Best of Maryland Awards

Preservation Maryland annual awards celebrate the best of Maryland! From legislative champions and municipal stewards to fine craftspeople and community grassroots efforts, it’s also one of Maryland preservation’s best parties to mingle and network. Let’s celebrate what makes Maryland our home, together.

Photo: Awardees in the Artisan category for their work on the Ivy Hotel in Baltimore, 2016.

Submit A Nomination

Since 1985, Preservation Maryland has presented awards to individuals and organizations for their contribution to preserving and telling out State’s rich, authentic, and diverse history.

Now Accepting Nominations! Preservation Maryland is pleased to open the nomination period for this year’s Best of Maryland awards. This year, we’ll award the inaugural Smart Growth Excellence Award. Please help us recognize preservation excellence by submitting a nomination by Friday, March 15, 2019.

Online Nomination Form


Chances are, you’re eligible! We seek to make the nomination process efficient for all involved; the application process is a single online form. We encourage you to apply!

Individuals, non-profit and for-profit organizations and businesses, and government agencies are eligible. You may nominate yourself. You may submit multiple nominations. You may re-nominate projects that were not selected previously.

Awards are granted upon the sole discretion of Preservation Maryland; an award from each category may or may not be awarded each year, multiple awards in a single category may or may not be awarded. Please select the award category that best fits your nominee. We understand that some nominations may be eligible for multiple categories and will evaluate nominations across categories.

Materials submitted will become the property of Preservation Maryland.

Nomination InstructioNS

We suggest reviewing the Award Categories first as they are outlined below, reviewing the online nomination form and then preparing your responses in a separate document before entering them into the online form for submission. You cannot save your nomination form. If you cannot complete your nomination as instructed, please contact Meagan Baco, 410-685-2886, x308 or

We currently present the following awards:


Presented to an elected official in Maryland that champions historic preservation policy, programs, and supporting funding, and recognizes the importance of preserving Maryland heritage. Nominations will be evaluated based on the impact of the officials’ support on preservation in Maryland.



Presented to individuals or organizations to recognize exceptional leadership and commitment to preserving Maryland’s rich and diverse heritage.Nominations will be evaluated based on the length and nature of service or project, record of achievement, and the nominee’s overall impact on the statewide preservation movement.



Presented to an individual who is employed as a professional by a historic preservation organization, agency or academic institution and who has demonstrated extraordinary leadership, knowledge, and creativity in the protection and preservation of Maryland’s historic buildings, neighborhoods, landscapes, and archeological sites. Nominations will be evaluated based on the impact of the person’s achievements and their contributions to the preservation of Maryland’s history and culture.



Presented to individuals or organizations to recognize projects demonstrating excellence in the revitalization of threatened or abandoned historic resources. Nominations will be evaluated based on the project’s impact on historic preservation and community revitalization.



An award honoring an individual, organization, or project that best exemplifies the core tenets of smart growth. Smart growth is a broad and diverse movement which embraces environmentally and economically sustainable development patterns to create better opportunities for all citizens.


Presented to individuals or organizations to recognize exemplary stewardship of Maryland’s historic building, collections, landscapes, and archaeological sites.Nominations will be evaluated based on the degree to which the project conforms to applicable professional standards, such as the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties, and the degree to which the project has successfully protected a historic resource from harm. Nominated projects should have been completed within the last two years.



The Harrison Volunteer Awards has been presented by Preservation Maryland semi-annually since 1985, and is the organization’s oldest award. This award goes to individuals or organizations to recognize outstanding volunteer contributions to historic preservation in Maryland. Nominations will be evaluated based on the extent to which the individual or group’s preservation project made a substantial contribution to saving historic resources in Maryland



Presented to an individual or group of individuals who has demonstrated excellence in the art and artistry of a craft or trade that is used in the preservation, restoration, or rehabilitation of historic buildings, neighborhoods, landscapes, or archaeological sites in Maryland. Nominations will be evaluated based on the person’s demonstrated excellence in the practice of their craft as well as their ability to inspire and willingness to teach others the skills needed to perform their trade.



There is so much that makes Maryland great, what make’s Maryland great to you? Your favorite dog park or hiking trail and scenic view, your neighborhood preservation group, the best cup of coffee or freshest catch you’ve ever had, a main street art festival or museum you stumbled upon following brown cultural signs. Take this opportunity to share your best of Maryland.


Attend the Awards

Celebrate the Best with the Best: The Best of Maryland Awards will be held on Thursday, May 16, 2019 at Glen Echo Park in Montgomery County. The event will bring together 300 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. Step right up, get your tickets today! We’ll be celebrating in the bumper car pavilion, the neon lights will be on and the historic Dentzel Carousel will be open!



Photos from Best of Maryland Awards 2018

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.



Meet Past Awardees


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.

U.S. Senator Ben Cardin

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.

State Senator Bill Ferguson

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 T. Washington

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 and Triangle Sign & Service
The Baltimore Domino Sugars Neon Sign

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.

Havre de Grace Opera House

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
Maryland Milestones Heritage Area

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.

Jillian Storms, AIA
Early Women in Maryland Architecture

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.

Artisans of The Hackerman House at The Walters Art Museum

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.

Our Sponsors

Sponsorship opportunities are available; contact Doug Harbit at 410-685-2886, x307 or To donate to our silent auction, contact Jana Carey at 410-685-2886, x304 or






PhotoS by Melynn Photography

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