Kentlands Walking Tour Guide

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					                                                      streets, Kentlands Boulevard and Tschiffely                                                   stacked-unit
                                                      Square Road; the location of a major                                                          townhouses, row
                                                      commercial center along Great Seneca
                                                      Highway; and the federal government’s change
                                                                                                                                                    houses, live/work
                                                                                                                                                    buildings, detached
                                                      of its wetlands regulations after completion of
                                                      the initial plan.
                                                                                                                                                    “urban cottages,”
                                                                                                                                                    “carriage homes,” and
                                                           Unlike some previous DPZ projects such                                                   single-family houses.
                                                      as Seaside in Florida, Kentlands is not, and was                   All neighborhoods contain a mix of housing                                    Tour Guide
                                                      never intended to be, a community of                               types, often on the same block or along the
                                                      expensively designed custom houses. Twelve                         same street.
                                                      builders, some national and some local, offered                         Many of the individual private houses and
Live/work units in the Market Square area
                                                      stock designs for                                                  gardens in the Kentlands are beautifully
     An essential part of the neo-traditional town    attached          and                                              designed and attractively maintained. It is
concept is the town center, which provides            detached houses.                                                   important, though, that first-time visitors to the
shops, services, dining, recreation,                  Most of these                                                      Kentlands realize that the pleasure and
entertainment, and employment within walking          designs          were                                              attraction that many visitors experience is more
distance of all residents. The first element of       created especially                                                 the result of the streetscapes and public spaces
this town center was Kentlands Square, a              for the Kentlands,                                                 created by the town plan and design code than
conventional outdoor shopping center anchored         as the narrow lot sizes and rear-alley garage                      it is of the excellence or uniqueness of any
by Kmart and Giant Foods, which opened in             access called for traditional housing types not                    individual building. For many of the residents,
1993. The adjacent Boulevard Shops, a more            found in other new suburban developments in                        who also may have been first attracted by the
pedestrian-oriented center, followed in 1997          the area. Buyers could purchase lots directly                      streetscapes, the real value is in the social
and then Market Square, with mostly small-            from the developer and have architects and                         interactions of a close-knit and diverse
scale shops and restaurants of traditional            builders create a home custom-designed for                         community with the convenience of accessible
design, began to be occupied in 1998. More            that site, but most were satisfied with the variety                shopping, dining, recreations, and services.
recently, three blocks of “live/work” units, which    of homes offered by the large number of
combine shops, offices and residences in a            builders. As a result, custom houses are not
single unit, have added a traditional Main Street     necessarily larger and more opulent than their
to the commercial center. Mixed-use office/retail     neighbors, but may be smaller homes designed
has also been added, with more in the planning,       for tiny or difficult lots, some by architects for
and a residential/retail complex with structured      their own personal use.                                                          Kentlands Community Foundation
parking has been approved. This latter is the              Housing built in the Kentlands consists of
                                                                                                                         The Kentlands Community Foundation is a community-based, not-
first Kentlands redevelopment, as a                   rental apartments, condominium apartments,                         for-profit organization rooted in Kentlands. The Foundation’s
replacement for the closed Upton’s department                                                                            mission has three branches: to serve as an educational resource on
                                                                                                                         the landmark new urbanist community that is Kentlands, to build
store.                                                                                                                   community by supporting local arts and cultural programs, and to
     In general, the design code calls for the use,                                                                      provide opportunities for volunteerism and community outreach.
                                                                                                                            The Foundation believes that the neighborhood is the heart of
whenever practical, of natural materials,                                                                                community life. Our goal is to help connect individuals and
building facades 8-12 feet from the sidewalks                                                                            families in ways that enhance everyday life and encourage civic
with stoops and porches in that space, steeply                                                                           involvement. All programs are open to the public, and volunteers
                                                                                                                         are always welcome. For docent tours, information, or to learn
pitched gable or hip roofs, amply trimmed                                                                                about volunteering, please contact the Foundation.
vertical divided glass windows, and fences or
                                                                                                                                        Street Address Mailing Address
hedges along the sidewalks. The layout of the                                                                                          Carriage House 267 Kentlands Boulevard
street plan followed the topography of the site                                                                                  321 Kent Square Road P.M.B. 200
but was affected by three external constraints:       Community green area where residents of all ages gather to enjoy         Gaithersburg, MD 20878 Gaithersburg, MD 20878
                                                      outdoor activities and community events                                               Telephone: 301-926-6636
the width and layout of the two major through         (Photo courtesy of Stephanie Vierra)                                 Email:          G a i t h e r s b u r g ,   M a r y l a n d
Tour Route                                          The Kentlands Site and Its History                                      National Geographic Society with the condition     largest new urbanist project in the country at
                                                                                                                            that the unbuilt portions of these properties      that time. Alfandre, DPZ, and the City of
The proposed tour route is intended to introduce    A former farm estate, Kentlands is edged on                             remain as wildlife sanctuaries. He also laid       Gaithersburg conducted a design charette –
you to many of the concepts of new urbanism         the west by a stone-outcrop hill, once the site                         plans for the future development of his estate     basically a five-day planning marathon attended
and to a variety of natural and built features of   of a quarry. It is dotted throughout with lakes,                        as a uniquely beautiful, natural neighborhood,     by all the stakeholders – in June 1988. The
the community. You may feel free to expand          wooded streams and wetlands. The original                               which he planned to name                           result of the charette was the basic design for
your tour by venturing off into additional          estate, called Wheatlands, was put together at                          “Lakelands.”                                       the Kentlands and a new zoning concept for
neighborhoods not covered in this tour.             the end of the 19th Century by Frederick A.                                  In 1988, Joseph                               the City of Gaithersburg, an MXD zone allowing
                                                    Tschiffely, owner of Washington’s best-known                            Alfandre       purchased                           for mixed commercial and residential uses,
1. Begin tour at Old Farm by the Arts Barn.         pharmacy which was also the largest                                     Kentlands from Mr. Kent’s                          governed by the design code developed in the
    (Review of Mansion, Carriage House,             pharmaceutical wholesale distributor in the                             heir, Helene Danger Kent,                          charrette.
    Firehouse, Green, and Arts Barn.)               region. In 1900, Mr. Tschiffely built “The Bricks,”                     and began planning for
    From the side of the Arts Barn, proceed         the mansion that became home to his family of                           the creation of Kentlands,                         Kentlands Architecture and Design Code
    down Firehouse Lane to first left on            eight children.                                                         a complete town based on
    Golden Ash Mews.                                                                                                        neo-traditional planning                           The actual plan and design code for the
2. Follow Golden Ash Mews, staying on it                                                                                    principles. After the initial                      Kentlands is based on the best traditional
    when it turns right, through the alley to                                                                               plans were laid down, and                          architecture in the region such as that of
    Inspiration Lane.                                                                                                       construction had begun, ownership and              Annapolis, Georgetown, and Old Town
3. Turn left on Inspiration Lane and follow it                                                                              management of the Kentlands development            Alexandria. Four neighborhoods were laid out
    to Main Street. Turn right on Main Street                                                                               passed to the Great Seneca Development             around three central nodes: the clubhouse, the
    to Market Square area. (Review of Market                                                                                Corporation, an affiliate of the Chevy Chase       original farm buildings now put to civic and
    Square area.)                                                                                                           Bank. Six years later, Natelli and Classic         cultural use, and the church/school/store center.
4. Retrace steps on Main Street and follow to                                                                               Communities developed the National                 Later, neighborhoods were developed around
    where it becomes Midtown Road.                                                                                          Geographic site and began the development          the most conspicuous physical features of the
5. Take Midtown to Thurgood Street. Turn                                                                                    of Lakelands, doubling the size of the neo-        landscape – the hill and the lakes – and much
    right on Thurgood St.reet                                                                                               traditional community and greatly enlarging the    denser neighborhoods were provided for the
6. At Tschiffely Square Road take a left.           Kentlands Mansion (Photos courtesy of Nylec Photography 301-607-4188)   combined commercial downtown area.                 midtown area, between the shopping center and
    (Review of Clubhouse, Community Green                                                                                                                                      the civic buildings of the old farm, and on “the
    and Crescent.) Follow Tschiffely to Leekes            In 1942, a prominent Washington lawyer,                           The Kentlands Planning Process:                    Bluffs” at the east end of the property. These
    Lot Way.                                        Otis Beall Kent, purchased the estate and                               Goals and Context                                                                         neighborhoods include
7. Turn left at Leekes Lot Way and follow to        renamed it Kentlands. He greatly expanded the                                                                                                                     a number of multi-family
    the trail entrance on the left.                 farm through the purchase of adjoining land,                            In the mid-1980s, just as Mr. Alfandre was                                                rental and condominium
8. Enter trail and follow through to                enlarged the mansion, and built magnificent                             beginning to plan his new development, two                                                communities, including
    Treehaven Street.                               brick outbuildings to house his farm manager                            crusading urban planners, Andres Duany and                                                Copperfield Crossing I
9. Take a right on Treehaven Street and             and staff, the farm equipment, his many                                 Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, attracted attention to                                           and II, Beacon Place,
    follow to the next trail entrance on the        vehicles, and his collection of vintage fire                            their ideas about neo-traditional town planning.                                          and the Gardens, a
    right which leads to the lakes.                 engines. In 1944, Mr. Kent created the chain of                         In contrast to the prevailing suburban planning                                           senior living community
10. Follow the path to the right around Lake        lakes that bordered his mansion on three sides.                         of the time, they advocated a “new urbanism”                                              adjacent to Main Street
    Helene ending back up on Firehouse              These lakes were intended for irrigation, for                           of mixed residential and commercial uses built                                            shopping and services.
    Lane.                                           flood control, and most importantly as habitat                          densely on small lots served by a grid of narrow   Gable end of a single-family residence When fully built out,
11. Take Firehouse Lane to the left past            for the birds, fish, and wildlife that Mr. Kent, a                      streets and alleys. (See the attached summary,                                            Kentlands will have
    Inspiration Park. At Inspiration Park, take     pioneer conservationist, was determined to                              “Principles of New Urbanism and Traditional        about equal numbers of multi-family housing
    the diagonal walking path back to the           shelter and preserve. Towards the end of his                            Neighborhood Development.”)                        units and single-family houses, with a total
    Mansion to end the tour.                        life in the 1960’s, Mr. Kent deeded parts of his                             Alfandre engaged the firm of Duany Plater-    population estimated at 4582.
                                                    estate to the Izaak Walton League and the                               Zyberk (DPZ) to design the Kentlands, the
                                                   Mixed-Use                                         Increased Density                                 affirm the continuity and evolution of urban
     Principles of New                                                                                                                                 society.
      Urbanism and                                 Mixed-use is encouraged within the
                                                   neighborhood and the block and within
                                                                                                     Residences, shops, services, and
                                                                                                     employment are close together to preserve
 Traditional Neighborhood                          buildings through a mix of shops, offices,        open space, encourage walking, reduce             Smart Transportation
                                                   apartments, houses, recreation, and               public costs, and provide sufficient scale to
       Development                                 institutional uses.                               support local amenities, businesses, and          A high-quality rail network connects cities and
                                                                                                     public transportation. Close neighbors            towns. Neighborhood centers provide
                                                                                                     naturally develop social interactions, beautify   dignified places to wait for transit. All
Walkability                                        Diverse Housing                                   their surroundings by adding landscaping and      elements of site design encourage a variety
                                                                                                     gardens, and watch over each other for            of modes for daily transportation.
Most daily needs-–shopping, services,              A range of housing types, tenures, sizes and      collective security.
schools, and recreation-–can be satisfied          prices are located close together, often in the
within a 5- to 10-minute walk of home and          same block. Houses are permitted to contain
work. Pedestrian-friendly design includes          an ancillary dwelling unit in the rear yard,      Traditional Neighborhood Structure
buildings close to the street, front porches,      typically above the garage. Affordable
continuous tree cover, on-street parking,          housing is designed to look like market-rate      The neighborhood has a discernable center
hidden parking lots, and garages relegated to      housing, not segregated, and never clustered      and edge. Commercial activity and housing
rear lanes. Narrow streets, traditional            in large numbers. The housing mix brings          density increase toward the neighborhood
roadway features (e.g. forks, triangles,           people of diverse ages, ethnicity, and            center, with office space often accommodated
staggered intersections, traffic circles, and      incomes into daily interaction.                   in mixed-use buildings. Each neighborhood
curb bump-outs), and on-street parking are                                                           center includes a civic space (e.g. a square,
provided to calm traffic. Elementary schools,                                                        plaza or green) and reserves at least one
day-care centers and recreation facilities are     High-Quality Architecture and                     prominent site for a civic building.
located and sized to be easily accessible on       Urban Design
foot or bicycle. A range of parks, from tot-lots
and green spaces to ball-fields and                Design emphasizes aesthetics, human               Sustainability and Environmental Quality
community gardens, are distributed within          comfort, and a sense of place. Civic buildings
neighborhoods, with small playgrounds              and public sites are placed in prominent          Development, construction, and operations
distributed evenly throughout each                 locations, as landmarks, within the               are designed to minimize environmental
neighborhood.                                      community. Streets are faced by building          impact. Significant natural features (e.g.
                                                   fronts or public tracts and most vistas are       wetlands, lakes, and streams) are retained
                                                   terminated by a public tract, natural feature,    and celebrated by designing public spaces
Connectivity                                       deflection in the street, or carefully-sited      and thoroughfares to front them, rather than
                                                   building. Retail buildings front the sidewalk     by privatizing them behind backyards. The
An interconnected street grid network              directly, with no setback. Residences are         plan is accommodated to the topography to
disperses and slows traffic and increases          placed relatively close to the street with        minimize the amount of necessary grading.
walkability by allowing most streets to be         allowable encroachment by bay windows,            The site is developed to maximize the
narrow. Cul-de-sacs are avoided unless             balconies, stoops, open porches, awnings,         preservation of specimen trees by locating
demanded by natural conditions.                    arcades, etc. Most residential lots have          greens and parks at tree save areas. Open
Interconnected networks of streets and paths       parking access via rear lanes, and garages        spaces are connected into continuous natural
are designed to encourage walking, reduce          that must be served from the street are           corridors as green belts passing through
the number and length of automobile trips,         separated or set back from the front of the       neighborhoods or greenways within
save energy, and allow all trips to be             house.                                            neighborhoods. Preservation and renewal of
comfortable, pleasant, and interesting.                                                              historic buildings, districts, and landscapes