September 17, 2022

Tour of Kentlands

Sat, September 17, 2022

10:00 AM – 12:30 PM EDT

330 Firehouse Lane, Gaithersburg, MD 20878

Kentlands was among the very first new traditional neighborhoods built in the United States since WWII. In 1988, Town Founder Joe Alfandre hired Andres Duany and Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk to prepare the Master Plan in a public design charrette. Watkins showed up on the third day of the charrette and offered to help. He has worked and lived there ever since.

The walking tour will include the history of the community, the principles on which it was designed, lessons learned, and plenty of time for questions and answers. ICAA members are encouraged to bring protective eye-wear. As Eve Kahn wrote in an early review of Kentlands in the New York Times “…the architectural details make your teeth hurt.” The architectural design standards and the role of the town architect will, no doubt, be the topic of much discussion during the tour.

Thirty-four years later, the 352-acre neighborhood is a thriving community of some 6000 people, double that if you include the seamlessly integrated DPZ-designed sister neighborhood, Lakelands which was design and built 8 years after Kentlands. Together the two neighborhoods contain some 2500 residences of a variety of types (single-family detached homes, townhouses, 12-plex condominiums, large double-loaded corridor apartment buildings, and garage apartments), 65 live work units, roughly 1 million square feet of commercial space (two grocery stories, a movie theater, dozens of restaurants, and more), as well as a public elementary school, a public middle school, a child-care center, two community clubhouses, a church and a synagogue.