Historical District Cambridge, Maryland

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

UPDATE: The Nominations are in!

Residential Preservation Project:

Bayly House, Catherine Morrison

Comptaible Renovation Project (not in a historic district):

106 Franklin Street, Gaver Nichols

Preservation Service:

The Dorchester County Historical Society

We hope you'll join us at our second-annual awards ceremony and help us celebrate the accomplishments of this years nominees! The ceremony will be held on May 18, 2017 at 5:30 pm, at Council Chambers, 305 Gay Street. Light refreshments wil be served.

For more information contact the Planning and Zoning Department at (410) 228-1955 or at [email protected]


The Maryland Historic Trust (MHT) has several financial assistance programs that can assist private property owners.

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:


Preservation Briefs

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:

  1. Cleaning and Water-Repellent Treatments for Historic Masonry Buildings
  2. Repointing Mortar Joints in Historic Masonry Buildings
  3. Improving Energy Efficiency in Historic Buildings
  4. Roofing for Historic Buildings
  5. The Preservation of Historic Adobe Buildings
  6. Dangers of Abrasive Cleaning to Historic Buildings
  7. The Preservation of Historic Glazed Architectural Terra-Cotta
  8. Aluminum and Vinyl Siding on Historic Buildings: The Appropriateness of Substitute Materials for Resurfacing Historic Wood Frame Buildings
  9. The Repair of Historic Wooden Windows
  10. Exterior Paint Problems on Historic Woodwork
  11. Rehabilitating Historic Storefronts
  12. The Preservation of Historic Pigmented Structural Glass(Vitrolite and Carrara Glass)
  13. The Repair and Thermal Upgrading of Historic Steel Windows
  14. New Exterior Additions to Historic Buildings: Preservation Concerns
  15. Preservation of Historic Concrete
  16. The Use of Substitute Materials on Historic Building Exteriors
  17. Architectural Character-Identifying the Visual Aspects of Historic Buildings as an Aid to Preserving their Character
  18. Rehabilitating Interiors in Historic Buildings-Identifying Character-Defining Elements
  19. The Repair and Replacement of Historic Wooden Shingle Roofs
  20. The Preservation of Historic Barns
  21. Repairing Historic Flat Plaster-Walls and Ceilings
  22. The Preservation and Repair of Historic Stucco
  23. Preserving Historic Ornamental Plaster
  24. Heating, Ventilating, and Cooling Historic Buildings: Problems and Recommended Approaches
  25. The Preservation of Historic Signs
  26. The Preservation and Repair of Historic Log Buildings
  27. The Maintenance and Repair of Architectural Cast Iron
  28. Painting Historic Interiors
  29. The Repair, Replacement, and Maintenance of HistoricSlate Roofs
  30. The Preservation and Repair of Historic Clay Tile Roofs
  31. Mothballing Historic Buildings
  32. Making Historic Properties Accessible
  33. The Preservation and Repair of Historic Stained and Leaded Glass
  34. Applied Decoration for Historic Interiors: Preserving Historic Composition Ornament
  35. Understanding Old Buildings: The Process of Architectural Investigation
  36. Protecting Cultural Landscapes: Planning, Treatment and Management of Historic Landscapes
  37. Appropriate Methods of Reducing Lead-Paint Hazards in Historic Housing
  38. Removing Graffiti from Historic Masonry
  39. Holding the Line: Controlling Unwanted Moisture in Historic Buildings
  40. Preserving Historic Ceramic Tile Floors
  41. The Seismic Retrofit of Historic Buildings: Keeping Preservation in the Forefront
  42. The Maintenance, Repair and Replacement of Historic Cast Stone
  43. The Preparation and Use of Historic Structure Reports
  44. The Use of Awnings on Historic Buildings: Repair, Replacement and New Design
  45. Preserving Historic Wooden Porches
  46. The Preservation and Reuse of Historic Gas Stations
  47. Maintaining the Exterior of Small and Medium Size Historic Buildings