Preserving, protecting, and promoting Montgomery County’s rich architectural heritage and historic landscapes
Montgomery Historical Trust’s Virtual Roadshow
Wednesday, December 6
Learn about Maryland Historical Trust’s funding opportunities! View more information.
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 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.
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.
Germantown Museum of Banking
Share your stories
The Germantown Historical Society is creating a Museum of Banking History inside this historic bank building that closed in 1988. They are looking for stories from bank customers and employees, photos of the interior and exterior, and artifacts – any items related to this bank. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 301-972-0795.
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 a masking policy that follows CDC and Montgomery County rules. Masking is optional inside and around the building.
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.
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.
35th Annual 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.
You can see the list of Awards on the cover of the Fall 2023 newsletter on this page. Photos are courtesy of Montgomery County.
Mary Reardon, Historic Preservation and Social Justice Advocate
Photograph by 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.
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 at the Station
Join us for MPI Open House programs at the Silver Spring B&O Railroad station the first Saturday of each month from 10 am – 2 pm. Admission is free. This is a drop-in program and all children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. MPI will keep close watch on COVID numbers to determine on a month-by-month basis whether an in-person public program can be presented. Please return to this webpage for updates. In accordance with Montgomery County public policy, mask-wearing indoors is optional. While we feel that the wearing of masks indoors is still beneficial, we are leaving that decision to our individual visitors.
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. Learn more 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. Check out individual groups and historic sites on our RESOURCES section. And please return here to follow the (future) link to help you get started in Historic Preservation in Montgomery County!