Montgomery Modern

Upcoming Events

Sunday, October 8, 2017, 1-3:30pm Montgomery Modern Bus Tour

This year’s tour will explore the Montgomery County work of Cohen, Haft & Associates, a leading modernist architecture firm distinguished for contemporary designs integrated with natural often rugged settings.  The tour takes us to The Hilltop and Potowmack Preserve and concludes at the Charles E Smith Service Center campus, which includes the Bender JCC of Greater Washington, Jewish Social Services Agency and Hebrew Home for the Aged, all designed by Cohen, Haft & Associates. Bus pickup/drop-off and closing reception will be at the Bender JCC (6125 Montrose Road, Rockville, MD).  This tour is presented by the Montgomery County Planning Department, AIA-Potomac Valley, Docomomo-DC and the Bender JCC. Buy tickets.

Monday, October 16, 2017, Noon-1pm   Montgomery Modern Author Talk

Author Clare Lise Kelly will present mid-century modern architecture in Montgomery County in an illustrated talk based on the award-winning book, Montgomery Modern: Modern Architecture in Montgomery County, Maryland, 1930-1979, published by the Montgomery County Planning Department.   D.C. Mondays at the Museum series, Albert H. Small Washingtoniana Collection, The George Washington University Museum, 701 21st Street, NW.  Complimentary coffee.  Free admission, no reservation required.  More info



Montgomery Modern Exhibit

The Montgomery Modern exhibit on mid-century modern architecture in Montgomery County is based on the book, Montgomery Modern: Modern Architecture in Montgomery County.

2017 Exhibit Schedule:

  • March-April   Montgomery County Planning Department, 8787 Georgia Avenue
  • May-June   Silver Spring Library, 900 Wayne Avenue. Author Talk, May 4th 6pm
  • July-August   Davis Library, 6400 Democracy Blvd. Author Talk on Jewish Community Builders, July 13, 7pm
  • September-October  Bender JCC of Greater Washington, 6125 Montrose Road.  Bus Tour and reception, October 8.


Montgomery Modern Book

Montgomery Modern bookThe Montgomery Modern book is a chronicle of mid-century modern architecture in Montgomery County.  This illustrated reference guide includes an inventory of key buildings and communities, and biographical sketches of practitioners including architects, landscape architects, planners and developers. Author Clare Lise Kelly was awarded the 2015 Paul H. Kea medal for architectural advocacy by the American Institute of Architects (Potomac Valley Chapter).

Copies of the book can be purchased online:
hard cover copy costs $65 and a paperback costs $55.
Now available in Kindle e-book, $14.99.

Book Reviews

“…Clare Lise Kelly and the county planning agency of which she is a part deserve recognition for providing a detailed, insightful guide to this rich legacy. Montgomery Modern is a pioneering book of its kind…” Read more.

Montgomery Modern: In the Media

Home & Design, Fall 2017 Article

NPR Morning Edition, American University Radio WAMU 88.5  5-11-17  Story

Washington Jewish Week, 7-20-17 Article

When Does Modern Become Historic? Washington Post Article

Exhibit, Washington Post 4-5-17 Article

Midcentury Modern in Silver Spring, Neil Greene houses, Washington Post 3-17-17 Article

Signs of the Times, Montgomery Magazine, Fall 2016 Article

Bus Tour, Washington Post Article

Mad About Modern, Bethesda Magazine, Fall 2016 Article

Planetizen, 3-2013 Article

Wheaton Youth Center, Washington Post, 10-16-13 Article

Comsat, The Architect’s Newspaper, 2-2-16 Article

Carderock Springs, Gazette, 6-08 Article



Montgomery Modern Program

  • Community Choice Award, 2017 Preservation Maryland
  • Excellence in Community Engagement, 2015 Maryland Historical Trust

Montgomery Modern Book

  • Heritage Education Publication, 2015 Montgomery Preservation Inc
  • Illustrated Text Design Award, 2016 Washington Publishers

Author Clare Lise Kelly

  • Paul H. Kea Medal for Architectural Advocacy, 2015 American Institute of Architects-Potomac Valley
  • Montgomery Prize: 25 years of service in architectural history and education, 2013 Montgomery Preservation Inc


About Montgomery Modern

Montgomery Modern logoMontgomery County historic preservation planners have begun exploring, analyzing and recording local mid-century modern buildings and communities, part of an effort we call Montgomery Modern.

Montgomery Modern 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, Montgomery Modern celebrates the buildings, technology, and materials of the Atomic Age, from the late 1940s through the 1960s. A half century later, we now have perspective to appreciate these resources as a product of their time.

The historic value of the mid-century era — the 1940s through the 1960s — has, until recently, been largely overlooked. Now, as these buildings and communities have matured and are over 50 years old, we have begun to appreciate their historical cultural and architectural significance. As result of a more complete understanding of these resources, decision-makers may find some of these resources appropriate for historic preservation.

Planners want to help raise the public’s understanding of – and appreciation for – these buildings and communities developed during a time of tremendous growth in Montgomery County. View the one page background document. [PDF]

Deigert and Yerkes Bus Tour 2016

This bus tour explored the Montgomery County work of Deigert and Yerkes, a leading modernist architecture firm in the Washington, DC area, best known for the National Arboretum Administration Building.  Operating from 1947 to 1967, the partnership of Robert Campbell Deigert and David Norton Yerkes, created distinctive designs with variety in materials and textures, surprising angles, and contrasting spaces. Led by Montgomery Modern author Clare Lise Kelly, the tour included the rustic modern houses of Tulip Hill (1950-55) and Oak Spring (1966), lunch at Primary Day School (1955), and a concluding reception at Pietro Belluschi’s Cedar Lane Unitarian Church (1958). View the tour guidebook. Presented by the Montgomery County Planning Department, the tour was offered in partnership with Docomomo-DC and AIA-Potomac Valley.


Charles Goodman Bike Tour 2014

Check out the Montgomery Modern Bike Tour Guidebook [PDF] (pdf, 7MB). On October 11, 2014 the community was invited by Montgomery Planning’s Historic Preservation Office to pedal around mid-century neighborhoods and landmarks and learn more about Montgomery Modern.

Keys Lethbridge & Condon Bus Tour 2013

This tour provided an opportunity to experience firsthand some outstanding examples of mid-century modern architecture in Montgomery County, Maryland. Featured are a range of projects that include residential neighborhoods, a custom home, community buildings, and corporate headquarters by nationally known architects and accomplished local practitioners. The bus tour of October 5, 2013, was a program of the Historic Preservation Office’s Montgomery Modern initiative , in partnership with the AIA Potomac Valley Chapter, a Docomomo Tour Day event.

Experience the tourOnline map

More Information

Last Updated: August 31, 2017