Author: Lili Mundroff

September 8, 2017

Construction is wrapping up in Alexandria for a renovation and significant addition including a library and photography room along with a detached garage and art studio above.
Concurrently in Granite, construction and rehabilitation is finishing on the historic farmhouse with the last installation of interior finishes and exterior work.

July 26, 2017

The AIA Baltimore Historic Resources Committee held its July meeting at the 200-year old Baltimore County Landmark house – Mount Welcome Retreat in Granite, MD yesterday evening.  Rob Brennan, AIA and Lili Mundroff, Assoc. AIA guided the group through the house and grounds and led a discussion on the preservation and rehabilitation measures being taken to sustain the property for the next 200 years.

June 29, 2017

Work continues in Woodstock Maryland for the Mount Welcome Retreat historic farmhouse. On the exterior cedar siding is going up, fascia and trim are being painted with Sherwin Williams historic colors and the standing seam metal roof on the breakfast bay and mudroom are due for installation in the next couple of days.

May 30, 2017

a new life, a rich history; the days that once were and the story of what is yet to come. #farmhouse

February 22, 2017

Our Smithouse contractors are working diligently to remove part of the original stone walls on the interior of the historic farmhouse to open up to a larger family / living area.  When it comes to 200-year (ahem -pound) granite, heavy-lifting is morning routine.  Are you bootcamp ready?


September 18, 2016

I walked into the study and looked out north toward the barn. The red board-and-batten through the wavy historic glass reminded me of looking at my grandmother’s old postcards. She would hide them way in her well-locked hutch and show them to me as a treat during our afternoon chats (accompanied by a contraband savory from Greece). It was Albania…everything was warped.
One could easily fall in love with the massive granite stone walls, the elaborate scroll-sawn balustrade, the striking red barn…or perhaps the original slave quarters now in ruins. This historic property and its landscape including the rolling slopes and the pond are a testament to the value of historic preservation and efficacy of land easements.
Our clients wanted just that: something old, something adventurous, something to love: a restored farmhouse, two new pavilions set off by discrete hyphens and a stabilized slave-quarters outbuilding.
Current outbuilding conditions reflect a more Ruskinian approach of ruins in the landscape – though we are advocating for a more contemporary preservation approach of modern steel bracing allowing the historic language to sing in harmony with the new.
And just for fun, if you thought historic can be only traditional….check out the playfulness of Philip Johnson’s Pavilion in the Pond….after all, a synergy between architecture and historic preservation can become a charming melody.

Pavilion in the pond


July 24, 2015

I had the opportunity (and must admit great pleasure) to attend the Preservation Maryland Summer School this past Wednesday at the Frederick Douglass – Isaac Myers Maritime Museum in the heart of
Harbor East.  I must admit, though I love old buildings, I hardly imagined a day-long conference would turn out to be this much fun.  If you’re only thinking old timers,  buildings that have past their prime and in dire need of love and attention, you’re only seeing half of the picture.  Filled with professionals from all over the country, Preservation Maryland is truly opening a new interdisciplinary chapter.  This year’s focus on mainstreet revitalization got in depth on economic development, from fostering local cultural heritage – Berlin MD, Buffalo NY, to event programming as in Capital for a Day in  Brookeville, MD or pop-up shops in Renaissance Covington, KY.  And how does larger scale, mainstreet urban re-development directly relate to our special interest in residential architecture or even be considered interdisciplinary in nature?  The goal, and happily to say, success of Preservation Maryland, the National Trust along with Preservation Green Lab as well as the Maryland Historical Trust is engaging many disciplines from urban planning, architecture, preservation, business development, history and culture, sustainability, arts and tourism and many many more to underline the importance of cross-pollination.  Understanding these as nutrients for a healthy organism, one begins to see architecture and old buildings as a tapestry of social sustainability – with an overarching goal for engaging spaces, events, buildings…ultimately people.

December 3, 2014

Fall in New York is spectacular, especially for an unplanned weekend getaway. The foliage of Central Park reflected on the water, the kids (and adults alike) iceskating, together with the street musician signing Bocelli under the arched bridge satiated all the senses. However it’s the little discoveries that make it exquisite. Making my way through ticketing at the Met, I overheard a few inquiring on the medieval armor collections. I must admit I was partial to that as well, having young boys often enact those times of chivalry. Yet it wasn’t until I saw the little 6th cent. b.c. colorful vases that I realized I had touched home. Perhaps some of you have an affinity to Missoni, or simply heard of last year’s Target-craze when Missoni-for-Target was launched. Yes, it is those distinguishable lines, earthy tones that reflect the colors of the Adriatic, Ionian, Aegean and Mediterranean seas, the long and snarly coasts, the shrubs and small fruits. We seek these colors and patterns in today’s terra-cotta tiles, wallpapers, articles of clothing as they were once reflected in century old perfume bottles. New York is full of surprises.

December 20, 2013

January 3, 2013

University of Minnesota has published this clear, concise and powerful video message regarding our nature's current state of affairs.  If you're tired hearing about the fiscal ravine as Al Roker redefined it, then this is an inspiring message about our new year's resolution.  REPLAY the message, SHARE via media, and ultimately ENGAGE with your environment thru proactive steps.  Cheers!