June News Round-Up

June News Round-up

Anne Arundel County
MHT accepting tax credit applications for historic commercial properties – The Star Democrat 6-14

Baltimore City
Kevin Plank’s Recreation Peir plans move forward –  Baltimore Sun 6-9-14
UMB seeks to redevelop historic site – University of Maryland News 6-12-14

Baltimore County
Reisterstown named a sustainable community– Carroll County Times 6-25-14

Carroll County
Sykesville receives Community Legacy Grant from Maryland – Carroll County Times 6-17-14

Cecil County
New Maryland program has revitalization element – My Eastern Shore MD 6-21-14

Cecil County
New Maryland program has revitalization element – My Eastern Shore MD 6-21-14

Dorchester County
Heart of Chesapeake Heritage Awards – My Eastern Shore MD 6-21-14


America’s 11 most endangered historic places – Time 6-23-14


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Endangered Locust Grove School

DEADLINE FAST APPROACHING: Help Save an Endangered Schoolhouse in Maryland!

Can you provide a good home to a charming one-room brick schoolhouse? The Locust Grove School in Rohrersville cannot stay in its current location.  Preservation Maryland and the property owner need your help to find a new steward for this schoolhouse.  A demolition permit has been issued for June 1, 2014.  We need a plan to preserve the building before the end of the month or it will be lost.


Exterior. Locust Grove School, Rohrersville, Washington County.

Many one-room schoolhouses became obsolete in the first half of the 20th century and over the past 100 years many of these buildings have been abandoned and then demolished. The Locust Grove School still stands today because it has been cared for over the past 35 years by a family who believed it was their responsibility to help preserve this piece of Maryland’s history. The family can no longer care for the building and wants to give it away to an organization or individual who can find a use for this one story, brick-over-stone foundation structure. The new owner will need to move the building to a new location and make repairs to an exterior wall that started to collapse but has been stabilized. The roof on the schoolhouse is in good condition and was replaced within the last ten years. The current owners researched the cost of moving and repairing the building and are happy to share that information with interested parties.

Are you looking for a charming little building to adaptively reuse? Do you know of a historic village complex that needs a one-room schoolhouse to teach children about life in the 19th century? Does your community need a gathering place? If you could use the Locust Grove School in any of these ways or have a different idea for repurposing the building, please contact Margaret De Arcangelis today. We need to work together now to find a new location for this historic little schoolhouse or else it will be demolished.


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April News Round-up

April News Round Up

Baltimore City
Walters Art Museum to renovate Hackerman House – AFANEWS.com 4-7-14
Crittenton mansion exterior renovations approved by city’s preservation boardThe Baltimore Sun 4-9-1                        Patterson Park cannons dated to 17th, 18th centuries – The Baltimore Sun 4-27-14

Cecil County
St. Stephen’s congregation rallies to repair historic window in time for Easter – CecilDaily.com 4-18-14

Dorchester County
Native American house grand opening set for April 27– MyEasternShoreMD.com 4-24-14

Harford County

Historic house in near Bel Air could face uncertain future – The Baltimore Sun 4-22-14
Old house worth preservingThe Baltimore Sun 4-26-14

Kent County
Battle of Caulk’s Field bicentennial planned – The Star 4-15-14

Montgomery County
Historic Hardy House in Montgomery sellsThe Washington Post 4-21-14

Prince George’s County
Upper Marlboro sites featured in historic Maryland tour – Gazette.net 4-10-14

Talbot County
Circa 1920 Crisfield-built buyboat Winnie Estelle joins Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum’s floating fleet – Maryland NewsZap 4-5-14

Washington County
Why Gathland Park is at Gapland – Herald Mail Media 4-27-14
Wicomico County
Old Wicomico County Court House needs $3.8M in upgrades  –DelmarvaNow 4-28-14


8 Strategies for Building a Sustainable Preservation Movement
Huffington Post 4-3-14

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March News Round Up

Allegheny County
Public gets look at future plans for Canal Place Heritage Area– Cumberland Times-News 3-26-14

Baltimore City
Washington Monument restoration changes atmosphere of Mount Vernon neighborhood – The Baltimore Sun 3-24-14
The historic Lord Baltimore Hotel restores its prominence as a Baltimore landmark – Travel Daily News 3-26-14

Harford County

Havre de Grace group hopes to revive skipjack Martha Lewis – The Baltimore Sun 3-28-14
Aberdeen Woman Stops City from Destroying “Our Historic Home”Baltimore Sun 3-25-14

Kent County
Historic District Commission hears plans for Sultana center – MyEasternShoreMD 3-10-14

Queen Anne’s County
Historical society shares history of former Gov. Samuel Stevens – MyEasternShoreMD 3-19-14

Washington County
Tolson’s Chapel is a Well-Kept Historical Secret –Herald Mail Media 03-30-14

Schooley a teller of historical stories – Herald Mail Media 03-25-14

6 Practical Reasons to Save Old Buildings –Preservation Nation 03-10-14

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An Ounce of Prevention: Preventing the Burst

The winter weather this season has brought us more than just snow and frosty temperatures, it’s the perpetrator of bursting pipes and miserable conditions for old structures everywhere. Rarely have I heard of more situations where historic buildings – and their owners – were facing crisis after crisis from the plunging temperatures. Usually a more moderate climate, old houses here are likely to have been built with uninsulated pipes located in exterior walls, crawl spaces and attics, leaving them more vulnerable to these very cold spells of late. In the north, houses are almost always built with the pipes on the interior of the structure in anticipation of these temperatures. Well-built though these structures may be, their plumbing is no match for what Mother Nature can deliver.burst pipe cartoon

I’ve been fielding questions about replacing plaster ceilings and exterior pipes freezing, even sprinkler systems that have frozen and then exploded rendering the interiors a soppy swollen mess. So I thought I would pass along a few suggestions on how to prevent this from happening to you. First, make sure you have enough heating oil or propane in your tank, especially if you plan to be away. It sounds rudimentary I know, but it is often overlooked. It’s a new ballgame with record lows, and unless you’re on auto fill from the fuel company, it’s easier than ever to unexpectedly run out.  If you’ll be traveling, have someone stop in each day to ensure everything is ship shape. One of the worst situations I saw this winter occurred when a house was vacant and an opening was left cracked. When the arctic freeze landed and temperatures plummeted to record lows, the heating oil ran out very quickly; the sprinkler system froze and when it thawed, went off and soaked the house unchecked for days until passersby saw water streaming out from under the front door! Gives you chills doesn’t it? In situations as dire as this, the old wooden floors could potentially swell so badly that their expansion impacts the masonry walls, not a situation any of us want to face.

burst pipe image 2Uninsulated and antiquated pipes typically leading to bathrooms (and kitchens), are very real culprits for freezing and bursting, almost always involving damaged ceilings and destruction to what lies beneath. Once this happens and you have to address the problem, there’s really no point in re-plastering a ceiling that lies below pipes. A purist though I am, I’m also pragmatic and bathroom plumbing can present problems at any time of the year. My recommendation is usually to dry wall these ceilings, regardless if the remaining walls in the room are plaster. This works especially well if there is crown molding in the room which separates the two materials nicely and you brush the ceiling paint giving it a little texture once it’s applied. Few will know the difference, and you will be in a much better position for managing these problems as they occur, and reoccur as the case may be! When in doubt, leave a faucet on a slow drip to help prevent freezing overnight. It prevents ice from forming and expanding inside the pipe.

This spring would be a perfect time to reassess the plumbing in your house and get an idea of just where your potential trouble spots may lie. If you can, check for deterioration, insulate the pipes (or relocate) and the space if possible. You can install heaters in vulnerable areas to help prevent freezing issues as well. On another note, it never hurts to drain the water supply to your exterior spigots and cover them with insulators from the hardware store. That way the water in them won’t freeze and burst in your basement. Last but not least, remember that while mitigation companies provide much needed relief, they are not often in tune to historic materials and how to address them. Do your homework and make sure you know what they plan to do and how quickly. It wouldn’t hurt to call in your friendly neighborhood historic building expert to advise you on assessing the damage and determining next steps for treating the historic fabric. The good news is that spring is almost here. Good luck and stay warm!

Elizabeth Beckley

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February News Round-up

Anne Arundel County
Digging into a Farm’s History Helps Teach About Soil – USDA 2-24-14
Historic homes and solar energy – Baltimore Sun 2-21-14

Baltimore City
BDC issues requests for proposals to spur progress on downtown Baltimore’s deteriorating west side – BBJ 2-20-14
Maryland’s War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission supports creation of interactive battlefield maps and KeyCam – Maryland NewsZap 2-23-14
Under Armour CEO Backs Plans To Turn Fells Point Recreation Pier Into Hotel – CBS News 2-27-14
The Monumental City Guards celebrate 135 years – DVIDS 2-27-14

Carroll County
Carroll recognized by Maryland Historic Trust – Carroll County Times 2-25-14

Charles County
2014 Charles County Preservation Award Winners Announced – Southern Maryland 2-24-14
Heritage revealed at treasure trove of historic sites – SoMd News 2-26-14
Southern tobacco barns hold allure for preservationists – Charlotte Observer 2-28-14

Dorchester County
Heritage Museums & Gardens celebrate black history –The Star Democrat 2-2-14
Cambridge mayor gives public until Monday to send in designs for war heroes monumentMaryland Newszap 2-28-14

Former Coca-Cola Plant May be Designated Historic Landmark – Your4State.com 2-20-14

Kent County
Award to county for farmland preservation – MyEasternShoreMD 2-19-14

Montgomery County
Committee urges council to reject historic designation of Wheaton Rec Center – Gazette.Net 2-19-14
Private cemetery cleared in search of an ancestor – SoMdNews 2-26-14
Johns Hopkins vs. MoCo farm: Whose wishes should prevail? – Washington Post 2-27-14

St. Mary’s County
Historic St. Mary’s City ship sails into its senior years – SoMdNews 2-28-14

Talbot County
Talbot Historical Society welcomes new executive director – The Star Democrat 2-18-14

Rotary Club hears about ongoing restorative work at The Maryland Theatre – Herald Mail Media 2-9-14

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Meet Doug Harbit, our new Development Director

Preservation Maryland members and friends,

I am excited to join the Preservation Maryland staff as the new director of development.  Historic preservation has dougbeen a passion of mine for many years.  In addition to being the former director of financial services for the National Trust for Historic Preservation, I have also had the opportunity to lead a local historic preservation organization, serve as a commissioner on a county preservation commission, as well as on the board of the Maryland Association of Historic District Commissions.  I have also had the good fortune of serving in leadership positions for several national nonprofit organizations based in Washington, DC, as well as provide consulting and fundraising services for a select group of nonprofits in central Maryland.  Most recently, I was the director of the major donor program for 1000 Friends of Maryland, the state’s advocacy organization for smart growth.

And, on the personal side, my partner David Dahbura and I live in a stone farmhouse that was built in 1799 which is located on an 80 acre farm in northern Baltimore County – so we are literally surrounded by more than two centuries of Maryland history every day.  I look forward to meeting the members and supporters of Preservation Maryland in the weeks and months ahead as we work together to expand our resources to support historic preservation programs across the state.

Doug Harbit

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