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Kensington, Maryland

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Kensington, Maryland

Kensington, Maryland
Town of Kensington
Kensington's Armory Avenue in April 2010.
Kensington's Armory Avenue in April 2010.
Location of Kensington, Maryland
Location of Kensington, Maryland
Country  United States of America
State  Maryland
County Montgomery
 • Total 0.48 sq mi (1.24 km2)
 • Land 0.48 sq mi (1.24 km2)
 • Water 0 sq mi (0 km2)
Elevation 285 ft (87 m)
Population (2010)[2]
 • Total 2,213
 • Estimate (2012[3]) 2,264
 • Density 4,610.4/sq mi (1,780.1/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP codes 20895
Area code(s) 301, 240
FIPS code 24-43500
GNIS feature ID 0590589

Kensington is a town in Montgomery County, Maryland. The population was 2,213 at the 2010 United States Census. Greater Kensington encompasses the entire 20895 zip code, with a population of 19,054.


Kensington Plat (c. 1890)
Kensington B&O railroad station, completed in 1891

The area around the Rock Creek basin where Kensington is located was primarily agricultural until 1873, when the B&O Railroad completed the Metropolitan Branch which traversed Montgomery County. A community arose where the new railroad line intersected the old Rockville-to-Bladensburg road. This early settlement was first known as Knowles Station. In the early 1890s, Washington, D.C. developer Brainard Warner began purchasing land parcels to build a planned Victorian community, complete with church, library, and a local newspaper. Fascinated by a recent trip to London, Warner named his subdivision Kensington Park, the 10th and largest subdivision in the area which became the Town of Kensington. Upon incorporation in 1894, Warner convinced the Mayor and Council to name the town Kensington. [4] The historic core of Kensington was listed on the National Register of Historic Places, as the Kensington Historic District in 1980.[5]

Originally a farming community at Knowles Station, Kensington developed into a summer refuge for Washington, D.C., residents wishing to escape the capital's humid summers. As years passed and its residents increasingly remained year round, Kensington evolved into a commuter suburb. The large southernmost section originally mapped out by Warner remains largely unchanged since inception, and is a historically preserved zone. Indeed the only major changes in the town's basic layout have been the bridging over of the original railroad crossing in 1937, and the extension and widening of Connecticut Avenue, the town's main thoroughfare, in 1957.

In March 1975, Kensington gained attention regionally due to the disappearance of Sheila and Katherine Lyon. The sisters walked to Wheaton Plaza, a local shopping mall where they were seen by witnesses including their brother. However, they never returned home and the case remains unsolved.

The town gained national attention three times in a 10-month span early in the 21st century as a result of events which occurred within a mere quarter-mile radius. In December 2001, the town responded to complaints from anonymous citizens by banning Santa Claus from the annual holiday parade. Protesters arrived at the parade en masse, including hundreds of Santas riding everything from motorcycles to fire trucks. Eight months later, an Amtrak train derailed adjacent to the town center when the tracks separated at an overheated joint, injuring 72 people.[6] Fortunately, there were no fatalities. Then, on October 2, 2002, Lori Ann Lewis-Rivera became the fifth victim of the snipers who terrorized the Washington area that month, while cleaning her auto at a Kensington gas station. (See Beltway sniper attacks.)


Temple as seen from the Outer Loop of the Capital Beltway

Kensington is located in Montgomery County, northwest of Silver Spring, northeast of Bethesda, southwest of Wheaton, and southeast of Rockville. Its latitude is 39°1′48″N, longitude 77°4′30″W.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 0.48 square miles (1.24 km2), all of it land.[1]

While the town proper is but one-half square mile in size, the Kensington Post Office services a much larger area and extends into North Bethesda, MD and the Wheaton Planning District. Residents within this ZIP code (20895) generally refer to Kensington as their home town even though they technically do not reside in "The Town of Kensington".

Significant through roads in Kensington include Maryland Routes 185 (Connecticut Avenue), 193 (University Boulevard West), and 547 (Knowles Avenue).

The look and white color of the Washington D.C. Temple located in Kensington, coupled with its location near the Capital Beltway has made it a local landmark.[7] D.C.-area traffic reports often refer to the "Mormon temple" or "temple".[8][9]


2010 census

As of the census[2] of 2010, there were 2,213 people, 870 households, and 563 families residing in the town. The population density was 4,610.4 inhabitants per square mile (1,780.1/km2). There were 902 housing units at an average density of 1,879.2 per square mile (725.6/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 82.0% White, 6.1% African American, 0.1% Native American, 5.7% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 2.8% from other races, and 3.2% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 6.4% of the population.

There were 870 households of which 33.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.8% were married couples living together, 10.0% had a female householder with no husband present, 2.9% had a male householder with no wife present, and 35.3% were non-families. 27.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.54 and the average family size was 3.17.

The median age in the town was 42.1 years. 26.2% of residents were under the age of 18; 5% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 24% were from 25 to 44; 30% were from 45 to 64; and 14.8% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the town was 47.6% male and 52.4% female.

2000 census

As of the census[10] of 2000, the median income for a household in the town was $76,716, and the median income for a family was $96,394. Males had a median income of $65,804 versus $41,364 for females. The per capita income for the town was $35,919. About 0.9% of families and 2.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including none of those under age 18 and 1.3% of those age 65 or over.


The Noyes Library, Montgomery County's oldest library, is located in the Kensington Historic District
The Kensington Town Hall

Kensington is primarily a bedroom community for workers who commute to jobs in the Washington, D.C., area, but it is not without its own commercial enterprises, which include "Antique Row" on Howard Avenue, the West Howard Antique District, and Kaiser-Permanente's Kensington facility, plus art shops, restaurants, supermarkets, auto repair shops, hardware stores, and others.

The Town of Kensington hosts a farmer's market on Saturday mornings between 8am and noon at the historical train station which is still in use today as part of the MARC commuter train network. The town is home to the Noyes Library for Young Children.

Law and government

A mayoral election is held in even years for a two year term. Kensington has a four-member council, elected for two-year terms. Terms are staggered. Every year there are two council seats up for election.


The Town of Kensington is served by the Montgomery County Public Schools system, specifically:

Montgomery County Public Schools serving Greater Kensington include:

Kensington is also home to:

Places of worship

  • Saint Paul's United Methodist Church
  • Temple Emmanuel
  • Kensington Baptist Church
  • Christ Episcopal Church
  • Warner Memorial Presbyterian Church
  • Holy Redeemer Parish (Roman Catholic)
  • First Baptist Church, Kengar
  • Jehovah's Witnesses
  • Lee Memorial AME Church
  • Washington D.C. Temple of the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
  • Cedar Lane Unitarian Universalist Church

See also


  1. ^ a b "US Gazetteer files 2010".  
  2. ^ a b "American FactFinder".  
  3. ^ "Population Estimates".  
  4. ^ The Walking Tour of Kensington
  5. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places.  
  6. ^ "Federal Railroad Administration Accident Incident Report". Retrieved September 17, 2014. 
  7. ^ Saffir, Barbara J. (November 26, 2006). "Get Thrown for a Loop". In the news.  
  8. ^ "Tour Information: Visiting Washington, DC". Retrieved October 8, 2012. 
  9. ^ "The Washington D.C. Temple Photographic Essay".  
  10. ^ "American FactFinder".  
  • Kensington, a Picture History. Kensington (MD), Kensington Business District Association, 1994.

External links

  • Town of Kensington
  • Kensington Historical Society
  • Explore Kensington
  • Discover Kensington
  • Antique Row
  • KBDA

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