Archive for category Preservation Stories

Preservation Maryland’s 2014 Summer School

On Wednesday, July 23, over 70 preservation professionals gathered at McDaniel College in Westminster for Preservation Summer School, a one-day, one-topic conference. The title of this year’s event was “Uncovering the Untold Stories,” and the sessions built on many of the great lessons we learned at last year’s conference “Marketing Preservation to a Broader Audience.” Last year’s speakers focused on how to craft the story of your organization to attract new audiences and this year we focused on how organizations can discover and share the stories of under-represented groups at their historic sites and in their historic communities.

Did you know that as of 2004 only 3% of the 77,000 properties on the National Register of Historic Sites represent African American, Hispanic and Asian American heritage? Another 3-4% of sites are named for women, and today, only about 25 sites focus on the history of the LGBTQ community. There should not be these huge disparities in whose stories are being told through preservation efforts. All people should be able to see themselves and their ancestors in the sites we preserve and the stories we tell.      

This year’s Preservation Summer School was focused on showing people how to bring those stories to light. In the morning session, “Preservation of What and for Whom?,” Shelley Stokes-Hammond from Howard University shared her experiences researching the civil rights history of the Shaker Heights neighborhood of Cleveland where she grew up. Although these civil rights struggles had a significant impact on this neighborhood and were important on a national level, the struggles are not once mentioned in the National Register nomination for the area. Rico Newman, executive director of the Maryland Indian Tourism Association, shared about the negative impacts of marginalizing a community’s history and how he is bringing to the light the history of the Piscataway people in southern Maryland. Page Harrington, executive director of the Sewall-Belmont House and Museum in Washington, DC, explained the history of this women’s suffrage site and how the National Collaborative for Women’s History Sites is drawing more attention to women’s role throughout history.

One of the best ways to discover and share stories is through partnerships. In the afternoon, Mark Meinke from the Rainbow History Project, Jenny Masur from the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom and Clay Washington from the Kennard High School Alumni Association shared how they have partnered with traditional and non-traditional history organizations to share their stories and promote their preservation efforts. Once you uncover the stories and form the partnerships, the question becomes how do you get the word out to people in your community and across the state. Sarah Heffern from the National Trust for Historic Preservation showed participants how they can use social media to get the word out to all different kinds of audiences.

In addition to all these great sessions, participants had plenty of time to network with colleagues and make new friends. If you missed this year’s Preservation Summer School , be sure to check our website in the early spring for details about next summer’s conference.  

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July News Round-Up

July News Round-up

Anne Arundel County
MD State House restoration to be complete in December– NBC Washington 7-14-14

Baltimore City
Preservationists, child advocates take up issue of lead-paint windows  –  Baltimore Brew 7-15-14
Baltimore City Council passes tax credits for apartment developers – Baltimore Sun 7-17-14

Baltimore County
Resident unearths forgotten historic site in Catonsville– Baltimore Sun 7-7-14

Carroll County
Sykesville designated as 2014 National Main Street – Baltimore Sun 7-14-14

Cecil County
Perryville to pursue “Main Street Maryland” designation– Cecil Daily 7-23-14

Garrett County
Garrett heritage projects funded– Cumberland Times-News 7-15-14

Harford County
Havre de Grace get $92,000 grant to extend its Promenade– Baltimore Sun 7-19-14

Kent County
Historic District in Chestertown okays bank signs– My Eastern Shore MD 7-7-14

St. Mary’s County
Lighthouses still a draw in Southern Maryland – My Eastern Shore MD 7-25-14

Wicomico County
Historic MD church built in 1773 is ravaged by fire – The Daily Mail 7-22-14

The case for preservation, not just demolition, in Detroit’s war on blight – Model D Media 7-8-14

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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 – 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 – 4-18-14

Dorchester County
Native American house grand opening set for April 27– 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 – 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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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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January News Round-up

Allegany County
Canal Place gets $116,000 from state; officials debate future of operations – Cumberland Times-News 1-15-14

Anne Arundel County
Victorian stands out in Annapolis  – Baltimore Sun 1-10-14
Historic Crofton House Lands $10,000 Donation – Crofton Patch 1-15-14
Annapolis Historian Ignites Maryland’s 150th Emancipation Celebration Date – 1-17-14

Baltimore City
Developer plans apartments for Raffel Building south of Federal Hill – Baltimore Sun 1-7-14
Downtown neighborhoods might get names – Baltimore Sun 1-10-14
City Council mills extending tax breaks for historic properties – Baltimore Sun 1-13-14
Old tire shop in Remington transformed  – Baltimore Sun 1-17-14
Townhouses, apartments coming to historic Crittenton site in Hampden – BizJournals 1-21-14

Charles County
Charles County land preservation grants awarded – 1-25-14
Historic Preservation Commission to Host Awards Ceremony – Southern Maryland News Net 1-27-14

Harford County
Upgrades planned for Bel Air’s Rockfield Manor – Baltimore Sun 1-16-14

Howard County
Ellicott City residents, county chart course for historic district housing – Baltimore Sun 1-17-14

Kent County
Cross Street restoration gets state tax credits – MyEasternShoreMD 1-13-14

Prince George’s County
Prince George’s Olde Towne Inn mirrors the history of African Americans in the county – Washington Post 1-24-14

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Notes from the Eastern Shore: Loss of the Ward Brothers “Homeplace”

As I touched on last month, there is no more powerful and informative tool to our preservation efforts than the people engaged in local community efforts.  While we can assist with tools, knowledge and resources, ultimately a resource is left in the long term  stewardship of the people who care about it locally.  They often will be the first to know of a pending demolition or a building in jeopardy long before we do and through their outreach we are afforded the opportunity to intervene and make a difference.

Ward Brothers House, Crisfield Photo by Paul Baker Touart

Ward Brothers House, Crisfield
Photo by Paul Baker Touart

This month I learned of the loss of a building that speaks to the heart of Eastern Shore heritage; the “homeplace” of Lemuel and Steve Ward, two brothers from Crisfield recognized as the fathers of the modern movement in decorative wildlife, or decoy carving in America. This was the very home where they were raised, subsequently lived with their own families and which used to sit adjacent to their workshop which remains.   This vernacular 1880’s house of simple means spoke to the essence of this family’s legacy and along with the adjoining workshop provided the full context of their lives. This building was on listed on the National Register, under easement to the Maryland Historical Trust and held in the hands of a local non-profit organization. So how did this happen you ask? I’ve asked myself that questions as well.

Though inhabited for many years by a family member following their death in the 1970’s it then sat vacant for quite some time, and what damage occurred during that period is unknown to us. When hurricane Sandy arrived it delivered a sharp and devastating blow to Crisfield that the community is still reeling from, damaging the house as well.  Even so, we know now there were very real questions about its future as much as eight months ago; if only someone had raised a flag efforts would have been made to preserve this very special place. The uproar that has ensued following the demolition of this building has resounded from up to eight states away.

The moral of the story? We cannot simply assume that a buildng is protected even if all measures seem to be in place to preserve it. The value of local knowledge and the need for folks to send up some smoke signals when they fear that a resource is in jeopardy is absolutely critical to the final outcome. This is our watch, and while we stand that watch it’s incumbent on us all to sound the alarm, send up smoke signals or find some means of calling in the troops. Not everything can be saved, and perhaps this was one of those cases, but without knowing it stands to reason that there were options left unexplored and potential for a different outcome now too late to realize. However, it breaks my heart to think that the new address for this special place is at the local landfill. There has to be a better way, let’s find it together.

Elizabeth Beckley, Eastern Shore Field Director

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The Time to Act is Now!

Maryland Heritage Council to host Legislative Briefing on Tuesday, February 4 in Annapolis

The Good News! Governor O’Malley’s proposed budget maintains or increases funding for the heritage programs you work for and with on a daily basis.

What’s Next? We all need to show our support for the heritage programs in Maryland by contacting our General Assembly members and telling them why they too should support these important programs.  To make the lobbying process as easy as possible the Maryland Heritage Council member organizations are co-hosting a Legislative Briefing on Tuesday, February 4.  We need you there!

Join your fellow preservationists in Annapolis on February 4 to learn about what is at stake during this session and how you can make a difference.  Afterwards, visit your representatives in the General Assembly and share the information you received at the briefing.  Close out the day at the Maryland Historical Trust’s Preservation Awards Ceremony where you can celebrate and relax with friends and colleagues.

It is up to each of us to tell our General Assembly members why heritage programs are important and to show its members that many people support the funding of these important programs!  Now is the time to wave the preservation flag in Annapolis and show your support of Maryland’s heritage.  Please pass on this announcement to your colleagues and encourage them to join us on Tuesday, February 4.

Legislative Briefing 1:30 – 3:00pm
Governor Calvert House
58 State Circle

Legislative Overview
The Honorable Maggie McIntosh, Chair, Environmental Matters Committee

What’s at Stake?
Sustainable Communities Rehabilitation Tax Credit – Michael Day
African American Heritage Preservation Program – Dr. Joni Jones
Main Street Maryland – Amy Seitz
Maryland Heritage Areas – Richard Hughes
Maryland Humanities Council – Phoebe Stein

Lobbying 101
Elizabeth Hebron, Deputy Director, NCSHPO

Closing Remarks
Richard Hall, Secretary, Maryland Department of Planning

Direct Lobbying Opportunity 3:00 – 4:30pm
Call your senator’s and delegates’ office today to schedule a visit for February 4.

Maryland Historical Trust’s Preservation Awards Ceremony 4:30-7:00pm
Governor Calvert House
58 State Circle

End the day with a celebration of historic preservation efforts in Maryland and mingle with colleagues at a reception.  Advanced registration is required.
As a member of Maryland’s heritage community, your participation is vital to the continued funding of these crucial programs.  Watch your email for updates about this important event and click the link below to register.

Legislative Briefing Registration!
For more information contact Margaret De Arcangelis at 410-685-2886 ext. 302.

Maryland Heritage Council
Archeological Society of Maryland, Council for Maryland Archeology, Greater Baltimore History Alliance, Main Street Maryland, Maryland Association of Historic District Commissions, Maryland Association of History Museums, Maryland Coalition of Heritage Areas, Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture, Maryland Historical Society, Maryland Historical Trust, Maryland Humanities Council, and Preservation Maryland

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