silver Spring, and Sugarland) after which volunteer leaders, assistants, and surveyors were given detailed survey packets and assigned to Zones and specific burial sites around the county. The February 10 session focused on African American cemeteries, featured a talk on Burial Societies, and resulted in a list of more than 80 African American sites. Another training session is scheduled for March 10, 11 am-1 pm at Norbeck-Muncaster Recreation Center in Rockville. By mid-February, a dozen forms were completed, and more than 50 volunteers were out conducting surveys and photographing cemeteries.

 

Visit the Historic Cemeteries webpage to find out more about this project! More information will be added to this website as the project progresses.

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Update On The Future Of The Former Silver Spring Library

Update on the future of the former Silver Spring Library

RFPs submitted months ago for the 2.35 acre parcel on Colesville Road, home since 1957 to the Silver Spring Public Library, have been narrowed by County government to two.  Local civic associations teamed up with the Silver Spring Historical Society to convince County government to preserve the library site for parkland and an adaptive reuse of the handsome building that will continue to benefit the community.  This serviceable building is well situated on the total parcel for green space as well as newer uses.  

Local civic associations, Silver Spring Historical Society, and individuals submitted comments on the final two proposals.  MPI’s comments in favor of one of these proposals can be viewed here.

Designed by Rhees Burket, a noted architect with a lifetime of civic and professional leadership, the library is an icon of Montgomery Modern architecture.  The Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired flagship structure came early in the new County library system, when other towns operated facilities out of smaller makeshift buildings.  The Silver Spring Library was a harbinger of mid-century design and of local public services yet to come.  Its open floor plan fills with light, highlighting natural materials of brick and native quarried stone and surrounding hilly landscape, and is considered one of Burket’s best works.

For the time being, you can visit Friends of the Wheaton Library’s Used Book Store at this library.

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Protecting Montgomery County Burial Sites

Protecting Montgomery County Burial Sites

MPI is pleased to report that on October 31, 2017, the Montgomery County Council adopted the first legislation ever to protect local burial sites. Following a public hearing on September 12, receipt of many emails and letters from caring citizens, and two PHED committee meetings in October, the amended bills went to the full Council. With two unanimous votes, the Council took bold first steps to identify and preserve our historic cemeteries. Soon after, the County Executive signed both pieces of legislation into law.

Both of these laws will aid property owners, descendants, and advocates to identify all cemeteries in Montgomery County as well to enable their survival for the appreciation of current and future generations. MPI thanks the lead sponsors of these bills—Council members Berliner, Leventhal, and Rice—and all Council members who voted to protect local burial sites.

Advocates for Montgomery County cemeteries can soon rest a bit easier because local sites will be listed in an official inventory that covers the entire County, including municipalities with their own planning and zoning authority, and that all cemeteries will be protected during the subdivision and development process. This is a solid victory for all of our cemeteries — of whatever size and age, in neglected or good condition, of religious or family background, whether African American or White in origin, or whether currently in the news or quietly waiting in the background to be documented.

Read about historic cemeteries and the new Montgomery County Cemetery Inventory Revisited project.

To read more about the final versions of cemetery legislation passed by the Montgomery County Council, see New Laws Will Help to Protect Montgomery County Cemeteries.

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Historic Preservation in Montgomery County

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MPI Open Houses

The first Saturdays of the month 10 am to 3 pm

At the historic Silver Spring B&O Railroad Station, 8100 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring, MD.

Always FREE

Join us for train-watching, fun, and appreciation!

Saturday, January 6

Open House 10 am – 2 pm (early closure)

POSTPONED!!  STORY HOUR AT THE STATION IS RE-SCHEDULED FOR SAT. MARCH 3RD. THE OPEN HOUSE WILL PROCEED AS SCHEDULED.

Story Hour at the Station  — 11 am (stories, interactive play, and a craft)

Retired Librarian Ginger Wilson, a resident story teller for the Gaithersburg Community Museum, will lead the story time. This program is recommended for children ages 1 – 9.

Saturday, February 3

Open House 10 am – 3 pm

Music Discovery Lab workshop and Instrument Petting Zoo

MPI welcomes Percussion teacher and Takoma Park resident Jason Mullinax and his Music Discovery Lab ! This workshop offers a unique opportunity for “kids” of all ages to create and explore sound through guided play activities.

www.jasonamullinaxlessons.com/music-discovery-lab.html

All winter programs are subject to change in case of bad weather. If questions, visit Facebook page or call building for cancellation info. 301-495-4915.

Handicap parking and some other spots are available around the train station. 
Plenty of parking in the lots and public garage just across Georgia Avenue near the corner of Sligo Avenue. 

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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, is designated on the Montgomery County Master Plan for Historic Preservation, and is protected by an easement held by the Maryland Historical Trust. Visit the Silver Spring B&O Railroad Station tab for more detailed information about station history, open houses, and rentals.

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Getting Started?

New to historic preservation or to 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, this year on June 24 and 25. Check out individual groups and historic sites on the RESOURCES section of this website. And please return here to follow the (future) link to help you get started in Historic Preservation in Montgomery County!

— Under Construction —

Even while this website is under construction, MPI wants you to have the latest news.  
Our full website is coming soon, so please bear with its incompleteness for a while longer.
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