Preserving, protecting, and promoting Montgomery County’s rich architectural heritage and historic landscapes.
Events Around Montgomery County
Montgomery County mourns the passing of Mike Dwyer, former Montgomery Parks Historian, on Sunday, May 5. Mike was M-NCPPC’s first historian, with the enviable task of driving a Jeep around to survey sites 1975-76 that became the Locational Atlas and Index of Historic Sites in Montgomery County, Maryland. In 1979, he championed creation of the Ordinance, Montgomery County Master Plan for Historic Preservation, and the HPC, which are the foundations of our program to preserve local historic resources. Mike cared about Park properties, archaeology, mills, non-profit and public preservation projects, always insisting on high standards of documentation and conservation as well as practical uses for historic structures. MPI honored him with The Montgomery Prize in 2000 for his lifetime of work, and he continued to serve as a storehouse of knowledge that he willingly shared. Mike’s observations, dry wit, deadpan humor, tireless energy, and willingness to mentor all of us will be sorely missed.
Ten Montgomery County individuals and groups received 2018 Historic Preservation Awards recently at Seneca Lodge in Boyds. Extraordinary citizens from all corners of the County were honored by their peers and public officials for educational programs, restoration projects, creative stewardship, and partnerships that led to preservation success. An overflow audience cheered each recipient who restored a building or initiated a program to further local history and historic places. The annual event, sponsored by MPI, showcases outstanding achievements in the private, non-profit, and public sectors in Montgomery County. This year, Germantown Historical Society and Boyds Historical Society co-hosted the event.
2018 Awardees are:
Miche Booz Architect was honored for exterior restoration and adaptive reuse of Hammer Hill, a visible and previously endangered Queen Anne-style house in Clarksburg. Now used as a medical office, the former residence retains beautiful architectural features. County Councilmember At Large Evan Glass presented the award.
Accepting the County Executive’s Award was historian Jamie F. Kuhns. While most nominations come from the public, this award is selected by the County Executive after recommendation by the Historic Preservation Commission and its staff. This year, County Executive Marc Elrich selected Jamie Kuhn’s scholarly biography of Josiah Henson, which details Henson’s resilience in overcoming slavery in Maryland to hold a place in international history.
KC Associates and John Stone were applauded for restoration of an Art Deco commercial storefront in Takoma Park. Exterior restoration of 7000 Carroll Avenue included refinishing signature chevron spandrel panels and meticulously repairing 44 original windows. Steve Knight, president of the Art Deco Society of Washington, DC, bestowed the award.
Pleasant Plains of Damascus chapter of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution was honored for documentation and rehabilitation of historic Purdum Cemetery in Cedar Grove. With Purdum family members, the group brought new life to the resting place of an early Damascus family for the benefit of the community. The award was given by Glenn Wallace, director of the Montgomery County Cemetery Inventory-Revisited project.
Carrie and Tom Witkop received an award in recognition of their rescue and rehabilitation of an 1889 Victorian in the Capitol View Park historic district. Formerly in ruinous condition, today the house is a charming residence. Presenting was Rebeccah Ballo, supervisor of the Historic Preservation program.
The Wayne Goldstein Preservation Advocacy Award was earned by Boyds Historical Society and Boyds Civic Association for decades of working together to improve multiple aspects of their historic rural community. Richard Madaleno, Director, Office of Management and Budget, presented awards to Miriam Schoenbaum and Hammet Hough.
Special Achievement Awards were given by Reemberto Rodriguez, Director, Silver Spring Regional Center, to Jerry A. McCoy for educational programs, publications, and advocacy to preserve the history of Silver Spring, and to Gary Mosteller for design of a Peerless Rockville homes tour booklet, by Nancy Pickard, Executive Director of Peerless Rockville.
The Menare Foundation was honored for painstaking restoration of the 1882 farmhouse, home of the Button Farm Living History Center on Black Rock Road in Boyds. Honoring Tony Cohen and Steve Gillick was County Councilmember Craig Rice, District 2.
The Montgomery Prize went to the Rustic Roads Advisory Committee for more than 30 years of preserving our landscape heritage. This award honors continuous outstanding achievement in furthering history and preservation in Montgomery County. Accepting the award from County Councilmember Andrew Friedson, District 1, were RRAC committee members and staff.
MPI is proud to report completion of this wide-ranging, cutting-edge, urgent, amazing project.
Coordinator Glenn Wallace and project director Eileen McGuckian describe MCCI-R as a significant update of the Montgomery County Cemetery Inventory in terms of data, technology, and accessibility. During 2018, staff trained 90 volunteers to visit all known burial sites in Montgomery County. Project volunteers assessed conditions, completed survey forms, noted GPS coordinates, conducted additional research, and took a variety of photographs to capture the current environment. Staff converted all previous efforts into Excel spreadsheets, added new sites and ID numbers, provided FindaGrave links or created new entries, and utilized maps and other sources to garner additional data.
As a result of this project, solid new information is available on Montgomery County cemeteries. Each survey contains additional fields (ownership, safety concerns, designation status). New sites were added, some sites believed lost were found, and a few sites erroneously thought to be cemetery locations were removed from the list. Another result—bolstered by two local protection laws passed in 2017, effective in 2018—was more attention to and concern about local burial sites.
The Final Report, submitted in December 2018, includes Summaries and Statistics derived from MCCI-R project, Recommendations for Moving Forward and Next Steps, and multiple specific lists of sites: endangered sites to watch, to survey with GPS, in need of clean-up and improvements, African American sites, sites to revisit in winter and those pending further research.
In a session where major issues of gun control, school safety and funding, climate change and medical coverage captured the headlines, the General Assembly took time to protect Maryland’s history and sacred burial sites. The effort required 2 bold sponsors, a core group of resolute advocates, 5 House and Senate committees, and hundreds of emails and phone calls to pass the first burial sites legislation since the 1990s. Governor Larry Hogan signed HB877 and SB1242 on May 8, and the laws went into effect a month later.
While half of the changes proposed by the Coalition to Protect Maryland Burial Sites and allies did not survive in committees, the Coalition is happy to report that starting on June 1, 2018, descendants and caretakers gained easier access, owners are now required to consult with the Maryland Historical Trust about conservation treatment, and Maryland counties and towns are authorized to provide a property tax credit related to burial sites.
Appreciation goes to bill sponsors Delegate Tony Knotts of Prince George’s County and Senator Joan Carter Conway of Baltimore City, to the Maryland Association of Counties, David Zinner, Funeral Consumers Alliance, The War of 1812 Society in Maryland, and to all Marylanders who urged legislators to improve state law for the benefit of abandoned and neglected cemeteries.
The precise new wording in sections of the Annotated Code of Maryland can be found on www.cpmbs.org
Historic Preservation in Montgomery County
The first Saturdays of the month 10 am to 3 pm
Always FREE! Bring the whole family! Each month brings a new program. Visit this website again as details are posted.
Real train spotting, toy train play set, permanent model train display, kid’s toy engine to ride, videos, including “Next Stop Silver Spring,” gift shop, refreshments. For all ages.
Upcoming Open Houses:There are no upcoming events at this time.
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.
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 23 and 24. 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!