The City of Cambridge is one of the oldest towns in Maryland dating back to 1684. In 1986, a group of citizens organized an effort to recognize and preserve Cambridge's rich architectural heritage. Their work resulted in the listing of the Cambridge Historic District on the National Register of Historic Places. This listing enables property owners to take advantage of Federal and state tax benefits for approved renovations and restorations.
Several years later, the Cambridge community worked with the Mayor and Council to create the locally-designated Cambridge Historic District and to establish the Cambridge Historic Preservation Commission (HPC). This local designation enables the HPC to manage requested changes to buildings within the historic district.
The Historic District encompasses a large portion of downtown Cambridge then extends in a northwest direction along the waterfront to include portions of Wards 1, 3 and 4. It covers over forty city blocks and was the home of many prominent business owners and tradesmen. A variety of architectural styles can be found in the District as most of the buildings date from the second half of the nineteenth century and the first three decades of the twentieth century.
HPC Awards 2017
The Cambridge Historic Preservation Commission will be holding its second awards ceremony, to celebrate the extraordinary efforts made by local citizens to preserve their homes and businesses and to celebrate Historic Preservation Month on May 18, 2017 at 5:30 pm. CLICK HERE for the nomination form which includes more information on awards categories, eligibility, and submission requirements.
For more information contact the Planning and Zoning Department at (410) 228-1955 or at [email protected]
HPC Draft Design Guidelines - Released for Public Comment
The Historic Preservation Commission of Cambridge is seeking public comments on draft Design Guidelines. The original Design Guidelines were adopted in 1999 and have not been updated since that time. The Design Guidelines assist the HPC and property owners in reviewing and evaluating changes to the exteriors of properties and streetscape. The following are links to the draft material by chapter.
It is recommended that public comments on the draft guidelines be submitted in writing to the HPC. The deadline for accepting public comments has been extended to December 31st, 2014.
Comments in writing can also be sent by email to staff at [email protected] or to the following address:
City of Cambridge Public Works Department, 1025 Washington Street, Cambridge, MD 21613
ARE THERE ANY RESOURCES TO HELP FIX UP MY HISTORIC PROPERTY?
The Maryland Historic Trust (MHT) has several financial assistance programs that can assist private property owners.
- The Maryland Sustainable Communities 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 Historic Rehabilitation 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.
For more information on the Maryland Historic Trust Tax Credit and assistance programs go to the following website link: http://mht.maryland.gov/owners.html
Historic Preservation Tax Credits (Early Coordination Needed)
Work approved by the Cambridge Historic Preservation Commission is not a substitute for Maryland Historical Trust (MHT) or National Park Service approval of work for which historic preservation tax credits will be used. The Commission may allow work that the state and federal agencies deny, or vice-versa. The tax credits cannot be used for work already completed. For information on the tax credits, please see the Maryland Historical Trust web site at www.marylandhistoricaltrust.net or contact the Trust at 410-514-7628. MHT recommends that property owners who intend to use the Rehabilitation Tax Credit submit their applications for Tax Credits to MHT prior to undertaking HPC review.
For more information on how the federal tax credit process works, click on this website:
The National Park Service publishes the Preservation Briefs to provide technical information on various rehabilitation topics including the use of Tax Credits. The briefs are available on the National Park Service website; http://www.nps.gov/tps/how-to-preserve/briefs.htm or click on the following topics:
- Cleaning and Water-Repellent Treatments for Historic Masonry Buildings
- Repointing Mortar Joints in Historic Masonry Buildings
- Improving Energy Efficiency in Historic Buildings
- Roofing for Historic Buildings
- The Preservation of Historic Adobe Buildings
- Dangers of Abrasive Cleaning to Historic Buildings
- The Preservation of Historic Glazed Architectural Terra-Cotta
- Aluminum and Vinyl Siding on Historic Buildings: The Appropriateness of Substitute Materials for Resurfacing Historic Wood Frame Buildings
- The Repair of Historic Wooden Windows
- Exterior Paint Problems on Historic Woodwork
- Rehabilitating Historic Storefronts
- The Preservation of Historic Pigmented Structural Glass(Vitrolite and Carrara Glass)
- The Repair and Thermal Upgrading of Historic Steel Windows
- New Exterior Additions to Historic Buildings: Preservation Concerns
- Preservation of Historic Concrete
- The Use of Substitute Materials on Historic Building Exteriors
- Architectural Character-Identifying the Visual Aspects of Historic Buildings as an Aid to Preserving their Character
- Rehabilitating Interiors in Historic Buildings-Identifying Character-Defining Elements
- The Repair and Replacement of Historic Wooden Shingle Roofs
- The Preservation of Historic Barns
- Repairing Historic Flat Plaster-Walls and Ceilings
- The Preservation and Repair of Historic Stucco
- Preserving Historic Ornamental Plaster
- Heating, Ventilating, and Cooling Historic Buildings: Problems and Recommended Approaches
- The Preservation of Historic Signs
- The Preservation and Repair of Historic Log Buildings
- The Maintenance and Repair of Architectural Cast Iron
- Painting Historic Interiors
- The Repair, Replacement, and Maintenance of HistoricSlate Roofs
- The Preservation and Repair of Historic Clay Tile Roofs
- Mothballing Historic Buildings
- Making Historic Properties Accessible
- The Preservation and Repair of Historic Stained and Leaded Glass
- Applied Decoration for Historic Interiors: Preserving Historic Composition Ornament
- Understanding Old Buildings: The Process of Architectural Investigation
- Protecting Cultural Landscapes: Planning, Treatment and Management of Historic Landscapes
- Appropriate Methods of Reducing Lead-Paint Hazards in Historic Housing
- Removing Graffiti from Historic Masonry
- Holding the Line: Controlling Unwanted Moisture in Historic Buildings
- Preserving Historic Ceramic Tile Floors
- The Seismic Retrofit of Historic Buildings: Keeping Preservation in the Forefront
- The Maintenance, Repair and Replacement of Historic Cast Stone
- The Preparation and Use of Historic Structure Reports
- The Use of Awnings on Historic Buildings: Repair, Replacement and New Design
- Preserving Historic Wooden Porches
- The Preservation and Reuse of Historic Gas Stations
- Maintaining the Exterior of Small and Medium Size Historic Buildings