Looking Ahead: The Best of Maryland awards is hosted in May in Maryland each year. Nominations will open in Spring 2020. You can review our Award categories and requirements here.
Jacques Kelly is the voice of local history in The Baltimore Sun. He has been writing about the City’s historic neighborhoods and architecture since 1986 with a focus on writing for city residents that love Baltimore and want to learn more about the place they call home. Expanding on his local history column, Kelly is the author of Bygone Baltimore.
Delegate Stephen W. Lafferty of Baltimore County is a long-time advocate for investment in Maryland’s cities and towns and protection of the environment. Delegate Lafferty has led efforts to secure resources for residential and commercial revitalization, improve transportation to provide better access to opportunity, and prevent the loss of farms and forests to development. He has served in the Maryland House of Delegates since 2007 and currently chairs the House Speaker’s Regional Revitalization Workgroup and the Environment and Transportation Committee’s Subcommittee on Land Use and Ethics.
The Catoctin Furnace Historic Building Trades Program in Western Maryland embodies the mythology of the Phoenix as the symbol of rebirth and new life for both the historic buildings and the young people who take part in their preservation. Historic building trades are the centerpiece of the program, now in its seventh year, operated in conjunction with Silver Oak Academy, a residential boarding school for at-risk teens overseen by the State of Maryland Department of Juvenile Services. These students learn valuable construction skills while working alongside preservation experts as they undertake building rehabilitation and restoration. Through the Building Trades Program, students gain marketable real world job skills that attract potential employers in preservation, conservation, museums, and the trades – or may even inspire students to start their own company. The partnership between the Catoctin Furnace Historical Society and Silver Oak Academy exemplifies private and public resources coming together to save important historical buildings while improving young lives.
David Gibney has honed his skill for preservation artistry over a 40 year career. David transitioned from new construction to historic preservation in the 1970s when he was one of just a handful of people selected for a new Restoration Workshop program offered by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Since then, he has helped repair and restore countless historic places that continue to thrive as a result of his interventions. In Maryland, David has left his fingerprint on important and comprehensive restorations at the Homewood Museum and Doughoregan Manor in Baltimore City, the Maryland Theater and Long Meadows in Hagerstown, the iconic Thomas Point Lighthouse on the Chesapeake Bay, and the full restoration of Tolson’s Chapel in Sharpsburg. David is also responsible for the chinking and daubing of the Maryland slave cabin that is now part of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. Over David’s impressive career, he has shared his passion and expertise with countless apprentices and employees, helping to continue and invigorate the vital role of the traditional trades within the preservation field.
Eli Pousson joined Baltimore Heritage. Inc. as a Field Officer in 2010 with funding from the National Trust for Historic Preservation and transitioned into Preservation and Outreach Manager since 2013. Much of Eli’s professional work and personal projects focus on community engagement, equity and representation, and open source access. Exemplifying his ethos, Eli created an open learning environment online to teach preservation ethics and techniques to a diverse cohort of Baltimoreans; part of that curriculum is now hosted and taught by the National Park Service. Eli should also be commended for his coordination of the annual Bmore Historic Unconference, his research of Baltimore’s Civil Rights Landmarks, and his commitment to providing access to much of his work via the Explore Baltimore app and mobile website. After nearly 10 years with Baltimore Heritage, Inc., Eli has accepted a Fellowship in the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) campus in Gaithersburg is one of the largest intact groupings of modernist buildings in Maryland and is eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places. NIST, always at the forefront of advancing scientific research, exacting standards, and leveraging technology, has embraced its new-found role as steward to one of the state’s best modernist environments. Its Campus Master Plan completed by Metropolitan Architects & Planners embodies smart growth in all areas. Key tenants of the plan include converting much of the lawn to meadow and reforesting peripheral areas; improving water and energy efficiency; improving bike and pedestrian access to the campus; and rehabilitating historic structures.
The Peale Center is a National Historical Landmark in the heart of Baltimore City and part of the City’s portfolio of historic assets at the Department of General Service. It is often referenced with pride as the first purpose built museum in North America – however, nearly 20 years of disuse wore on the structure. In 2014, the City began this complex revitalization project in earnest, bringing in SM+P Architects who designed a historically-accurate roof in appearance and construction; Ruff Roofers to execute that roofing scheme using the traditional method of field-forming short pans of terne-coated copper; C&H Restoration who worked diligently on the historic masonry, repaired and rebuilt windows, and provided a final protective coat of paint; and Nancy Proctor, now director of The Peale Center, offered her respected international museum expertise. Together, the investment and stewardship into the oldest museum in the United States has led to the birth of a new kind of museum providing access to history, art, architecture, and culture to all Marylanders.
Standing tall amongst the Hagerstown skyline, the ca. 1852 Junior No. 3 Firehouse was recently rehabilitated into a residence by Doug and Kristy Carroll. After previous work on its masonry facades and other renovations, the Carrolls engaged Wagner Roofing to restore the highly detailed roof cupola with matching Buckingham slate and copper flashing, along with finishing the job using historically accurate paint colors on the iconic bell tower and ornate cornices. The stunning result is a bright beacon of private investment and careful preservation in downtown Hagerstown.
Mt. Welcome Retreat, a historic Federal-style granite farmhouse in Baltimore County surrounded by 13-acres and several auxiliary buildings, is now home to George and Pei Schlossnagle and their family. The main farmhouse was creatively retrofitted by brennan+company architects, preserving the farmhouse’s interior while providing modern living spaces in new additions built within the footprint of historic additions. Much of the work was completed with local preservation artisans and local materials – in some cases reclaimed from the estate itself. The buildings and grounds are protected with Land Trust Conservation Easements and review by the Maryland Historical Trust. Outside of the farmhouse, the large bank barn has been returned to its agricultural use and now houses chicken, goats, and llamas, while the pond has been replanted with native plants and attracts turtles, geese, bees, and other wildlife. The owners and architects worked together to steward this family estate into the 21st century by prioritizing green interventions while preserving key elements of its past and providing new functionality to its current owners.
Sited upon the Susquehanna River in Cecil County, this ca. 1721 gristmill became part of the 280-acre Perry Point facility of the Department of Veterans Affairs. Its coastal location and disuse began to threaten the future of the building. Under the direction of the Maryland Historical Trust, the VA sought to repair and transform the gristmill into the Perry Point Veterans Museum. The smart design by Davis Buckley Architects and Planners retains the rough historic industrial interior and pairs it with exposed modern building components of steel and glass. The necessary interventions provide accessibility to the mill and its exhibits through a modern elevator, ramp, and stair – in fact, a glass enclosure was designed to preserve and showcase the historic interior mill stair. During the process, the lower-level of the structure was dry-proofed, constructed, and finished with durable materials able to resist floodwater damage. Noted as the oldest historic structure in the portfolio of the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, this worthy project respects the mill’s past and current service to the community.
Lisa and Dave Everett for their investment and careful rehabilitation of the ca. 1889 Phelps House into Laurel’s only historic Bed and Breakfast, the Laurel Manor House.
AIA Baltimore and the Baltimore Architecture Foundation for the steady growth of the unique Doors Open Baltimore event, introducing thousands to Charm City’s historic architecture.
Historic St. Mary’s City utilized the unique structure of the Brome Slave Cabin, a duplex slave cabin to interpret the experience of enslaved people before and after the Civil War.
Sweet Elizabeth Jane’s storefront renovations on Main Street after both the 2016 and 2018 flood exemplify the resiliency of Ellicott City’s business and preservation community.
Celebrating with the Best: This May, we hosted over 200 revelers and carousel riders at Glen Echo Park for our annual Best of Maryland Awards celebration. Preservation Maryland and Smart Growth Maryland would like to congratulate all of the deserving awardees and thank everyone who helped make the evening a true celebration of preservation in Maryland. The location of the 2020 event will be announced soon and the nomination period open in Spring 2020.
Record Attendance: The Best of Maryland awards was on Thursday, May 17, 2018 at The Star-Spangled Banner Flag House in Baltimore City. The event was attended by over 200 preservationists, community leaders, elected officials and fans of Maryland’s heritage — all to help recognize, celebrate, and thank the people and organizations protecting Maryland history and heritage.
Preservation Maryland looks forward to highlighting the amazing work of Maryland’s preservationists each year at our Best of Maryland awards during Preservation Month. This year, the awardees include strong preservation advocates, committed stewards and volunteers, and impactful project leaders across the state. Please help us recognize the following awardees:
The National Historic Preservation Training Center provides expert technical training in preservation to employees of the National Park Service, and on the occasion of their 40th Anniversary and for their commitment to the community, Preservation Maryland will recognize their contribution to our national preservation movement with our highest award.
Senator Ben Cardin is a long-time advocate for historic preservation and fought hard successfully to save the Historic Tax Credit during the Tax Reform debate of 2017. Sen. Cardin also introduced bi-partisan legislation which would have vastly improved the use of the credit by smaller Main Street-style rehabilitations.
Senator Bill Ferguson of Baltimore City introduced two Historic Tax Credit bills in the General Assembly this year to incentivize affordable housing and make the credit a more effective tool for revitalization. Sen. Ferguson is receiving the Legislative Champion award for an unprecedented second year in a row.
Delegate Alonzo Washington of Prince George’s County sponsored two Historic Tax Credit bills in support of historic preservation, affordable housing, and an important provision to support the rehabilitation of functionally-related structures making large-scale catalytic projects more feasible.
Domino Sugar retains Triangle Sign & Service to perform weekly maintenance on the massive Domino Sugars sign visible from across Baltimore City and the Baltimore Harbor. An iconic part of the Baltimore City skyline, the 120 foot by 70 foot sign is an example of a rare neon field and has been aglow since the 1950s, due exclusively to Domino Sugar’s stewardship.
Since 1871, the Havre de Grace Opera House has been a fixture of community and culture in Harford County. Recently, the City and a private Opera House Foundation embarked on rehabilitation project to address accessibility, safety, and comfort issues while also restoring the historic materials and character. A grand reopening of the Cultural Center was held in August 2017.
Aaron Marcavitch is a leader in heritage tourism and preservation partnerships throughout Maryland and beyond. Aaron recently opened a the Maryland Milestones Heritage Center in the heart of Hyattsville. He was instrumental in the state’s War of 1812 bicentennial, is active in historic Greenbelt, and recently published a book about the history of U.S. Route 1.
As the chairwoman of the Women in Architecture Committee of AIA Baltimore, Jillian Storms conducted and led extensive research about the practices and contributions of women in architecture across Maryland, and she shares her knowledge and enthusiasm for the topic with a traveling exhibit, tours, and lectures – and a multi-media website.
The Hackerman House was recently renovated as a state-of-the-art example of protecting a museum collection within a historic building, including innovative fire suppression systems that did not disturb the historic fabric that was also undergoing repairs. Representatives from the following groups will accept the award: The Walters Art Museum, Lewis Contractors, Fireline, MasterCare Flooring, Wocester Eisenbrandt, Hayles & Howe, Cypress Painting Systems, Ariosa & Company, Ruff Roofers.
The Ark of Hungerford Creek relocated by the Calvert Marine Museum; Exterior repair and restoration at the Church Hill Theatre in Southern Maryland; Preservation and sustainability planning by the Town of Highland Beach; the Parkway Theatre.
As our Historic Preservation Officer, Elizabeth Hughes leads statewide preservation efforts through the Maryland Historical Trust, and also served as the leaders of the National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers that advocates for federal historic preservation programs.
Del. Lierman is largely responsible for the budget language which resulted in the 2016 Joint Chairman’s Report outlining the need for the restoration of the Maryland Historical Trust Preservation Grant Fund; the Report led to the inclusion funding in the 2017 budget for the first time since 2010.
Speaker Pro Tem Jones introduced the Maryland Historic Trust Grant Fund Improvement Act which seeks to ensure the Maryland Historical Trust’s Grant Fund receives funding every year. The bill passed in both the House and Senate and will hopefully be signed into law in the near future.
Sen. Ferguson introduced the Maryland Historic Trust Grant Fund Improvement Act, a bill that seeks to guarantee funding to the Preservation Grant Fund at the Maryland Historical Trust, that will support preservation projects across the Old Line State.
Del. Wilson introduced the legislation that raised the funding cap for the Maryland Heritage Areas Program that passed this March and will result in additional resources for the thirteen heritage areas across the state that touch every county and support heritage tourism.
Responding to the devastating flood in Ellicott City, Executive Kittleman, instituted an effective approach that included the safety of residents, the vitality of local Main Street businesses, and historic preservation.
Dr. Thompson recently retired after over 40 years of service to researching and preserving the history the Eastern Shore; teaching at Salisbury University, founding the Delmarva Historical Archives now the Nabb Research Center, and preserving Rackcliffe House, Pemberton Hall, Poplar Hill Mansion and others.
In Baltimore City, Metropolitan Partnership completed an extraordinary rehabilitation of the former Maryland National Bank at 10 Light Street into downtown apartments and an Under Armour Performance Center gym.
Built in 1866 and having just celebrated its 150th year in 2016, Tolson’s Chapel now stands as a restored African-American schoolhouse due to the persistence of the Friend’s group that can now turn its attention away from repair and restoration to education and interpretation.
The Canal Quarters program allows visitors to stay in historic lockhouses across the C&O Canal National Historical Park – a program that is greatly supported by the efforts of over 35 volunteers donating over 15,000 hours of service to provide this unique experience.
Working with the Naval Facilities Engineering Command and architects Citadel DCA, John Tower and The Tower Co. restored the guard houses of the Naval Academy in Annapolis – the only two surviving 19th century structures and the entrance to the campus.
Pyramid Atlantic Arts Center and the City of Hyattsville; Bmore Kitchen by Accelerator Development; Montgomery Modern program of the Maryland-National Parks & Planning Commission; “Laboring Sons Memorial Ground” Documentary by the City of Frederick’s Audio Visual Department