Historic District

DocumentAs Somerset entered the last decade of the 20th century, on July 18, 1990, fifty-four homes were designated by Montgomery County as a historic district. Of those fifty-four homes, thirty-one, built before 1915, are considered "primary resources". 
If you walk the streets of the 5700 and 5800 blocks of Warwick Place and Surrey Street or the 4700 and 4800 blocks of Dorset Avenue and Cumberland Avenue, or the north side of the 4700 block of Essex Avenue you may notice the plaques that some homeowners proudly display on their homes to show that they are historic properties.

Historic preservationists believe we are custodians of the buildings, sites, and structures that define our history. State law establishes preservation of historic resources throughout Maryland as a public goal of the public good. Thus just as the Somerset historic district belonged to those who came before, it will be preserved and belong to those who come after us. This doesn't mean that homes in the district may never be changed; it means that special care and attention is paid to ensuring they are preserved, rather than demolished, and that modifications, renovations and additions are appropriate.

The houses in our historic district are not frozen in time. Many changes took place before historic designation occurred; many have taken place since; and constant construction work throughout the historic district suggests there will be many more to come. The County Historic Preservation Commission reviews all proposed changes and, in making its decisions, follows the requirements of the Historic Preservation Ordinance and the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation.