Preserving, protecting, and promoting Montgomery County’s rich architectural heritage and historic landscapes.
MPI looks forward to holding in-person programs and welcoming the public to the B&O Station in the not-too-distant future. However, the safety and comfort of our visitors and volunteers remains paramount, so we continue to monitor the coronavirus pandemic and its effects on Montgomery County. MPI volunteers are available to answer questions and connect with you via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Get Involved with Re-Imagining MPI
After three decades, MPI is moving to streamline the organization in order to more effectively meet our goals. We will re-imagine programs and outreach, and diversify the Board and team of volunteers to reflect a variety of backgrounds and skill sets. We invite you to help guide the future of preservation in Montgomery County by volunteering to join one of our committees or to serve on the Board of Directors.
Email email@example.com to ask questions and express your interest.
Request for National Register of Historic Places listings
MPI is creating a list of National Register of Historic Places sites in Montgomery County along the MARC Brunswick line and along I-495 and I-270. The goal is to determine the potential damage that could result from adding a third track to the North or East side of the MARC Brunswick Line or by widening I-495 and I-270 to add “managed lanes.”
Click titles to learn more about each event.
Peerless Rockville, for Frieda’s Cottage designation as National Historic Landmark (read more)
Haiti Cemetery Association, for Maryland Historical Trust Award (read more)
Bethesda, for reaching the age of 150. Visit www.bethesdahistoricalsociety.org to learn how Bethesda is celebrating all year long.
The Quince Orchard Community, Green family, and Fairhaven UMC congregation for the documentary film “Too Precious to Lose”. See link.
We’re missing our friends great and small.
Please email us with your favorite moment, photo or drawing of your family at the B&O station. firstname.lastname@example.org
We will share on our web and Facebook pages. Hope to see you all soon!
The 2020 Awards for Historic Preservation are a work in progress.
Co-directors Sandy Heiler and Kathie Mack are busy organizing presenters, awardees, and other contributors into a celebratory movie.
Congratulations to 2020 Award winners:
- Restoration of a historic outbuilding in one of County’s oldest burial grounds
(Rockville Cemetery Association and Peter Allen)
- Rescue and rehabilitation of an 1810 barn in Ashton
(Ali Azimi Bolourian and Ahmad Azimi Bolourian)
- Michael F. Dwyer Award for research and publication of a history of Sugarland, a community built by former slaves and preserved by descendants
(Gwendora Reese, Suzanne Johnson, Jeff Sypeck)
- Wayne Goldstein Award for Preservation Advocacy for protecting historic sites in Kensington
- Compatible addition to an early 20th century house in Takoma Park
(Merlin Hughes, Catherine O’Sullivan, Paul Treseder)
- Adaptive re-use of an early 20th century auto repair shop in Brookeville
(Tim and Julie Hussman, Miche Booz)
- Rehabilitation of a 1920s roadside attraction in Germantown
- Lifetime Achievement award for documenting and publicizing the history of Bethesda and Chevy Chase
- County Executive’s award for restoration and rehabilitation of the Poole Store and Upton Darby house in Seneca
(Montgomery Parks, Cultural Resources Stewardship team)
Educator and Historian Nina H. Clarke
Nina Honemond Clarke, renown educator and historian, passed away on March 4, 2021, aged 103. She was respected by educators, historians and preservationists in Montgomery County and greatly admired for her accomplishments, tenacity, and grace. MPI is one of many organizations that recognized her contributions to our history, especially African American history.
Mrs. Clarke was born in 1917 and raised in a small Black community in Montgomery County, the 9th of 11 children born to Percival J. and Sara Copeland Honemond. She graduated from Rockville Colored High School in 1934 and attended Bowie State College where she received a teaching certificate. At the age of 19, she was smitten with her first elementary school students. Later she completed a BA and MA in education, then took additional courses at local universities. This extraordinary teacher never quit learning.
She achieved these goals when it was a major challenge, and the story of that effort left listeners humbled. Her message to every audience inspired respect and courage to act, continuing long after her retirement. She was the first Black teacher to be assigned to a White class. Her students loved her, and many remained close to her long afterward.
Nina Clarke was a force for Black education and shared her experiences and insights freely without blame or rancor. She spoke to local history groups and wrote about Montgomery County’s African American schools and churches, the heart of most communities. She described for us the struggle to live and work here despite the barriers of discrimination. At her talks, often given while in a rocking chair surrounded by youngsters, listeners wondered how anyone could deny this intelligent, beautiful, dedicated woman who loved and embraced education for all. Montgomery County benefited from her lessons of a hopefully bygone day.
She was also dedicated to her church, Jerusalem-Mt. Pleasant United Methodist Church in Rockville. Starting as a bi-racial congregation in 1835, and joining the Washington Mission Conference after Emancipation, Jerusalem became the center of civil rights activity in Montgomery County in the 20th century. Miss Nina’s history of her church expanded into a more extensive effort, History of Nineteenth Century Black Churches in Maryland and Washington, DC. With Lillian B. Brown, she researched and wrote History of the Black Schools of Montgomery County, Maryland, 1872-1961. Both are now out of print and priced as rare books if they can be found.
When the church parsonage was damaged by fire, she campaigned to raise funds and convince people to save and reuse the hand-constructed building. The insurance company declared it a total loss and offered a check, but today it remains in use as Cordelia House.
For all of this and more, Nina Honemond Clarke was awarded the Montgomery County Award for Lifetime Achievement in Heritage Education for her leadership, and for her oral and written histories of a time when your skin color mattered more than your dedication and contributions. She had both qualities along with the love and respect of her colleagues and friends. MPI and all who appreciate history and education will miss Nina Honemond Clarke. MPI sends our condolences to her family. We, and Montgomery County, share your loss.
MPI temporarily halts programs and activities at the B&O Station
The historic Silver Spring B&O Station remains temporarily closed, in support of our nation-wide effort to contain the spread of COVID-19. All public visits, programs, rentals, open houses, and events are postponed until further notice. Safety is our prime consideration. Watch this page for announcement of a re-opening date as soon as this is possible.
Meanwhile, many of your favorite history nonprofits are presenting virtual programs and posting a wide variety of on-line exhibits, talks, podcasts, and more. Visit montgomerypreservation.org/preservation-and-history-organizations to find convenient links to a wide variety of local, Montgomery County, and Maryland groups.
If you have a question or need to connect with an MPI representative, contact us at email@example.com
A Statement from Montgomery Preservation, June 2020
Black Lives Matter, Black People and Historic Places Matter
Montgomery Preservation is committed to promoting and protecting historic places in Montgomery County — preserving old and modern landmarks as well as the landscapes that are important to everyone who lives, works, and plays here. The experience of African Americans here, free and enslaved, is the history of Montgomery County. Preserving the evidence of that history leads to concern about historic schools and churches, homes and stores, burial sites and social halls. MPI stands in solidarity with the black communities that have survived slavery, Jim Crow restrictions, and dislocation of traditional settlements.
MPI unites with colleagues everywhere to declare that Black History and Black Lives Matter.
As current incidents connect the past to the present, MPI pledges to continue to highlight the contributions that all persons of every color and faith have made, and to support, promote, document, advocate for, and celebrate the people and places that represent our past.
Historic Preservation in Montgomery County
Open House Program
MPI Open House programs at the Silver Spring B&O Railroad station the first Saturday of each month from 10 am – 3 pm.
This is a drop-in program for families. Admission is free. All children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
Due to the COVID pandemic, no upcoming events are currently available.
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.
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!