NORTH BETHESDA, MD—The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC) Montgomery County Department of Parks today announces facility planning is underway for Josiah Henson Special Park located at 11420 Old Georgetown Road in North Bethesda.
“We have hired two consultant teams to help on the project: LSC Design and Experience Design,” said Department of Parks Project Manager Eileen Emmet. “Later in the process, both firms will present design concepts during community meetings, anticipated this summer and fall.”
Facility planning for Josiah Henson Special Park will include architectural and engineering design development and the development of interpretive exhibit concepts, themes and strategies identified in the park’s master plan. As a kickoff to the facility planning process, the Department of Parks is asking the public to weigh in early by completing a short online survey, available today from www.ParkProjects.org. The final facility plan is expected in the first part of 2012.
“We just wrapped up a very successful master planning process for Josiah Henson Special Park,” said Department of Parks Museum Manager Shirl Spicer. “This next phase—facility planning—will build upon the broad interpretive themes we identified during the master planning process: the early life of enslaved people, their working and living conditions, and myths, history, literature and stereotypes, moving us closer still to opening this site as a public museum.”
The Montgomery County Planning Board approved the Josiah Henson Special Park master plan in December 2010. One of the goals of the master plan will be accomplished in early June, pending weather, with the demolition of the 1961 Rozier house and garage located at 11410 Old Georgetown Road. Neither the 1961 split-level style house nor its garage is designated a historic structure. This removal will create more open space for the park and accommodate the neighborhood’s desire to remove the currently vacant house.
“The public will also have an early-opportunity to meet our interpretive program design consultant during Heritage Days at Josiah Henson Special Park, Sunday, June 26 from 12:00 noon to 4:00 pm,” added Emmet. “Larissa Hallgren and John Carney of Experience Design will be present to informally explain the interpretive program themes and concepts being considered for the exhibits.”
At the Department of Parks request, the “Riley House” at Josiah Henson Special Park is in the final stages of approval for designation on the National Register of Historic Places. Recently, the department also received a $100,000 grant from the Department of Interior, National Park Service (NPS) through the Save America’s Treasures (SAT) grant program, which will fund a portion of the facility planning work for this park.
For updates on the facility planning process and upcoming opportunities to weigh-in, visit www.ParkProjects.org.
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Media Relations Manager
Montgomery County Department of Parks