Who We Are

Historic Takoma, Inc. [Historic Takoma] is a membership-based, all-volunteer, 501(c)3 non-profit organization, founded to preserve the heritage of Takoma Park, Maryland and the Takoma Park neighborhood of the District of Columbia through educational activities and the preservation of historic landmarks and artifacts, especially documentary archives.


Mission

The mission of Historic Takoma is to improve the quality of life in the Takoma community by:

  • Educating the public about the value of historic preservation
  • Promoting public policies that foster preservation of historic resources
  • Preserving the architecture and physical environment of the Takoma community   
  • Working with the greater community to revitalize business areas
  • Procuring and preserving artifacts, documents, and other archival materials relating to the history of the community
  • Establishing and maintaining historic structures and exhibits for the public
  • Holding meetings, sponsoring lectures and demonstrations, and supporting other events for the instruction and information of our membership, our community, and the general public

Historic Takoma’s History

As the Washington metropolitan area expanded in the early 1970s, the Takoma community faced a number of development-related threats. The most controversial of the proposed developments was the planned construction of the North Central Freeway, which would have built an interstate highway though the city and dramatically changed its character.

That proposal, along with the demolition of a large number of Victorian-era homes in order to expand the Montgomery Community College campus and the plan for a large, commuter oriented Metro subway stop in the Takoma neighborhood of the District of Columbia resulted in a strong interest in historic preservation.

In response to these events, an application was made in 1972 to create the Takoma Park National Register Historic District, which was approved in 1976. The community learned, however, that National Register status did not, in and of itself, preserve endangered historic properties. As a result, in 1978 citizens began to meet to consider forming a nonprofit organization to advocate for historic preservation in Takoma.

Those meetings resulted in the creation Historic Takoma, Inc., a non-profit organization representing Takoma Park, Maryland and the Takoma area of the District of Columbia on January 16, 1979.

Its goals were to:

  1. Educate the public about the value of historic preservation
  2. Work to save endangered historic structures
  3. Support rehabilitation efforts of historic structures which were in decline.

In the early 1980s it absorbed the archival collections and other assets of the Takoma Park Historical Society by mutual agreement and in 1993 the “Friends of the Thomas-Siegler Property” merged with Historic Takoma.

More information about the work of Historic Takoma can be found here.


The Historic Takoma Building

Historic Takoma Building at 7328 Carroll Avenue

On September 29, 2006, Historic Takoma took ownership of its headquarters at 7328 Carroll Avenue, in the heart of Takoma Junction.

The Historic Takoma building was originally built in the 1930s as a Piggly Wiggly grocery store. In the 1940s it was converted to a roasting facility for Barcelona Nuts, still an on-going Maryland business concern. Many Takoma Park residents still remember shopping for nuts at the Barcelona nuts facility until the mid-1990s. Since then, the building was intermittently rented, but mostly vacant.

Historic Takoma renovated the building to include exhibit, office, research, and meeting space, as well as storage facilities for archival materials.


Membership

Membership is open to the general public. Membership in Historic Takoma supports our efforts in public education, promoting public policies that foster preservation of historic resources, preserving the architecture and physical environment of the Takoma community, and preserving artifacts, documents, and other archival materials. Membership dues are a critical source of funds for Historic Takoma.

Become a Member


Newsletter

Historic Takoma publishes a digital online newsletter. To subscribe sign up or view Previous Issues.

From 1997-2014, Historic Takoma published a hard-copy newsletters. Many past issues of the hard-copy Newsletter are available here. Earlier issues are in the Historic Takoma Archives. For further information see  Using the Historic Takoma Archives.


Stewardship

Historic Takoma is proud of its role in preserving our built environment.  As part of that role we have responsibilities for two historic properties in Takoma Park. 

Davis-Warner House, 8114 Carroll Avenue 
The Davis-Warner House

Historic Takoma holds a conservation easement on the Davis-Warner house and is proud of its partnership with the property owner assuring the preservation of this historic house for future generations.  This house is a large, three story frame Queen Anne style residence constructed about 1875. It is one of the oldest residences in Takoma Park, and one of the only surviving Eastlake Stick Style examples left in the Washington D.C. area.

Thomas-Siegler Carriage House and Gardens, Tulip and Cedar Avenues
The Carriage House at the Thomas-Siegler Garden

In concert with the City of Takoma Park, Historic Takoma manages the Thomas-Siegler carriage house and gardens. This assures that future generations will be able to envision life in Takoma Park in its early years and enjoy the extensive landscaping dominated by large white oak trees with an understory of magnolias, American hollies, laurel, dogwood, and cherry trees, and the Glenn Dale azaleas located on the property. The original, still intact, part of the house was built in 1884.


Radio Station WOWD-LP

Historic Takoma holds the license for Takoma Park’s low-powered community radio station – WOWD-LP, 94.3 FM.

In November 2013, Historic Takoma applied to the FCC for a Low Power FM (LPFM) broadcast license. In 2015, the FCC granted permission to build, and WOWD went live on July 16, 2016. LPFM is regular FM radio that operates at 100 watts or less. WOWD’s FM signal reaches a 5+ mile radius from the antenna in downtown Takoma Park; approximately 250,000 people live within its range. The station also live-streams (and offers archived episodes of its shows) at TakomaRadio.org. 

Historic Takoma’s Board has broad oversight of the station. The station is managed by the Takoma Radio Executive Committee, consisting of the Station Manager, Program Director, and Founder/Senior Advisor.  The station’s programming is guided by a Programming Committee.  Over 100 volunteer programmers currently produce over 70 weekly and biweekly programs on WOWD.  Local artists and community news are well represented in its programming.  For more information, and to listen online, go to takomaradio.org.

More about WOWD-LP, its history, and Historic Takoma’s sponsorship of the station can be found at WOWD-LP — Takoma’s Radio Station.


The Board of Directors

Historic Takoma is governed by an 11-member Board of Directors and conducts its activities through a committee structure. The members of the Board are:

Diana Kohn, PresidentRon Watson 
Lorraine Pearsall, Vice PresidentNancy Abbott Young 
Marilyn R. Abbott, TreasurerAshley Flory 
Elizabeth Thornhill, Secretary Dick O’ConnorĀ 
Marika Partridge Susan Schreiber
Art McMurdie

The Legal Stuff

Historic Takoma is a registered non-profit organization. The following documents are available for public inspection by writing to us at info@historictakoma.org.

  • Maryland State’s Department of Assessments and Taxation personal property return Form 1
  • United States Internal Revenue Service annual return Form 990
  • Maryland State’s Secretary of State annual update of Registration Form
  • District of Columbia Two-year Report for Domestic & Foreign Filing Entity, Form BRA-25

For Further Information….

For further information about Historic Takoma and its programs and activities, please write to us at info@historictakoma.org.