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MPI Welcomes Kathy Lyons and Mark Edwards to the Board of Directors

At MPI’s 2024 Gathering and Annual Meeting, MPI introduced our two new Board members, Kathy Lyons and Mark Edwards.

Kathy Lyons is a former Corporate Executive having worked as a Vice President in two Fortune 500 companies.  She has also served on multiple boards including the Sandy Spring Museum and the Montgomery County Farm Bureau.  Her volunteer work has spanned decades and includes serving as her parish’s Social Concerns Director, being a longtime 4H Leader, a lifetime member of the Montgomery County Agricultural Fair and renovation consultant for OBGC where she was awarded the Chairman’s Award and Citizen of the Year for her leadership in the complete restoration of historic Falling Green.  The team she coordinated was later recognized with both a Montgomery Preservation and Maryland Historical Trust award for their efforts.

Kathy and her husband, John, purchased historic Willow Grove in 1996 and immediately embarked on her most notable renovation accomplishments: the full-scale renovation and restoration of the 8.94 acre property to return it to a now working farm.  Kathy planned and oversaw the complete restoration of the circa 1830 farmhouse, inside and out, along with the construction of an addition.  Although not required to (as Willow Grove was not then included on the MD Historic Atlas), Kathy met with and reviewed plans with staff of the Montgomery County HPC.  In 1999 the Lyons received a Montgomery Preservation Award in recognition of these efforts.  Over the years, the Lyons have fully restored all outbuildings, including a carriage shed (remodeled into a garage), a hay barn (renovated to include animal stalls, tack room and hay/equipment storage) and a spring house which was recognized by MPI in 2003.  Sandy Spring Museum recognized the Lyons in 2004 “For their outstanding restoration and preservation of Willow Grove.”  The final and second largest preservation project at Willow Grove involved a 20×160’ circa 1900 chicken coop.  Specifically, this entailed the renovation for farm use of part of the building, and the tear down and rebuild on the same footprint (repurposing many historic materials) of the remainder of the coop into a guest/pool house.  Upon completion, HPC commissioners toured the renovated structure as they couldn’t believe the Lyons had committed to undertake and achieve this ambitious project.

Mark Edwards has over 40 years of experience in the analysis, preservation, protection, and interpretation of historic properties.  Prior to his joining AECOM as Architectural History Program Manager in 1999, he served as the State Historic Preservation Officer for Georgia (1994-1998) and the Deputy SHPO for Maryland (1976-1994).  Much of his work at the Maryland Historical Trust focused on the development of the state’s nationally-recognized historic preservation planning and historic property survey and inventory program, and on the development of interpretation programs at three of the state’s heritage museums, including Historic St. Mary’s City, Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum, and the Banneker-Douglass Museum in Annapolis.

Mr. Edwards has extensive experience in historic preservation planning and the development of historic contexts, having co-authored Maryland’s historic preservation plan (1984), as well as directing preparation of Georgia’s state preservation plan, entitled New Vision: The Historic Preservation Plan for Georgia (1995-1996).  In addition, Mr. Edwards has facilitated numerous public planning meetings to help reach consensus on complex and sometimes difficult issues.  Examples of this work include facilitation of over 20 public participation meetings in Maryland and Georgia to develop statewide prehistoric and historic contexts (including definition of geographic regions, time periods, property types, and integrity levels), facilitation of Georgia statewide summit on the future of the state archaeology program (1995), organization and facilitation of major statewide affordable housing and historic preservation meeting in Georgia (1995), and facilitation of “20th Century-Near Past Historic Properties” panel at the March 1999 Transportation Research Board-sponsored National Forum on Assessing Historic Significance for Transportation Projects, held in Washington, DC.  For AECOM, he managed multiple projects that developed regional and national historic contexts, including the creation of a Nationwide Context Study for Postal Facilities Constructed or Occupied Between 1940 and 1971 for the U.S. Postal Service.

At AECOM, Mr. Edwards managed a number of projects focusing on the interpretation of historic landscapes, buildings, and archaeological sites.  Working with Howard + Revis Design Company, he assisted the National Park Service on the development of an interpretive heritage wayside system for Jones Point Park, a unit of the George Washington Memorial Parkway in Alexandria, VA.  (This project is associated with 13+ years of professional work that supported the Federal Highway Administration, the Virginia Department of Transportation on the replacement of the Woodrow Wilson Bridge and 5 major interchanges outside of Washington DC.)  AECOM directed focus group meetings which led to completion of a new Long-Range Interpretive Plan for this 60-acre site, rich with a variety of prehistoric and historic archaeological sites, 18th  century military fortifications, the first boundary stone laid for the Federal city of Washington, DC, an early-19th  century ropewalk site, a mid-19th  century lighthouse, and 20th  century military and industrial sites including the remains of a WWI shipbuilding yard.  Other interpretation and education projects include the development of a commemorative interpretive plan for exterior and interior spaces at the new Food and Drug Administration headquarters located on the historic White Oak Naval Ordnance Center campus in Silver Spring, MD.  Mr. Edwards also worked with team member Rhodeside & Harwell as a member of an interdisciplinary team public planning process that developed concepts and themes for a new urban archaeological park in Louisville, KY.

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