Save Historic Ellicott City

Over the past two years, Preservation Maryland has been an active partner in the flood response and recovery efforts in historic Ellicott City. Our work, in coordination with our public and private partners, has ensured that not a single building was lost. We have recommitted in the face of the threat of demolition – not from flooding – but from a recent Howard County Government plan that calls for the demolitions of a dozen historic properties in the National Register historic district. Our efforts have included funding a grant programs, providing one-on-one technical assistance to property owners, and offer several alternatives to the demolition plan.

Partners: Howard County Historic Preservation Commission, Howard County Economic Development Authority, Patapsco Heritage Greenway, Historic Ellicott City, Inc., Ellicott City Partnership, Howard County Historical Society, Maryland Historical Trust, Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development.


TAKE ACTION: Preservation Maryland is leading the effort to halt a major demolition scheme in downtown historic Ellicott City. Join in the effort!

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The Problem

In the span of less than 24 months, Ellicott City has endured two “1,000 year” floods. In 2016, the preservation community rallied around the community to rebuild and, in the process, spent millions of dollars and thousands of hours working to put the pieces back together. By early 2018, nearly 96% of the historic downtown storefronts were back in business – a stunning testament to the success of the recovery effort. Now, the people of Ellicott City are confronted once more with the unenviable task of determining the future of their historic town. 

The Fix

In response to the latest proposal by Howard County Government to demolish large portions of the Ellicott City historic district, Preservation Maryland released an official statement of concern and published a special report, “A Place for the Past: Preserving Ellicott City’s Heritage and Securing Its Future,” outlining the economic value of Ellicott City and viable alternatives to demolition. The report, which was authored by the staff of Preservation Maryland with the support of talented professionals throughout the nation, compellingly makes the case for the value of Ellicott City’s authentic heritage. Additionally, the report identifies several alternatives to demolition and explores specific case studies in the region where flood-prone historic buildings have been adaptively reused. Preservation Maryland continues to stand ready to support the rebuilding, recovery, and rehabilitation of this historic community.


We need you to add your voice in calling on Howard County Government to seriously consider all viable options before permanently altering the historic fabric of such at some of Maryland’s most significant heritage. Please sign our petition and we also encourage you to use the Contact Howard County below to quickly and easily send an email directly to County Executive Allan Kittleman and the County Council.



August 2018

In response to the latest proposal to demolish large portions of the Ellicott City historic district, Preservation Maryland published a Special Report outlining the economic value of Ellicott City and viable alternatives to demolition.

Read Report

August 2018

Preservation Maryland released an official statement of serious concern regarding the $50 Million proposed demolition plan issued by Howard County Government. The proposed plan would demolish several building the national historic district while not substantively mitigating or resolving flood risks.

Learn more

May 2018

Preservation Maryland Executive Director authors an Op-Ed on the future of Ellicott City that addresses the need for the larger community to discuss the flood not just in terms of recovery but in terms of watershed over-development, smart growth, stormwater mitigation, and climate resiliency.


See More Updates

A Place for the Past: Preserving Ellicott City’s Heritage and Securing Its Future
Preservation Maryland

Statement on Ellicott City Demolition Proposal
Preservation Maryland

The Ellicott City Flood Mitigation Plan
Howard County Government

After Action Report: Ellicott City Flood of 2016
Preservation Maryland

Historic Context of the Ellicott City Flood
Preservation Maryland

Minutes of the Historic Ellicott City Flood Work Group
Howard County Government

Save History Today

The Six-to-Fix program allows Preservation Maryland to take direct action to fulfill its mission to protect the best of Maryland. Your donation helps provide technical assistance through Preservation Maryland staff and preservation experts to threatened and underutilized historic places – your donation has a direct impact on saving Maryland architecture and history.

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Be Part of the Fix

You can help. Six-to-Fix rallies the Maryland preservation community around discrete and necessary tasks and projects to advance each project. Folks with all skills and interests are encouraged to sign-up. You will receive periodic announcements with opportunities to participate, and we hope you can join us to save history together.

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