Historic Preservation Planning has long been advocated by Baltimore County plans and policies. Historic districts, buildings and their settings provide continuity with the past, establish a tangible sense of place, enhance the visual quality of life in the County and present opportunities for economic revitalization.
Historic Preservation staff implement the County’s programs and strives to improve preservation information and processes for key stakeholders and the general public to leave a visible legacy for learning and enjoyment by future generations.
Landmarks Preservation Commission
A key stakeholder in the Historic Preservation Program, the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) conducts design reviews for exterior and site alterations to locally-designated historic structures and historic districts, through the historic review or tax credit application processes. The LPC also approves eligible Baltimore County properties for inclusion on the Preliminary Landmarks List and consider petitions for new Baltimore County Historic Districts (BCHD).
Baltimore County Landmarks and Historic Districts
A Baltimore County Landmark or a Baltimore County Historic District (BCHD) is a local historic designation created by the Baltimore County Zoning Code. It recognizes historic properties, sites, buildings, structures, objects, or areas for their significance in Baltimore County and or American history, archaeology, architecture, engineering or culture, and identifies them as worthy of preservation. Learn more about how to submit nominations for Landmarks and Historic Districts.
Historic Tax Credit Programs
Baltimore County and the Maryland Historical Trust (MHT), the state agency for Historic Preservation, both offer historic rehabilitation tax credit programs to residential and commercial properties that qualify. Both programs may be used in conjunction, for projects that return the historic structure “to a state of utility through repair or alteration, that allows for the efficient use of the structure while preserving those portions and features of the structure and its site and environment, that are historically, architecturally or culturally significant."
National Register of Historic Places
The National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) is a program of the U. S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, and is administered at the State level by the Maryland Historical Trust (MHT), the state agency for historic preservation.The NRHP recognizes districts, buildings, structures, objects and sites for their significance in American history, archeology, architecture, engineering or culture, and identifies them as worthy of preservation.
A NRHP historic designation is largely honorary and does not provide protections at the local level, however, they are reviewed in the planning phases of federally and state funded or permitted projects.
Properties listed on the NRHP or that are contributing resources in a National Register Historic District are eligible for State and Federal tax credits for historic rehabilitation. In addition, a NRHP designation in Baltimore County is eligible for Baltimore County’s historic rehabilitation tax credit program.
Search Baltimore County’s National Register designations.
Maryland Inventory of Historic Properties
The Maryland Inventory of Historic Properties (MIHP) is a catalog of survey information or documentation on resources of known or potential value to the prehistory and history of the State of Maryland. The MIHP is not a historic designation. Inclusion on the MIHP involves no regulatory restrictions or controls. It is solely an instrument for research and documentation. The information gathered is often used to determine if a property is eligible for designation as a Baltimore County Landmark, BCHDs or for the National Register of Historic Places. This is why County Landmarks, BCHDs and National Register listings have MIHP inventory numbers.
The MHIP contains information about both standing structures and archeological resources. The survey information gathered on inventoried properties contribute to our understanding of Maryland’s architecture, engineering, archaeology or culture. Search the Maryland Inventory using MHT’s online database, MEDUSA.
Research and Maps
Compiled by former Baltimore County Historian, John McGrain, the following are extensive bibliographies of historic publications to assist those researching Baltimore County and Maryland History.
- Bibliography of Baltimore County History
- Bibliography of Industry in Baltimore and Surrounding Counties, From A to Z
- Bibliography of Industry in Western Maryland
- Bibliography of industry on the Eastern Shore and in Southern Maryland
Mapping A Paradox: The African-American Cultural Landscape In Antebellum Baltimore County, a research project authored by former Preservation Planner, Kimberly L. Abe, documents the details of the African-American cultural Landscape during the pre-Civil War Baltimore County, and include documentation on the remaining slavery-related structures and sites.
African American Historic Settlements and Communities Survey Project
The African American Thematic Report of Baltimore County, Maryland involved the documentation of 40 countywide communities and their resources. The project began in October 2002 and was completed in July 2003. It was undertaken for the Baltimore County Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) with direction from the Baltimore County Office of Planning. Baltimore County provided the funding for the project, which was administered by the Baltimore County Office of Planning. E.H.T. Traceries, Inc., a Washington, D.C.-based firm specializing in architectural history and historic preservation, conducted the work.
The Lawgivers—Great Figures in the History of Law Carved in 1958 by Baltimore County resident Matthew Peloso for what was the main courtroom in the new Baltimore County Courthouse addition, these sculptures were integrated into the space that was renovated in 1975 for the Baltimore County Council. The men chosen for the carvings were meant to personify ideas and civilizations which influenced our present day concepts about government. Their actions helped shape the laws we live by. Moral law, criminal law, civil law and public law are all represented, as are the contributions of ancient Egypt and Babylonia, the Orient, Jewish, Greek, Roman and English civilizations.
Light Rail History and Scenery follows the path of Baltimore’s second railroad and threads its way through a cross-section of scenery and industrial monuments, through the valley of Jones Falls, into the downtown streets of Baltimore, past the new sports stadium, and past more.
- Use the Baltimore County Historic Preservation interactive map to locate historic structures, County historic districts and more.
- Take a tour of Baltimore County Historic Districts with a story-map to view photographs, descriptions and locations of architecturally significant points in the eight historic districts.
- Learn about the Baltimore County Historic District of Relay and how the town developed along the Baltimore and Ohio (B&O) Railroad beginning in the 1830s.
- The Turner Station community exploration trail highlights the rich history of Turner Station. This map can be used as a self-guided walking tour to discover historic sites in the community, as well as recreational amenities.
For general inquiries and application submissions, contact:
Jessica Brannock, Historic Preservation Planner and LPC Administrator
Caitlin Merritt, Chief of Preservation Services and County Historian
To report work without a building permit and LPC review, visit BaltCo 311.