February 12, 2013 Preservation

Help Preserve Mid-Century Glenmont

Glenmont Forest

Planners are working on a new sector plan for Glenmont that looks at past recommendations and reflects the community’s vision for a transit-oriented, revitalized community. The Planning Board will hold a public hearing on the draft plan this Thursday (Feb. 14.) here in Silver Spring.

Glenmont Forest

Glenmont Forest (the former Americana Glenmont) was built by Carl M. Freeman, who helped introduce modern residential architecture in DC. Photos courtesy of Clare Lise Kelly.

As part of this review, two important mid-century modern resources will be subject to the hearing this week.  One is Carl M. Freeman’s 1961 Americana Glenmont modernist garden apartment complex (now called Glenmont Forest). Freeman was a leading innovator in modern housing, bringing “California contemporary”-style to Washington.

GA Ave Baptist Church

The Georgia Avenue Baptist Church was designed in the 1950s by Theodore R. Bennett. An early 1960s education wing was designed by Vosbeck-Ward Associates.

The other is the 1956 Georgia Avenue Baptist Church, which uses TECFAB panels that were developed by Charles Goodman, and manufactured in a Goodman-designed plant in Beltsville. The church was designed by Theodore R. Bennett. An early 1960s education wing was designed by Vosbeck-Ward Associates.

Here is an excellent resource for more information on Americana Glenmont and the church.

Clare Lise Kelly, research and designation coordinator for the Montgomery County Planning Department’s Historic Preservation Section (HPC), says the HPC’s staff believe the apartment complex and church are highly significant resources, merit historic designations and should be protected amid the proposed development of the area. She adds that the state preservation office, Maryland Historical Trust, “has found both mid-century resources–the church and Americana Glenmont– are National Register-eligible.”

If you want to make your voice heard to help efforts to preserve these local examples of mid-century modern architecture, you can provide feedback on the draft plan at the public hearing on Thursday. You can sign up to speak at the hearing. And written testimony may be submitted to  Planning Board Chair Francoise Carrier at [email protected] .