Thursday, July 25 – The Kentlands

by Cam Miller. 0 Comments

(Click any photo to enlarge.) ***Scroll down to see my offer for Red Cross donations.*** The Arts Barn The Kentlands Mansion I must admit, I have not been aware until now of what "new urbanism" is, but today I found out.  The Kentlands, in Gaithersburg, Maryland, serves as a model for this concept.  According to Wikipedia, "New Urbanism is an urban design movement which promotes walkable neighborhoods containing a range of housing and job types."  I can easily see why The Kentlands fits this definition. Pink on blue My GPS, however, does not truly understand the layout of the roads in The Kentlands.  I had set it to find the Arts Barn by the Kentlands Mansion, and after several wrong turns and missed turns on roundabouts, I saw a sign for the mansion and elected to follow it.  On my way there, though, I passed shopping plazas without large parking lots, cafes, professional offices, and lots of varied housing types:  townhouses, duplexes, apartment/condo buildings, and single family homes.  The streets are tree lined, and the homes have a colonial feel:  lots of brick, dormer windows, cedar shingled roofs covered in moss, and shaded sidewalks. Cattails and Lotus I parked at the mansion and walked across a large, green common area with benches, to the Arts Barn.  This brick barn, once part of the mansion grounds, is now an art gallery and performing arts center.  Summer classes were going on there. I continued along the road to the front of the brick mansion.  It is flanked by large, white crape myrtles on either side of the front door.  The acreage upon which the mansion sits is now developed into the community known as The Kentlands, but the mansion and barn are owned by the city of Gaithersburg.  Mr. Kent, who purchased the mansion and property in 1942 from Frederick Tschiffley, Jr., had a vision for the 1892 brick home and the property upon which it sat.  He built ponds, dams, and lakes as wildlife habitat.  He built the many outbuildings, some of which I saw today, such as a firehouse, to protect his holdings.  The story of how this property became today's Kentlands is here.  Today the mansion itself, surrounded by the development of this "new urban" community, is used for weddings, and arts and special events. These geese own the walking path! In front of the mansion, paths lead to a large lake.  The lake has numerous Canada Geese, some of which would not step out of the way on the paved pathways when walkers approached.  One end of the lake had lotus in bloom.  There was an upper path and a lower path surrounding the lake.  I chose the lower, which was unpaved in portions, but went through wooded sections, providing nice shade.  The people who occasionally joined me on the path were primarily mothers with children in strollers or exercise walkers/joggers. Backlit Leaves I love to make stars with the sun! I can understand the appeal of The Kentlands.  However, the main criticism I have is with the large numbers of cars parked along the roads.  Some of the homes had rear access garages, but most of the streets had parked cars along one or more sides of the street.  When driving along one of these streets, it feels very tight, especially when passing another car coming in the opposite direction.  I can just see all of these parked cars getting blocked in by snow plows.  So, in a community built for walkability, the reality is that most households there probably have two cars; I think better planning should have been done for accommodating that urban need. Save the date!  Monday, September 2, will be the last day of my year long photo walk project, and I'm planning a big celebration walk with anyone who wants to join me!  September 2 is also Labor Day, so many of you will have the day off.  The walk will be in downtown Frederick, around 9 a.m., followed by a brunch.  More details will be posted on my blog as they get confirmed.  But mark your calendars, grab your cameras, put on your walking shoes, and join me for my final Daily Photo Walk.  Let's jam the streets of Frederick with photo walkers!  Click on any photo to enlarge it. ************************************************* Forward me by email any receipt for an online donation made to the Red Cross for disaster relief, and I will send you a 5x7 print of your choice from any of my daily photo walks or from my website.  Offer good until September 2, 2013. Visit my web site: Follow me on Twitter: @camscamerashots Email: Cam's rules for the Daily Photo Walk: walk every day the walk must be in addition to any other planned activity for the day post a photo every day use whatever camera is easy and convenient for walking comfortably; always have a backup camera at the ready in case of mishaps (I use the Nikon Coolpix P7700) no weather excuses walk only where it is safe to do so

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