Baltimore County Historical Trust, Inc. | Looking through the past to the future

Executive Director’s Report September 21, 2017

Executive Director’s Report September 21, 2017

Area Representative Updates

Area A                   Dan Rosen   Woodlawn, Catonsville, Relay, Halethorpe

  • Retaining Wall 03623R0 along MD 144 between Dungarrie Road and Dunmore Road
  • Plymouth Wallpaper Building
  • Catonsville Elementary School

 

Area B                   Hilles Whedbee      Butler, Worthington Valley, Hunt Valley, Greenspring Valley

  • Grace Fellowship Church at Seminary and Falls Roads
  • Rosewood Hospital Vacant Buildings
  • Stemmer House – The first go-round involved two properties – the Stemmer House and a larger adjacent parcel. They wanted to add 13 houses (I think it was 13 plus Stemmer). 3 of the proposed houses back then were to go on the ridge of the Stemmer House property, then owned by Barbara Holdridge (a grant recipient from PABC).  That whole plan got denied. The bigger piece was sold and put into preservation. The Stemmer House was later sold and the new owner is proposing a 4-lot development, with 3 of the homes in pretty much the same location as the 3 denied previously.

VPC opposed the development on the basis of res judicata – which means there has already been a determination on this proposal and they shouldn’t have to fight it again. They also raised a number of other issues based on the current development plan. The goal is to have the requested subdivision of 4 new lots on the ridge denied. The forested ridge is a defining feature of the Caves Valley Historic District and the Stemmer House is the most significant structure in the district, and the homes on the ridge would have negative impact. That was the decision back in 2004, and should be upheld.

Area C                   Bryan Fischer                  Towson, Loch Raven, Rodgers Forge, Riderwood, Dumbarton

  • Bosley Mansion – Owned by the Presbyterian Home of Maryland, the 50k sf structure was placed on the market when the Home closed in May of 2016. After Caves Valley Partners’ bid was accepted, the agreement failed, Bosley Estates LLC, a partnership of Martin Azola and Delbert Adams, is set to purchase the roughly 4.4 acre property for an undisclosed amount following a 90-day design period.  At the LPC this month, the owner requested and was granted a 6 month stay for the PABC, Southland Hills (the surrounding community) and Bosley Estates, LLC agree on a Memorandum of Understanding pertaining to the preservation of the historic portion, which was once the home of Dr. Grafton Bosley, as well as the historic environmental setting.
  • Bel-Loc Diner – While the PABC seriously considered nominating the Diner for a Landmark, when it became evident that the Council member, David Marks, was not going to support the nomination, we decided to do what we could to salvage what we could. While numerous organizations and individuals had requested to remove some of the interior remains as well as the iconic signage, the realtor, owner and partners decided to allow PABC to make arrangements as possible.  Working with Second Chance architectural salvage, The Loading Dock, Maryland Historical Society and the Baltimore Museum of Industry, an acceptable arrangement was worked out with Second Chance to remove several items that remained within the Diner.  At the time of the removal of the signs by Gable Vision using historical and museum-quality methods, the signs were to be stored in Gable’s warehouse.  After MHS and BMI were not able to accept the signs for various reasons, Second Chance was delighted to accept them for ‘display only’ in their warehouse.  Gable Vision will deliver the 3 signs to them.  Starbucks footed the bill for this, which was in the neighborhood of $10k.  I also learned that the property was not sold to Starbucks, but Mr. Doxanas is renting the improved land to them.
  • Woodbrook Cottage – Much has gone on with this unique ‘real’ cottage, including meetings with the Council member Vicki Almond, the owner’s attorney (Rob Hoffman), Joe Coale who was acting as an independent advocate for the cottage, Joe’s easement attorney, a community representative, Peter Kurtze; conversations with building movers; certified letters to a variety of types of owners living along Woodbrook Lane who might be interested in moving the cottage to their property, etc. It is now at a standstill after some brick walls and other obstacles.  Blood, sweat and almost tears have gone into this project and it may be time to walk away.

Area D                  Sarajane Quinn – Freeland, Hoffmanville, Prettyboy, Fifth District, Trenton, Black Rock

  • Thematic nomination with Trish for schools of the 1940-50 era: Fifth District, Prettyboy, Chase Elementary.

Area E                   Steve Marcin – White Hall, Wiseburg, Hereford, Sparks, Monkton, Broadmead

  • Hereford Barn – Fixing the roof at the least. Full restoration at the most.
  • Wiseburg Inn – The threat of an encroaching development has been thwarted for the time being, but the Inn itself is in dire straits. It continues to decline as does its owner and there is no future plan set in stone.  Another one we need to keep close taps on.

Area F –       Tim Bishop – Jacksonville, Carroll Manor, Long Green Valley, Cockeysville, Timonium, Lutherville

  • Perry Hall Mansion – Working with the ‘friends’ group of the Perry Hall Mansion, MacKenzie Realtors, Council member Marks and some hardworking Board members, this is a gigantic project that we are trying to get our arms around. Public or Private?  Lease or Sell?  While some have their close-to-the-vest opinions, others are scratching their heads.  We have to do something about this while it is still in as good of condition as it can be considering its vacancy for more than 10 years.  More to come as we figure it out.

Area G –      Meredith Wells – Glyndon, Reisterstown, Wards Chapel, Owings Mills, Randallstown

  • Bachelor Hall / Woodlands – This house and setting has been brought forth to the LPC for a Landmark nomination by a former owner, whose family has owned the property for almost 200 years. The house and property was sold to McDonough School several years ago with a life rental to the nominator’s parents.  Apparently, the agreement between the parents and McDonough was not completely understood by both or either party as McDonough sold it to TRowe Price who honored the life rental but now wants to tear it down.  The house has been quite compromised.  Many original features and materials have been maintained as practical.  Where they could not be maintained, they were reused in other parts of the house.

The original owner was Samuel Owings brother, and apparently there was a slave quarters structure as well as a slave graveyard.  The slave quarters has been torn down and the slave graveyard has not been located without an archaeological dig or some type of infrared device.

At the public hearing of this structure, the LPC requested that the nominator and TRP try to come to some reconciliation and gave the two parties 90 days.  That time has elapsed and at the last meeting, they were given 6 months more.

The nominator has met with me, Ruth and Kim from our organization has been doing an excellent research job and is fighting a good fight.

  • Mettam Memorial Baptist Church and Cemetery, Pikesville – The headstones of the cemetery have been vandalized and moved and the graves are not being kept up. This is a BC Landmark and the Department of Planning is aware of this and the community is working on doing what it can.  Follow needed as to what we can do to assist.

Area H –      Trish Bentz – Kingsville, Perry Hall, Parkville, Middle River, Chase, Overlea, Hawthorne

  • Thematic nomination with Trish for schools of the 1940-50 eras: Fifth District, Prettyboy, Chase Elementary.
  • Bonaparte Mansion – Harford Road, Kingsville. While the original mansion owned by the nephew of Napoleon had burned down, its replacement is still stately.  But, the carriage house – large barn – is original and some folks want to nominate it.  They are trying to work with the current owner, who is turning the property into a Nepali worship house.  Robin Beers has been heavily involved with this in the community and keeps me in the loop.  We are on stand-by to help as needed, if needed, if board approved.

Area I –       Scott Pappas – Rosedale, Middlesex, Dundalk, Ft. Howard, Patapsco, Edgemere, Sparrows Point, Millers Island

  • A National Register Nomination for Fort Howard.
  • A National Register Nomination for the Meeting House Monument
  • Shaw-Bauer House
  • Dundalk Elementary School – Rose, Scott and later Trish met with the team charged to come up with a plan for a badly-needed new school. The current school is an integral part of the Dundalk Historic District, but it seems that it is all but done that the old school will be coming down after a new school is constructed behind it.  An email to the Maryland Historical Trust sent last week has gone unanswered at this point.  Follow up next week.

Alternative Historic Districts – Could there be a historic district developed using an easement agreement?  Maybe..but no tax credits would be allowed…for now.  Might be a good topic for discussion, again, at the ‘Unconference’ put on by Baltimore Heritage on the 29th.  Attending representing PABC will be Sarajane, Ruth and Trish.