About Kensington, MD

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 is a great place to live for anyone looking for a small town feel with all the amenities of a larger city nearby. There are plenty of things to do in Kensington, from shopping and dining to parks and recreation. The town is also close to Washington, D.C., making it a great option for commuters.

History of Kensington, MD

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

Kensington was originally developed as a summer retreat for Washington, D.C. residents looking to escape the city’s humid summers. However, as more and more residents began staying year-round, Kensington slowly transformed into a commuter suburb. The large southern section of the town, which was mapped out by Warner, remains largely unchanged and is now a historic preservation zone. The only major changes to the town’s layout have been the bridging 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. The case was not resolved until 2017.