As part of Preservation Month (May 2024), the Maryland Historical Trust (MHT) will present 11 awards for noteworthy accomplishments in the preservation field, recognizing outstanding education, restoration, and revitalization projects, as well as individual leadership. The 49th annual Maryland Preservation Awards, selected by MHT’s Board of Trustees, will be celebrated at local events. These events will be live streamed on MHT’s social media beginning on May 2 and continuing through early June. For a complete list of times and locations, visit   

The following people, places, and programs will receive awards in 2024:  

Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse. Photo from US Lighthouse Society.

Outstanding Individual Leadership at the Local Level – John Potvin (Anne Arundel County). Lighthouse Manager John Potvin has worked for years preserving the Thomas Shoal Point Lighthouse, conducting public tours as a Certified Chesapeake Storyteller with the Maryland Office of Tourism, and helping to restore the Chesapeake Bay. He has organized hundreds of volunteers to preserve this 19th-century National Historic Landmark that now has a new steel structure and fully restored interior. His dedication ensures this iconic fixture, and the Chesapeake Bay it stands in, will continue to shine for generations. 

Excellence in Public Programming and Exhibits – Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC) for the Historic Signage Program (Baltimore County). In collaboration with students and faculty, CCBC created the Historic Signage Project to amplify the stories of the invisible people, many of them people of color, who played significant roles in shaping the land upon which the Catonsville campus now exists. The exhibit illustrates local history from the 1600s through the early 1900s, including tobacco and dairy farming, ironworks, and other industries supported by enslaved, free, and indentured laborers.

Antietam Battlefield
Antietam Battlefield

Excellence in Public Programming and Exhibits – Heart of the Civil War Heritage Area and Antietam National Battlefield for “Engaging Visitors through Battlefield Exhibits” (Washington County). The Antietam National Battlefield and the Heart of the Civil War Heritage Area collaborated to produce complementary permanent exhibits that encourage a more personal and inclusive visitor experience of the Battle of Antietam. Exhibit themes in the battlefield visitor center explore conflict, terror, survival, freedom, and memory, while Newcomer House – which witnessed the 1862 battle – examined the civilian perspective. Through unified storytelling, visitors gain profound insight into the battle, its causes, and outcomes. 

Excellence in Media and Research – Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA) for “Maryland Railroads Statewide Historic Context” (Statewide). Produced by MDOT SHA, this report offers comprehensive insights into the state’s rich railroad history that shaped and influenced our culture and environment. Available online, it serves as a valuable resource for researchers, state and local planners, and others interested in railroad development in Maryland.

Farmers from Frederick’s Peace and Plenty Rural Historic District with President & CEO of Preservation Maryland, Nicholas Redding, and Frederick County Executive, Jessica Fitzwater, during a 2023 Preservation Month event hosted by PresMD.

Community Impact – Peace and Plenty Rural Historic District (Frederick County). Following a collaborative planning process spearheaded by property owner Ballard “Jim” Jamison, Frederick County designated the Peace & Plenty Rural Historic District on the Frederick County Register of Historic Places. As most of the designated properties had existing agricultural easements held by the county and state, the local district had to meet both land preservation and historic preservation goals and requirements. The initiative created a cohesive approach to safeguard community character, serving as a potential model for other rural historic districts in the state. 

Excellence in Preservation Partnerships – Asbury United Methodist Church(Talbot County). Located in The Hill, one of the country’s oldest free African American communities, Asbury United Methodist Church collaborated with Historic Easton, Encore Sustainable Architects, contractors Harper & Sons, and the local community to successfully rehabilitate its structure. Notably, Frederick Douglass dedicated this church on his 1878 tour after its reconstruction following a fire. The project restored stained glass windows, replaced the roof, repaired chimneys, and undertook structural renovations, serving as a great example of preservation collaboration. 

Outstanding Stewardship of a Cultural Site – Hot Sox Field at Wilson Park (Anne Arundel County). Hot Sox Field at Wilson Park celebrates the significant contribution of Henry Wilson – a freed, formerly enslaved man – and his family. His property served as the foundation of Negro League Baseball in the area, including serving as home field for the renowned Galesville Hot Sox from the early to mid-20th century. The space became not only a place to play baseball but also somewhere to gather during the segregation era. Anne Arundel County Department of Recreation and Parks, alongside the Galesville Heritage Society, the Galesville Community Center Organization, and the West River Improvement Association, led the effort to restore this historic space and preserve the Wilson family’s legacy.  

Catoctin Furnace, 2010. Photo from Wikipedia.
Catoctin Furnace, 2010. Photo from Wikipedia.

Outstanding Stewardship of a Maryland Historical Trust Easement Property – Catoctin Furnace Historical Society for Forgeman’s House (Frederick County). The Catoctin Furnace Historical Society’s careful restoration of the Forgeman’s House showcases its commitment to exemplary stewardship. The house, built in the winter of 1820-21, was likely constructed using enslaved labor. While removing non-historic additions and documenting the process, the society uncovered more than 30,000 artifacts in the building. Now a living museum, the house offers overnight stays and exhibits such as “Everyday Treasures” and “Under the Floorboards,” sharing the journey of restoration and discovery. 

Outstanding Stewardship by a Government Agency – Historic Preservation Unit, Natural and Historic Resources Division of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC), Department of Parks and Recreation, Prince George’s County. The M-NCPPC Historic Preservation Unit manages nearly 50 historic sites with more than 175 historic buildings as well as numerous cultural sites, most of which are open to the public. With dozens of projects yearly, they preserve Maryland’s heritage at museums, historic houses, mills, and cultural landscapes. Recent preservation efforts at Darnall’s Chance Museum (c. 1742) and Marietta House Museum (c. 1812) exemplify years of steadfast preservation work. 

Excellence in Rehabilitation – Crook Horner Lofts (Baltimore City). Developers B&B Urban and the Civic Group meticulously rehabilitated the Crook Horner Building, constructed in 1890 for namesake Crook, Horner, & Co. plumbing supply company in downtown Baltimore. The project preserves the building’s historic character, featuring live/work loft units with original features like tin ceilings and refinished wood floors. With a vision to catalyze additional redevelopment in the area, this project exemplifies the profound impact of historic preservation in commercial contexts, setting a high standard for future projects. 

Excellence in Restoration – Ship Caulkers’ Houses (Baltimore City). The Friends of the Ship Caulkers’ Houses stabilized and restored the exterior of these two rare and fragile buildings on behalf of the Society for the Preservation of Federal Hill and Fell’s Point. The buildings – once common around the Baltimore harbor – now appear as they did in the mid-1800s. Rescued from near collapse and condemnation, the houses’ restoration showcases original architectural features and preserves the legacy of the free Black ship caulkers who lived there.

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