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.
The State of Maryland recently announced the preliminary FY24 budget, including $102 million to fully replenish Program Open Space, eight years ahead of schedule to accelerate land conservation projects. Although still preliminary, Preservation Maryland is pleased to see support for a program we have long championed through our advocacy work and our Smart Growth program.
Preservation News: State of Md. Announces $15M for Redevelopment of Former Military Base in Washington Co.
01/17/2023 By Dana Cohen
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.
During World War II, the property in Cascade, Maryland, served as the War Department Military Intelligence Training Center. Fort Ritchie was closed in 1998 under the Base Realignment and Closure Act. The project will work in phases to adapt the existing historic stone buildings into retail and manufacturing, as well as provide new infill housing. The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development also awarded the project a Community Legacy program grant earlier this year to turn a dilapidated structure at Fort Ritchie into an artisan village, as well as to preserve an historic Japanese Nisei mural inside.
In 2019 Preservation Maryland’s advocacy team, elected officials, and other stakeholders sought an answer to what to do with large vacant historic complexes in Maryland. A committee was formed and the project team chose three undeveloped historic complexes as case studies. The study included barriers to advance large complex preservation projects and recommendations to begin to overcome them. The Catalytic Revitalization Tax Credit program was created as a direct result of the study’s findings.
Passed in the 2021 General Assembly session and signed into law by Governor Hogan, Senate Bill 885 created the Catalytic Revitalization Tax Credit. It supports the rehabilitation and renovation of a campus of properties formerly owned by the State of Maryland or the federal government, including: colleges or universities; public schools; hospitals and mental health facilities, and; military facilities or installations. These properties have typically been vacant for a significant time and often require mitigation of a variety of environmental and health hazards.
Dana Cohen · Director of Communications
As an award-winning communications professional who creates and manages strategic campaigns, Dana works with our team and partners to tell the stories about our important preservation work and highlight what makes Maryland’s historic buildings, communities, and landscapes special.