One of the most important provisions of the Historic Preservation Ordinance is the creation of Montgomery County’s Historic Preservation Commission (HPC). Appointed by the County Executive for 3-year terms, the nine Commissioners are all volunteers. The HPC considers applications for Historic Area Work Permits, have preliminary consultations with citizens who wish to make alterations to historic properties, evaluate changes to the Montgomery County Master Plan for Historic Preservation and review applications for the Montgomery County Historic Preservation Tax Credit.
In addition to their work at regularly scheduled public meetings, the Commissioners speak to public groups, testify before the Planning Board and County Council, answer questions from individual residents and visit proposed historic sites and historic properties where owners want to make changes. The HPC is supported by professional staff in M-NCPPC’s Historic Preservation Section.
William Kirwan was appointed to the Historic Preservation Commission in 2009. A Silver Spring resident, he’s a registered Architect and Principal of Muse Architects, PC of Bethesda. Since receiving his Masters of Architecture from the University of Maryland in 1987, he has taught at the University of Maryland School of Architecture Preservation and Planning, served as a routine guest critic for design juries at the University of Maryland and Catholic University, and served as a member of the Washington Chapter of The American Institute of Architects Board of Directors as Director of Design Issues. In 2007, he became a LEED accredited professional.
Sandra Heiler, a Brookeville resident, joined the Historic Preservation Commission in 2009. She has worked on the restoration and preservation of historic houses and churches in New England and the Middle Atlantic. She was formerly a historic properties researcher for the Massachusetts Trustees of Reservations and the curator of the Robert Paine House museum, as well as a member of the Sudbury [Massachusetts] Historic Districts Commission. She has a Master of Science degree in Historic Preservation and Architectural History from Boston University. She retired as Senior Computer Scientist from Verizon Laboratories.
Eliza Voigt was appointed to the Historic Preservation Commission in 2016. A Bethesda resident and Montgomery County native she is a certified city planner and is currently the Park Planner with the National Park Service at the National Mall and Memorial Parks. Since receiving her Masters in City and Regional Planning from the University of North Carolina, she has worked as a city planner and historic preservation planner for private and public entities, including Montgomery County jurisdictions, for over 20 years.
Marsha E. Barnes, a Bethesda resident, was appointed to the Commission in 2013. She has a life long interest in history and historic preservation. She was a member of the career Foreign Service for more than thirty years, serving in Washington and abroad, including as an Ambassador. She has a BA in history from Lake Forest College and is a distinguished graduate of the National War College.
Kenneth Firestone joined the Commission in 2013 . He has lived in Montgomery County for 30+ years including 10 years in Silver Spring as a teenager. He currently resides in the Takoma Park historic district. He received a BS in Economics from University of Maryland, an MS in Computer Science from Johns Hopkins. More recently, he followed his interest in Urban Planning and received a Master’s degree in Community and Regional Planning also from University of Maryland. He worked as a photojournalist for various publications and as a computer technologist for the Department of Labor, Chronicle of Higher Education and the Public Broadcasting Service.
Brian Carroll was appointed to the Historic Preservation Commission in 2013. He is a registered Architect and LEED accredited professional and the Principal of Brian Carroll Architect LLC in Gaithersburg. Prior to earning Masters Degrees in Architecture and Community Planning from the University of Maryland, he graduated from The North Bennett Street School’s Preservation Carpentry program in Boston Massachusetts. He spent several years working as a preservation/restoration carpenter, on many historic buildings, including Amherst Massachusetts’s Emily Dickenson House and The Riversdale Mansion in Riverdale, MD. Mr. Carroll lives in Gaithersburg with his wife and two children.
Kathleen Legg was appointed to the Commission in 2014. She is aresident of the Town of Chevy Chase, where she is a member of the Long-Range Planning Committee.She has a life-long interest in architecture and historicpreservation. She was previously an information technology consultant, specializing in mobile technologies, social media and politics, for organizations such as Yahoo!, National Geographic, Hachette, and Organizing for America. She is also a member of the Preservation Society of Newport County in Rhode Island.She has a BA in political science and information technology from the University at Albany and a Masters in Political Management from The George Washington University.
Richard L. Arkin joined the Historic Preservation Commission in early 2014. Born in Washington, DC (and a 4th-generation Washingtonian), he earned his BA in history and law degree from the American University, and did graduate work in history at the University of Virginia and the University of Michigan. Mr. Arkin moved to Montgomery County in 1971 and served for several years as member and chair of Rockville’s City Planning Commission and its Board of Appeals. He began working in historic preservation in 1963 and served for 16 years on Gaithersburg’s Historic Preservation Advisory Committee and 3-years on its Historic District Commission. Mr. Arkin is a resident and former long-time president and trustee of Gaithersburg’s neotraditional/new urbanist Kentlands community. A former journalist and county civil investigator, he recently retired from a 30+ year career as a US Food & Drug Administration regulatory counsel.
For more information, please call the Historic Preservation Office, 301-563-3400.