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Sep 18 15

American Institute of Architects Honors M-NCPPC’s Clare Lise Kelly with Kea Medal for her Advocacy of Montgomery County’s Modern Heritage

by Bridget Schwiesow


Author of new book on mid-20th century architecture wins highest honor from Potomac Valley chapter of AIA

SILVER SPRING, MD – The Montgomery County Planning Department, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, is pleased to announce that staff senior architectural historian Clare Lise Kelly is this year’s recipient of the Paul H. Kea Medal from the Potomac Valley chapter of the American Institute of Architects. She is being recognized for making a significant and exemplary contribution to the profession through her architectural advocacy.

Kelly serves as Research and Designation Coordinator for the Historic Preservation Office of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission. She is the author of the forthcoming book, Montgomery Modern: Modern Architecture in Montgomery County, Maryland, 1930-1979, to be published in October 2015.

The Kea Medal will be given to Kelly at Celebrate Design on Thursday, October 22 at the Silver Spring Civic Building. At the event, to be held from 6:30 to 9 p.m., the Planning Department will present its first annual Design Excellence Award for top-quality architecture in Montgomery County and the AIA will also announce its chapter awards.

About the Kea Medal
The Kea Medal is named for Hyattsville, MD architect Paul. H. Kea (1886-1968), who founded the firm Kea, Shaw, Grimm & Crichton, a precursor to today’s Grimm + Parker Architects. His firm built numerous banks, churches, schools and commercial buildings.

A founding member of AIA Potomac Valley, Kea served as president of the Maryland Society of Architects and became a Fellow of the AIA in 1960. He served as President of the Prince George’s Chamber of Commerce and served on numerous church committees and community boards. He took a strong interest in architectural education and funded a distinguished professorship at the University of Maryland.

The Kea Medal recognizes architects and non-architects who have made a significant contribution to the design professions through a body of work or a single contribution of great scope. Recipients may be cited for service to the profession; leadership; or advocacy that has furthered the public’s awareness or appreciation of design excellence.

About Clare Lise Kelly
Clare Lise Kelly works as a senior architectural historian at the M-NCPPC Montgomery County Planning Department, which she joined in 1990. She earned a bachelor of science degree in design and environmental analysis from Cornell University and a master of science degree in historic preservation from the University of Vermont. Researching and documenting Montgomery County’s historic sites led her to write Places from the Past: The Tradition of Gardez Bien in Montgomery County, a book that won a Maryland Trust Heritage Education Award.

In 2013, Kelly received the Montgomery Prize, the highest honor awarded by Montgomery Preservation, Inc. She established the M-NCPPC Montgomery Modern initiative that year to raise awareness of mid-20th-century modern architecture in the County. Her work with the Potomac Valley chapter of the AIA in organizing several popular public events on this topic earned education awards from the Maryland Historical Trust and Montgomery Preservation, Inc.

Kelly’s new book, Montgomery Modern: Modern Architecture in Montgomery County, Maryland, 1930-1979, will be published in October 2015. The Planning Department is hosting a book launch party for the publication on Friday, October 30 from 7 to 9 p.m. at The Writer’s Center (4508 Walsh Street, Bethesda, MD).

The event, sponsored by the Planning Department’s Historic Preservation Office, is free. Ms. Kelly will give a presentation and attendees will have an opportunity to purchase a signed book. RSVPs are encouraged but not required.

Register to attend the Montgomery Modern Book Launch Party.

Learn more about the Historic Preservation Office’s Montgomery Modern initiative.

Montgomery Modern may be purchased during the Launch Party and will soon be available by accessing, the on-demand publishing service used for this publication.

View a short video interview with Ms. Kelly about the Montgomery Modern initiative and upcoming book launch on October 30.

Feb 18 10

County Planners Launch Blog Focusing on Community Design

by Valerie Berton

SILVER SPRING, MD – Buildings, streets and spaces don’t just happen, they are created by our laws and lifestyles. And to really understand them, we need to take a closer look.

Join our planners in observing community design – the look of buildings, streets and spaces – in our new design blog, The Straight Line

The blog examines building form, sustainability, energy use, public art, and the interaction of people and places. Our planners and architects will contribute their thoughts every few weeks on what’s been built, what should be built and what could have been built better.

Initial posts cover public art uncovered in Silver Spring, food trucks, pedestrian challenges, a green apartment building in Portland, Oregon, and architecture along Georgia Avenue in downtown Silver Spring. From the specific – an energy-efficient mixed-use building with a distinctively colored exterior – to the general – how hard it is to be a pedestrian in much of Montgomery County – the posts will get people thinking. Accompanying our missives are plenty of photos and related links.

Visit The Straight Line frequently to express your views.

Mar 3 09

County Planning Department Launches Web Site Featuring Realistic Views of Proposed Development

by Valerie Berton

SILVER SPRING, MD – County planners have created a series of new web pages that, by showcasing three-dimensional and animated views of proposed development, provides detailed depictions of what may come to area communities.

By providing a portal to views of pending projects, including information about building heights, square footage and the mix of uses, DesignMontgomery will engage Montgomery County residents and others in a discussion about good design. The site shows current or recently approved projects, public buildings and spaces, and other design issues.

The site features four projects – three privately developed and one public project – with three-dimensional and/or animated views. The innovative angles allow web visitors to envision how a building will fit on a site. Planners will update pages with new projects in the coming months.

The site is intended to inform the public about upcoming development as well as engage people interested in architecture and design. Web visitors may rate and comment upon what they see in an online forum intended to elevate the issue of design throughout Montgomery County.

For example, DesignMontgomery offers views of the Silver Spring Library proposed for Wayne Avenue and Fenton Street in the community’s Fenton Village area. For that project, urban design planners have posted their vision for how to best integrate the library into Fenton Village in addition to the design perspectives created by the County Executive’s office.

The site also features three developments pending in downtown Silver Spring.