February 18, 2024
Please join us for a glass of wine and conversation about Takoma Park and its history. Meet Historic Takoma volunteers and members of our Board. Bring your questions, thoughts, and ideas. Learn about our programs and activities, our research collections and archives, maps, and so much more.
February 14, 2024
Lee Jordan was a tireless advocate for improving living conditions for African American residents in Takoma Park during segregation and the decades that followed. The film, They Called Him “Mister Lee” draws on oral history interviews with people who grew up in Takoma Park’s Black community during the 1940s and 1950s, reflecting on their experiences and the legacy of Lee Jordan.
March 20, 2023
It was standing room only at the Takoma Park Community on February 26 for the screening of the film They Called Him “Mister Lee.” Jointly sponsored by Historic Takoma and the Takoma Park Recreation Department, the event featured the audience singing “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” the Black National Anthem, led by Lorraine Gibbs and Cammille Taylor from the God Glorified Church of God in Christ on Geneva Avenue.
A panel discussion followed the screening, with community members featured in the film (Patricia Matthews (Lee Jordan’s daughter), Otis Matthews, and Cedric Boatman), oral historian Ali Kahn, and filmmaker Michel Fincham. More about this film and the African American Oral History Project can be found at historictakoma.org. The films from the Project can be viewed on YouTube at They Called Him “Mr. Lee” and Doing Oral History: An Introduction. The City of Takoma Park is producing a video of the February 26 event; a link will be posted on our website when it is available.
March 16, 2023
Historic Takoma had a busy year in 2022. The Takoma Authors project was launched, we celebrated the 25th anniversary of unification into one county, events resumed post-COVID restrictions, work on the archives continued, and more… Read the full annual report to members here.
Our work depends on member and community support. Please consider joining Historic Takoma (or renewing your membership for 2023).
February 21, 2023
Join us for a screening of a vibrant new documentary about Lee Jordan—the school custodian, coach, and mentor to Takoma Park’s young people, both Black and White. Jordan founded the city’s Boys and Girls Club and organized Montgomery County’s first integrated sports teams. A tireless advocate for the Black community, he led campaigns to improve the living conditions of African American residents in the face of segregation and racial discrimination.Produced by Historic Takoma’s African American Oral History Project. Discussion to follow with filmmakers Michael Fincham and Ali Kahn, project team members, and interviewees. Event is free and open to all ages.
January 30, 2023
In 2019, Historic Takoma launched an initiative designed to collect and preserve the reflections of older African Americans who had been longtime residents of our city’s historically Black neighborhoods – which centered around the “Hill” (Ritchie, Geneva, and Oswego Avenues) and the “Bottom” (Cherry and Colby Avenues off of Sligo Creek Parkway), along with smaller settlements such as the one at the foot of Lincoln Avenue at Maple Avenue – to elevate their voices and stories and share them with the larger community.
Residents Susan Schreiber (Historic Takoma board member) and Denny May reached out to local folklorist and oral historian Ali Khan and documentary filmmaker Michael Fincham and assembled a project team including community advisors Patricia Matthews, Dale Jones, Gaynell Catherine, Dianne Bradley (joined later by Joan Francis), and secured initial funding from the City of Takoma Park’s Community Grants Program.
Over the past three years (with some time out for pandemic delays) the project has conducted and filmed oral history interviews with individuals who shared their reflections on growing up in Takoma Park from roughly the 1940s through the early 1960s, and how parents and community leaders came together to build a vibrant and resilient community for their families in the face of racial and economic challenges. Both the filmed interviews and written transcripts will be accessible to researchers, students, and the general public through Historic Takoma’s archives, along withl links for each of the project films. Read More
February 11, 2023
KIRO radio in Seattle, Washington recently ran a story about the relationship between place names in Maryland and Washington: Takoma Park, Maryland and Tacoma, Washington AND Mt Rainier, Maryland and Mount Rainier, Washington. You can read and listen to the story (featuring Historic Takoma’s archivist, Jim Douglas).
February 16, 2023
It’s historic preservation tax credit season in Montgomery County! You can receive a 25% tax credit for exterior improvements such as repairing windows or siding, painting, or replacing your roof.
Applications are due to Montgomery County Planning Office by April 1.
Montgomery Planning’s Historic Preservation Office will hold the Historic Preservation Tax Credit Open House online on Thursday, March 2 (starting at 7 p.m.). The meeting will be hosted via Microsoft Teams Live and details on how to join will be made available prior to the start of the meeting. RSVP is required to attend. Sign up here. At this event, staff will provide an overview of the county’s tax credit program for improving historic properties. Planning staff will also provide an update regarding upcoming historic preservation policy changes. A brief question-and-answer session will follow the presentations.
You can find out more about the tax credit program and the application process at the Historic Tax Credit Program website.
November 29, 2022
Help Support Historic Takoma’s Programs
Historic Takoma is committed to documenting and sharing the history and culture of the Takoma Park community. In 2022 we were able to begin programming after a couple of years of COVID restrictions. We opened our public Reading Room, presented a program on the 25th anniversary of the unification of Takoma Park into one county, rejuvenated our archives work, initiated a project to collect works by Takoma Authors, presented workshops on researching house histories, and started regular postings on social media. In 2023 promises more….
January 10, 2023
The Board of Directors of Historic Takoma re-elected four members to new three-year terms at its December 2022 meeting. Rachel Hardwick, Elizabeth Thornhill, Ashley Florey, and Susan Schreiber will serve from 2023 through 2025. The Board of Historic Takoma consists of 12 members serving staggered 3 year terms.
At its January 2023 meeting the Board selected officers for 2023: President, Diana Kohn; Vice-President, Lorraine Pearsall; Secretary, Elizabeth Thornhill; Treasurer, Rachel Hardwick.