National Park Seminary receives $100,000 grant to help repair windows

National Park Seminary receives $100,000 grant to help repair windows

Ballroom was built in the 1920s

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The National Park Seminary has received $100,000 from the Maryland Historical Trust to help repair 14 stained glass windows in the grand ballroom

Photos courtesy of Bonnie Rosenthal

The National Park Seminary in the Forest Glen area of Silver Spring has received a $100,000 grant from the Maryland Historical Trust to help repair stained glass windows in the grand ballroom.

Gov. Larry Hogan’s office said last week that the state’s Historic Preservation Capital Grant Program awarded $600,000 in grants for 10 historic preservation projects across the state.

The Maryland Historical Trust, part of the Maryland Department of Planning, is responsible for historic preservation in the state. The Capital Grant Program provides funding for historic preservation, along with construction, engineering and other services.

The National Park Seminary site began as a hotel in 1887. Seven years later, it became a finishing school for girls, according to the website of Save Our Seminary, a nonprofit organization that advocates for the preservation of the site and tells its history.

The site was later used as an annex to Walter Reed Army Hospital during World War II and other wars. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1972.

The seminary site is a residential community today, and includes a grand ballroom built in the 1920s. The ballroom contains 14 stained glass windows that have fallen into disrepair over time.

Bonnie Rosenthal, the executive director of Save Our Seminary, said in an interview Friday that the last renovation for the main buildings of the campus happened in 2009, but the stained-glass windows were left out.

“They were not restored or renovated or rehabilitated to the extent that they needed to be during their initial renovation. So, over the years since, they have gotten worse,” she said.

The windows have experienced water damage, peeling paint and other forms of natural decay over the years, Rosenthal said. She said the organization applied for a grant from the state about a year and a half ago.

“We knew about the grant, and we applied, and because there was more urgency and need for the grant support, that helped a lot,” she said.

Rosenthal said the total cost of the repairs to the windows is about $250,000. The rest of the money, she said, is being raised through a dedicated fund put together by homeowners.

She said work on the windows is expected to start in the fall.

Dan Schere can be reached at daniel.schere@bethesdamagazine.com

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