Enjoy holiday tours at Mount Clare Museum and the Mother Seton House Don't forget to contact Congress to help save the federal historic tax credit

As we head into the holidays, we hope you can join us on our two remaining heritage tours of 2017. On Saturday December 16, we’re heading to the Carroll Park home of Charles Carroll the Barrister for The Holiday Season “Colonial Style”: Mount Clare Museum House Decorated for December. In addition to touring one of Maryland’s best preserved Colonial-era residences, we hope you’ll enjoy the building’s holiday decorating glory.

Our final tour of the year is a visit to the Mother Seton House and Godefroy Chapel on the afternoon of Wednesday, December 27. The Mother Seton House is the former residence of America’s first saint and the original St. Mary’s Seminary Chapel was designed by noted early American architect Maximilian Godefroy. We hope you can include this tour in your plans for the final week of 2017!

Finally, we still need your help to save the federal historic tax credit program from elimination by the tax bill now before Congress. This federal tax credit has been critical to fostering investment in Baltimore’s historic buildings and neighborhoods and Congress is now threatening to cut off this key source of support. Developers have used federal historic tax credits on everything from the American Can Company to Clipper Mill, from Montgomery Ward to Tide Point. Learn more about the program from our partners at Preservation Maryland then contact your elected officials to let them know how important this program is.

Rowhouses with colorfully painted porches and bay windows.

Historic holiday tours and events this December! Don't miss the Union Square Cookie Tour, Charles Village Snowflake Tour, and other upcoming special events

This Sunday, December 3, we are holding our second and final tour of the War Memorial in partnership with the Johns Hopkins University Symphony. After the guided tour, you can enjoy a concert featuring the symphony and the JHU Choral Arts Society for a performance by Maurice Durufle utilizing the acoustics of the War Memorial’s magnificent large hall.

Over the next few weeks, many local historic sites and neighborhoods are celebrating the holidays by opening their doors for tours and special events. We hope you can check out the open house at G. Krug and Son Ironworks, the annual Union Square Cookie Tour, the Charles Village Snowflake Tour, or another program at a historic site this December!

Two men, Johns Hopkins and Sen. Ben Cardin, both wearing dark suits and red ties in a room at Clifton Mansion.

Contact your representatives! Congressional tax bill threatens the Historic Tax Credit for rehabbing buildings in Baltimore "Tax Cuts and Jobs Act" seeks to cut program used by hundreds of Baltimore projects

Last Thursday, November 2, the Republican leadership of the U.S. House of Representatives released a tax reform bill that, if approved, eliminates the federal historic rehabilitation tax credit program.

Please contact your members of Congress to show your support for the Historic Tax Credit program. The National Trust for Historic Preservation makes it easy to send your Senators and Congressional Representatives an email about this issue. All you need is your zip code.

Contact your representatives

Losing federal historic tax credits would be devastating for Baltimore City. Since 2002, over 350 projects have relied on funding from the federal historic tax credit program. The credit has helped developers find new uses for vacant buildings including the American Can Company, Clipper Mill, Tide Point, Montgomery Park, and the Stieff Silver Building. Historic tax credits can protect and preserve treasured historic places like Clifton Mansion, the Woman’s Industrial Exchange, Eastern High School, American Brewery, Center Theater, and many more. And, for each example, there are many more historic buildings that will need these credits to support rehabilitation in the future.

A nightime view of a large Victorian brick building with light shining from the windows.
American Brewery Building. Photograph by Paul Burk.

This concerning proposal is moving forward quickly: the House leadership is seeking a full vote on their proposal before Thanksgiving. We need your help to protect one of the most important programs for historic buildings in Baltimore today. Reach

For more on how the federal historic tax credit helps Baltimore and Maryland, check out this advocacy alert from our friends at Preservation Maryland or this resource from Preservation Action. Thank you for lending your support to keep this program that has helped so many in Baltimore and deserves to continue being a catalyst for our economic growth.

Fingers holding the "Park Ranger" card for the Game of Floods in the foreground and the game board in the background.

Join us for Keeping History Above Water next Thursday, November 9 And don't miss our last three Monumental City tours for 2017

Over the past few days, preservationists from all over came together in Annapolis for the second Keeping History Above Water conference. Participants shared experiences using GIS to track eroding shorelines, protecting infrastructure in coastal cities, and designing resilient museum exhibits. Conference participants even played the Game of Floods—a board game created to teach players about flood risk from rising sea levels.

We can’t promise you’ll play a board game at next week’s lecture on climate change and cultural heritage but we can promise you’ll discover how communities are working to protect historic buildings and archaeological resources from rising water and serious storms. Our speaker, Lisa Craig, is the Chief of Historic Preservation for Annapolis and she brings over twenty years of experience in preservation to meet the challenges facing Annapolis and historic coastal communities all across the world. I hope to see you there.

We also have more tours this fall. We’re back at Lexington Market next Saturday, November 11 (come for the history and then stay for the food!). Our market tours continue through the winter but there are only three Monumental City tours left this year: Jonestown and the Shot Tower on November 5, Downtown Landmarks and Lions on November 12, Mount Vernon Place and the Washington Monument on November 19. Tickets are just five dollars!

Finally, if you are already a member of Baltimore Heritage, thank you. We can’t do it without you. If you haven’t donated this year, please consider renewing your support or becoming a member for the first time.

A side view of a two-story brick buildings with turrets at two corners.

Former Eastern Female High School building up for auction this Friday, October 27 After a 2015 fire, the building needs a new owner and a new use

Update:The October 27 auction was cancelled but will be rescheduled. For questions, contact Paul R. Cooper, auction agent, by email at paul@alexcooper.com or by phone at 410-977-4707.

The 148-year-old Eastern Female High School building is up for auction this Friday, October 27 at 10:30 am. The building suffered a serious fire in July 2015 but we are optimistic that this former school and local landmark can find a new owner and a new use after fifteen years of vacancy and neglect. The Casey Group, a local firm acting as the receiver for the property, required potential bidders to register by last Friday, October 20.

A sign reading: "Alex Cooper Real Estate Auction To Be Sold On the Premises Fr/ Oct 27th @ 10:30 AM Paul Cooper 410-977-4707 www.AlexCooper.com"
Photograph by Eli Pousson, 2017 October 24.

The Baltimore Department of Housing and Community Development began seeking a receivership sale for the building in December 2014 and, in September 2015, the city’s District Court appointed the Casey Group the receiver for the property. The property is located at the edge of the Pleasant View neighborhood where the city’s first HOPE VI redevelopment project opened in 1998 with over two hundred townhouses and a 110-unit senior building.

The Eastern Female High School is a designated local landmark which means that the Commission for Historical and Architectural Preservation must review any proposed changes to the exterior of the building. Read more about the history of the former school on Explore Baltimore Heritage.