Kensington, Maryland

Kensington is a town in Montgomery County, Maryland, United States. 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, Maryland
Town of Kensington
Kensington Town Hall
Location of Kensington, Maryland
Coordinates: 39°1′34″N 77°4′22″W
Country United States
State Maryland
County Montgomery
  Total0.48 sq mi (1.24 km2)
  Land0.48 sq mi (1.24 km2)
  Water0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
285 ft (87 m)
  Density4,997.91/sq mi (1,931.00/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
  Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP codes
Area codes301, 240
FIPS code24-43500
GNIS feature ID0590589


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.[5] The historic core of Kensington was listed on the National Register of Historic Places, as the Kensington Historic District in 1980.[6]

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 dozens 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,[7] though 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.)


Kensington is located in Montgomery County, northwest of Silver Spring, northeast of Bethesda, west 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 land.[8]

While the town proper is but one-half square mile in size, the Kensington Post Office serves a much larger area and extends into North Bethesda 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".

The look and white color of the Washington D.C. Temple located in Greater Kensington, coupled with its location near the Capital Beltway has made it a local landmark.[9] D.C.-area traffic reports often refer to the "Mormon temple" or "temple".[10][11]


Historical population
Est. 20172,394[4]8.2%
U.S. Decennial Census[12]

2010 census

As of the census[3] 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[13] 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.


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 hosts a website, Explore Kensington] listing businesses, services, news and events in the Town of Kensington.

The Town of Kensington hosts a farmer's market on Saturday mornings between 9am and 1pm 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.


The Kensington Day of the Book Festival or World Book Day is celebrated on the Sunday closest to April 23. This afternoon street festival is celebrated with live music, author readings, open mic, activities for children and adults, storytellers, and books. Local authors, book artists, publishers, booksellers, and literary groups line Howard Ave in Historic Old Town Kensington to show, sell, and discuss their works. In conjunction is the Gala Craft Fair on Armory Avenue featuring crafts and local art.

Law and government

A mayoral election is held in even-numbered 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 2018 Kensington Town Election was held on June 4, 2018 [14]

Tracey Furman, Mayor, 147 votes

Bridget Hill-Zayat, Council Member, 113 votes

Duane L. Rollins, Council Member, 136 votes

The 2017 Kensington Town Election was held on June 5, 2017 [15]

Darin R. Bartram, Council Member, 210.3 votes

Conor D. Crimmins, Council Member, 233 votes

Tom H. Rodriguez, Council Member, 207 votes

The 2016 Kensington Town Election was held on June 6, 2016 [16]

Tracey Furman, Mayor, 129 votes

Duane Rollins, Councilman, 125 votes

Sean McMullen, Councilman, 108 votes

The 2015 Kensington Town Election was held on June 1, 2015[17]

Tom Rodriguez, Councilman, 158 votes

Darin Bartram, Councilman, 157 votes


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:


Four state highways serve Kensington. The most prominent of these is Maryland Route 185 (Connecticut Avenue), which provides the most direct link between Kensington and both Interstate 495 (the Capital Beltway) and Washington, D.C. The other major state highway serving the town is Maryland Route 193, which follows University Boulevard and Greenbelt Road east from Kensington across the northern and northeastern suburbs of Washington, D.C. The other two state highways, Maryland Route 192 and Maryland Route 547, are short connectors linking Kensington to nearby communities.

Places of worship

See also


  1. "Kensington". Maryland Manual. Retrieved 27 June 2017.
  2. "2017 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved Jan 2, 2019.
  3. "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2013-01-25.
  4. "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved March 24, 2018.
  5. Kensington Historical Society
  6. "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. April 15, 2008.
  7. "Federal Railroad Administration Accident Incident Report". Federal Railroad Administration. Retrieved September 17, 2014.
  8. "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2012-07-02. Retrieved 2013-01-25.
  9. Saffir, Barbara J. (November 26, 2006). "Get Thrown for a Loop". In the news. University of Maryland Observatory. p. M08. Retrieved October 8, 2012.
  10. "Tour Information: Visiting Washington, DC". Retrieved October 8, 2012.
  11. "The Washington D.C. Temple Photographic Essay". Meridian Magazine. Archived from the original on June 22, 2003. Retrieved October 8, 2012.
  12. "Census of Population and Housing". Archived from the original on April 26, 2015. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  13. "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  14. Election results June 4, 2018
  15. Election results June 5, 2017
  16. "2016 Kensington Election Results" (PDF). Town of Kensington. Retrieved 16 August 2016.
  17. "2015 Kensington Election Results" (PDF). Town of Kensington. Retrieved 16 August 2016.
  • Kensington, a Picture History. Kensington (MD), Kensington Business District Association, 1994.

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