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03Feb 24

The Former Flower Theatre’s Facade Restoration Is Complete

MPI congratulates the Silver Spring nonprofit MHP for restoring the facade features, which hearken back to the Theatre’s original condition when it opened in 1950. The project’s scope of work included replacement of the iconic Flower neon sign that adorns the top of the theater, relighting of the marquee, restoration of the ticket booth, and other associated repairs.

Want to learn more about this accomplishment and how the restoration will benefit the community? Visit MHP’s website.

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22Jan 24

Peerless Rockville and Bethesda Historical Society Celebrate Big Wins

Rockville’s Historic District Commission on Jan. 18 voted unanimously that the Art Deco Farmers Bank meets multiple criteria for historic designation.  MPI congratulates Peerless Rockville, a MPI Member Organization, for shepherding this process and recommending that the HDC move on to consider other Recent Past sites. Find out more at View MPI’s letter of support.

Art Deco Bank Rockville
Photograph by Peerless Rockville

The Bethesda Historical Society, a MPI Member Organization, formed the nonprofit Bethesda Meeting House Foundation to purchase and restore the “church that named Bethesda” for community use.  Read more about the sale, a brief history of the property, and how you can help at

Bethesda Meeting House
Photograph by Jenna Bloom, MOCO360
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28Dec 23

In Memoriam: Fred Schirrmacher, Builder of Model Railroad Display

Fred Schirmmacher
Credit: Leah L. Jones, Gazette Photographer

Fred Schirmmacher at the B&O Station
Credit: John Sery

“Mr. Fred [Schirrmacher] says, ‘It’s designed to make children smile; that’s what it’s for.’ A model railroad display constructed by the former Silver Spring Model Railroad Society made its grand debut returning in 2011 to its hometown roughly 20 years after its creation. Display features miniature people, tunnels, bridges, mountains, a haunted house, and tiny trains that chug around the clover-loop track. Model was built originally for a 1989 holiday showcase at National Geographic’s Exhibitors’ Hall, then resided at the Gaithersburg Community Museum for 17 years, then headed on to our SS B&O RR Station!”
Article by Jeannete Der Bedrosian, Gazette Staff Reporter, March 2011

In fond memory of Fred Schirrmacher 1941 – 2023

Read his obituary.

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28Jul 23

In Memoriam: Mary Reardon, Historic Preservation and Social Justice Advocate

Mary Reardon
Credit: 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.

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