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Planning Department Celebrates Historic Preservation Month with Talk and Exhibit on Midcentury Modern Architecture at Silver Spring Library

May 2, 2017

Exhibit and presentation by staff preservationist Clare Lise Kelly pay homage to county’s pioneering mid-20th-century landmarks and neighborhoods

SILVER SPRING, MD – The Montgomery County Planning Department, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, is celebrating Historic Preservation Month in May 2017 with Montgomery Modern, an exhibit on mid-20th-century buildings and neighborhoods at the Silver Spring Library (900 Wayne Avenue, Silver Spring, MD). The exhibit is on display in the library’s main lobby through June 30.

Its photography and texts are based on the 2015 book, Montgomery Modern: Modern Architecture in Montgomery County, Maryland, 1930-1979, written by Clare Lise Kelly, a preservation planner and an architectural historian with the Planning Department’s Historic Preservation Office. Kelly, who also conceived and organized the exhibit, will give a presentation about the county’s modern architecture on Thursday, May 4 at 6 p.m. in Meeting Room 1 of the Silver Spring Library.

Montgomery Modern reflects our continuing effort to raise awareness of our recent history and preserve its legacy,” says Planning Director Gwen Wright. “Through this exhibit, we hope the public will come to appreciate our modern architecture in Silver Spring, Bethesda and communities throughout the county.”

The book and exhibit are part of the four-year-old Montgomery Modern program to raise public awareness about the mid-20th-century modern architectural heritage of Montgomery County. This program will be honored by Preservation Maryland on May 11 with a Best of Maryland Award, at a ceremony to be held at the College Park Aviation Museum.

Copies of the Montgomery Modern book can be purchased online: a hardcover copy costs $65 and a paperback costs $55. At the May 4 library event, Kelly will sign copies of the books, which will be available for purchase (cash or check only).

About Montgomery Modern

The publication of Montgomery Modern: Modern Architecture in Montgomery County, Maryland, 1930-1979 and the exhibit are part of the Historic Preservation Office’s award-winning Montgomery Modern initiative to educate the public about the architectural heritage of Montgomery County. This preservation program has included a bus tour, bike tour and other outreach events dedicated to the wealth of mid-century modern architecture in the County. Learn more about the Historic Preservation Office’s Montgomery Modern initiative.

Montgomery Modern: Modern Architecture in Montgomery County, Maryland, 1930-1979, written by Clare Lise Kelly, provides the historic context for modern architecture in Montgomery County, Maryland, from its first appearance in the 1930s through the 1970s. Richly illustrated with images by DC photographer Carol Highsmith, period photographs and architectural renderings, the book is organized by building types set within four main time periods.

Biographical sketches of practitioners (architects, landscape architects, developers, planners) are included, as well as an inventory of key projects, including buildings and subdivisions. Montgomery Modern is intended to raise awareness about the significance of modern architecture and the fragile nature of the built environment from the recent past.

About Clare Lise Kelly

Author Clare Lise Kelly is the Architectural History Specialist at the Montgomery County Planning Department.  Clare received the American Institute of Architects Paul H. Kea medal for Architectural Advocacy (Potomac Valley Chapter) in 2015 and the 2013 Montgomery Prize of Montgomery Preservation, Inc for 25 years of research and education on the county’s architectural history. In addition to the Montgomery Modern book, she is the author of Places from the Past: The Tradition of Gardez Bien in Montgomery County (2001, 2011), a book documenting the county’s historic architecture and settlement that won a Maryland Historical Trust Heritage Education Award. Kelly earned a bachelor degree in design and environmental analysis from Cornell University and a master of science degree in historic preservation from the University of Vermont and is a founding board member of Docomomo-DC. She established the Montgomery Modern initiative to raise awareness of mid-20th century architecture, earning education awards from the Maryland Historical Trust and Montgomery Preservation, Inc.