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Montgomery Modern Bus Tour 2016

Buy Tickets - This bus tour explores 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 will include 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).Bus pickup and dropoff at Grosvenor Metro Kiss and Ride. Buy Tickets

Presented by the Montgomery County Planning Department, the tour is offered in partnership with Docomomo-DC and AIA-Potomac Valley.

Montgomery Modern Book

Released in October 2015, the 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 Talks by author Clare Lise Kelly

  • Friday, October 21:  McCathran Hall, Center St & Chestnut Rd, Washington Grove. Hosted by Washington Grove HPC. Info 
  • Tuesday, November 8:  Bethesda Blues & Jazz Club. Hosted by CREW Maryland Surburban
  • Wednesday, November 9:  Gaithersburg Community Museum, 9 S. Summit Avenue, Gaithersburg. Info  

Book Reviews

Lying to the northwest of Washington, D.C., Montgomery County, Maryland, is one of many jurisdictions nationwide that were transformed during the second half of the twentieth century from a low-density scattering of villages and small suburban enclaves, all surrounded by rural land, to an integral part of a major metropolitan area. The intense development that occurred there during the post-World War II era should be seen as central to the county’s heritage. 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, one that should greatly increase awareness of and appreciation for the array of buildings that have defined the county landscape. This volume should also serve as a model for similar undertaking nationwide. 
– Richard Longstreth, George Washington University

Clare Lise Kelly's new book Montgomery Modern provides a seminal historical accounting and perspective on how the international Modern Movement influenced architecture in Montgomery County in the middle of the 20th century. It exhibits a wonderful collection of buildings over a 49 year time span that responded to the Modern Movement nationwide as well as provided local examples of award-winning architecture that helped lead that movement. The book also serves to put in perspective how we view historic preservation. Whatever hesitancy we may feel towards placing significance on mid-century modern architecture can be balanced against similar hesitancies found in the early days of the Preservation Movement.  At that time buildings of the early part of the 20th century were being assessed for their value historically during the Modern Movement and faced similar hesitancy and opposition. A conclusion can be drawn from this excellently researched and written book that preservation must be seen in the larger context of the long history of the built environment and not as a reflection of current trends and aesthetic preferences.

– William Kirwan, AIA, Principal of Muse Architects in Bethesda, MD and
Chair of the Montgomery County Historic Preservation Commission.

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.

Charles Goodman Bike Tour 2014

Check out the Montgomery Modern Bike Tour Guidebook (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 tour Online map

More information

Staff contact

Clare Lise Kelly

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Last updated: August 25, 2015