Did you see the Galloway mansion floating across the Chesapeake Bay on the local news or a viral video clip online? That was the work of Sharptown, Maryland-based, Expert House Movers, a national leader in structural lifting and transport. The third-generation family-owned company’s portfolio includes the relocation of six lighthouses, several historic theatres, two covered bridges, an airport terminal, and countless historic residential structures of every shape and size across the country. For their expertise and commitment in the Old Line State, Preservation Maryland is honored to present Expert House Movers with this year’s Best of Maryland President’s Award.
Delegate Stephanie Smith of District 45 in Baltimore City was the House sponsor for the Historic Revitalization Tax Credit Improvement Act of 2020. Despite the shortened session due to COVID-19, the legislation passed and includes a provision that allows for the large commercial tax credits can be transferred, allowing more money to go toward the projects themselves and not to transactional costs. Delegate Smith understands the transformative potential an historic tax credit project can have on a community as a whole and is a voice for revitalization in her role as Assistant Director of Equity, Engagement and Communications in Baltimore City’s Department of Planning. We look forward to continuing to work for change with Delegate Smith at the intersection of planning, equity, and preservation.
Senator Katie Fry Hester’s role as a legislative champion can actually be traced to her sponsorship of a bill in the 2019 session of the Maryland General Assembly that called for a study of the preservation and reuse of the state’s historic government complexes, such as Warfields hospital which falls in the Senator’s District 9. The Senator served on the steering committee for that study, which was released in January of 2020. Senator Hester’s passion to help such complex historic preservation projects move forward led to her to champion a number of pieces of legislation in the 2020 Session to address the recommendations of the historic government complexes report, including the Historic Revitalization Tax Credit Improvement Act of 2020 and the expansion of a successful clean energy loan program to include environmental remediation for adaptive reuse projects.
Celebrate the Best with the Best:
This year’s Best of Maryland awardees are being presented awards at socially distant site visits across the state this month. The public is invited to learn more about each award and to help us honor them by attending a special event at Bengies Drive-In Movie Theater in Middle River, Maryland on Thursday, October 1, 2020. The awards event will be followed by a screening of the 1980s classic, “The Money Pit” as a nod to the challenging and sometimes humorous nature of saving old buildings. All are welcome and proceeds support the nonprofit organization.
Pete has been working full-time at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum for nearly 30 years and before then was a common sight as a dockhand the waterfront complex. But that’s nothing compared to Pete’s origin-story; his grandfather took him to the Museum as toddler with duck decoy in tow. Now, as Chief Curator, Pete develops interpretive exhibitions and public programs that highlight the Bay’s maritime history and culture, including Native American life, seventeenth- and eighteenth-century trans-Atlantic trade, naval history, the Bay’s unique watercraft and boat building traditions, navigation, waterfowling, boating, seafood harvesting, and recreation. Moreover, Pete is a committed advocate in support of Maryland’s museums and cultural sites and is often in Annapolis testifying or speaking passionately in support of Maryland’s heritage tourism. For his distinguished and unique work at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum and his long-established dedication to Maryland history, Preservation Maryland is honored to present Pete Lesher with this year’s Gearhart Professional Service Award.
A native of Brunswick, Maryland in Frederick County, James Castle is a model citizen, dedicated volunteers, skilled historian, and stalwart preservationist…sometimes known as Brakeman Jim, while giving free tours to heritage tourists or local senior citizens. In 2015, James Castle became President of the Brunswick Potomac Foundation almost 20 years from the day he first started to volunteer for the organization. He has held the position ever since. In his tenure, Castle has led a note-worthy fundraising effort, supported the creation of a protective conservation district and the relocation of the historic WB Railroad Tower, and reinvigorated the organization’s online presence during Covid-19. Preservation Maryland is pleased to recognize Jim Castle with this year’s Harrison Volunteer Award.
Baltimore City’s ca. 1933 Enoch Pratt Free Library Central Library is the flagship location of one of the oldest public library systems in the United States, and through the work and skills of many hands during an extraordinary renovation and modernization project, the Library shines bright as a beacon of community, knowledge, and betterment. Like the work of innumerable authors housed in the Library, the renovation project itself was the collective work of dozens of skilled artisans led by EverGreene Architectural Arts and F.G. Vogt Company to revive this Temple of Learning.
Conservators conducted in-situ investigations on painted and adorned surfaces, and historians referenced archival photographs for design guidance. Touching just about every surface of the 300,000 square foot library the artisan team worked throughout the building on historic materials and finishes such as plaster, millwork, and terrazzo were restored; decorative metal and painting were brought back to their original state and preserved; and historic lighting was restored or replicated. Even the custom-designed furniture original to the building was restored for reuse.
For their individual skill and stunning collective achievement, Preservation Maryland and the Campaign for Historic Trades is proud to recognize the Pratt Library project team with the 2020 Preservation Artisan Award.
The nation’s oldest standing Jewish Orphanage, a stately 1876 Romanesque Structure in Baltimore City, was once slated for demolition and suffered decades of abandonment, but thanks to the hard work of community advocates and preservation professionals, the building has been reimagined into a much-needed health care center.
The combination of a signature vacant building and the desperate need for medical options created a powerful opportunity for reuse of the Asylum. Coppin Heights Community Development Corporation and Cross Street Partners came up with the winning partnership to change the course of history for the Hebrew Orphan Asylum – a commitment of 100% occupancy of the structure by Baltimore Health Department and Behavioral Health System Baltimore specifically for an opioid stabilization clinic.
The successful $17 million restorations of the Hebrew Orphan Asylum stretched out over 16 years and utilized competitive Maryland state tax credits along with other incentives. For achieving this awe-inspiring rehabilitation, the Coppin Heights Community Development Corporation, Baltimore Heritage, Inc., and Waldon Studio Architects are recognized with this year’s Phoenix Award.
Kent County, Maryland’s picturesque historic and natural resources were the subject of a model report which confirmed the unique and unparalleled opportunities for preservation in this eastern shore county. For their inspired and innovative undertaking of the Preliminary Cultural Landscape Assessment of Kent County, Maryland, the project team comprised of the Kent Conservation & Preservation Alliance, Barton Ross & Associates, McGinnis Landscape (now Kennon Williams Landscape Studio), Heritage Strategies, and Washington College Center for Environment and Society, will receive the Smart Growth Excellence Award from Preservation Maryland and Smart Growth Maryland.
CASA de Maryland is a Latino and immigration advocacy and assistance organization with satellite offices in Pennsylvania and Virginia. Here in Maryland, the non-profit organization had been serving the community for several years from East Fayette Street, a few blocks from the Belnord Theatre building. After a purchase in 2017, CASA created bold plans for the historic theatre. Selective demolition removed a non-historic ceiling revealing beautiful architectural details and a space large enough to create a series of modern pods for different uses – all while respecting those design elements and achieving ADA compliance and LEED Gold Certification. Even during Covid-19, CASA has been able to utilize the extra space of the Belnord Theatre renovation to host large-scale and socially-distanced grocery pick-ups. CASA is eager to return to full-strength – supporting the community – and the restored Belnord will take center stage.
Under the direction of the Maryland Department of General Services, one of Annapolis’s historic post offices just underwent a world-class comprehensive adaptive reuse program to restore the deteriorated Georgian Revival architecture and to convert its interior space into new state government offices for the governor’s office of community initiatives and the governor’s legal office. DGS selected to work with industry leaders Consigli Construction, Ziger/Snead Architects, and Wagner Roofing to complete the work on the 1901 structure – and Gold Leaf Studios even gilded the historic pineapple cupola adornment with 23.5 karat double-weight gold. This Best of Maryland Stewardship Award goes to the Maryland Department of General Services for envisioning and financing this over iconic $15 million project on Annapolis’ Church Circle.
The Evergreen barn in Allegany County is believed to be the last remaining 18th-century barn in Western Maryland and was the site of a concerted preservation and reuse effort to reimagine the future of this stunning barn. Kickstarted by a feasibility study in 2015, major repairs in 2018, and the grand opening of the barn as an architectural museum complete with an exhibit called, “Living Off The Land,” the Evergreen Foundation has exemplified careful and creative stewardship and are well-deserving of this Preservation Maryland Stewardship Award. You don’t have to take our word for it; just ask the over 9,000 Western Maryland kids who are edutained on-site each year.
When Washington Grove transitioned from a summer resort to an incorporated town, much of the rustic camp character of this special place carried on including their approach to handcrafting their street signs. Starting in 1937, citizens built, painted, installed and maintained these iconic posts, including a new cohort of volunteers who recently worked with the Historic Preservation Commission and the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service to make minor modifications to the original design to ensure that the town would not lose these iconic signs that provide a sense of direction and a sense of place. For their dedication to the details, Preservation Maryland presents Susan Van Nostrand and the thirty-three volunteers of Washington Grove sign project with a 2020 Best of Maryland Community Choice Award.
Parsons Cemetery in Salisbury, Maryland is an historic operational cemetery, an urban green space, an outdoor museum, and in the words of architectural historian, Keith Eggener, a place where “life meets death, nature meets city, and present meets past.” The six-member volunteer committee is inspired by those words and diligently works towards creating a site of reverence and culture by offering self-guided walking tours based on their on-going historical and genealogical research, maintaining the 18 acres of sacred grounds and the promise of perpetual care, and filling their lively Facebook page with incredible and enduring stories of Maryland history. For these reasons, Preservation Maryland is pleased to honor and recognize the work of the past and current Parsons Cemetery Advisory Committee with a 2020 Best of Maryland Community Choice Award.
You may have seen the work of the Odenton Heritage Society if you’ve ridden the MARC train past Odenton and noticed the handsome stone building, previously the Citizens State Bank – the Historical Society purchased, restored, and reopened the historic building in 1994 as their first museum. The all-volunteer group, led by President, Wylie Donaldson and Roger White, Curator, more recently completed the transformation of the town’s ca. 1912 Old Masonic Hall for as the Odenton Heritage Society Historical Center which serves as a local history museum, public archives, the Society’s office and a community meeting place. The public is welcome to visit the Old Mason Hall, the tallest building in the Odenton Historic District, to see first-hand the restoration work and to learn more about Odenton at the Society’s museum and archives. For their outsized impact and preservation work, Preservation Maryland is pleased to present the Odenton Heritage Society with a 2020 Community Choice Best of Maryland award.
Historic London Town & Gardens in Anne Arundel County is a long-established living history site tackling every day and extraordinary challenges head-on. The waterfront historic site is flush with gardens, trails, and wildlife; it hosts the County’s archaeology lab and large history museum, and a colonial village focused around the National Historic Landmark William Brown House. Recently, the team led by Rod Cofield and Lauren Silberman embarked on recreating the tavern bar in the Brown House and included an LGBTQ-inclusive array of characters and experiences into their interpretation practices. Their spirited approach even caught the eye of Travel Channel’s Booze Traveler. Next up, they’ll utilize a Maryland Heritage Areas Authority grant to build a new education pavilion on the main site. For their creative and can-do approach to creating a 21st-century open-air museum based in its 18th-century historic roots, Preservation Maryland is pleased to present Historic London Town & Gardens with a 2020 Best of Maryland Community Choice Award.
The “preview” will be a video update about Preservation Maryland, our major programs and projects, and this year’s Best of Maryland Awards – and our feature presentation will be “The Money Pit” on the big screen!
One-night only! Special screening of the slapstick, family-friendly comedy about home renovations: “The Money Pit” (1986) starring Tom Hanks & Shelley Long.
Please enjoy complimentary popcorn and soda throughout the event thanks to our generous sponsors!
All proceeds support Preservation Maryland.
Expert House Movers
Delegate Stephanie Smith
City of Baltimore, District 45
Senator Katie Fry Hester
Howard County, District 9
Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum
Town of St. Michael’s
Gearhart Professional Service Award
Brunswick Heritage Museum
City of Brunswick
Harrison Volunteer Award
Enoch Pratt Free Library, Central Library
Renovation & Modernization
City of Baltimore
Preservation Artisan Award
Center for Health Care and Healthy Living at the Baltimore Hebrew Orphan Asylum
City of Baltimore
The Phoenix Award
Kent County Cultural Landscape Assessment Report
Smart Growth Excellence Award
CASA de Maryland
Historic Belnord Theatre
City of Baltimore
Maryland Department of General Services
Annapolis Post Office
City of Annapolis
Evergreen Heritage Center Foundation
Washington Grove Volunteers
Town of Washington Grove
Community Choice Award
Parsons Cemetery Advisory Committee
City of Salisbury
Community Choice Award
Odenton Heritage Society
Anne Arundel County
Community Choice Award
Historic London Town & Gardens
Anne Arundel County
Community Choice Award
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.