Since 1997, the Heritage Fund grant program has distributed over a million dollars in direct support for historic preservation projects in Maryland! This November, the selection committee awarded nearly $150,000 to ten deserving and unique projects across the state.

Heritage Fund Grant Awards

Planning in Piscataway Park

Organization: Accokeek Foundation
Type: Planning/Feasibility
Project Name: Planning in Piscataway Park: Connecting People and Landscapes
|Location: Accokeek, Prince George’s County

Piscataway Park, across the Potomac from George Washington’s Mount Vernon, seeks to tell the story of the relationship between the humans and the natural world. It has been 50 years since the dedication of Piscataway Park, giving the organization a perfect opportunity to develop a comprehensive long-term interpretive plan. The process will include both internal and public dialogs resulting a guide for the Accokeek Foundation’s further work at Piscataway Park. The Accokeek Foundation received $5,000 for the $20,000 project. The Foundation is seeking additional funds from state and national agencies as well as private foundations.

Monument Restoration at SAINTS Peter and Paul Cemetery

Organization: Cumberland Historic Cemetery Organization
Type: Bricks and Mortar
Project Name: Restoration of Monuments at Saints Peter and Paul Cemetery
Location: Cumberland, Allegany County

The Saints Peter and Paul Cemetery is one of Cumberland’s oldest cemeteries, with graves spanning two centuries and is the final resting place of many of Cumberland’s founders. The Cumberland Historic Cemetery Organization will undertake a restoration effort for monuments that are beginning to deteriorate. The restoration of the monuments will ensure the cemetery’s continued use as an important educational site and tourism destination. The Heritage Fund will provide $4,600 of the full project budget of $6,230. The Cumberland Historic Cemetery Organization will provide the match through their donations and in-kind labor.

The tour group at Highland Beach, 2017.

The tour group at Highland Beach, 2017.

Highland Beach Preservation and Education Initiative

Organization: Fredrick Douglass Museum and Cultural Center, Inc.
Type: Education/Research
Project Name: Frederick Douglass Museum and Cultural Center Preservation and Education Initiative
Location: Highland Beach, Anne Arundel County

The Frederick Douglass Museum and Cultural Center is located in Highland Beach, a community founded by Frederick Douglass’ son Charles and his wife Laura in 1893. The Museum is located in the National Register-listed home Charles Douglass built for his father, who died before he was able to occupy the house. The organization is now undertaking completing an inventory of their collections, creating new exhibits, and training new docents. The Heritage Fund program awarded $5,000 of the $20,000 budget for the new exhibits and inventory work. Remaining funds will come through in-kind assistance and additional grants and fundraising.

Historic Greenbelt & Maryland Documentaries

Organization: Old Greenbelt Theatre
Type: Education/Research
Project Name: Telling our Stories: 80 Years in 80 Seconds
Location: Greenbelt, Prince George’s County

The Old Greenbelt Theatre, a single-screen movie theater, has been entertaining the area since its construction in 1937. The non-profit Friends of Greenbelt Theatre has been operating the theater since 2015. As the City of Greenbelt and the theater itself approaches their 80th anniversaries, the Friends of Greenbelt Theatre will produce a series of short documentaries that will highlight Greenbelt, regional, and statewide history and promote awareness of preservation and share personal histories of area residents. The Friends of Greenbelt Theatre will receive $5,000 towards their total project budget of $7,000, using funds from their organization to cover the rest of the costs.

Acquisition of Main Street Properties

Organization: Main Street Middletown

Type: Bricks and Mortar
Project Name: Purchase of 19 and 21 West Main Street
Location: Middletown, Frederick County

Much of Middletown and 19 and 21 West Main Street are included in the Middletown National Register Historic District. The two properties on Main Street stand out as historic commercial buildings due to their small size and distinctive façade trim. With no local preservation ordinance to protect these structures, the planned sale of the buildings could present a threat depending on the buyer. Main Street Middletown plans to purchase the two buildings to model the value of a preservation approach and demystify the process. The $10,000 provided by the Heritage Fund will be supplemented with funding from other organizations and state agencies, in-kind contributions, and funds from the organization to reach the cost of purchasing the buildings. The seller is working closely with the organization in the sale.


Local TV Station Digital Archive

Organization: Mid-Atlantic Regional Moving Image Archive
Type: Education/Research
Project Name: Baltimore Sights and Sounds: Audiovisual Documentation as Historic Preservation
Location: Baltimore City

The Mid-Atlantic Regional Moving Image Archive (MARMIA) works to preserve and provide public access to moving images and recorded sounds in the Mid-Atlantic. Among the resources they are working on are the WJZ-TV collection of content from the station made between the 1950s and 2000. From this collection, MARMIA would pull out videos that document Baltimore’s historic places and share them with Baltimore Heritage who would then upload them to the Explore Baltimore Heritage app and website to augment the content provided on those platforms. MARMIA will receive $4,000 of a total project budget of $9,500 the remainder will be matched by MARMIA and in-kind assistance through Baltimore Heritage.

Historic Window Restoration

Organization: Nanticoke Historic Preservation Alliance, Inc.
Type: Bricks and Mortar
Project Name: Window Repair at Handsell
Location: Vienna, Dorchester County

The Nanticoke Historic Preservation Alliance works to preserve Handsell, a National Register-listed building in Dorchester County. The site tells the story of the cultures that contributed to the history of the site, the native people of Chincone Village, African Americans, and Colonial settlers. Many of the windows at the house are in need for restoration including custom-made sashes and frames. The work is the will help move the preservation effort at the site forward. The Nanticoke Historic Preservation Alliance will receive $10,000 from the Heritage Fund for their $25,000 project. The rest will come from the organization’s restoration fund and other fundraising efforts.


Emergency Masonry Chimney Repairs

Organization: Stepping Stone Museum Association, Inc.
Type: Bricks and Mortar
Project Name: Restoration of Chimney at Foard’s Blacksmith Shop
Location: Havre de Grace, Harford County

The Steppingstone Farm Museum interprets the rural heritage of the Harford County through collections and structures, including a late nineteenth century blacksmith shop. The Foard’s Blacksmith Shop was relocated to the Stepping Stone Museum and is utilized as a demonstration area. Last winter, one of the building’s two chimneys collapsed. The grant will help fund the restoration of the fallen chimney and the stabilization of the building’s other chimney. Once completed, the site can resume its educational mission. The Stepping Stone Museum will receive $10,000 to complete the $20,700 restoration project. The Museum will provide the remainder, including contributions from their “Fix our Forge” campaign.

Dielman Inn Preservation Plan

Organization: Town of New Windsor
Type: Planning/Feasibility
Project Name: Reuse and Business Plan for Dielman Inn
Location: New Windsor, Carroll County

The Dielman Inn is a mid-18th century building in the center of the Town of New Windsor with 43 rooms that reflect the evolution and expansion of the building over time to meet the needs of commerce. The Town of New Windsor took ownership of the site and have undertaken lead abatement and stabilization work. The property now needs a preservation plan to guide the future work towards revitalization. The Heritage Fund award of $5,000 will go towards the $7,500 process with the matching funds coming from the Town and in-kind donations.

Vernacular Architecture Forum Tours

Organization: Vernacular Architecture Forum
Type: Education/Research
Project Name: Vernacular Architecture Forum Conference
Location: Southern Maryland

The Vernacular Architecture Forum (VAF) is devoted to the study and appreciation of vernacular buildings and landscapes. The organization’s annual conference brings hundreds of VAF members from around the country together to tour a region and learn more about its architectural heritage. In May of 2018 the conference will come to Alexandria, Virginia and spend time touring Southern Maryland and parts of Prince George’s County. Some of the themes explored will be the African American experience, tobacco production, protecting view sheds, and early Catholicism in Maryland. The Heritage Fund will provide $3,500 to the Vernacular Architecture Forum representatives in Maryland to go towards the total budget of $120,000. The remainder of the funding comes from state, academic, and organizational partners.

The Heritage Fund is a cooperative effort of Preservation Maryland and the Maryland Historical Trust to provide direct assistance for the protection of historical and cultural resources and promote innovative projects that can be successfully replicated to meet Maryland’s historic preservation needs. The next deadline for Heritage Fund grants is Friday, March 16, 2018. 

More Heritage Fund Projects

Donate to Preservation Maryland