Information for Owners of Historic Properties
The Maryland Historical Trust provides financial and technical assistance to private individuals and property owners. Below is a series of commonly asked questions and resources.
Is my property “historic?”
There is no one definition of a “historic” building. Instead there are a variety of “historic” designations at the federal, state and local levels, with varying degrees of restrictions and protection.
How can I have my property listed as “historic?”
To be listed on the National Register of Historic Places you must first submit a nomination form to the Maryland Historical Trust. The nomination form must be completed in accordance with National Register Bulletin 16A How to Complete the National Register Registration Form bulletin). Because the nomination process is extensive, you should contact the National Register Program Administrator before commencing work.
To be included in the Maryland Inventory of Historic Properties (MIHP) you must submit an application to MHT. All inventory forms must be completed according to the Standards and Guidelines for Architectural and Historical Investigations in Maryland or the Standards and Guidelines for Archeological Investigations in Maryland. Because of the programs detailed requirements, you should contact the Research and Survey Administrator before commencing work.
Local historic district designation is only available in those jurisdictions that have enacted a Historic Area Zoning Ordinance. To be designated as a local historic landmark, you must contact your local Historic Preservation Commission to determine the process. To find a list of historic preservation commissions, click here.
Can MHT help fund repairs to my property?
MHT has several financial assistance programs that can assist private property owners.
- The Heritage Structure Rehabilitation Tax Credit provides a 20% credit off your Maryland State Income tax in the year in which you file for the credit. If your property is income-producing, you may also be eligible for the federal Rehabilitation Income Tax Credit.
- Property owners may also apply for Historic Preservation Loans.
- MHT does not award grants to private individuals.
- Nonprofit organizations, including churches and educational institutions are eligible to apply for Capital and Non-Capital grants from the Maryland Historical Trust and the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority.
How do I make my property more energy efficient?
There are plenty of ways to preserve your property’s historic character and make it energy efficient. Quick fixes such as sealing or caulking air leaks, adding insulation to walls and ceilings, and installing storm windows maintain a building’s historic fabric while improving energy consumption.
How do I protect my historic community from inappropriate changes?
The most effective way to preserve a community’s historic character is through the passage of a historic area zoning ordinance. Under such an ordinance, local elected officials designate individual historic properties or historic districts and appoint a Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) to review and approve exterior changes to designated properties. This includes changes to windows, doors, walls, roofs, porches, yards, sidewalks, storefronts, signs, etc.
Can I have a historical marker placed on my property?
Maryland roadside historical markers are owned by the state and placed on state-owned property, typically within the rights-of-way of roads maintained by the Maryland State Highway Administration.
MHT administers the roadside historical marker program to commemorate people, events and places of special significance to the state. The Trust reviews all marker proposals to ensure the accuracy of the information. The resource to be commemorated must be of statewide significance. Visit the Roadside Historical Marker page for more information and application details.
How can I be recognized for completing a great preservation project?
The MHT Board of Trustees presents the Maryland Preservation Awards one a year at the Annual Preservation and Revitalization Conference to recognize activities in historic preservation, architecture, archaeology, museums, cultural conservation, education, and related fields that represent the best of preservation in Maryland. Individuals, nonprofit and for-profit organizations or institutions, museums, and federal, state and local agencies are all eligible to receive awards in any of the six categories: Heritage Book, Preservation Project, Preservation Service, Stewardship, Educational Excellence, and the Calvert Prize.
This page updated: January 4, 2012