Baltimore Heritage Area

Baltimore HarborThe Baltimore Heritage Area is the only major urban Heritage Area in the State of Maryland. As the state's largest city this is fitting, and reflects the important role that the city has played in the state and the nation's industrial, architectural, and social history. The excellent harbor of the Patapsco River helped make Baltimore a world-class port. It supported the city's population of sailors, dock workers, and merchants, but it also served as the primary market and shipping point for agricultural products and manufactured goods from the Eastern Shore and the western counties. As such, Baltimore directly affected the livelihoods of Marylanders well beyond the city.

The Baltimore region's market potential greatly expanded in the 19th century due to the city's advantageous position at the eastern end of the National Pike, which connected into the National Road at Cumberland, and later as the site of the nation's first main line railroad. These advances in transportation and the businesses and industries that grew up around the transportation network assured Baltimore a pivotal role in the prosperity of the Maryland economy and fostered major cultural and technological innovations.

One of Baltimore's many nicknames is “City of Firsts,” for its nearly one hundred instances of first events in the U.S. These "firsts" are testament to the innovation that Baltimoreans have shown throughout the city's history. Numerous advances and inventions in industry, transportation, science and education have pioneered in Baltimore. As one of the East Coast's fastest growing cities, Baltimore became a hub of creativity and capital in the 19th century. As a melting pot of cross-cultural ideas, the city's prominence as a center of trade meant these ideas could be tested and exchanged with ease. Transportation innovations like the clipper ship and railroad enhanced commerce and mobility, which helped make Baltimore the third largest city in the U.S. and the second largest port of entry for immigrants. The resources of the Heritage Area are both vestiges of these innovations and monuments to them. In addition to being a State-certified Heritage Area, Baotimore is also a National Heritage Area as designated by the United State Congress.


The Baltimore Heritage Area is managed by the Baltimore Heritage Area Association, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.

Management Plan

Preparation of a management plan approved by the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority is a requirement for becoming a Maryland “Certified” Heritage Area. The approved Management Plan includes information on the boundaries of the Certified Heritage Area and “Target Investment Zones,” and presents the heritage area’s vision and goals and the strategies, projects, programs, actions, and partnerships that will be implemented to accomplish them.

Click to view the management plan (2001):

Management Plan update (2006)

Contact Information

Jeffrey P. Buchheit, Executive Director
Baltimore Heritage Area

100 Light Street
12th Floor
Baltimore, MD 21202

410-817-0613 (fax)


Jason Vaughan, Director of Historic Preservation and Interpretation

Shauntee Daniels, Manager of Programs and Partnerships



This page updated: June 20, 2012