Heritage Fund Grants

The Heritage Fund, a cooperative effort of Preservation Maryland and the Maryland Historical Trust, provides direct assistance for the protection of historical and cultural resources and promotes innovative demonstration projects that can be successfully replicated to meet Maryland’s historic preservation needs. The Fund is intended to serve the needs of tangible cultural resources in Maryland. Historic sites, buildings, districts, objects, and archaeological resources are all eligible for funding.

Guidelines & Application

The Heritage Fund provides direct assistance for the protection of endangered cultural resources and promotes innovative education projects that can inform best practices across the state. Non-profit organizations and local jurisdictions are eligible to apply. Eligible projects fall into three general categories: education and research, planning and feasibility, and repair and rehabilitation.

Heritage Fund grant applications are now being accepted through March 15, 2017.

Projects eligible for funding

Stabilization or acquisition of endangered historic properties

Feasibility studies, architectural plans, structural assessments and historic structure reports

Projects benefiting archaeological resources including curatorial services

Repair and restoration of historic materials

Educational, research, and planning efforts related to resource preservation

Organizational development for local preservation organizations – including but not limited to:

  • Board and volunteer development
  • Establishing strategic planning goals
  • Membership development
  • Marketing plans
  • Fundraising activities
  • Media relations
  • Collaborative projects are encouraged

Legal services engaged to protect endangered historic resources – including structures, sites, archaeological resources, or the creation or strengthening of a local preservation ordinance

Specifications for Fiscal Year 2017

The minimum grant is $1,000 and the maximum grant is $10,000. Application deadlines are March 15, 2017 and September 15, 2017.

Criteria for grant awards

The following criteria will be used by the selection committee to evaluate and select projects for funding, on a competitive basis, that meet the purposes and priorities of the Heritage Fund:

  • Relative historical and cultural significance of the resource(s)
  • Urgency of the need for financial assistance
  • Provision for long-term resource preservation
  • Administrative capability of the applicant
  • Extent to which the project stimulates or promotes other preservation activities
  • Educational value of the project
  • Demonstrative and innovative value of the project
  • Extent to which the project leverages other sources of financial assistance
  • Readiness of the applicant to initiate and complete the project
  • Extent to which the project contributes to the equitable geographic distribution of Heritage Fund money across the state


Funds will be disbursed on a reimbursable basis.

When relevant, all work must comply with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties.

A cash or in-kind match of at least 10% is required.

Any materials or publicity produced in relation to the project must include the following citation: “Funding for this project was provided in part by Preservation Maryland and the Maryland Historical Trust.” Copies of the materials should be submitted to Preservation Maryland.

Grant award recipients may apply for same project or site one year after award date.

Projects must be completed within one year of grant approval.

How to Apply

To apply, download the PDF application and save it to your computer, complete all questions on the application and gather all supplementary materials in a digital format. Email the completed PDF form application and all supplementary materials to submit@presmd.org.

Required supplementary materials include:

  • Organization’s latest financial statement or audit
  • IRS determination letter of tax-exempt status
  • Project budget including all project expenses and in-hand or pledged funding
  • Relevant guiding documents, plans, estimates, and proposals from contractors or consultants
  • Minimum of one letter of support or endorsement from a local elected official
  • Minimum of two representative photographs of the project
  • Upon receipt of a completed application, staff will conduct a review and determine if any additional information is needed.

Deadline: Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Download Program Guidelines (PDF)

Download Heritage Fund Application (PDF)

Current Grant Recipients

Baltimore Museum of Industry Crane

Organization: Baltimore Museum of Industry

Type: Bricks & Mortar

Project: Bethlehem Steel Shipyard Crane Rehab

County: Baltimore City

Grant Award: $5,000

Description: To some, the 1942 110-ton Clyde Model 17 DE90 whirley crane that towers over the Baltimore Museum of Industry has always been a permanent fixture of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. This location in not the crane’s first home though but its third.  Originally located at Bethlehem Steel’s Fairfield shipyard, the crane helped construct wartime vessels throughout World War II, and then after 1945 it served in the repair and conversion of naval vessels to commercial service. This artifact of our industrial past which lives outside suffers through heat and snow year after year, and the elements have taken their toll.  During this second phase of restoration work, the wire rope that runs along the crane’s 80-ft boom and existing structural hardware will be replaced and upgraded to improve the structural stability of the crane, and the crane will be repainted.

Funding:  The Baltimore Museum of Industry received $5,000 towards the $357,000 project.


Historic Plane Restoration

Organization: Glenn L. Martin Maryland Aviation Museum

Type: Bricks & Mortar

Project: Paint Restoration on the RB-57A Canberra

County: Baltimore County

Grant Award: $1,800

Description: For more than 25 years, the all-volunteer organization of the Glenn L. Martin Maryland Aviation Museum has preserved, exhibited and interpreted the rich legacy of Maryland aviation while educating all generations about the value of science and engineering. In order to fulfill its mission, the museum has amassed a collection of 25 aircraft, including a Martin RB-57A Canberra from the 1950s. This model which became the workhorse among combat aircraft and was in continuous service for over 30 years. The use of the incorrect filler during a previous restoration of the aircraft has left it particularly vulnerable to the elements. During this restoration process the previous filler must be removed and replace, the aircraft surface will be prepared and painted and finally new lettering and insignia will be applied.

Funding:  The Glenn L. Martin Maryland Aviation Museum received $1,800 towards a $15,600 project. The grant will cover the cost of materials and six members of the museum will volunteer upwards of 600 hours of work to ensure that the aircraft is restored and ready for visitors.


Historic Building Emergency Plan

Organization: Historic Annapolis

Type: Planning & Study

Project: Maintenance and Emergency Plans

County: Anne Arundel County

Grant Award: $4,000

Description: Historic Annapolis manages the maintenance and long-term preservation of twelve buildings, ten of which are contributing resources to the Annapolis Historic District. With any historic resource, it is important to have a maintenance plan, so that needed repairs are anticipated and funds are budgets. To that end, Historic Annapolis will use these grant funds to develop a master maintenance plan for eleven of their properties. The proposed plan will include customized maintenance schedules for each building and will allow for more cost-effective property management by anticipating upcoming costs. At the same time the organization’s emergency action plan will be updated to address disaster readiness, protocols for rapid response and prioritization of recovery efforts.

Funding:  The Historic Annapolis received $4,000 towards an $8,000 planning project.  A grant from the National Trust for Historic Preservation will provide the additional funds needed for the project and a consultant will be hired to draft both documents.


Roof Replacement at Knott House

Organization: Historic Sotterley

Type: Bricks & Mortar

Project: Roof Replacement at the Knott House

County: St. Mary’s

Grant Award: $6,000

Description: As the only Tidewater plantation in Maryland that is fully open to the public, Sotterley Plantation serves as an important teaching tool in Southern Maryland.  The 94 acre site includes Colonial Revival gardens, nature trails and over 20 buildings spanning the period from 1703 until the mid-20th century. It represents a continuum of three centuries of history of inclusive history, wealthy and poor and free and enslaved people who lived and worked on the land. One of the most frequented buildings on the farm today and the focus of this grant is the Knott House. The former tenant dwelling which was constructed around 1910, currently serves as visitor center and is in need of a new roof. These repairs will extend the life of the building and keep it accessible for many more years to visitors and staff.

Funding: Historic Sotterley received $6,000 towards the $12,500. The staff at Sotterley will work with the roofing company to offset some costs and additional expenses will be covered by a private donation.


Broadcasting Takoma Park History

Organization: Historic Takoma, Inc.

Type: Research & Education

Project: “Tales of Takoma” Radio Episodes

County: Montgomery

Grant Award: $5,000

Description: Historic Takoma was founded in 1979 in the midst of an intense local struggle to save Takoma Park’s architectural heritage from pro-development forces threating to bulldoze the town’s eight oldest residential blocks. In 2016, Historic Takoma broadened their outreach efforts in a partnership to create, Takoma Radio, a low-power community radio station at 94.3FM. Arguably an unexpected direction for an historical society, this station expands Historic Takoma’s reach to new and younger audiences as they strive to make local history relevant.  This grant will cover the research and production of over fifty 3-5 minute radio episodes about the history of Takoma Park and the preservation of its most important structures.

Funding:  The Historic Takoma, Inc. received $5,000 towards a $10,000 research and education project that will commence in the production of each piece while the research and writing will be provided in-kind.Organization: The Historical Society of Charles County, Inc

Slavery Exhibit at Rich Hill

Organization: Historical Society of Charles County

Type: Research & Education

Project: Portable Exhibit about Slavery at Rich Hill

County: Charles

Grant Award: $1,500

Description: Rich Hill, a farm house outside of Bel Alton is infamous for it’s role in the escape of John Wilkes Booth after President Lincoln’s assassination. In April 1865, the house was owned by Colonel Samual Cox, a southern sympathizer who hid Booth and his accomplice in a pine thicket on the property for days until a small boat was arranged to take them across the Potomac River into Virginia. While, this sensational tale has been researched and told many times over, the stories of the enslaved people at Rich Hill have not. With this grant the Historical Society of Charles County will conduct research and then produce a portable exhibit that will ensure these stories of Rich Hill’s other residents are told.

Funding:  The Historical Society of Charles County received $1,500 towards this $2,400 research and education project. The Friends of Rich Hill along with the African-American Heritage Society of Charles County and The Surratt House Museum will contribute the additional funds.

At Preservation Maryland’s 2015 Best of Maryland awards, Charles County planner, Kathy Thompson was awarded the Gearhart Professional Service Award.


Vernacular Sign Restoration

Organization: Hyattsville Community Development Corporation

Type: Research & Education

Project: Sign restoration at Sis’s Tavern

County: Prince George’s County

Grant Award: $3,000

Description: For over 80 years, the building at 4516 41st Avenue in North Brentwood has been an anchor for the community. This building which housed a grocery store, then a tavern, a music hall and a barber shop, was owned by and operated for the African-American community that called this part of Prince George’s County home. Starting in the 1960’s the building was known as Sis’ Tavern and it was a central social hub for the town.  It attracted famous acts like Duke Ellington and Pearl Bailey who would perform there after hours when they visited the Howard Theater in DC. The Town of North Brentwood owns the building and plans to open it as a community and arts programming space.  This grant will help with the façade restoration and will specifically cover the cost of rehabilitating and recreating the historical signage for the building.

Funding:  The Hyattsville CDC received $3,000 towards a $4,200 research and education project, and the CDC will match this grant with Community Development Block Grant funding in order to finish the project.


Archaeology YouTube Videos

Organization: Lost Towns Project, Inc.

Type: Research & Education

Project: Educational and Promotional Videos

County: Anne Arundel County

Grant Award: $6,000

Description: The Lost Towns Project has been a name about archaeology in Maryland for offer 25 years and became a certified non-profit in 2014 with the purpose of promoting, facilitating and enabling the preservation, discovery and study of cultural resources, historic structures and archaeological sites. To those ends and in partnership with the Cultural Resources Division of Anne Arundel County Government and the County’s video and media production department, Lost Towns Project produce a dozen 60 second video spots that highlight heritage stories and sites in the County. These YouTube-ready videos will explore topics such as the impacts of climate change and sea level rise on cultural resources and provide a closer look at some of the most important archaeological sites in the County.

Funding:  The Lost Towns Project, Inc. received $6,000 towards the $25,000 research and education project. In-kind production services will supplement this grant funding.


Ellicott City Flood Recovery

Organization: Preservation Maryland

Type: Research & Education

Project: Ellicott City Preservation Resource Center

County: Howard County

Grant Award: $5,000

Description: On the evening of Saturday, July 30, 2016, historic Ellicott City was devastated by a flash flood.  Within minutes six feet of water washed down Main Street and left millions of dollars of damage in its wake.  Immediately after the flood, Preservation Maryland mobilized to preserve the damaged historic storefronts and help property owners, business owners and residents rebuild.  This grant funding will help defray the cost of a temporary Preservation Resource Center in downtown Ellicott City.  Center staff will help by providing assistance in finding contractors, architects and engineers, navigating low-interest loans and preservation tax credits and hosting workshops on specific rebuilding/preservation issues.  Over the next nine months, this center will have a direct impact in helping Ellicott City rise again.

Funding:  Preservation Maryland received $5,000 towards a $100,000 research and education project. Additional funding to support the creation of the Preservation Resource Center will come from donations, grants and corporate partnerships.


Historic Tin Roof Restoration

Organization: St. Thomas’s Episcopal Church

Type: Bricks & Mortar

Project: Tin Shingle Roof Restoration

County: Prince George’s

Grant Award: $5,000

Description: St. Thomas’ Episcopal Church is an active congregation of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington. Within its care are three National Register buildings and five Prince George’s County Historic Sites which range in age from 1745 to 1341 including The Chapel of the Incarnation. This unique example of Mission-style church architecture with a decorative parapet and a stucco like exterior finish was designed by William J. Palmer in 1916.  As part of a phased rehabilitation project which includes the interior and exterior of the building, the aging asphalt roof will be replaced.  This grant will offset the cost of installing a tin shingle roof that is a reproduction of the original roof.  This project will ensure that this special piece of architecture on a prominent corner in Brandywine continues to stand.

Funding:  The St. Thomas’ Episcopal Church received $5,000 towards this $9,500 project and will raise the remaining funds through donations and their maintenance fund.

News & Updates

By Preservation Maryland

Heritage Fund Grant Recipients of 2016

Since it’s creation, the Heritage Fund has supported hundreds of local and regional historic preservation, community development, and educational projects in Maryland with nearly $1 million of financial support. Along with our partners, the Maryland Historical Trust, we are very proud of our selected projects and the collective impact they have on protecting and promoting Maryland heritage. Please read on for all of the FY2016 projects:

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There is a small town in northeastern Montgomery County that calls itself the United States Capital for a Day; Brookeville, Maryland was founded as a Quaker community in 1807, played an important defensive role during the War of 1812, and is a beautifully preserved town today. The Town is a recent recipient of a Heritage Fund grant to welcome visitors to this historic place.

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By Preservation Maryland

Heritage Fund Highlight: Preserving Berlin Cemetery

Brunswick, located in Frederick County, has a legacy as a town instrumental to American transportation history with busy canals and fast railroads fueled by the residents of the town. In early 2015, the City of Brunswick contacted Preservation Maryland with a request for assistance to help preserve the Old Berlin Cemetery, the endangered resting place of the town’s earliest residents.

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St. Vincent de Paul Church has been a Baltimore institution since 1841 and is the oldest Roman Catholic parish in Baltimore to operate continuously in its original church structure. The church’s slender, 150-foot, Georgian style tower capped with a copper dome is a Baltimore landmark and Preservation Maryland recently assisted with preserving the facade of this important building.

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In 2002, Dr. James and Gena Clifton were constructing new outbuildings on their farm in Bushwood, when they discovered old shards of pottery. They did the right thing in contacting local archaeologists, and future professional digs supported by the Heritage Fund indicated that the site was likely the seventeenth century manor of Dr. Thomas Gerard, one of the earliest Maryland settlers and an acquaintance of Lord Baltimore.

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By Preservation Maryland

2016: Preservation Maryland’s Year in Review

A look back over the past year at Preservation Maryland’s biggest challenges, accomplishments, partnerships and victories.

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Significant progress has been made in rehabilitating, understanding, and interpreting the 18th century Rich Hill farm and house in Charles County. Recipients of a Heritage Fund grant, Preservation Maryland is pleased to share recent updates as described by Cathy Thompson, who has been managing much of the project. Take a journey to Rich Hill, a stop on Booth’s escape:

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Perched on hillside outside downtown Ellicott City is Mt. Zion United Methodist Church, a historic African American church constructed in 1890. It was the recent recipient of a Heritage Fund Grant that helped rehabilitate its historic roof.

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