Posts tagged ‘historic preservation’
SILVER SPRING – Owners of historic homes in Montgomery County who want to do their part to lessen energy usage have an opportunity to participate in a free home audit available through the Planning Department’s Historic Preservation Section.
Thanks to a $9,000 grant from the Maryland Historical Trust, historic preservation planners will run the local Energy Efficiency Initiative for selected owners of eight-10 historic homes in the county. There are more than 3,000 homes designated historic on the county Master Plan for Historic Preservation or located in a designated historic district.
The audits will reveal a household’s energy usage and recommend measures to conserve energy. Armed with conservation strategies, homeowners can see real savings on utility costs.
Planners hope to include properties from across the county representing a variety of historic home types. Properties will be selected for the audits based on location, age, size and materials used in construction of the residence as well as when applications are submitted.
Learn more and download an application. Applications must be received by 5 p.m. May 10.
The audits, valued at $500 per home, consider heating and cooling systems, water, electricity, air quality and other factors to identify ways to save energy in homes that may have unique challenges. Improving home energy efficiency is particularly important, since buildings account for about 40 percent of all U.S. energy used.
Constructed differently from modern buildings, historic homes, may require special attention when considering how to improve energy performance. Along with audit results, homeowners will receive information about incentives – tax credits, grants and rebates – available to owners improving local historic resources.
Audit findings and trends will be featured in a report and case studies at the conclusion of the Energy Efficiency Initiative.
# # #
SILVER SPRING, MD – Montgomery County is home to more than 3,000 structures designated as historic. Owners of historic properties who maintain and rehabilitate the structures may be eligible for tax credits that reward them for preserving a slice of county history.
The county Historic Preservation Commission is accepting applications for county tax credits on work completed in 2011. If you received a historic area work permit for a rehabilitation project that exceeded $1,000, the work may qualify for a tax credit. Many routine maintenance projects that do not require a HAWP are also eligible, although only exterior work qualifies.
Tax credits, which total 10 percent of renovation costs, are applied toward property tax bills. Eligible work ranges from a total rehabilitation to painting and roof replacements, although not all exterior projects are considered eligible.
The HPC is staffed by historic preservation planners at the county Planning Department, who review applications and assist applicants.
Submit applications by April 15. Visit the historic preservation section’s webpage for information and application materials.
# # #
SILVER SPRING – The 10th- anniversary edition of the award-winning Places from the Past: The Tradition of Gardez Bien in Montgomery County, Maryland, a book that inventories the county’s historic sites, is now available online.
The coffee table-type publication, illustrated with photographs, architectural drawings and maps, is available as free downloads by chapter or as a print-on-demand digital edition for a fee. Visit
Gardez Bien is the county motto adopted in 1976 that means to guard well or take good care.
Recognized with awards from the Maryland Historical Trust and Montgomery Preservation, Inc., Places from the Past documents the history of architecture and community planning in Montgomery County. The book features a series of essays on building traditions, housing types and outbuildings as well as an inventory of historic districts and sites. The inventory is organized by geography within the county and includes orienting maps as well as images and descriptions of some 400 individual historic sites and 20 historic districts. Those curious about how their communities were settled or the history behind some of the county’s oldest homes will find the book an informative and engaging read.
Initially printed a decade ago, the 357-page book had gone out of print. The new release, with an updated forward, makes the encyclopedic Places from the Past available again in durable paperback or, for the first time, in hardcover binding and electronic format.
A border county in a border state, Montgomery County’s architectural heritage has a dual nature: metropolitan and rural, northern and southern. Early European settlers were tobacco planters from the Chesapeake and wheat farmers from Pennsylvania. During the Civil War, residents were divided in their loyalties, with those in the western county with Virginia family ties sympathizing with the South, while Sandy Spring Quakers and northern-born residents aligned with the North.
After the Civil War, African Americans, comprising over a third of the county population, lived in more than 40 settlements established throughout the county. The nation’s capital, the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, and the B&O Railroad’s Metropolitan Branch had tremendous influence on the county’s growth and development.
Author Clare Lise Kelly is a historic preservation planner who has been researching historic sites in the county since 1989. Kelly has dedicated the book to property owners and citizens who, through their hard work and commitment, have protected historic sites for the enjoyment and education of present and future generations.
Access book and digital ordering information.
SILVER SPRING, MD – Owners of historic buildings in Montgomery County are eligible for local tax credits for repairs needed for snowstorm-related damage, historic preservation planners said Monday.
Owners of buildings listed in the county Master Plan for Historic Preservation may apply for the Montgomery County Historic Preservation Tax Credit for repairs to roofs, gutters and the like as long as the work does not alter the look of a building’s exterior features.
To qualify, the cost of the repair work must exceed $1,000. The tax credit, applied toward county property taxes, will equal 10 percent of expenses.
The County Council created the historic preservation tax credit program in 1984. The Historic Preservation Commission reviews tax credit applications, certifies that project work is eligible for tax credits and forwards recommendations to the county Department of Finance for approval. Any unused portion of the tax credit may be carried forward for as many as five years.
For a list of eligible activities, criteria and to download an application form, visit www.montgomeryplanning.org/historic/instructions/taxcredit.shtm or call 301-563-3400.
# # #
SILVER SPRING – Two historic buildings at the National Park Seminary, a mixed housing project in Silver Spring built on what used to be a historic girls’ finishing school, were among four projects in Maryland to earn a rehabilitation tax credit last week.
On Friday, Gov. Martin O’Malley announced the tax credits, which will qualify the National Park Seminary builders for nearly $2 million in recognition of the developer’s efforts to preserve a unique part of Montgomery County history.
The governor’s announcement highlights a housing development that showcases the economic and cultural value of historic preservation. The redevelopment of the National Park Seminary adds to the local economy, preserves a quirky slice of Montgomery County history, and demonstrates sustainable building practices by recycling interesting historic buildings.
It also represents a success story for county planners, who reviewed the redevelopment project when the developers, the Alexander Company and EYA, submitted an application to the Planning Board. To ensure that the developer preserved the historic character of the campus, and to work through the details of building on a complex site, staff guided the National Park Seminary project through the Historic Preservation Commission and the Planning Board review process.
Other groups, such as Save our Seminary, which promoted historic preservation of the seminary site, and the Maryland Historic Trust, which holds a historic protection easement on the property, also played key roles. Today, the National Park Seminary is a community of historic and new townhouses, single-family homes, condos and apartments.
Other projects that received part of this year’s $5 million state rehabilitation tax credit program are in the city of Baltimore and Bel Air, Harford County. Over 12 years, completed rehabilitation projects have generated more than $1.74 billion for the Maryland economy, according to a study by The Abell Foundation. Tax credits to rehabilitate buildings result in a return of $8.53 for every public dollar invested, the study says.
At a press conference, Gov. O’Malley indicated he would introduce legislation seeking to expand and broaden the historic preservation tax credit program to include “green” projects that are close to transit, re-use existing infrastructure and conserve energy. The governor’s efforts mirror the Montgomery County 2009-2011 Growth Policy, which seeks to provide incentives for developers for similar “green” efforts. Unless reauthorized during the state legislative session, Maryland’s rehabilitation tax credit program will end in June. Montgomery County ranks second in the state for receiving rehabilitation tax credits for residential projects, behind Baltimore.
The National Park Seminary project, located near the Forest Glen Metro station north of downtown Silver Spring, was placed as a district on the county’s historic preservation list — known as the Master Plan for Historic Preservation — in 1979. The site was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1972.
In 1890, the Forest Glen Inn was built as a resort hotel. When the inn failed, it was converted into the main building of the school, which opened in 1894. Most of the other school buildings were built between 1894 and 1915. In 1942, the property was requisitioned by the U.S. Army for the Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Later, many of the little-used buildings fell into disrepair. In 2004, the Alexander Company in partnership with EYA initiated the rehabilitation of the campus.
The tax credits will offset the costs of rehabilitating two more buildings on the site – the gymnasium and power plant that were part of the girls’ school. The developer plans to turn them into 27 residential units.
# # #