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Historic Properties and Districts

Baltimore County Landmarks List

The Landmarks List was created to preserve structures that have historical, architectural, archeological or cultural merit deemed significant to Baltimore County’s heritage.

The Baltimore County’s historic preservation law states the five basic purposes are:

  • To safeguard the heritage of the County as embodied and reflected in the structures and districts that have historical, architectural, archeological or cultural merit
  • To stabilize and improve property values in the districts and in the County generally
  • To foster civic pride in the beauty and noble accomplishments of the past
  • To strengthen the economy of the County
  • To promote the use of historic districts and landmarks for the education, pleasure, and welfare of the residents of the County

Historic Environmental Setting

As of Bill 93-05, Landmark Structures also include a Historic Environmental Setting (HES). "Historic Environmental Setting" means the property or lot or portion thereof, as delineated by the Commission, which is historically, architecturally, archeologically or culturally connected to the historic significance of a landmark structure.

Any exterior modification or addition, as well as any excavation, building or demolition permit, is subject to approval by the Landmarks Preservation Commission for structures on the Preliminary or Final Landmarks List (PDF). Details about the process for nominating a structure and other information about the Landmarks List are provided in the Landmarks List Frequently Asked Questions.

Landmark Nomination Form and Instructions are available, if you are interested in nominating a property to the Baltimore County Landmarks List.

Baltimore County Historic Districts

There are presently 17 Baltimore County Historic Districts. Under County law, the agreement by the owners of 75 percent of the property within a proposed district’s boundary is required to form a local historic district. Details about the process for enacting a district are provided in the Historic District Frequently Asked Questions.

As with Landmarks List structures, any exterior modification or addition to a structure in a district, or any excavation, building or demolition permit, is subject to approval by the Landmarks Preservation Commission. Significantly, the Commission’s authority within a County historic district includes the site surrounding and adjoining the individual structures, which may be important in maintaining the sense of historic character.

You can take a Tour of Baltimore County Historic Districts with a story-map to view photographs, descriptions and locations of architecturally significant points in some of the historic districts.

National Register Historic Properties and Districts

Through the 1966 Historic Preservation Act, the United States Congress created the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP). This was in response to a boom in urban renewal and highway construction that had resulted in the demolition of thousands of older buildings without any consideration of their value to the culture and heritage of the nation. The NRHP is a list of districts and individual properties with national historic significance protected through stringent reviews in the planning phases of federally funded projects. The listing also confers eligibility for federal tax incentives. Federal limitations do not apply to developers who do not use federal funds or incentives, or need federal permits.

There are numerous National Historic Properties and 22 National Register Districts in Baltimore County. National Register designation is received through the National Park Service.

Maryland Historical Trust Inventory

The Maryland Historical Trust is a state agency that inventories potentially historic properties for every county in the state of Maryland. Many of the listed historic properties and districts in Baltimore County have a Maryland Inventory of Historic Properties (MIHP) number.

Revised December 26, 2018         


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