Archive for category Colleagues Corner

Discover Historic African American Sites During Black History Month

February is Black History Month. This annual commemoration of African American achievements was started in 1926 as “Negro History Week” by Dr. Carter Woodson.  He chose February as the month of celebration as it was the birth month of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. Since February has been set aside to honor the accomplishments of African Americans, I’d like to suggest a few related sites around Maryland you may consider visiting.

The Frederick Douglass-Isaac Myers Maritime Park in downtown Baltimore is an educational and national heritage site that highlights African American maritime history and the establishment of the African American Community in Baltimore during the 1800’s. The museum chronicles the saga of Frederick Douglass’ life in Baltimore as an enslaved child and young man. You will also examine the life of Isaac Myers, a free born African American who became a national leader.  The complex incorporates the oldest industrial warehouse on the waterfront.

The Charles H. Chipman Cultural Center is located in Salisbury Maryland.  It is housed in the 1838, John Wesley Methodist Episcopal Church, the oldest standing African American church on the Delmarva. The building is now a cultural and special events center and small museum honoring the history of African Americans of the Eastern Shore region. Call to schedule an appointment.

Alex Haley monument in Annapolis

Alex Haley monument in Annapolis

In Annapolis, there are two memorials commemorating African Americans. The Kunta Kinte-Alex Haley Memorial at the Annapolis City Dock features a life-size bronze statue of Alex Haley, author of Roots, located next to a plaque honoring his ancestor Kunta Kinte, an enslaved African brought to Annapolis in 1767. The statue was designed by nationally acclaimed African-American sculptor Ed Dwight. The Thurgood Marshall Memorial on Lawyer’s Mall at the Maryland State House honors Thurgood Marshall, the first African-American Supreme Court Justice. His most famous case, Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka 1954, ended racial segregation in American public schools.In Southern Maryland, the restored slave cabin at Sotterley Plantation in Hollywood is one of few extant dwellings of enslaved African Americans in the state. Built between 1830 and 1850 it is the only surviving slave cabin at Sotterley, the sole Tidewater Plantation in Maryland that is open to the public.

The Warren Historic Site in Poolesville interprets an African American community hub with all the essential structures traditional to such communities established around the United States at the end of the Civil War. The one room school (1886), the Warren UM Church (rebuilt 1903) and the Love and Charity Lodge Hall (1914) are located in Montgomery County.

Most Maryland counties have guidebooks of African American sites in their areas. Check the websites of Visitor Centers and historical societies also.  Enjoy your journey into the rich history of African Americans in Maryland.

Marilyn Benaderet/Preservation Services Director


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How Important Are Year-end Gifts to Charities?

Has your mail just morphed from an avalanche of catalogs to solicitations from a mind-boggling 

PM serves as a resource for the latest preservation techniques and regulations relating to their application.

PM serves as a resource for the latest preservation techniques and regulations relating to their application.

number of worthy causes competing for your year-end charitable dollar? There are more than 20,000 non-profit institutions in Maryland alone, and it seems that nowadays every one of them is asking you to invest in their mission before the calendar is turned to the new year. No one has a crystal ball to predict what plunging over the “fiscal cliff” will feel like, or even if it will happen. But it does seem reasonable to assume that for many people, in 2013 the tax burden will increase, and the deductibility of philanthropic gifts will not.

Preservation Maryland is no exception. Our annual fund solicitation is underway. Here’s a sample of what a contribution to Preservation Maryland’s annual fund will help do:

• ensure that our historic resources have a voice in Annapolis when laws and regulations are being considered that affect their futures,
• continue providing educational tools and information to volunteer and professional preservationists through workshops, conferences, and tours
• sustain our Endangered Maryland program which raises awareness for our most threatened heritage properties and invites solutions to the threats they face
• perpetuate one of the only funding sources for local preservation projects

To donate on line, click here. Or, call us at 410-685-2886 to provide your credit card information. Checks may be mailed to our headquarters at 24 West Saratoga Street, Baltimore MD 21201. We’ll put your deductible-guaranteed gift to good use. Thank you for your support and, remember, the clock is ticking.

Louise Hayman

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Colleagues Corner: Summer Specializing

You can fit in water time and preservation time this summer.

Even though summer doesn’t technically begin for another week, schools are getting out, beaches are filling up and the air is filled with the aroma of grilling. When I think of summer, I think of taking time to do something that I love. While I was thinking about what my summer project would be, it occurred to me that my inbox has lately been filled with the professional equivalent of summer projects. There are lots of chances to follow a more specialized preservation passion over the summer. Below are just a few.

Later this week, in Tuskegee, Alabama, the National Trust for Historic Preservation is holding a national conference on Rosenwald Schools.  The conference page is full of great resources, so even if you are not able to head down to Alabama, you can dig more into these remarkable historic resources.  The resources include a searchable database of schools from Fisk University.

More in the mood for organizational development? Maryland Nonprofits have regular trainings on a variety of development, membership, and general organizational topics throughout the summer.   One that caught my eye happens on July 11 and is called the Social Media Bootcamp. It has social media training for beginners and intermediate levels.

If you’re interests run more towards commissions, this year sees the National Alliance of Preservation Commissions hold their biannual Forum just a few hours away in Norfolk, Virginia. The conference runs July 18 to July 22 and has tours, sessions, roundtables, and networking opportunities. Closer to home the final workshop in the series the Maryland Association of Historic Preservation Commissions has been holding will be June 16 in Easton and will cover Design.

Maybe the National Main Streets conference that happened this past April in Baltimore made you want to participate next year. The 2013 conference will be in historic New Orleans and the call for proposals has gone out. Showcasing the great work done all around Maryland does not have to go away with proximity. If you’re interested in presenting, check out how to submit a session.

Finally, I would be sorely remiss if I didn’t mention the War of 1812 Bicentennial which is seemingly everywhere right now.  It’s exciting for those of us who are becoming more familiar with that chapter of history through the celebration, so I can only imagine the excitement level of the War of 1812 experts out there! I mentioned a lot of what is happening in this feature last month, but the central place to find out what is happening in Maryland is the website of the Maryland War of 1812 Commission. The ships start rolling into the Inner Harbor this weekend and will be around until the 19th of June.  Hope to see you there!

Jessica Feldt

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Colleagues Corner: War of 1812 Fever!

As I sift through emails, tweets and Facebook posts each day it is hard to ignore. The War of 1812 Bicentennial is fast approaching. This summer is an exciting one for anyone with an interest in history or preservation. There seems to be events happening in every corner of Maryland and indeed that is just the tip of the iceberg with events being held in many states and Canada.

This weekend kicks off the start of the signature War of 1812 events. New York’s Fleet Week will celebrate the Bicentennial with a huge collection of Navy, Coast Guard, Coalition, and Tall ships descending on the Big Apple. From there the tour goes to Norfolk, Virginia and then it will be Maryland’s turn!

I’ve had June 13-19 circled in my calendar for awhile now and I hope you will be able to visit Baltimore and be a part of the celebrations. The Star-Spangled Sailabration is a week of events that should spark the interest of even those who have only a vague idea of what happened during the War of 1812. The ships will be open for tours, there will also be concerts, air shows and other programs.

While this is the biggest event in Maryland this year relating to the War of 1812, it is by no means the only one. Check out the Maryland War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission’s website to find a bevy of events and sites that will educate and entertain. Baltimore also has a website set up with sites, events, and more information.

Looking for something to do right away? The Baltimore National Heritage Area will be holding a History Happy Hour on Friday, May 25 and tomorrow, May 30, Maryland Public Television will be holding a sneak peak of their documentaryThe War of 1812 on the Chesapeake: Home of the Brave.

Hope to see you on the ships in June!

Jessica Feldt

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Have you seen who will be at the Restoration & Renovation Fair next weekend?

Next weekend is the Restoration & Renovation Fair and every time I look over our program and exhibit hall, I get so excited about the wealth of experience and talent that will be at the Fair. The Fair is designed so you can come for an hour or stay all day and leave with new information. I really hope that all of you will be able to join us. Below are just some of the ways you can benefit from the Fair. The complete list of talks and exhibitors can be found on our website.

Working on windows? Visit AGW Old Style Window Glass, Burch Company, Mozer Works, Inc, or Pella Windows  in the exhibit hall and attend the talk on historic windows starting at 10:30 am.

Help for any project can be found at the Fair.

Want to hire an architect? Brennan+Company Architects, Kevin McKenna Architects, Penza Bailey Architects, and Robert R Gisriel Design Corps are all going to be in the hall

Working on a specific area of your house? The talks on Saturday cover issues from plaster vs. drywall, waterproofing, windows, mortar and masonry, and paint issues. You can also hear about how to research the story of your home’s past and how you can help finance your projects.

Need a special piece to complete your home project?Loading Dock, G. Krug and Son, or Second Chance may have exactly what you are looking for.

Looking to find a contractor or know how to look for one? Find specialists in a variety of areas like alterego, Stop Leaks, Sykes Restorations, Expert House Movers of Maryland, and the Christman Company and you can join the talk on selecting the right contractor at 9:30 am.

Advice for every older or historic home!

Looking for programs working with older and historic homes?  Many of our exhibitors likeBaltimore City Commission for Historical and Architectural Preservation (CHAP), Baltimore Housing Vacants to Value Program, Maryland Historical Trust, Retrofit Baltimore/Civic Works,  and the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development can tell you about the work they do every day to help keep the character of the state alive and vibrant with their programs and services.

I really hope to see you on April 28! The cost is just $10.  Download the registration flyer or register online. If you have any questions give me a call or send me an email.

Jessica Feldt

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Colleagues Corner: Preservation Blooming in the Spring

The "Pest House" in Baltimore County

The spring so far has been busy for me with a couple of fun projects. The first is the release of the 2012 Endangered Maryland list and the upcoming Restoration & Renovation Fair. Part of what makes these projects fun is how they help shine a light on the amazing work done by Maryland’s preservation and history organizations.

The sites featured on the Endangered Maryland list are impressive, but just as impressive are the groups working to protect them. Each year this program introduces us to new organizations that take on the daunting task of fighting for buildings that have faced years of neglect. This Colleagues Corner feature is designed to shine a spotlight on issues that would be of particular interest to our organizational partners, so for all the organizations reading this please accept this digital round of applause. While the article may focus on the buildings, the passion and dedication of the organizations, often volunteer driven, who work with the sites shines through. I’m always proud to trumpet the overall success of the sites featured on Endangered Maryland and I know that those successes would not exist without the many local preservation organizations who nominate sites. So well done and keep up the good work!

Next week the National Main Streets Conference starts here in Baltimore. Preservation Maryland will be a part of the program and if you are attending, please stop by and say hi. Just a couple weeks after this event is our first Restoration & Renovation Fair. We are very excited about this new event and hope you will join us. Registration is now open and the info flyer is online.

It’s a bit of a different kind of year for professional training at Preservation Maryland. As we said when we announced the Fair, this is an exceptionally rich year for educational opportunities in the area. We have continually-updated list of some of these offerings on our website under Trainings and Events. There is something being offered for every area of focus, so I hope you will take advantage of a program or two. If you know of a training not on the list, please get in touch and I will include it.

I hope your spring has been as full of excitement (of the good kind) as mine has been!


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Colleagues Corner: Springing Forward

While winter seemed to go by in a flash, spring is coming up on us rapidly. We are in the thick of the Maryland General Assembly session and work is in full swing for our upcoming spring activities.

The biggest of these activities for me is the Restoration & Renovation Fair. This event will take place at the Maryland Historical Society on April 28 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. As I’ve mentioned in the past, this change in our usual programming is due to a unique convergence of many educational opportunities on the Mid-Atlantic this year. So far the Fair has been getting a wonderful response and the planning committee and I are working hard to make the program diverse and high quality. Look for more information here, on our website, and through our social media feeds in the coming weeks for more information on the program and how to register. Also coming online soon will be a guide to all the many professional development opportunities being presented this year. The Maryland Historical Trust, the Maryland Association of Historic District Commissions and the Institute of Museum and Library Services will be presenting programs for a variety of audiences.

The other thing that is just around the corner is the release of our 2012 Endangered Maryland list. Our partners at Maryland Life magazine will be issuing their March/April within a month and we are very excited to share the list with all of you. The release of the Endangered Maryland list is one of my favorite things I do all year and this year’s list has some wonderful places that can use your support.

Finally, I have been working with our partners in Howard County to create an “Endangered” tour for the National Main Streets Conference coming to Baltimore April 1-4. Registration is now open for the conference and the early bird rate ends March 18. If you come to the conference, be sure to drop by the exhibit hall and say hello!

Of course it’s never too early to look forward to summer. I’ll spend my summer finding ways to create new partnerships and exploring how people can better interact with our organization and mission. Have any sites you love or ideas for programs? Add a comment below or drop me line at It’s an exciting time here at Preservation Maryland and I hope you will join us!

Jessica Feldt

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