Preservation Group Announces Effort to Preserve Six Important Places Across Maryland

10/14/2016
By Preservation Maryland

Preservation Maryland’s class of 2016 Six-to-Fix projects were revealed to a packed room on Thursday, October 13th at the Maryland Zoo’s historic Mansion House. Six-to-Fix, an innovative impact-focused program, is designed to help provide real solutions to big preservation challenges. For 2016, the 85-year old statewide organization selected six strategic projects with a variety of needs: from hands-on clean-ups to disaster response to cultural landscape advocacy and complex building reuse and rehabilitation planning.

Projects were identified through a public nomination process and require a committed local partner. The sites selected for the class of 2016 include:

Ellicott City Flood Recovery

Rising from the Waters: Rebuilding a City with Preservation in Mind

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Location: Ellicott City, Howard County
Partners: Patapsco Valley Heritage Greenway, Howard County Government

Challenge: This July, a flash flood inundated Ellicott City and in a matter of minutes, the picturesque historic Main Street, was transformed into a disaster zone. Flood waters can rise and fall in a matter of minutes, but with this level of damage, recovery efforts may be required for years to come. We know that retaining the history and character of the City is a critical component of recovery, and will support the community in the complex process of rebuilding in a historic district.

The Fix: To help Ellicott City’s property and business owners navigate the process of rebuilding their historic structures, Preservation Maryland has established an Ellicott City Preservation Resource Center on Main Street to address both immediate and long-term historic preservation needs. We will also work with our partners at the Patapsco Heritage Greenway and Howard County Government to identify and implement innovative flood mitigation solutions for the historic buildings of Ellicott City.


Valve House at Clifton Park

Back from the Edge: Pumping New Life into a Neglected Structure

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Location: Baltimore City
Partner: CivicWorks

Challenge: From an age when municipal buildings stood as a testament to a city’s pride, the Valve House, in its current state, stands as a reminder that buildings need utility. Since becoming obsolete nearly 50 years ago, the decorative octagonal building has sat vacant with time and weather taking their toll. Even the innovative steel truss system that supports the conical red clay tile roof has started to rust – a condition that could be the last straw, along with failing mortar and penetrating vegetation.

The Fix: Working with our partners at CivicWorks, Preservation Maryland will work to strengthen community support for the revitalization of the Valve House, to develop a list of potential uses for the building, and to assist CivicWorks in obtaining a long term lease on the structure clearing a path towards purpose and resuse.


Cultural Landscapes of the Eastern Shore

Wide Open Spaces: Safeguarding our Cultural Landscapes

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Location: Kent County
Partner: Kent Conservation and Preservation Alliance

Challenge: Kent County remains a truly picturesque rural, historic landscape, but recently, solar and wind farms have been proposed, which could drastically alter the look and feel of the region. Hundreds of acres could eventually be converted to this new use. While no one questions that clean energy is necessary for a more sustainable future, it should not come at the expense of the state’s history and heritage.

The Fix: Preservation Maryland will work with our Eastern Shore partners, including the Kent Conservation and Preservation Alliance to better understand the threats to Maryland’s historic landscape while offering alternative solutions and locations to produce renewable energy. We will also work with our partners in the Environmental community, including 1000 Friends of Maryland and the Maryland League of Conservation Voters, to identify common ground between the environmental and historic preservation community.

 The Hamilton Willard Shafer Farm

Witness Protection: A New Purpose for a Civil War Site

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Location: Burkittsville, Frederick County

Partner: Burkittsville Preservation Association

Challenge: Just outside of Burkittsville, a well-preserved small historic community in western Frederick County, lies the Shafer Farm, the site of a Union headquarters during the Civil War Battle of South Mountain in 1862. The farm house, barn, and outbuildings have been vacant for nearly 20 years and have suffered as a result of deferred maintenance. Without immediate attention, this witness to the Civil War could be lost forever.

The Fix: With Preservation Maryland’s assistance, the long term goal for the Shafer property to act as a heritage tourism anchor may finally be achievable. We will provide technical assistance to the newly formed Burkittsville Preservation Association to stabilize the structure, develop a long-term, sustainable use and care strategy for the property, and  also assist with grant-writing, fundraising and public awareness.


 

Newtowne Manor Religious Complex

A Worthy Manor: Saving Part of Maryland’s Religious History

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Location: St. Mary’s County
Partner: Friends of Newtowne Manor House

Challenge: Beginning in the 1630s and 1640s, it was from this area that Jesuit priests conducted missionary activities, while also seeing to the religious needs of the colony’s first settlers. From as long ago as the 17th century, Southern Maryland has been an area with deep and strong roots in the story of religious freedom in America and Maryland. The St. Francis Xavier Church and Newtowne Manor House in St. Mary’s County represent an example of a self-contained, self-supporting Jesuit community. Unfortunately, while the church has been restored, the Manor House has suffered from disuse, with broken windows, wildlife, and water penetrating through the historic foundation.

The Fix: Preservation Maryland will support our partners at the recently established Friends of Newtowne Manor House through fundraising development, capacity building, and statewide public awareness. We will also provide technical assistance to assess the current condition of the building and determine what is required for its immediate stabilization, as well as identifying potential future uses.


 

Historic Cemeteries of Maryland

Rest for the Weary: Protecting Maryland’s Historic Cemeteries

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Location: Statewide
Partner: Coalition to Protect Maryland Burial Sites

Challenge: Some of the most sacred sites in Maryland are in impending danger due to environmental factors as well as the passage of time. Cemeteries face resource specific threats including lack of funding for maintenance and conservation as well as pressure to use the land for development. In some cases, questions of ownership also halt preservation.

The Fix: Preservation Maryland will work closely with the Coalition to Protect Maryland Burial Sites to bring much needed attention to the thousands of cemeteries throughout the state that are in disrepair, while also providing the general public with information on how to care for neglected and abandoned cemeteries. We will also organize volunteer cleanup days at cemeteries around the state.

Preservation Maryland

Preservation Maryland is Maryland’s first and largest organization dedicated to preserving the state’s historic buildings, neighborhoods, landscapes, and archaeological sites.

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