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.
Preservation Maryland works to protect Maryland’s unique and irreplaceable heritage while creating a more equitable and sustainable future. We remain at the forefront of the reservation movement, creatively working to preserve place, grow the historic preservation workforce, and effect policy change so our shared history can be enjoyed for untold generations to come. Our newly released Opportunity Report profiles current work and what’s ahead for Preservation Maryland.
Through our innovative national workforce development initiative The Campaign for Historic Trades, we are working to expand and strengthen careers in the high-demand field of historic trades by eliminating access barriers.
Historic Property Redevelopment Program project Snoots House in Brunswick, Md.
When we talk about preserving place, we mean both the tangible aspects of physical structures, and the intangible heritage and culture that makes a community what it is—things that cannot be seen but can be felt. Our Historic Property Redevelopment Program is a catalyst for revitalization, making direct investments in historic places across the state that will also solve modern challenges.
Sen. Sarah Elfreth and Preservation Maryland’s President & CEO Nicholas Redding at Carrs Beach in Annapolis
Year after year we make significant policy advances while securing crucial funding for preservation efforts across the state. Without effective legislation, preservationists are powerless.