Historic Preservation District

white historic house
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.


  • Third Wednesday
  • City Council Chambers
    305 Gay Street
  • Open to the public.
  • Times and dates subject to change.

Historic Preservation Commission
Adopted Guidelines

HPC Awards 2017

National Register of Historic Places-Nomination Report: Pine Street Historic District (PDF)
Update: The Nominations are in!

Residential Preservation Project

Bayly House, Catherine Morrison

Compatible 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 p.m., at Council Chambers, 305 Gay Street. Light refreshments will be served.

More Information

For more information contact the Planning and Zoning Department at 410-228-1955 or by email.

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, please visit their website.

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 visit the Maryland Historical Trust website 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, please visit the Connected Community 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 or visit one of these topics: