Yesterday afternoon, Senator Ben Cardin announced the introduction of new legislation in Congress to expand the reach of the federal historic rehabilitation tax credit program. This would be great news for us in Baltimore, and in fact Senator Cardin chose Baltimore’s own Clifton Mansion, which the nonprofit Civic Works is restoring with the help of the current federal program, as the location to make his announcement.
Senator Cardin’s bill, the Creating American Prosperity through Preservation (CAPP) Act, helps smaller projects by increasing the tax credit on projects of $5 million or less and promote energy-efficiency. By supporting historic preservation across the nation, this bill also has tremendous potential to create jobs as Senator Cardin said yesterday:
“I am extremely proud of this bill because it will help ensure that historic properties are restored and made useful once again, while creating jobs that will stimulate greater economic activity. The Historic Tax Credit has created some 2 million jobs nationwide since 1978 and by expanding the program to include energy-efficient improvements and additional restoration projects, we can create thousands of new jobs in renovating historic properties.”
In Baltimore, the federal credit has been instrumental in numerous historic rehab projects including the American Can Company, Tide Point, the Hippodrome Theater, Clipper Mill, and Montgomery Park, just to name a few. The National Trust for Historic Preservation joined Senator Cardin in announcing that the CAPP Act is their top legislative priority for 2012. Republican Senator Olympia Snowe from Maine is a co-sponsor of Senator Cardin’s bill and with bi-partisan support in the Senate we hope that Senator Cardin is successful and that the bill will become law.
We all know the “Castle on the Hill.” Many of us spent a good part of our young lives there. Now please join us in walking through and learning the quintessential Baltimore history of this much beloved city landmark. And, yes, Poly grads are welcome too!
Baltimore City College | 3220 The Alameda, Baltimore, MD 21218
Wednesday, January 19, 2011, 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Park in the school lot that is accessed from The Alameda
This week’s entry in our series of 2010 Baltimore Heritage Preservation Awards is the John Manley House. Formerly St. Dominic’s Parish School, the John Manley House at 5304 Harford Road involved taking two school building dating to the early twentieth century and converting them into low-income housing for seniors. Preserving features like the clay tile roof, terrazzo floors, and trim-work were priorities. Even the chalkboards were preserved and reused as message boards for the residents. The result is a fantastic new residence for thirty lucky seniors and a well preserved set of historic buildings. The Adaptive Reuse and Compatible Design Award was awarded to architect Hord Coplan Macht and contractor Southway Builders.
The country home of Baltimore’s premier philanthropist, the wealthy merchant Johns Hopkins, Clifton represents another variation on the Italianate architectural style so popular in the middle of the 19th century. Besides their massive symmetrical town palaces with heavy overhanging cornices, the merchant princes of the Italian Renaissance also built less formal suburban villas. The layout was deliberately asymmetrical, especially evident in a tall tower placed at an off-center location in the design. Johns Hopkins certainly qualified as a merchant prince. In addition to his town mansion on Saratoga Street (since demolished), Hopkins in the 1840s began to remodel an older Federal-style house situated on a suburban hilltop, once the home of an 1814 Baltimore Defender. The architectural firm of Niernsee and Neilson incorporated the old house into a much larger mansion, including various Italianate elements – particularly bracketed cornices and arched windows and porch arcades – combined with the asymmetrical layout and 80-foot tower that mark the Italian Villa style.