Posts Tagged Endangered Maryland

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.

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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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Endangered Maryland Nominations Due January 29th

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 emdstaffing.

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.

Margaret DeArcangelis

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Day Trip to Western Maryland

Last week our education and outreach director, Margaret DeArcangelis, and I ventured out to Western Maryland to visit just a few of the many incredible sites Allegany and Garrett counties have to offer. Although it was raining when we left, the skies seemed to clear almost immediately as we reached  the mountains, providing us with the perfect weather for our trip. Kathy Erkert, a representative of the Georges Creek Promotion Council, graciously offered to drive, allowing us to take in the amazing views and scenery along the way. Although I have grown up in Maryland, I have spent very little time west of Frederick. Our trip helped open my eyes to the culture of the area and further confirmed how unique and diverse Maryland is as a state. I guess that is why one of its nicknames is “America in Miniature.”  

Exterior Shot of the Lonaconing Silk Mill; Allegany County

The Lonaconing Silk Mill; Allegany County

One of the most fascinating aspects of the trip was our visit to the Lonaconing Silk Mill. A 2007 Endangered Maryland listing, the Lonaconing Silk Mill is the last of its kind still in existence in the United States, holding both local and national significance. Opened in the early 1900s, the mill served as one of the largest employers in Allegany County until its abrupt closure in 1957. Walking inside felt like traveling back in time. Machinery, supplies, and even personal items such as shoes and umbrellas wait in anticipation for employees who will never return.  Although the building is in remarkable condition considering the circumstances, it still requires the stewardship of active community members, in order to continue to exist for future generations.  Threatened with the possibility of another harsh winter, the community is currently working towards replacing the roof, which will help protect the building from the elements as they progress forward with a plan to revive the space, floor by floor.  

An artisan's cabin at Spruce Forest; Garrett County.

An artisan’s cabin at Spruce Forest; Garrett County.

Our day concluded with a lovely drive through Garrett County, complete with leisurely stops at places like the Casselman Bridge and Spruce Forest Artisan Village. At Spruce Forest, artisans gather in restored cabins to create high quality products using traditional methods. Unfortunately we had arrived late in the day, so many of the artisans had closed shop for the night. Oh well – it is just an excuse to visit the area again soon!

If you are interested in getting back out to Western Maryland, or perhaps want to visit for the first time, Preservation Maryland plans to host a tour to the area this fall. Stay tuned to our website for more details in the weeks to come, along with information on our tour of Southern Maryland.  It is an opportunity you do not want to miss.

Anna Danz

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On the Other Side of the Mountain

Site visits are one of the great perks of my job.  Every few weeks, I have the opportunity to get out of the office, see the wonderful treasures that Maryland has to offer, and meet with colleagues who are working diligently to preserve the past and build a better future.  My site visit on Tuesday was no exception to this rule, but it was special because it was my first trip to western Maryland.

Fort Frederick School, Fort Frederick State Park, Washington County

Fort Frederick School, Fort Frederick State Park, Washington County

The Washington County Historical Advisory Committee invited Tyler, Marilyn and me to attend the Annual John Frye Historic Preservation Awards Ceremony in Hagerstown, so we decided to make a day of it and see a few of the great sites in western Maryland before and after the ceremony.  We started the day with a visit to Fort Frederick State Park where Ranger Bob Study showed us around.  The park is home to one of the two Washington County schoolhouses added to Endangered Maryland in 2013, so that was our first stop.  The 1890s structure served as an African American school until 1914 when it was converted into a private residence.  The school is eligible for the Maryland Resident Curatorship Program and it is in dire need of an occupant who has the time and talent to restore the building.

Soldier's barracks with fort wall in the background, Fort Frederick State Park, Washington County

Barracks with fort wall in the background, Fort Frederick State Park, Washington County

Next on the list of things to see at Fort Frederick State Park was Fort Frederick.  This 1756 fort saw service during the French and Indian War and the American Revolution.  In 1922 the site became a state park and throughout the 1930’s the Civilian Conservation Corp repaired the fort walls, built trails and tended to the grounds.  Even if you do not care for military history, it is hard not to be impressed by this stone fort because of its size.  The fort is open daily throughout the summer and is worth a visit.

We traveled the National Road back to Hagerstown for the awards ceremony and luncheon.  On the way, we passed by the Wilson Bridge (1819), the earliest stone bridge in Washington County.  The luncheon gave us the opportunity to reconnect with some of the politicians and preservationists in the area and learn about all the great preservation activities that are going on in Washington County.  After lunch Preservation Maryland board members, Pat Schooley and Bill Beard, showed us around the Hagerstown Arts and Entertainment District.  We also visited The Almshouse, a 2010 Endangered Maryland site, which still needs an occupant, and the entrance pavilion (c. 1910) to the Hagerstown Fairgrounds which is in great condition.

Wilson Bridge at Conococheague Creek, Washington County

Bridge of Life Church formerly Colonial Theater, Hagerstown Arts & Entertainment District, Washington County

Bridge of Life Church formerly Colonial Theater, Hagerstown Arts & Entertainment District, Washington County

The Almshouse, Hagerstown, Washington County

The Almshouse, Hagerstown, Washington County

Entrance Pavilion, Hagerstown Fairgrounds, Washington County

Entrance Pavilion, Hagerstown Fairgrounds, Washington County

Locust Grove School, Rohrersville, Washington County

Locust Grove School, Rohrersville, Washington County

During the latter part of the day we made our way east from the Conococheague Aqueduct in Williamsport to Boonsboro which has a thriving downtown and then on to the Locust Grove School (c. 1870).  Locust Grove School was selected for Endangered Maryland this year because its owners can no longer care for it and would like to see an organization take up the cause.

Our day in western Maryland was jam packed and we only saw a small fraction of all that the area has to offer.  I look forward to returning in the fall on a Preservation Maryland field trip and I am sure I will visit on my own this summer.  If you have not explored western Maryland in a while, I highly recommend paying it a visit.

Margaret De Arcangelis

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National Park Seminary Field Trip and Endangered Maryland Presentation

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.

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2013 Endangered Maryland List Released

We are pleased to announce that the 2013 Endangered Maryland list has been released through Maryland Life magazine. A panel of historic preservationists selected the list from nominated properties and assessed the level of threat, historic and architectural significance and community support for preserving the site. The program’s purpose is to generate public awareness of Maryland’s threatened historic properties, generate possible solutions and serve as a call for action. Endangered Maryland is sponsored by Penza + Bailey Architects, Cho Benn Holback + Associates Inc. and Azola Companies.

Complete 2013 Endangered Maryland Release

The 2013 Endangered Maryland Sites are: (in alphabetical order).

1. Belward Farm (Montgomery County)
2. Cooper Apartments (Anne Arundel County)
3. Endangered Indigenous Landscapes (Multiple Counties)
4. Fort Carroll (Baltimore County)
5. Locust Grove School and Fort Frederick School (Washington County)
6. Monocacy National Battlefield (Frederick County)
7. Montanverde (Montgomery County)
8. Rogers Buchanan Cemetery (Baltimore City)
9. Scotland Post Office (St. Mary’s County)
10. Washington Grove (Montgomery County)

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Under Construction – Rosenwald Schools Initiative

I am excited to announce that Preservation Maryland will soon kick of the Rosenwald Schools of Maryland Initiative.  The Rosenwald School building program played a prominent and pivotal role in the education of African Americans in the early 20th century.  A result of a partnership between Booker T. Washington of Tuskegee Institute and Julius Rosenwald, President of Sears, Roebuck and Company, the Rosenwald Fund provided matching grants for more than 5,000 schools, shops, and teacher’s residences built in 15 southern states, between 1917 and 1932.  The schools became obsolete in 1954 with the Supreme Court ruling that outlawed segregation in education.  Many of the schools were abandoned or demolished and their invaluable contributions forgotten. There are an estimated 800 schools still standing around the country.

Despite their critical role in the education of a large portion of the southern population, Rosenwald Schools are a largely unfamiliar component of the educational history of the United States. As a consequence, the National Trust for Historic Preservation (NTHP) named Rosenwald Schools to its 2002 list of Most Endangered sites.  More recently, Rosenwald Schools were designated as one of the first thirty-two of the National Trust’s “National Treasures.” A result of the restructuring of the National Trust, the campaign will eventually establish a portfolio of 100 National Treasures to preserve and protect, with the direct assistance of local preservation partners such as Preservation Maryland.

Restored Ridgeley Rosenwald School

Restored Ridgeley Rosenwald School

Of the more than 5,000 Rosenwald program buildings constructed, only 156 of the schools and ancillary structures were built in Maryland. However our state boasts a higher percentage than average of extant schools, with 53 currently surviving.  Additionally, Maryland is one of the few states where a survey of the schools has been completed.  A Multiple Property Documentation Form has been submitted with the expectation that Maryland’s Ridgeley Rosenwald School will be listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  Preservation Maryland has previously supported projects at this site, as well as the Galesville Rosenwald School in Anne Arundel County and Wicomico County’s San Domingo Rosenwald School.  All three sites have been successfully restored and are in active use by the communities in which they are located. The Rosenwald School Initiative seeks to increase the number of schools across the state that will fall into this category.  The goal is to raise public awareness about the schools and put as many as possible back into everyday use.  Preservation Maryland intends to serve as a statewide online clearinghouse for information regarding the schools.  We expect to partner with local and national preservation organizations to provide general information and training opportunities on preservation practices, organizational development and financial assistance to restore and adaptively re-use those schools that are currently vacant.  We’ll also share success stories of those who have labored to save a treasured school.

In the coming months our website will be updated with useful links to pertinent sites related to Rosenwald Schools around the country and in our state.  There will also be opportunities for interested parties to share information about the schools.  I’ll keep you updated.

Marilyn Benaderet/Preservation Services Director

 

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