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Four Rivers Celebrates Preservation Month

May 30 2018

Four Rivers Celebrates Preservation Month

Marcia Miller points out architectural details to a hard-hat tour group in the James Brice House

May is Preservation Month! Established in 1973 by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the annual designation is recognized by local preservation groups, state historical societies, heritage areas, and others across the country. Four Rivers celebrates this month by acknowledging the hard work of our partners in undertaking capital improvement and preservation projects that will result in an enhanced heritage tourism experience in our area. These projects include:  

James Brice House (Historic Annapolis) –The restoration of this masterwork of early architecture (1767-1774), called one of the most important surviving structures from colonial America, began in 2016 and will be a multi-year, multi-million dollar project. A public-private partnership between the State of Maryland and Historic Annapolis, Inc. is funding the work of a team of experts that began with historical investigations, primary source research, and architectural predesign planning work. Two senior staff members of the Maryland Historical Trust lead the team: Michael Day, Chief of the Office of Preservation Services and Deputy State Historic Preservation Officer, and Marcia Miller, Chief of the Office of Research, Survey & Registration. Their job is to provide preservation oversight and approval of methodologies and techniques to ensure the restoration is meeting best practices and being held to the highest standards possible. 

Historic Annapolis’s 99 Main Street – Capital repairs, including roof replacement, are in process for this prominent building (c. 1791) on Main Street, which houses the Historic Annapolis Museum & Store. This multi-phase project will prepare the building for the presentation of a new exhibit, “A History of Annapolis in Objects.” 

William Brown House (Historic London Town and Gardens) – Site staff is undertaking a multi-year, multi-phase project restoring this National Historic Landmark (c. 1760), to mitigate moisture infiltration into the structure, including repointing mortar joints and repairing window sashes, and fixing structural needs in columns, beams, and joists, and stairs.  

Sellman House (Smithsonian Environmental Research Center [SERC]) – SERC continues to invest in the continuing rehabilitation of the Sellman House, also known as “Woodlawn.” Efforts began with roof replacement and stabilization after damage from the 2011 earthquake, shortly after SERC assumed ownership and management of the building. An earlier MHAA grant funded the existing conditions survey and Historic Structures Report, and SERC plans to secure the building’s envelope and restore windows, exterior and interior doors, and two first floor marble fireplace mantles. The building will eventually become the visitors reception area for the entire campus, and also house an exhibition area for SERC’s archaeology program, as well as offices.  

Preservation initiatives in our area also include non-capital projects, such as oral histories, archival work, documentary-style exhibits, and more. We salute our partners for their ongoing efforts to document and preserve our built environment and our regional identity – thank you for your work!