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 Statement on Ellicott City Demolition Proposal
08/23/2018 By Preservation Maryland
Preservation Maryland, the statewide non-profit preservation advocacy organization, issued the following statement today in response to Howard County’s $50 million proposed demolition plan for Ellicott City:
Preservation maryland expresses serious concern over $50 million demolition scheme
In the wake of devastating flash floods, the future of Ellicott City’s historic district and flood prone buildings has been widely and openly debated. On Thursday, August 23rd, Howard County Government announced their intention to demolish a staggering 5% of the historic district in an attempt to mitigate the ongoing flood risks facing the historic community.
Preservation Maryland fully supports efforts to protect the lives of those who live in and visit Ellicott City. Proven stormwater management tools and scientifically driven hydrologic retention efforts should be employed to reverse the damaging manmade impacts now causing these events. Demolition of historic buildings, is not, however, a proven strategy nor has it been adequately studied in Ellicott City to understand its hydrological impact. Furthermore, this plan, developed without substantive public input, could result in the de-listing of Ellicott City from the National Register of Historic Places which would curtail certain incentives and tax credits available for the historic community.
Perhaps most concerning is that this $50 million demolition plan does not appear to substantively mitigate or resolve flood risks. At the same time, by removing large portions of the built environment, new flood patterns could arise and potentially cause extensive damage to the National Historic Landmark B&O Railroad station which would sit in an even more vulnerable location. Additionally, Preservation Maryland is interested to learn more about the county’s decision making process in this planning effort and the extent to which other resources and structures were reviewed for demolition — and whether impervious surfaces, undeveloped land and existing structures above the historic town were considered as a part of the county’s review.
Preservation Maryland is currently considering all options and intends on distributing a white paper next week which explores viable alternatives to widescale demolition in the historic district. Ellicott City is one of the State of Maryland’s crown jewels. What is done here will resonate for generations to come – and could, if done correctly, set a standard to which the rest of the nation strives to meet. Preservation Maryland firmly believes we must rise to meet this challenge. The future of Ellicott City depends on it.
Preservation Maryland is Maryland’s first and largest organization dedicated to preserving the state’s historic buildings, neighborhoods, landscapes, and archaeological sites.