Archive for category Preservation Stories
Preservation Maryland members and friends,
I am excited to join the Preservation Maryland staff as the new director of development. Historic preservation has been 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.
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 – Afro.com 1-17-14
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
Upgrades planned for Bel Air’s Rockfield Manor – Baltimore Sun 1-16-14
Ellicott City residents, county chart course for historic district housing – Baltimore Sun 1-17-14
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
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.
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
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
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
Elizabeth Hebron, Deputy Director, NCSHPO
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
The deadline to apply for a Heritage Fund grant is approaching fast. The Heritage Fund awards up to $5,000 to non-profit organizations and local jurisdictions for capital and non-capital historic preservation projects. The fund is intended to serve the needs of tangible cultural resources in Maryland that may not be met through other funding programs.
Projects eligible for funding include acquisition and/or stabilization of endangered historic properties; bricks and mortar repairs and restoration; and education, research and planning efforts related to resource preservation. Please see the Heritage Fund Guidelines and Procedures for a full listing of projects eligible for funding.
Our selection committee will meet in mid-February to review applications for funding. Projects are evaluated on a competitive basis according to the urgency for financial need, administrative capability of the applicant and the extent to which the project stimulates or promotes other preservation activities. For a full listing of grant awards criteria, click the link above for the Heritage Fund Guidelines and Procedures. For further information, click here.
When you think about Preservation Maryland, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Maybe it is the grant you received from the Heritage Fund, or the great field trip you attended last year. Although these are just a few of our great programs, the program that comes to mind first for me is Endangered Maryland. This program was my first introduction to Preservation Maryland as it is for so many other people, and it is a program I am proud to be staffing.
As many of you know, 2013 brought some big changes for the Endangered Maryland program. Our partnership with Maryland Life magazine came to an end, but that has given us an opportunity to completely own the program and use new techniques to reach a broader audience. Instead of publishing the list in print, it will have it’s own website dedicated to providing information about past and present Endangered Maryland sites. I will be working diligently after the list is released to promote it to newspapers, radio and television outlets across the state. I also hope we can rely on other preservation and heritage organizations in Maryland to help spread the word about our selections.
Another big change for Endangered Maryland is the due date for nominations. For the 2014 Endangered Maryland list, nominations are due on Wednesday, January 29. This leaves you a week and a half to gather your supporting documents, take pictures, and use the nomination form to tell the Endangered Maryland Selection Committee of the threats facing your chosen site and why it’s important.
The purpose of Endangered Maryland is to increase public awareness, which in turn creates dialog among people who can help, and eventually may lead to solutions for saving these important sites across the state. What site in your community could benefit from the publicity the Endangered Maryland program receives? If you have a place in mind, submit your nomination by January 29.
The PDF version and the Google Forms version of the nomination form can be found on the Endangered Maryland page along with a FAQ sheet and instructions. Click here for a full list and map of the selected sites. I look forward to learning from you about the most endangered sites in Maryland, and if you have any questions about the program or the nomination process or you would like to discuss a site you have in mind, please call (410-685-2886 ext. 302) or email me.
A Baltimore house known for its famous residents is brought back to life – Baltimore Sun 11-29-13
George Washington finds a new home…temporarily – Baltimore Sun 12-2-13
MICA stages definitive exhibit on screen painting – Baltimore Sun 12-7-13
Group fights to stop tree removal at Mount Vernon Place – Baltimore Sun 12-7-13
Mayor weighs settling lawsuit by former Superblock developers – Baltimore Brew 12-12-13
The Ivy hotel was once home to prominent city businessman – Baltimore Sun 12-14-13
Parkway Theatre to get tax credit to help with planned renovations – Baltimore Sun 12-20-13
Five city projects receive historic tax credits – Baltimore Sun 12-23-13
New life for historic Sheppard Pratt gatehouse – Baltimore Sun 12-4-13
Help save threatened historic sites in Maryland – SoMDNews 12-27-13
Nominations Sought for Historic Preservation Award – Southern MD News 12-29-13
Historical Trust’s easement removal paves way for discussion to buy historic hall in Middletown – Frederick News-Post 12-10-13
Recalling the days when Savage was Santa’s Maryland home – Baltimore Sun 12-22-13
Janson-LaPalme to talk on historic Chestertown fires – MyEasternShoreMD 12-27-13
Prince George’s County
Prince George’s children learn where their food comes from at Hard Bargain Farm – Washington Post 12-15-13
Battle of Bladensburg monument edges toward completion – Gazette.net 12-27-13
St. Mary’s County
John Wesley cemetery being lost to time – SoMdNews 12-25-13
We’ve been very, very good this year. Our membership has increased. We held a sell-out Summer School on marketing preservation, organized three architectural field trips that included privately owned historic sites, granted funds for 27 preservation projects, led a national preservation tour of Maryland, prevented the loss of several historic buildings, launched an African American preservation initiative, welcomed three college interns and adopted a strategic plan to see us through 2018. Whew. So how about rewarding us with some of the things on our Christmas list?
1 A sponsor for Endangered Maryland
2 Full funding for state government’s preservation programs
3 A surprise bequest
4 New furniture for the new office we’ll be moving to this year
5 Reauthorization of the state’s historic preservation tax credit
6 More followers on social media (here & here!)
7 A stapler that tackles big jobs
8 A location for a field office in Western Maryland
9 Historic preservation guidelines that are simple to follow
10 Your continued support!
Thanks, Santa. Travel safely.
Your Friends at Preservation Maryland
P.S. You can park the sleigh inside our gate, but don’t come down the chimney. It hasn’t been cleaned in years! Merry Christmas, everyone!
If you are required to take a distribution from an IRA before year-end, rather than pay taxes on those funds, consider donating the distribution amount directly to Preservation Maryland. The benefit to you, the donor, is that the amount donated is excluded from your taxable income. Such IRA distributions to charities are limited to $100,000 or less and are not otherwise deductible.
For more information, contact your tax advisor or Louise Hayman
Please remember the deadline to make the contribution is December 31, 2013.
Bear with me. This will end up being about historic preservation.
I am minimally tradition-bound, especially with regard to certain meals. Thanksgiving is one of those. I never liked them as a child, but they were always present on the holiday table – those little golf ball wanna bes whose principal ingredients are flour, lard, salt and water, Maryland Beaten Biscuits. Now that I am of the age when I am replacing fillings in my teeth, I find them essential to my holiday entertaining.
So I set off for my local independent grocer which has long carried them, frozen unfortunately, but these are hardy creatures which hold up under harsh conditions. At first, I couldn’t get the clerk to understand what I was requesting, until an eavesdropping fellow shopper explained they were no ordinary commercially made product. Alas, the grocer declared he was sold out, and in fact got no answer to his phone calls to the world headquarters of the product – Orrell’s in Wye Mills. Translation: No MBB for my family this Thanksgiving. The course of action was clear.
Later that day, I drove into the driveway at the Orrell’s manufacturing facility which looked like most of the other early 20th century houses that line the road in the village of Wye Mills and spied the sign on the door – “Temporarily CLOSED.” Fearing the capital letters were the core of the message, I slumped in my seat. Just then, a truck from a local heating company drove in. The driver told me that he was responding to a message that there was no heat in the building, and that the owner was en route.
The moment he arrived, I inquired of the status of my beloved biscuits and was told that his father — the most recent operator of the business — had recently died and settling the estate had led to pausing production indefinitely. I managed to express my condolences for the loss of his father before blurting out, “Do you have any biscuits? “ With that he led me and the repairman inside, on a tour of what is a simple home, modified only slightly to accommodate the seven or so women who gathered there for decades to make the biscuits.
I gawked, unable to believe my good fortune at meeting the new principal of the company, but also at seeing the inside of the “bakery.” He opened the small upright freezer and pulled out several bags, telling me to take all I wanted since they were passed their salable date. The furnace repairman was equally intrigued and accepted a few samples, but I could tell he had no real sense of the magnitude of the moment. This might just be the last of Orrells’s Maryland Beaten Biscuits…made at the same location for 77 years by a business started by my benefactor’s grandmother. Though not profitable for years, he explained his deceased father had pledged to keep the business going as long as he could, and he did.
As I drove out, I was overcome with a sense of victory tempered by extreme loss: had I witnessed the death knell of a Maryland tradition? Was the last of what has been made in Maryland since colonial times, in the plastic bag on the seat beside me? Could I really serve something that should be in a museum? We can all only hope that Mr. Orrell will follow through on his thoughts of re-opening the business. And, I will let you know the outcome of my moral dilemma: to devour history or not. Happy Thanksgiving.
N. B. Orrell’s is a stone’s throw from the site of the Wye Oak and Old Wye Church, icons of Maryland’s history, and the Wye Mill and Miler’s House, two of Preservation Maryland’s longtime projects.