Roadside Montgomery

Posted: by & filed under Design.

The exuberant mid-century modern design of commercial signs captures the entrepreneurial spirit of mom and pop shops that thrived during the post-World War II population boom of Montgomery County. With loud colors and catchy shapes, the quirky signs howled for the attention of passing motorists. In recent years, the style has been dubbed Googie, after… Read more »

Putting a value on historic preservation, revisited

Posted: by & filed under Architecture, Places.

I like to revisit posts I have done. Not long ago I wrote about putting a value on historic preservation. Three recent developments bring me back to the subject. First, the Historic Preservation Commission recently approved 39 applications for the county’s historic preservation tax credits. The 39 projects represent nearly $1.5 million in private investment… Read more »

Putting a value on historic preservation

Posted: by & filed under Architecture, Design, Places.

The value of historic preservation is often expressed in terms that are difficult to quantify. We are preserving cultural patrimony, maintaining a sense of place, safeguarding our architectural heritage. But what if we could hang a number on the value of historic preservation?  Actually, we can. Look at tax credits issued for rehabbing historic properties…. Read more »

Operations Research Institute (1963), 1400 Spring Street

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This sleek blue building, constructed in 1963, is another mid-century modern gem in downtown Silver Spring. Built three years after the American National Bank Building, the Operations Research Institute building was designed by prolific local architect Ted Englehardt. Previously we blogged about Englehardt’s Weller’s Dry Cleaning. For the Operations Research Institute, Englehardt designed an International… Read more »

MontgomeryModern: discover Mid-Century Modern buildings during Preservation Month

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MontgomeryModern explores mid-century modern buildings and communities that reflect the optimistic spirit of the post-war era in Montgomery County, Maryland. From International Style office towers to Googie style stores and contemporary tract houses, MontgomeryModern celebrates the buildings, technology, and materials of the Atomic Age, from the late 1940s through the 1960s. A half century later,… Read more »

Round School

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The Bushey Drive Elementary School, in Wheaton, is a three-story, round school designed by Deigert and Yerkes in 1961.     As noted in my colleague’s recent post on round houses, round schools were also promoted for lower operating costs, greater efficiency, and lower building costs.  In this era, round and hexagonal schools were built across… Read more »

Preservation and Change

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Washingtonian magazine recently ran a long article about preservation in the Washington, D.C. region, including early efforts at Mount Vernon after the Civil War to more recent efforts recognizing Modern architecture. You can read about the local battles and inspirations here, but to me, the most interesting paragraph in the article was this one: “Sometimes… Read more »

Considering the Environmental Value of Existing Buildings

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guest post: Scott Whipple Last Wednesday, the National Trust for Historic Preservation released a report demonstrating something some will find counterintuitive or even dubious, but which many of us in the historic preservation field have thought for years: reusing existing buildings almost always offers more environmental savings than demolition and new construction.   The study,… Read more »

Sycamore Revisited

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guest post: Scott Whipple Back in June I wrote about the Historic Preservation Commission’s approval of a proposal to install solar panels on the roof of the Sycamore Store, a historic site designated in the Montgomery County Master Plan for Historic Preservation.  The panels have been installed.  Have a look.  As discussed back in June,… Read more »