My name is Anna Danz, and I have just returned for my third summer as a Development and Communications assistant here at Preservation Maryland. I am excited to be back and to work on new projects both in the office and in the field. From now until the end of August, I will be helping with a variety of projects including special events such as architectural field trips, a marketing and communication summit, fundraisers, membership recruitment, and field work.
Last May, I graduated from St. Mary’s College in Southern Maryland with a Bachelor’s degree in Art History. Not wasting any time, I began work on my Master’s in Architectural History and Historic Preservation in the fall at the University of Virginia, where I am currently studying 20th century American architecture. Having now explored some of the many facets of architecture and preservation throughout the country, I have decided to focus my thesis on preservation of the recent past. Looking at the Morris A. Mechanic Theater in Baltimore, an Endangered Maryland site in 2009, as a case study, I plan to address the future of Brutalist architecture in the United States and to assess changes preservationists should consider in order to ensure a dynamic and diverse architectural record for future generations.
I hope to meet more of Preservation Maryland’s members and supporters in the coming months.
Join Preservation Maryland members and friends on a field trip to the most enchanting site in Montgomery County! The day starts with a guided walking tour of National Park Seminary (NPS), a redevelopment project which features a unique collection of historic and modern homes, including Aloha House (pictured right). After lunch at NPS, the nominators of the 10 Endangered Maryland sites in Montgomery County will present on the current status of the sites, including the Gymnasium at NPS.
When: Saturday, June 1, 10:00am – 2:00pm
Where: National Park Seminary – 9615 Dewitt Drive, Silver Spring, MD 20910
Cost: $25 for PM members, $30 for non-members
Lunch is included and pre-registration is required. For more information and to register, click here or call Margaret De Arcangelis at 410-685-2886 x302.
Below is a round-up of news articles on preservation and heritage issues in Maryland and beyond.
State help eyed to save western Md. Civil War site The Daily Record 4-1-13
Coney residents say they can save Catholic church from demolition Cumberland Times-News 4-17-13
Students document building exteriors Cumberland Times-News 4-23-13
Anne Arundel County
Architectural Historian Orlando Ridout Dies at Age 59 Annapolis Patch 4-10-13
Maryland House and Garden Pilgrimage 2013: Tour More Than 50 Historic Properties This Spring Huffington Post 4-18-13
Our say: Don’t decorate Market House – just get it open Capital Gazette 4-26-13
City Dock proposals divide Annapolis Baltimore Sun 4-29-13
City wants $20 million upgrade at Lexington Market Baltimore Sun 4-3-13
Baltimore lobbies for tall ships, naval vessels to fill Inner Harbor Baltimore Sun 4-4-13
Back Story: Buildings are gone but not forgotten Baltimore Sun 4-5-13
Guilford neighborhood marks 100th anniversary Baltimore Sun 4-12-13
Lexington Market is in desperate need of a change Baltimore Sun 4-19-13
Cool potential for former icehouse Baltimore Sun 4-19-13
Researchers dig deep to discover the history of their homes Baltimore Sun 4-20-13
Makeover aims to bring Enoch Pratt Free Library’s central branch into digital age Washington Post 4-26-13With opening of Mill No. 1, the Jones Falls Valley’s makeover is nearly complete Baltimore Sun 4-27-13
Mount Airy to introduce ordinance on historic buildings Carroll County Times 4-29-13
Incinerator would tower over historic Monocacy battlefield Gazette.Net 4-25-13
Aberdeen’s mayor to Historical Society on B&O train station: ‘We’re fed up’ Baltimore Sun 4-9-13
Two Darnestown Area Locations Make ‘Endangered Maryland 2013′ List NorthPotomac Patch 4-9-13
House at ‘gateway’ to Rockville recommended for historic designation Gazette.Net 4-19-13
Public to vote on grant money for historic preservation in Montgomery Gazette.Net 4-29-13
Prince George’s County
Events aimed at drawing new crowds to historic Glenn Dale mansion Gazette.Net 4-30-13
Carrol Peterson: Don’t require historic status in Princess Anne DelMarVa Now 4-24-13
St. Mary’s County
Old Scotland Post Office on Maryland endangered list SoMdNews 4-17-13
Preservation Trust Of Wicomico County Establish Endowment Fund At The CFES – The Dispatch 4-5-13
Safeguarding treasures from national historic sites Washington Post 4-23-13
Historic Sites Competing for Public Support in Contest for Preservation Grants dcist.com 4-24-13
Last weekend, the National Trust ‘Council’ (a group of high level donors) spent a day on the Eastern Shore touring some of our great historic resources. As one of the guides for the day, I had the opportunity to engage some of the participants in conversations about today’s preservation movement and the challenges of reaching beyond our ‘borders’ to a broader audience. The conversation drew a lot of interest and got me thinking more broadly about the question of why people don’t seem to embrace preservation the way we often think they should?
My most basic observation here is this, preservation is a movement, so that means we have to move, forward. It doesn’t mean standing still, going in reverse or even worse, stagnating. It means that we need to reinvent, reinterpret (ourselves) and reassess where we are all the time so that we remain relevant and therefore, effective in our mission. By definition, the word movement speaks to the collective advancement of a shared idea, to progressive development, to change and repositioning. For a movement whose mission is perceived to mean freezing time, we have to remember to message that it’s really about managing change.
Preservationist often look to the conservation movement with an eye towards their success in being embraced by the general public. One advantage is that the more progressive conservation organizations routinely revisit the question of what’s needed and what’s relevant, what’s working and what isn’t. They’re great at reassessing their position and figuring out how to make their cause personal, which results in be able to engage people on a grass roots level, despite the fact that environmental regulations have decidedly become stricter. Conservation is regulated by the government, not by its citizens, unlike the most public aspect of preservation – historical commissions. This makes our job considerably more difficult. To gain ground, we have to ensure that those who serve on our front lines are well trained and well informed so that the message they deliver is not only right, but right on target. Unfortunately this is not where we always allocate our resources, why I don’t know. As a movement we have gone from volunteer based to one that has complicated levels of regulation and policy that stretch from Washington to your own back yard. Sandwiched between the bureaucrats and the public is the volunteer who is often times struggling with how to answer the questions, interpret the standards and define the criteria while coming away without feeling fairly perplexed and embattled. It’s clearly a top down problem and one that we seriously need to address.
That being said, it is even more important for us as preservationists to adapt and reinvent as history and conversations change around us. Today building preservation and revitalization is directly related to an improved environment, certainly a cause the younger generation relates to. In addition we have the ever evolving voice of African American history to explore and the surge of heritage tourism as Maryland lays down a myriad of historic trails that delve into everything from the voyage of John Smith to the War of 1812 and beyond. History in Maryland is fast becoming the currency of choice for many counties that are realizing its economic and social value. As preservationists we innately like the road less traveled, but we have to remember not only to fill in the pot holes along the way but to leave a trail of breadcrumbs so others can easily find us.
- Elizabeth Beckley
Last Saturday, April 13, we hosted our first field trip of the year and it was a great success. Participants came to Chesapeake College in Wye Mills from as far away as St. Mary’s City and Frederick County to learn about the history of milling in the area and visit houses that are not generally open to the public. The weather on Saturday was absolutely perfect – sunny and in the upper 60’s with just a slight breeze.
After enjoying coffee and donuts, the whole group piled into two large vans and we were off. Robert Wilson, the owner of Providence Farm, along with Rebecca Marquardt, president of the Queen Anne’s County Historical Society, gave the group an overview of the history of this 1746 house built by a local miller. I was particularly wowed by the detailed woodwork in the house and the amount of restoration work Mr. Wilson has completed.
Our busy schedule did not allow for time to stop and walk around in Centreville, but we did detour up and down through town. Elizabeth Beckley and Michael Bourne, our tour guides for the day, pointed out some of the oldest buildings in town including Wright’s Chance and Tucker House.
Next we headed back to Wye Mills to visit Cloverfields, an early 18th century house and the home of the Great Tobacco Merchant, William Hemsley. While some members of the group chatted with Mrs. Pippin, the current owner of the house, others admired the detailed exterior brick work and visited the Hemsley cemetery.
By noon everyone was getting ready for lunch, so we headed off to the Old Wye Church and enjoyed our lunch in the parish house. The Reverend Charlie Osberger joined us for lunch and gave the group an informative and funny introduction the history of the church and the congregation.
Our next stop was just up the road at the Old Wye Mill, where the Friends of Old Wye Mill, were kind enough to open the mill up before their regular summer hours started. Jim Casey, George Hoffman and John Nizer showed us around this colonial era grist mill which is the oldest in continuous operation in the state. If you are ever looking for a rhythmic noise that will lull you right to sleep, the beat of the water going into the steal wheel is exactly what you want to hear.
Just a few hundred yards south of the mill sits the Miller’s House which was built around 1750. Many of the participants on the trip were excited to see inside the house because it is one of the least altered early structures on the Eastern Shore. Those who did not want to get dirty in the house visited the cemetery on the grounds and I got a kick out of watching a bald eagle soar high above us.
I think our first field trip was a glowing success and a lot of fun. If you could not join us this time, I hope you will come along on a future trip. Keep your eyes peeled next month for information on our next field trip which will be Saturday, June 1 at the National Park Seminary in Silver Spring.
Margaret De Arcangelis
I am pretty sure Orlando Ridout never thought of himself as a celebrity, but to me he was. He was a Rock Star among preservationists, and I was privileged to have known him for his adult life. His father, the first state historic preservation officer, was my boss in my first preservation job, and so I was aware of Orlando’s emerging interest in historic buildings long before he established his reputation. Much has been said and written in the months since it became known that Orlando Ridout V was fighting one of the deadliest diseases. Today, I feel compelled to add my personal thoughts on his untimely death of clearly one of the great vernacular architecture scholars in America.
The loss of Orlando on April 6 after a valiant battle with pancreatic cancer is being felt throughout the country, most acutely by those who had the good fortune to know him, work with him, and — in my case —to consult him on what had to be annoyingly elementary questions. I am sympathetic to those in our field who will, for decades to come, hear his name, learn from his scholarship and benefit from his largeness of heart but who never witnessed his contagious enthusiasm for his work or received a rapid response to an email seeking some arcane detail about a building little known and long gone. Knowing the likely outcome of his struggle, in the last year many around Orlando hastened to thank him and to honor him for his achievements. In retrospect, those efforts seem woefully inadequate. Who can envision what Orlando — judging by his scholarship, contributions and energy – might have left behind had he been given 40 more years to pursue his passion? Sadly, we are left to be thankful for what he did produce – exponentially more than most professionals in our field no matter the extent of their careers. We are left to benefit from his work and his love for it. A lucky few of us will cherish the time he spent with us and be inspired to re-dedicate ourselves to carrying on, in the path he created before us.
Monday, April 8, 2013 marked the end of the 2013 Session of the General Assembly. The 433rd General Assembly passed many significant pieces of legislation including a strict gun-control bill, the repeal of the death penalty, a huge Baltimore city schools funding initiative, and a medical marijuana measure.
Below is a summary of how the preservation legislative agenda fared.
This enabling legislation allows Baltimore City and county and municipal governments to issue a property tax credit to individuals for up to 25% of their preservation and restoration expenses. Prior to passage of this legislation, the credit was capped at 10%.
Preservation faired very well this year in the budgeting process. The governor proposed a $3 million increase to the Sustainable Communities Tax Credit Program, and although the Department of Legislative Services recommended only a $1.5 million increase, the General Assembly passed the governor’s proposed amount. Please see the full summary of budget items below.
- Sustainable Communities Tax Credit Program: $10 million ($3 million increase from FY2013)
- African American Heritage Preservation Grant Program: $1 million
- Maryland Heritage Areas Program: $3 million
- Main Street Maryland
- Maryland Humanities Council: $53,500
Thank you to all who supported this year’s legislative and budget agendas through e-mails, phone-calls, and direct lobbying efforts with your representatives in the General Assembly.
A special thanks to Governor Martin O’Malley for his support of historic preservation in the budget. Thanks also to Senator Edward J. Kasemeyer and Delegate Stephen Lafferty for sponsoring SB0144, HB0263 Property Tax Credit – Historically and Architecturally Valuable Property and thank you to Preservation Howard County for championing this legislation from the very start.
Important work can be done between now and the beginning of next year’s General Assembly Session. We encourage you to cultivate the support of your representatives in the General Assembly by highlighting preservation projects in your community and stressing the importance of the above programs year round.
Thank you for your support!