Chestnut Lodge fire, west rear corner.

Chestnut Lodge fire, west rear corner.

2 responses

  1. Robert Mechner | Reply

    What a shame someone may have burned down this historic building.

    I wish this building would have been protected by the local government. Did the local historic societies fight to preserve this building? Can it be rebuilt after this much damage has occurred to it?
    Robert Mechner

    1. Thanks for your comment, and just to confirm, Chestnut Lodge is listed both on the National Register of Historic Places and as a City of Rockville Historic District. The current housing development is not only subject to the City’s zoning and planning code, but also a special set of guidelines prepared exclusively for this site (I believe it is available on the City Web site at rockvillemd.gov). Rebuilding is unclear at this point but we’ll know more in a couple weeks (e.g. the fire marshall and structural engineer has inspected the ruins, the bank and insurance company assess the risk). While I was there on Sunday afternoon, a demolition crew was removing some of the most unsafe areas and I noticed they could easily pull away bricks by hand as if the mortar had lost most of its strength. I wasn’t able to get close enough to evaluate the condition of the brick. Rebuilding is always possible (many cities in Europe rebuilt their landmarks after the war) and it always includes a good discussion over cost, authenticity, and cultural values (that will be a very interesting discussion!).

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