Read the complete Fall Issue.

Excerpts from this edition:

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Gaithersburg Study Finds Local Districts Pay
Chris Berger, Planner and Staff Liaison to Gaithersburg HPC, City of GaithersburgProperty rights advocates throughout the nation are attacking the validity of local historic districts. They claim that local designation adds an extra layer of government regulation that negatively affects the economic value of the properties contained within the boundaries. Preservation economic impact studies of communities located throughout the United States have repeatedly found this premise to be false. Nonetheless, legislation has been proposed recently in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Texas that would significantly weaken local historic district regulations in each of those states.

The goal of the report titled Fiscal Impact of Local Designation on Gaithersburg’s Historic Districts, completed in March 2017, was to determine the quantitative financial effects of designation on the City of Gaithersburg’s local historic districts. Economic values for the single-family homes within the city’s two residential historic districts—Brookes, Russell, and Walker and Chestnut/Meem—were studied and compared to those within Realty Park, Observatory Heights, and Deer Park, three residential neighborhoods within the city similar to the historic districts in terms of period of construction, architectural styles, and building and lot sizes. Continue reading.

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Archaeology at Melwood Park

by Daniel Tana, Planner Coordinator at Prince George’s County Planning Department and MAHDC Board Member

Melwood Park is a Prince George’s County Historic Site, listed on the National Register of Historic Places and protected by preservation easements held by both the Maryland Historical Trust and the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission. Located in Upper Marlboro and originally patented in 1672, the extant building’s earliest period of construction has been dated to 1714 by dendrochronology (performed by Oxford Tree-Ring Laboratory in 2008), making it one of—if not the—oldest buildings in the county. The building is significant for many reasons; in addition to its age, it is also associated with many prominent families from Colonial-era Maryland: the Darnalls, the Carrolls, the Diggeses, and the Lees. But most important for the purposes of this article is the building’s unique architecture…

In the last eighteen months, the Ottery Group has returned to Melwood Park to conduct archeological excavations near the south wall of the house ahead of a major rehabilitation project—funded in part by a Historic Property Grant from the Prince George’s County Planning Board—which, in time, will see the building returned to a habitable level of repair. In that time, Mr. Cochran and their archeologists have uncovered a tremendous amount of new information. Continue reading.

Thank you for your service, Lisa, Jess, and Saralyn!

The board has recently and reluctantly accepted the resignations of Lisa Mroszczyk Murphy, who served as our Vice President of Operations, Jess Phelps, and Saralyn Salisbury-Jones. It is with deep gratitude that we thank you all for your reliable and constant service during your tenures on the MAHDC board. Continue reading.

We are seeking applicants to fill vacant seats on the Board of Directors. If you are interested in serving, please contact us at for more information.

MAHDC membership will elect new directors at the organization’s annual meeting on November 7th. (Save the date – more info coming soon!)


City of Cambridge seeks Planner and Liaison to HPC
News from the Commissions

Upcoming Training

Maryland Historical Trust Workshops: Rehabilitation Tax Credit
Cumberland, MD, October 17, 2017
Oakland, MD, October 18, 2017

Conference: Keeping History Above Water
Annapolis, MD
October 29-November 1, 2017

National Trust for Historic Preservation Conference: PastForward 2017
Chicago, IL
November 14-17, 2017