Earlier this month, Preservation Maryland attended a second community charrette meeting in support of exploring and finding a new use for the historic Newtowne Manor in Southern Maryland.

The Friends of Newtowne Manor House, comprised of parishioners of St. Xavier’s Church and others, have been working to repair, maintain, and envision a new future for Newtowne Manor. The structure dates to the 18th century when early Jesuit settlers came to Southern Maryland and acted as missionaries spreading Christianity throughout the region. Some of these Jesuit settlers were instrumental in the founding of Georgetown University in Washington, DC. When the manor house no longer served the needs of the Jesuits and the last tenant moved out in the 1970s, the building became vacant.

Preservation Maryland has been working with the Friends of Newtowne Manor House to assess the structural needs of the buildings and help vision a future use in service of the parish and the community. Through that Six-to-Fix partnership, Keast & Hood completed pro bono conditions assessment in 2017 that was used by volunteers to address the most needed repairs.

With the building more secure, the Friends then turned to the task of identifying potential suitable new uses for the building owned by the Archdiocese of Washington. In April and October of 2019, the Friends held community charrettes led by Larry Abell of Lawrence Abell and Associates and Kate Kuranda of R. Christopher Goodwin & Associates. At both sessions, more than two dozen stakeholders shared their time, thoughts, and energy towards creating a multi-phase plan that will provide a path forward for the restoration and use of the historic building. The report is due to be released later this year.

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