Montgomery Modern


National Register Evaluation: Mihran Mesrobian House

The Mihran Mesrobian House, on Connecticut Avenue in the Town of Chevy Chase, has been nominated for listing on the National Register. Designed in 1941, the house is noteworthy for a skillful modernist design adapted to meet requirements of conservative design dictated by the Chevy Chase Land Company. Turkish-born architect Mihran Mesrobian designed the house for his own residence. Mesrobian is best known for such landmark projects as the Beaux-Arts style Hay-Adams Hotel (1927) and modernist Sedgwick Gardens apartments (1932).  The National Register Nomination will be evaluated by the Historic Preservation Commission on March 22, 7:30pm, at 8787 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring.


Montgomery Modern Exhibit Opens

An exhibit on mid-century modern architecture in Montgomery County is now open at the Montgomery County Planning Department offices at 8787 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring.   Montgomery Modern: Modern Architecture in Montgomery County features the stunning photographs of Carol M. Highsmith.  The exhibit is based on the book by the same name, published by the Planning Department in 2015.  You can also purchase a copy of the Montgomery Modern book at the Information Counter, on the second floor. Exhibit on display through April.

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.

Upcoming  Talks by author Clare Lise Kelly

  • Saturday, January 28, 2017, 10:45am“Jewish Developers and the Built Environment: A History of Early Jewish Community in Montgomery County,” in Montgomery County History Conference, Montgomery College Germantown.  Info
  • Sunday, February 5, 2017, 10am – “Community Builders: A History of Early Jewish Community in Montgomery County,” at Beth Chai, Adult Education Session, Burning Tree Elementary School.  Info
  • Monday, February 13, eve – “Did Led Zeppelin Play Here? Public Record vs. Public Memory” at Gildenhorn Recital Hall at the Clarice Smith Center for the Performing Arts.  Panel discussion following screening of film by Jeff Krulik. Info
  • Wednesday, February 15, 10:30am – “Montgomery Modern: Mid-Century Modern Architecture in Montgomery County,” OASIS Washington Metro, Class held in Macy’s Home Store Meeting Room.  Info
  • Friday, February 24, 6pm – “History of Early Jewish Community in Montgomery County”, at Historical Shabbat Dinner, Congregation Har Tzeon-Agudath Achim, Silver Spring  Info
  • Wednesday, March 8, eve – “Montgomery Modern: Mid-Century Modern Architecture in Montgomery County,” sponsored by APT-DC and CREW Maryland Suburban, at Bethesda Blues and Jazz.  Info

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.

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: March 16, 2017