A Maryland Realtor emailed to let me know that Silver Spring, Maryland’s 1939 World’s Fair Town of Tomorrow home is on the market. Built as a marketing gimmick and used as collateral advertising for the New York fair, the home has had only two owners since it was completed in the summer of 1939.
Yesterday the Montgomery County Planning Board held a session to evaluate whether it should forward a draft amendment to the Master Plan for Historic Preservation that would have designated the First Baptist Church of Silver Spring as historic.
By unanimous consensus, the Planning Board elected to not have a draft amendment prepared, effectively killing the proposal to designate the church. The Planning Board deferred to the 6-2 vote by the Montgomery County Historic Preservation Commission that the property met none of the nine legal criteria for designation.
I wrote briefly about the local preservationists who pursued the designation in an earlier post and I plan a follow-up post on the many issues raised by this case. In the meantime, the testimony I submitted to the Planning Board is reprinted below. The local newspaper, the Montgomery Gazette, reported on the Planning Board’s decision in a post published at its Web site overnight. Continue reading
Elsie Yuratovich (1921-2005) lived her entire life in Pittsburgh’s Croatian community along the north shore of the Allegheny River. She lived in a frame house overlooking Pennsylvania Route 28, the railroad, and the disappearing industrial landscape in which she grew up.
I met Elsie while researching Pittsburgh’s leather and livestock industries and we spoke many times between 1996 and 2000. Elsie would send me long letters, newspaper clippings, and photographs. In fact, when the Pittsburgh Wool Company was demolished in 2000, Elsie stood at her beloved Croatian Orthodox Church just above the site and she snapped several photos. Those were the last photos I have of the building I had spent years documenting. Continue reading
Last week we had a little snow storm that created huge problems for the Washington metropolitan area. A downed power line sent flames and smoke into our yard as the wire remained draped on our wood fence 20 feet away from our house. Using landlines and cellphones, our neighborhood was unable to reach Montgomery County 911 to report the downed lines and fire. We subsequently spent 45 hours without power (and heat) and we were lucky.
Downtown Silver Spring may lose another locally owned and operated business. According to a November Silver Spring Singular blog post, the Peterson Companies are pressuring the Family Dry Cleaners to leave the prominent Wayne Avenue Shopping Center location they have occupied since 2000 when the center opened. The dry cleaner’s lease expires next March. The blogger wrote that Peterson — which manages Downtown Silver Spring under an agreement with Montgomery County — is courting CVS to occupy the space now held by the cleaners, along with adjacent spaces formerly occupied by Hollywood Video and MotoPhoto (later, an Upscale Pharmacy outlet).
The Montgomery County Planning Board last night voted to create two new historic districts in Clagettsville and Etchison in the county’s Upper Patuxent Planning Area. Last night’s meeting was the second work session held on proposed Master Plan for Historic Preservation designations since an October public hearing. Originally scheduled for early 2011, last night’s session was hastily added to the agenda because a property owner in one of the proposed historic districts pleaded with the Planning Board at its last work session on the designations to decide on her property before a purchase contract expires the end of the year. Continue reading
A new page aggregates links to blog posts and news stories about the Montgomery County, Maryland, park originally called “Uncle Tom’s Cabin”: Josiah Henson and “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” links roundup.
Please leave your suggestions for additions in this post’s comments field.
Shortly after the Washington Post published its article on Montgomery County’s purchase of the property long believed to be the “real Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” the National Trust for Historic Preservation published a blog post reporting on the Post story. Titled, “Preservation Round-Up: Snafu! Edition,” the National Trust’s post was roundly criticized by Montgomery County preservationists. On November 30, 2010, two Montgomery Preservation, Inc., officers wrote a guest blog post for the National Trust for Historic Preservation titled, “Uncle Tom’s Cabin: Beyond History and Interpretation to the Internet.” Continue reading
Updated December 2, 2010
Montgomery County residents see a bleak future for vital public services and amenities due to an evolving budget crisis. Over the past several weeks, we have learned that public safety jobs may be cut and that revenues continue to disappoint county leaders. So in times that demand austerity, I wonder why Montgomery County officials believe we have the resources to undertake a public relations campaign to promote the development of the park formerly known as “Uncle Tom’s Cabin”? Continue reading