Membership Gives You a Front Row Seat to Preservation in Maryland

07/09/2019
By Doug Harbit

As a member of Preservation Maryland you have a front row seat to the extraordinary breadth of programs which are helping save what makes Maryland, Maryland. Together, we have accomplished a great deal by focusing on preserving Maryland’s unique heritage and forging a more prosperous future.

Recent Accomplishments

County Executive Ball announcing the Safe & Sound plan, 2019.

ELLICOTT CITY

After the May 2018 flood in Ellicott City, the Howard County Executive proposed to spend $50 million and demolish nearly a dozen historic buildings along Main Street. Preservation Maryland objected to the rush to demolition, and, with your support and that of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, we hired a nationally recognized engineering firm, Simpson Gumpertz and Heger (SGH), to provide an independent third-party review of the county’s first study. The SGH analysis determined that the first plan would do little to reduce flooding on Main Street and failed to consider a variety of less intrusive and potentially more effective options, like installing a tunnel for the flood waters.

Soon after the election of Dr. Calvin Ball to the position of Howard County Executive, Dr. Ball stopped the demolition of historic buildings, named an ad hoc committee on creating a community development corporation for Ellicott City, appointed me to the ad-hoc committee, and hired SGH to provide additional engineering advice. After reviewing dozens of potential solutions, Dr. Ball narrowed the list to 5 finalists and solicited more public comment. On May 13, 2019, he made his final decision. You can view the final plan at: ecsafeandsound.org.

This fundamental shift in the course of Howard County is due to your support. While there is still much work to be done, preservation is now at the heart of a permanent solution for historic Ellicott City.

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SB741 signing in Annapolis, 2019.

Advocacy Success in Annapolis

Because we are so closely involved with preservation issues at the local level, we see firsthand how public policy makes a difference. So when we engage with members of the General Assembly, we do it with real-life examples of how and why our proposed changes in state law will save Maryland’s history. These passionate stories made all the difference this Session; here is a quick list of how our legislative advocacy succeeded in this year’s General Assembly:

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Home in the Moyaone Reserve, 2018.

More Grants

In 2019, Preservation Maryland is on track to make nearly $200,000 in new grants to help local historic preservation projects across the state. This is the largest level of annual grant making in Preservation Maryland’s history. Funding comes from the Heritage Fund which is jointly supported by Preservation Maryland and the Maryland Historical Trust. Here are just some of the projects that we have directly financially supported:

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Campaign for Historic Trades

One of our most exciting new initiatives is the Campaign for Historic Trades. This transformational workforce development program is building the career pathway for young adults and veterans who want to learn the highly valued craftsmanship skills needed to preserve and restore historic buildings.  Because other construction apprenticeship programs only teach the skills of new construction, the six-month long, paid, Traditional Trades Apprenticeship Program is a truly one-of-a-kind. Since Preservation Maryland became the charitable partner for the Training Center last fall, we have helped launch apprenticeship training centers in five national park locations across the country stretching from Oregon and California to Florida and Puerto Rico. This expansion has already tripled the number of apprentices who are enrolling in the program.

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Please make your membership pledge today! We want to keep you as a valued member of our team.

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More Ways To Give

 

Doug Harbit · Director of Development

Doug Harbit is likely blogging about Preservation Maryland's strong public and private partnerships across the state, and as our Director of Development, he may also be asking you for your support.

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