Sunday, June 26, 2016
Heritage Day in downtown Silver Spring
FREE ACTIVITIES morning and afternoon

MORNING Bike/Picnic Tour of Historic Silver Spring --
10 am to Noon(ish)
Start at B&O Railroad Station, 8100 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring

Join Silver Spring Historical Society president Jerry A. McCoy on a bike tour of some of downtown Silver Spring's most historic places. Participants will meet at 10 am at the 1945 Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Station for a brief tour of the interior. The tour will proceed to Acorn Park, site of the original "silver" spring and the "World's Largest Acorn" (really!). We will end at the 1850 Moorings Mansion in Jesup Blair Park, the only extant country estate of three that belonged to the Blair family whose patriarch was Francis Preston Blair Sr., founder of Silver Spring. There we will picnic under some of downtown Silver Spring's oldest surviving trees.

Participants will provide their own bikes, helmets and lunches. The distance covered is less than one mile. Please ride your bike to the railroad station as on-site parking is not guaranteed. In the event of rain, the tour will be cancelled. For further information contact Jerry A. McCoy at sshistory@yahoo.com or 301-537-1253

AFTERNOON Open House at Silver Spring B&O Railroad Station – noon to 4 pm Working model train displays by Riverdale & Rockville Model Railroaders Clubs, children’s play area, family-friendly activities, refreshments, exhibits, and a covered platform ideal for watching CSX, Amtrak and Metro trains. 301-495-4915

FOR INFORMATION ABOUT MORE GREAT PLACES, GROUPS, AND ACTIVITIES DURING HERITAGE DAYS -- June 25-26, 2016 – click here

No events held on July 2-4 weekend.

Saturday, August 6, at the Silver Spring B&O Railroad Station
Public Open House 10 am to 3 pm

Exhibit, Talk, & Tour:
“Early Women of Architecture in Maryland”

Women have been practicing architecture professionally in Maryland for over 80 years, yet little is known about their lives or their contributions to the profession. The Women in Architecture Committee (WIA)­­­ of AIABaltimore, in collaboration with the Baltimore Architecture Foundation and Morgan State University, has embarked on a project to assemble the stories of these early women who contributed to architecture in Maryland.

Featured in this exhibit are 12 female architects, including Katherine Cutler Ficken (Silver Spring resident and first female architect registered in Maryland, 1936), Rose Isabel Greely (first licensed female architect in Washington, DC, 1926), Chloethiel Woodard Smith (well-known 1950s-1990s with buildings in Rockville and Bethesda), and Shirley Kerr Kennard (Chevy Chase resident, designed projects in Bethesda and Chevy Chase).

Exhibit Curator Jillian Storms, AIA, will present an exhibit talk and tour at the B&O Station, then lead a tour of nearby Ficken-designed buildings.

Public Open House 10 am to 3 pm
At the historic Silver Spring B&O Railroad Station, 8100 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring, MD Celebrate summer in a friendly local landmark with trains, decorations, music, refreshments, and history! Free open house on the first Saturday of every month, January-December (weather permitting), except July. Montgomery Preservation and Silver Spring Historical Society co-sponsor this family-friendly event to introduce the community to this historic building. Enjoy HO scale model railroad display, railroad photos, arts and crafts, and the perfect location for train spotting! Free refreshments are provided. Limited on-site parking is available.

May is Preservation Month: “This Place Matters”

Historic Preservation Month Proclamation
On May 17, 2016, the Montgomery County Council recognized organizations dedicated to preserving the rich history of Montgomery County in a ceremony declaring “Historic Preservation Month.” The proclamation celebrates the contributions of local history and places to the life we enjoy here. This year’s theme, selected by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, is “This Place Matters,” acknowledgment that buildings from the past often have special meaning for individuals and communities alike.

Montgomery County Councilman Hans Riemer recognized the hard work of non-profit groups, preservation professionals, and the Historic Preservation Commission in promoting a continuing presence for the County’s past in today’s world. Photo courtesy of Montgomery County Government.

Taste the World in Fenton Village

MPI Band at Fenton Market
On May 15, 2016, as part of “Taste the World in Fenton Village,” Electric Train Set Dance Band performed at the Silver Spring Railroad Station. Photo courtesy of Jerry McCoy.

Watch this space for MPI's sensational new website, coming soon!!

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Montgomery Preservation and the Metropolitan Branch Hiker-Biker Trail

MPI has always welcomed the planned Metropolitan Branch Trail as a public amenity near its property, the historic Silver Spring B&O Railroad Station at 8100 Georgia Avenue. For nearly 15 years, MPI has met with County agencies and citizens to accommodate the Hiker-Biker Trail as it passes through Silver Spring, parallel to and across Georgia Avenue and through our property. However, as this plan moved into design stage and Progress Place was introduced into the small space that currently supports neighboring uses, it became apparent that the close-by trail alignment might so negatively impact MPI as to put us out of business. This summary is written to clarify the facts and provide accurate information regarding MPI and the proposed Trail.

MPI is a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving and protecting Montgomery County’s historic places. In 1997, when a car jumped the curb and smashed in the front door of the Silver Spring Railroad Station, the building’s owner was ready to demolish it. The community rose up in arms, and CSX thereafter offered the Station to Montgomery County. When County government declined to take the Station, MPI stepped up to accept the building with a tiny piece of land and to raise funds to restore it. MPI and the Silver Spring Historical Society successfully nominated it to the National Register of Historic Places and to the Montgomery County Master Plan for Historic Preservation, which gave the Station the historic recognition that it deserved and made it eligible for restoration funding.

MPI independently devised restoration plans and cost estimates, then raised almost $600,000 to bring this beloved landmark back to life. This was accomplished by a creative matching of State and Federal funds, private donations, enthusiastic support from County Executive Doug Duncan, and assistance from County revitalization funds earmarked for Silver Spring. Restoration was complete in November 2002, when the Station returned to its opening day appearance of December 1945.

Since 2002, the Silver Spring B&O Station has been open to the public for tours and open houses, rented for meetings and parties, and available for special community events. Once condemned, it has been meticulously restored, with original waiting room, ticket counter, chrome furniture, terrazzo floor, telephone booth, lockers, and bulletin boards. Exhibits on the history of Silver Spring and the station are maintained by the Silver Spring Historical Society and MPI. A canopy and bench near the tracks offer a safe place for all ages to train watch.

MPI has long cooperated with MCDOT to facilitate a route across the Station property. In 2005, MPI learned that the County’s proposal would take the entire rear platform and most of the parking. The effect of this alignment was to separate the Station from the railroad tracks, add more safety and coordination issues, and severely limit MPI’s use of its property. As would any property owner fearful of losing its business, MPI stood up for its right to continue its stewardship in Silver Spring and to welcome the public to this historic site. Some in the private and public sector have criticized MPI for protecting its interests, casting us as obstructionists. It has never been MPI’s goal to prevent the Trail, only to ensure that the Trail would not leave MPI unable to use its property.

After detailed discussions, the County, MPI, and the Maryland Historical Trust jointly agreed upon a conceptual alignment for the MBT around the Station property. There is much design and layout work to be done before construction begins in 2018. And with the Trail will come a need to identify new parking options, to attract additional volunteers at the station, and to carry the burden of increased maintenance costs.

Eileen McGuckian, president, Montgomery Preservation Inc.
June 2016

Support MPI

There are many ways you can support MPI's preservation efforts. Become a member of MPI or donate to the Wayne Goldstein Memorial Fund or the Robert P. Davis Memorial Fund.