Preservation Funding

Preservation Maryland administers several grant programs that provide a unique stable source of funding for preservation, planning, public history, and other innovative revitalization and conversation projects across the state.

Heritage Fund Grants

The Heritage Fund, a cooperative effort of Preservation Maryland and the Maryland Historical Trust, provides direct assistance for the protection of historical and cultural resources and promotes innovative demonstration projects that can be successfully replicated to meet Maryland’s historic preservation needs. The Fund is intended to serve the needs of tangible cultural resources in Maryland. Historic sites, buildings, districts, objects, and archaeological resources are all eligible for funding.

The Heritage Fund provides direct assistance for the protection of endangered cultural resources and promotes innovative education projects that can inform best practices across the state. Non-profit organizations and local jurisdictions are eligible to apply. Eligible projects fall into three general categories: education and research, planning and feasibility, and repair and rehabilitation. The next round of Heritage Fund applications are now being accepted through Friday, March 20, 2020.

Projects eligible for funding

Projects must be located in the state of Maryland

Stabilization or acquisition of endangered historic properties

Feasibility studies, architectural plans, structural assessments, and historic structure reports

Projects benefiting archaeological resources including curatorial services

Repair and restoration of historic materials

Educational, research, and planning efforts related to resource preservation

Organizational development for local preservation organizations – including but not limited to:

  • Board and volunteer development
  • Establishing strategic planning goals
  • Membership development
  • Marketing plans
  • Fundraising activities
  • Media relations
  • Collaborative projects are encouraged

Legal services engaged to protect endangered historic resources – including structures, sites, archaeological resources, or the creation or strengthening of a local preservation ordinance

Specifications for Fiscal Year 2020

The minimum grant is $1,000 and the maximum grant is $10,000. Application deadlines are March 20 and September 18, 2020.

Criteria for grant awards

The following criteria will be used by the selection committee to evaluate and select projects for funding, on a competitive basis, that meet the purposes and priorities of the Heritage Fund:

  • Relative historical and cultural significance of the resource(s)
  • Urgency of the need for financial assistance
  • Provision for long-term resource preservation
  • Administrative capability of the applicant
  • Extent to which the project stimulates or promotes other preservation activities
  • Educational value of the project
  • Demonstrative and innovative value of the project
  • Extent to which the project leverages other sources of financial assistance
  • Readiness of the applicant to initiate and complete the project
  • Extent to which the project contributes to the equitable geographic distribution of Heritage Fund money across the state

Terms

Funds will be disbursed on a reimbursable basis.

When relevant, all work must comply with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties.

A cash or in-kind match of at least 10% is required.

Any materials or publicity produced in relation to the project must include the following citation: “Funding for this project was provided in part by Preservation Maryland and the Maryland Historical Trust.” Copies of the materials should be submitted to Preservation Maryland.

Grant award recipients may apply for the same project or site one year after the award date.

Projects must be completed within one year of grant approval.

Award recipients must submit a brief recap of their project and at least two photos of completed bricks and mortar projects or alternate forms of documentation for other projects.

How to Apply

Interested parties should contact Preservation Maryland to discuss the proposed project before submitting an application. Open the online application and review the questions on the application form. We encourage you to craft your long-form answers into a separate document before beginning and copy and paste them into the form. Gather all required supplementary materials in a digital format. There is a total file size limit of 20MB for all attachments submitted on the application form. Resize items to meet this requirement. Complete the online application and attach supplementary material.

Required supplementary materials include:

    • Organization’s latest financial statement or audit
    • IRS determination letter of tax-exempt status
    • Project budget including all project expenses and in-hand or pledged funding
    • Relevant guiding documents, plans, estimates, and proposals from contractors or consultants
    • Minimum of one letter of support or endorsement from a local elected official
    • Minimum of two representative photographs of the project
    • If the nominator and property owner are different, a letter of support from the property owner

Upon receipt of a completed application, staff will conduct a review and determine if any additional information is needed. Applicants will be notified about grant decisions 6-8 weeks after the grant deadline.

Next Deadline: Friday, March 20, 2020

Watch the FAQ Video

Download the Guidelines (PDF)

Start the Online Application

Recently Awarded Grants

Tracing George Washington’s Path through Allegany County

Organization: Board of County Commissioners of Allegany County
Type: Education and Research
Location: Allegany County

In 1753, George Washington undertook his first diplomatic and military journey from Virginia to what is now Western Pennsylvania and Eastern Ohio. He carried an order to the French asking them to abandon the claims they had made to the area. A trail exists through Western Pennsylvania commemorating Washington’s path. Now Allegany County looks to continue the trail as it winds through the county. With a grant award of $7,500, the Board of County Commissioners of Allegany County will develop a trail that will mark the path with distinctive blue directional signage and produce brochures and a website to serve as guides to the route.

Restoration of a Historic Theater Façade

Organization: Faith Chapel
Type: Bricks and Mortar
Location: Hagerstown, Washington County

The former Colonial Theater at 14 S. Potomac Street in downtown Hagerstown is now home to the Bridge of Life Church. The highly detailed façade of the building, first opened in 1914, features highly intricate terra cotta sculptures. The façade’s terra cotta is need of repair for safety and preservation The grant of $8,500 will help fund a conditions assessment, a first step for the projects, and plan for the restoration of the façade.

Geophysical Survey at Mount Nebo A.M.E. Church Cemetery

Organization: Friends of Historic Mount Nebo Preservation Corporation
Type: Education and Research
Location: Upper Marlboro, Prince George’s County

The cemetery associated with Historic Mount Nebo Church dates from the late 19th Century and a time when African Americans were denied burial in public cemeteries. The private cemetery, along with the church and school on the grounds, were an important center of the area’s black community. The Friends of Historic Mount Nebo Preservation Corporation has been working to preserve the church and surrounding property for the last 20 years. This grant of $5,500 will help fund ground-penetrating radar to help identify unmarked burials to add to the existing burial and land documentation.

Developing a Master Plan for Maxwell Hall

Organization: Friends of Maxwell Hall
Type: Planning and Feasibility
Location: Hughesville, Charles County

Maxwell Hall is an 18th Century home that is part of the Charles County parks system. Last year, the Friends of Maxwell Hall was formed to preserve and interpret the historic house and the surrounding landscape. This new organization will benefit from a grant of $6,500 from the Heritage Fund to fund a master plan to strategically guide its future efforts in planning events, exhibits, programming, and fundraising.

African American History in Anne Arundel County

Organization: Lost Towns Project
Type: Education and Research
Location: Anne Arundel County

The Four Rivers Heritage Area created a project entitled “African American Voices, Memories, and Places,” that resulted in a story map that seeks to increase awareness of African American sites in the Heritage Area. Lost Towns Project seeks to build upon the work of the story map by telling the stories of locations outside the range of the Heritage Area. The grant of $6,000 will help support public events to engage participation, conduct oral history interviews, and add the newly identified sites to the story map.

Pieces of colonial and native ceramics found at Gerard archaeological site.

Archeological and  Preservation at Thomas Gerard Site

Organization: St. Mary’s College of Maryland Foundation
Type: Archaeologymt-
Location: Bushwood, St. Mary’s County

The Dr. Thomas Gerard archeological site is a key early colonial site that has previously been evaluated to determine the best strategy for long-term preservation. St. Mary’s College of Maryland Foundation plans to recover a representative sample of the site to donate to the Maryland Historical Trust’s Maryland Archaeological Laboratory. Through this work funded in part by a grant of $8,000 from the Heritage Fund will ensure that the public will have access to this valuable research in perpetuity.

Preservation of the Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse

Organization: United States Lighthouse Society
Type: Bricks and Mortar
Location: Chesapeake Bay, Anne Arundel County

The 1875 Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse is one of twelve lighthouses in the country that are listed as National Historic Landmarks. Its unique style and the fact that it continues to stand in its original location makes the Lighthouse an important piece of Maryland’s history. The United States Lighthouse Society is undertaking a project to replace the I-beams and tie-road assemblies that form the structural foundation of the lighthouse. The Heritage Fund awarded $6,000 for the project.

Baltimore City Historic Preservation Fund

The Baltimore City Historic Preservation Fund is a dedicated source of funding for revitalization work across Baltimore City now in its second funding round.

Preservation Maryland, in partnership with the Maryland Historical Trust, Baltimore Heritage, and the Baltimore City Commission for Historical and Architectural Preservation, are proud to launch the 2020 round of the Baltimore City Historic Preservation Fund. Funds for the grant program are provided by the Baltimore Community Foundation. The fund’s goal is to provide direct assistance for capital and non-capital activities that advance efforts to preserve historically significant properties in the City of Baltimore.

A special focus of this initiative is to support projects that not only preserve structures but are also important to neighborhood identity and contribute to the revitalization of communities. In the first round of grants, the Baltimore Preservation Fund supported nine projects totaling $70,000 in grant awards that were selected from a highly competitive field of nearly forty applicants.

Tax-exempt organizations performing work in the City of Baltimore are eligible to apply for recommended grant requests of $1,000-$10,000. Projects must take place in the City of Baltimore. Projects eligible for the competitive grant funds include, but are not limited to, rehabilitation work of historic materials, preparation of National Register nominations, educational, research, and planning efforts related to preservation efforts.

The application deadline is May 8, 2020. Please contact Jessica Feldt, Preservation Initiatives Manager at Preservation Maryland by phone at 410-685-2886, ext. 302 or by email at jfeldt@presmd.org with any questions. It is highly recommended that potential applicants call to discuss their project prior to completing an application.

Baltimore City Historic Preservation Fund Application

Baltimore City Historic Preservation Fund Guidelines (PDF)

Projects Eligible for funding

  • Capital and non-capital activities located in the City of Baltimore,
  • Rehabilitation of the historic fabric of properties that significantly contribute to the history of Baltimore and its neighborhoods,
  • Preparation of National Register nominations of historic districts,
  • Rehabilitation of the historic fabric of individual historically significant sites that support active neighborhood revitalization strategies,
  • Public archaeology or public history programs that strengthen neighborhood cohesion, or
  • Educational, research, promotion, and planning efforts related to historic resource preservation that enhances ongoing neighborhood revitalization efforts.

Criteria for grant awards

The following criteria will be used by the selection committee to evaluate and select projects for funding that meet the purposes and priorities of the fund:

  • Historical or cultural significance of the resource(s) and overall importance to neighborhood identity,
  • Impact of project on neighborhood revitalization efforts, including the project’s potential to have a transformative effect,
  • Urgency of the need for financial assistance,
  • Capacity and readiness of the applicant to initiate and complete the project,
  • Financial leverage including the use of tax credits, cash, and in kind matching funds to support the project,
  • Value of the project to the preservation or enhancement of the resource and the significance of the resource to community identity,
  • The extent the project can raise awareness of preservation or serve as a model for future preservation efforts.
  • Demonstrated community support for the project,
  • Capability of the project to improve the appreciation and preservation of historical and cultural resources in Baltimore’s underserved communities.

HOW TO APPLY

Please see the full guidelines for more information about eligibility, application requirements, and evaluation criteria. To apply, complete the online application, being sure to complete all the fields and attach all required supplementary materials.

Required Supplementary Materials

  • At least two digital photographs,
  • Applicant organization’s most recent financial statement or audit,
  • IRS determination letter of tax-exempt status
  • At least one letter of support from a neighborhood association, community organization, or elected official,
  • Any plans, estimates, or proposals from contractors or consultants,
  • Project budget.

Grant Terms

  • Projects must comply with all state and local planning requirements
  • All capital projects must comply with Baltimore City Historic Preservation Design Guidelines,
  • Recipients will receive an initial disbursement of 25% of the total grant award. Additional funds will be disbursed on a reimbursable basis.
  • Demonstrated progress must be made on the project within 12 months and be completed within 3 years.
  • Award recipients must submit a brief summary of their project and at least two photographs of completed capital projects.
  • Submitted images may be used by Selection Committee organizations for use in online and printed outreach for the Baltimore City Historic Preservation Fund.

The application deadline is May 8, 2020. Please contact Jessica Feldt, Preservation Initiatives Manager at Preservation Maryland by phone at 410-685-2886, ext. 302 or by email at jfeldt@presmd.org with any questions. It is highly recommended that potential applicants call to discuss their project prior to completing an application.

Baltimore City Historic Preservation Fund Application

Baltimore City Historic Preservation Fund Guidelines (PDF)

News & Updates

The Havre de Grace Colored School Foundation is stewarding the structure and stories of the Havre de Grace Colored School and working to create new museum and cultural center. The Heritage Fund supported the organization’s efforts to gather important first-hand oral histories of African American students of the school from the 1930s to the 1950s.

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With support and advocacy from an array of national, state, and local partners, including Preservation Maryland, the City Dock Advocacy Committee has worked steadily on crafting a sustainable and vibrant reimagining of Annapolis’ historic downtown waterfront.

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12/31/2019
By Preservation Maryland

Top 11 Preservation Victories of 2019

In 2019, Preservation Maryland achieved several important victories across our major programs, including advocacy, grantmaking, smart growth, historic trades, and all of our research and education efforts. At any one-time, our staff is working on many active and on-going projects and what follows is just a sample of our donor-supported work of which we are most proud.

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Preservation Maryland and the Maryland Historical Trust are pleased to announce the newest grantees of the Heritage Fund grant program. The Heritage Fund is one of few stable sources of preservation funding in Maryland and has provided over $1.4 million dollars in direct funding to projects across the state.

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The Heart of the Civil War Heritage Area received a Heritage Fund grant to craft a visitor experience plan for the historic Newcomer House on Antietam Battlefield. The historic 18th-century home served as a makeshift hospital during the battle and is now a visitor center for tourists exploring Western Maryland’s history and scenery.

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Tagged In: Heritage Fund,

Earlier this summer, the C&O Canal Trust reopened the historic Swains Lockhouse after a three-year rehabilitation project supported in part by the Heritage Fund grant program. The Lockhouse dates to ca. 1916 and now open to the public as part of their very popular Canal Quarters program.

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Over the course of a studio semester, students from the University of Maryland College Park have created a new public toolkit for documentation LGBTQ history in Baltimore City with a specific focus on Mount Vernon, Abell, Waverly, and Greater Waverly.

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Cambridge Community Radio in Dorchester County used a Heritage Fund grant to transform a vintage ca. 1930 storefront restaurant into a music venue and radio studio as a new home for their all-volunteer, local radio station.

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Tagged In: Heritage Fund, Resources,

The Heritage Fund has recently supported a very unique expression and resource of Baltimore history through the digitization and publishing of the WJZ-TV video collection by the Mid-Atlantic Regional Moving Image Archive and Baltimore Heritage, Inc.

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In spring 2018, Preservation Maryland’s Heritage Grant Fund provided a $5,000 grant to the Downtown Frederick Partnership to support the creation of a preservation education toolkit.

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