County Council Approves Mihran Mesrobian House Historic Designation at November 10 Meeting

November 10, 2020

Mihran Mesrobian House exterior
Master Architect’s personal residence, listed to National Register of Historic Places in 2017, will now be a County Listed Historic Site

Wheaton, MD – The Montgomery County Council voted to approve the historic designation for the Mihran Mesrobian house located at 7410 Connecticut Avenue in the Town of Chevy Chase on November 10, 2020. The designation marks the first time since 2013 that the Council has bestowed the historic designation on a property outside of a master plan. The Council approval follows a yearlong process initiated by the Montgomery Planning Historic Preservation Office and approved by the Montgomery Planning Board in July 2020.

Read  The Mihran Mesrobian House: An Amendment to the Master Plan for Historic Preservation.

“We are so pleased to see the County Council approve this exceptional property for historic designation,” said Planning Director Gwen Wright. “This house has represented Mihran Mesrobian’s legacy in the Washington area since it was built, and we are glad we can help to preserve that.”

Washington-area architect Mihran Mesrobian designed the house in 1941 as his family’s personal residence. Due to its location on the major traffic artery of Connecticut Avenue, the house is a highly visible example of a Washington-area residence designed by an architect for his own use. In 2017, the Mesrobian family led a successful effort to list the house in the National Register of Historic Places. At the family’s request, Historic Preservation staff evaluated the property to determine whether it meets the designation criteria outlined in Section §24A-3 of the Montgomery County Code. While the property is already listed in the National Register, local designation offers a higher level of protection that would require the Historic Preservation Commission review designs for any major exterior changes.

Following the County Council’s approval, The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission will move to approve the designation. With this final approval, the designation will officially result in amendments to the Master Plan for Historic Preservation in Montgomery County, Maryland (1979), the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Master Plan (1990) and the county’s current General Plan: On Wedges and Corridors for the Physical Development of the Maryland-Washington Regional District in Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties (1964).

The Evaluation Process

Designation of resources to the Master Plan for Historic Preservation requires the approval of the Historic Preservation Commission, Planning Board and County Council. In February 2020, the Historic Preservation Commission recommended that the Mihran Mesrobian property be listed in the Locational Atlas and Index of Historic Sites in Montgomery County and subsequently designated in the Master Plan for Historic Preservation. In July 2020, the Planning Board approved the Public Hearing Draft Plan, listed the property in the Locational Atlas and Index of Historic Sites, and recommended that the County Council amend the Master Plan for Historic Preservation to list the Mesrobian house as a Master Plan Historic Site. Planning staff transmitted the Planning Board draft to the County Executive and County Council. Opportunities for public comment were held at each phase of the evaluation process.

About the Historic Preservation Office
The Historic Preservation Office supports the Montgomery County Planning Board and the Historic Preservation Commission by providing for the identification, designation and regulation of historic sites in Montgomery County. Historic Preservation staff also maintains an archive and library of documentation on historic resources in Montgomery County and provides preservation outreach and guidance on preservation best practices to the public.

If you are interested in historic buildings, sites and programs in Montgomery County parks, visit the Montgomery County Parks website for more information.