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.
After decades of separation, the Silver Spring Post Office and the historic mural “The Old Tavern” again share the same address. The mural was painted in 1937 by emigre Nicolai Cikovsky for the Silver Spring Post Office. The 6’x16’ oil on canvas depicts black and white Civil War Union soldiers, 1864-65, reading mail and relaxing in front of the Eagle Inn, which stood on the SW corner of present day Georgia Avenue and Colesville Road, in the village then called Sligo.
In 1994 Silver Spring resident Jerry McCoy searched for and unearthed the mural, partnering with Friends of the Library Silver Spring to raise funds for its 1997 conservation and dedication. McCoy founded the Silver Spring Historical Society in 1998.
In 2015, “The Old Tavern” was cleaned and reinstalled in the new Silver Spring Library, with funds raised by Friends of the Library Silver Spring Chapter (FOLSS). On August 31, 2018, the U.S. Postal Service held a ribbon-cutting event for the opening of the SS Post Office at 900 Wayne Avenue. John Sery of Montgomery Preservation (MPI) captured the moment for the December 2018 FOLSS newsletter.
The City of Rockville and Peerless Rockville plan to commemorate this honor on a 2019 date TBD. The 1940 mural by Judson Smith was restored as part of the landmark building’s purchase by the City and re-purposed as the Rockville Police Station in 2012.
In a press release, the U.S. Postal Service stated that the stamp will be sold within a pane of 10 stamps that depict “five different murals designed to add a touch of beauty to Post Office walls and help boost the morale of Americans during the era of the Great Depression.”