The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development has announced the second recipient of the State of Maryland’s Catalytic Revitalization Tax Credit, designed to rehabilitate formerly government-owned properties for economic and community development purposes. The redevelopment of Fort Ritchie in Washington County will receive a state tax credit worth up to $15 million for the comprehensive redevelopment and reuse at the historic site of the former military base.
BALTIMORE (December 22, 2022) – After nearly two years of dedicated advocacy, Preservation Maryland and its national program, The Campaign for Historic Trades, is pleased to announce that the Frederick Jobs and Historic Preservation Training Center Land Acquisition Act was included in the recently passed year-end government spending bill and is expected to be immediately signed into law by President Biden. The legislation was sponsored by Senators Cardin and Van Hollen and by Congressman Trone in the House of Representatives.
The legislation, which was initially drafted by Preservation Maryland advocacy staff, provides the National Park Service’s Historic Preservation Training Center, located in Frederick, Maryland, with the congressional authority to acquire up to 20 acres to build out a fully functioning center for historic trades training. The vastly increased footprint will also permit the Center to expand and host more trainees in Frederick and around the nation.
In addition to leading the advocacy effort, Preservation Maryland President and CEO Nicholas Redding also testified before Congress in November of 2021 in support of its passage, alongside leading preservation and conservationists. Redding’s testimony before a congressional committee was a first in the organization’s history.
While a simple bill, its passage in one congress was anything but certain. Common sense preservation legislation often languishes, as leading national preservation groups know all too well. Fortunately, Preservation Maryland’s persistence coupled with tremendous congressional sponsorship in Maryland Senators Cardin and Van Hollen and Congressmen Trone and their respective staff, led to its passage in the 117th Congress.
Nicholas Redding, Preservation Maryland President, and CEO, explained,
“Tackling federal legislation is perhaps the most complex advocacy goal for a statewide organization – it’s a task that confounds even the most sophisticated national organizations – so for Preservation Maryland to take the lead on this effort and see it through in one Congress is something to be celebrated.” Redding continued, “This legislation isn’t just about buying land – it’s about investing in our communities and building a workforce equal to the opportunity before us.”
With passage secured, the next phase of the complex project begins. Fortunately, the property has been identified and is owned by the City of Frederick, which is both a willing seller and partner. As the project develops, Preservation Maryland will update its followers and partners on opportunities to get engaged and supportive of the work ahead.
A special thank you to our partner the Historic Preservation Training Center (HPTC) and its superintendent Moss Rudley for their continued partnership.
Campaign Update: Cumberland’s Rolling Mill Neighborhood
03/15/2017 By Preservation Maryland
Preservation Maryland’s involvement in the Rolling Mill campaign began in late 2015 when members of the local community reached out for our support to prevent the demolition of their historic homes in Cumberland.
From that point forward, we provided on-going advocacy support for the local community which found itself in the crosshairs of an economic development scheme that intended to remove an intact, walkable historic community and replace it with suburban styled small box development and parking lots. It was reminiscent of the worst of urban redevelopment of the 1960s and 70s.
Although the City still moved forward with the demolition of structures they purchased from willing sellers, the City did not utilize the power of eminent domain to take the remaining homes – thanks in large part to the involvement of the Institute for Justice, a public interest law firm that circulated a Change.org petition that resulted in over 100,000 signatures in opposition to the ill-fated plan.
Despite overwhelming public opposition, the City continues to move forward with their plan and destroying historic structures and community in the process. The City has lately begun to discuss an infill project as a result of homeowners unwilling to sell thanks to the involvement of nonprofit advocacy organizations.