Like old friends reuniting, Endangered Maryland selection committee members greeted each other before sitting down around the polished mahogany table in Preservation Maryland’s historic headquarters in Baltimore.
For the fifth year in a row, Preservation Maryland, the state's oldest historic-preservation organization, and Maryland Life have partnered to create Endangered Maryland, a list of our state’s 11 most endangered sites at real risk of disappearing.
Selecting which pieces of history to preserve is a difficult task, especially with the economy struggling. As committee member Edward Day, director of the Riversdale Historic House Museum, says, “Particularly in dire economic times, there is a need to triage and really look at cost and feasibility of a solution.”
Endangered Maryland’s selection process may sound simple: Committee members review applications detailing the predicaments of significant sites and whittle down the candidates to a final list. However, nominators, well aware that the selection of their particular beloved site may mean the difference between restoration and extinction, make passionate pleas for inclusion on the list. Because of that, the final selection process can be grueling.
Despite his busy schedule, Dr. Donald Linebaugh, an associate professor and director of the Historic Preservation Program at the University of Maryland, has chaired the Endangered Maryland committee since its inception.
“This is so important because many of the sites that are selected are what Marylanders don’t know about,” says Linebaugh. “They are off-the-radar, nontraditional sites, from under-represented groups and, many times, these sites are important but they are not the ones preservationists have gotten warm and fuzzy about.”
He continues. “Getting this group together helps challenge all of our notions about what is important, because we hear perspectives and stories from different counties, different walks of life, and different employers. It’s impossible for any of us, as practitioners, to know all of the nuances and spaces and places and stories.
“Personally, I always walk away knowing something I didn’t know before.”
As in years past, the Endangered Maryland list is embargoed until publication. This year’s selected sites are:
Anchor of Hope
McKim Free School
Peale Municipal Museum
Roland Water Tower
National Capital Region
National Park Seminary’s Gymnasium
Bean Tobacco Barn
Dee of St. Mary’s
The Selection Committee
Donald Linebaugh, Ph.D., University of Maryland (committee chair)
Mary Catherine Cochran, Preservation Howard County
Edward Day, Riversdale Historic House Museum, Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission
Carol A. Ebright, Archaeological Society of Maryland
Marilyn Benaderet, Preservation Maryland
Elizabeth Hughes, Maryland Historical Trust
Kathy McKenney, Department of Community Development (Cumberland)
Clifford Murphy, Ph.D., Maryland State Arts Council
Roz Racanello, Southern Maryland Heritage Area
Amy Seitz, Main Street Maryland
David Wiles, Clear Spring District Historical Association
Nell Ziehl, National Trust for Historic Preservation