Our Story

We are Maryland’s oldest, largest and most effective preservation organization. As an 84-year old organization you might think we’ve slowed down a bit – but we’re still full of fight.

our-story

Board members revealing a new interpretive sign; our logo, an early version seen on the SPMA flag, as always been a phoenix rising from the ashes.

Today, our mission and fight remains the same as when we started in 1931: Preserving Maryland’s heritage.

To make measurable impacts, our work has been divided into three specific, targeted and strategic efforts:

  1. Advocacy: Speaking up and making the case for the policies, programs and funding that makes preservation possible.
  2. Outreach & Education: Rolling up our sleeves and working to support and empower preservation efforts statewide through coordination, training and direct engagement via Maryland’s Six-to-Fix.
  3. Funding: Directly investing in preservation projects through our Heritage Fund and by working to secure additional private philanthropy in our state’s historic resources.

This work is implemented by a dedicated staff of six full-time employees. Each team member oversees a different and equally compelling aspect of our mission. Though technically a ‘small non-profit,’ we pride ourselves on being alarmingly effective.

Since our creation in 1931, the brief highlights of our impact include:

  • Participated in the creation of the National Council of Historic Sites and Buildings – the predecessor to the National Trust for Historic Preservation (1947).
  • Spearheaded the creation of Maryland’s state historic rehab 20% tax credit – leveraging over $3 BILLION in private investment since its creation in 1997 – and saving thousands of historic structures.
  • Provided nearly $1 million in grants, in partnership with the Maryland Historical Trust, via our Heritage Fund – enabling the completion of $16 million worth of projects.
  • Advocated for the creation of Maryland’s Heritage Area program – a recognized national model – that returns nearly $4 in economic activity for every $1 in state investment.
  • Oversaw the rehabilitation of 27 priceless tobacco barns with Save America’s Treasures funding.
  • Funded the creation of dozens of historic districts in Baltimore City, in partnership with the Abell Foundation, via our Historic Communities Investment Fund.
  • Coordinated 35 straight years of professional development seminars and conferences.
  • Participated in countless pitched battles to defend Maryland history, including opposing an out-of-scale hotel in the Annapolis historic district (1967), defeating a planned Chestertown Wal-Mart (2001), opposition to the East-West Expressway in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor (1966), supporting the expansion of the Antietam Battlefield boundaries (1992) and many, many more.

Download our ’75 Years With Preservation Maryland’ booklet

Beyond the specific achievements, we’ve also consistently worked to be a resource for the individuals and grassroots organizations working to save places that matter to their communities. This work takes on many forms, including thousands of hours of technical assistance, capacity building, strategic visioning and establishment of effective partnerships.

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