Category: Planning, Urbanism, Development

#BrilliantBaltimore #LightCity #Baltimore

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Historic Preservation Planning Notes

When attending the American Planning Association Maryland Chapter Conference on “Negotiating Change: Balancing Development, Climate Change, and Preservation in Maryland,” I attended Frederick County’s Historic Preservation Workshop led by Lisa Mroszcyzk Murphy and Christina Martinkosky. The title of the presentation was “Demolition Review: A Historic Preservation Tool for Communities.”

I’ve gone through my notes and created a short set of metrics I’d like to share:

Factors for Review

Factors for the assessing individual structures

AGE AND STORY

  • Is the property a candidate for historic integrity? Is there notable merit or heritage use?
  • Has there been alteration to the structure? Has there been a loss of integrity? Has it been compromised? Does what remains effectively ‘tell the story’? Where’s the documentation?
  • Is the property less than 50 years old or is it older?
  • Does the architecture’s form speak to a vernacular? Is it original? Or prefabricated? Is it popular today or back then? Rare and unusual?
  • Is it worthy of today’s modern interest? Tomorrow’s?
  • Does the structure hold integrity for ethnic design?
  • Is it visually interesting today or was it when it was built?

LAND USE AND OWNERSHIP

  • Has a permit application been filed for designation, renovation, or demolition? Without historic designation, the owner of a demolition or renovation who has received a permit cannot be held to account for historic preservation. Questions are:
  • Is the structure in an overlay district or historic district?
  • Does the structure align with today’s land use patterns?
  • What is the current or most recent tenant activity?
  • Is there potential reuse for the property today with the filing? Is there active developer interest?
  • Are there existing liens? What’s the property’s value?
  • Has the property been donated? Does the owner object to a renovation/demolition?
  • If the owner is a non-profit who is championing renovation or demolition, what is their actual capacity to conduct the work?
  • Does the current owner and does the current tenant value the land more than the property’s structures?
  • Is there a case for demolition by neglect? Is neglect or blight recognized in an existing maintenance code?
  • Are there adjacent structures on the property? Are they more valuable or significant? Are they in need of moving? If so, create a relocation plan.
  • Is an addition desired to uphold current occupancy? Zoning? Is there a non-conforming use being proposed? Designation can influence politics and public perception.
  • What is the cost of designation? there is a consequence. However, cost should NOT be a factor for significance.

General Practices

  • Can the review process delay developers and their development?
  • County’s code follows Maryland Historic Trust, which follows the National Register’s Criteria
  • If the goal is to “protect neighborhood character,” is historic preservation the best tool to enable or disable the structure from being renovated or demolished? Or is it a permitting issue? What tools are otherwise available? Code enforcement and preservation may be better tools to address infractions. The departments should talk. A demolition moratorium may be needed.
  • A facade renovation is not demolition – Relating to ‘Facadism’ – Is a new proposal design just ugly and against the neighborhood criteria?
  • Partial demolitions do matter.
  • What is the preservation staff’s ability to offer and administrate guidance? Has an application actually been filed?


View the Presentation on “Demolition Review: A Historic Preservation Tool for Communities”


Learn more about the Conference:

2019 Conference Presentations – APA Maryland

APA Maryland held its 2019 Biennial Conference on October 6th through 8th at the Rocky Gap Casino * Resort in Cumberland, Maryland. Our conference theme was Negotiating Change: Balancing Development, Climate Change, and Preservation in Maryland. As a small, densely-populated state, Maryland is in a constant struggle to find and keep this balance in both its urban and rural areas.

Transect 7 featured as part of Edge: Harbor and City Displays at Baltimore Museum of Industry 10/24-11/12

Snippet from the Article in Baltimore Magazine

Starting today, you can see the various design and planning proposals to re-imagine the City of Baltimore’s relationship to water in the built environment. I’m proud of to be part of the team at Morgan State University School of Architecture and Planning that created “Transect 7”, who submitted to the AIA Baltimore Spring Lecture Series’ Design Competition, Edge: Harbor and City. For Transect 7, I was a small voice on a team of talented architects, designers and planners who thought of interesting reuses of space along the city’s major parks and waterways. (e.g. Ciera and I came up with the idea of light archways over vehicular and pedestrian pathways).



The presentations have been on traveling display at the AIA Baltimore Architects Bookstore October 4-9, at the opening reception of the competition at the Baltimore Visitor Center since October 10th, and now on display at the Baltimore Museum of Industry, October 24-November 12.


From Baltimore Magazine “Visions for Harborplace Discussed Among Local Architects” by Evan Greenberg on October 23, 2019:

Morgan State University associate professor Samia Rab Kirchner and her students in the school of Architecture and Planning submitted a proposal entitled “Transect 7,” where three different “interventions” (which Kirchner describes as pedestrian pathways) would be installed to better connect neighborhoods and prepare for the changing climate.

“Water is not an edge,” Kirchner says. “It flows from upper ground to lower ground. The more barriers we put in front of it, the more devastating the effect.”

The Morgan State team also placed its emphasis along Jones Falls with three suggested interventions in Cylburn, Station North, and the Inner Harbor. At the Station North bridge, there would be a canoe stop that would allow residents to take an alternate mode of transport to the Inner Harbor as a solution to combat environmental emissions.
As Kirchner sees it, the water is there—it’s just a matter of rerouting it to benefit the city and its residents.
“It’s not creating new waterways,” she says. “It’s connecting to the old waterways that are running but are inaccessible. We believe that having access to water is a right.”

“Flour mill in Baltimore County’s Oella, Maryland’s last commercial mill, to shut down”

“Flour mill in Baltimore County’s Oella, Maryland’s last commercial mill, to shut down”

RT @tapdruidhill: 3 years after ripping out crosswalks & wheelchair ramps, @RecNParks has left #DruidHillPark access points unfinished and with no timeline for completion. BCRP is not prioritizing the needs of local residents. #TAPdruidhill

RT @tapdruidhill: 3 years after ripping out crosswalks & wheelchair ramps, @RecNParks has left #DruidHillPark access points unfinished and with no timeline for completion. BCRP is not prioritizing the needs of local residents. #TAPdruidhill

Today’s realization: the DLLR is the Maryland Dept of Labor, Licensing and Regulation. The DLIR is Maryland Division of Labor and Industry within DLLR. Elles and Eyes look the same in the web address line. What gives?

Today’s realization: the DLLR is the Maryland Dept of Labor, Licensing and Regulation. The DLIR is Maryland Division of Labor and Industry within DLLR. Elles and Eyes look the same in the web address line. What gives?

RT @APA_MD: Join APA-MD in Cumberland for a Mobile Workshop and Happy Hour!

RT @APA_MD: Join APA-MD in Cumberland for a Mobile Workshop and Happy Hour!

RT @BaltCoExec: For too long, Baltimore County has been focused on roads alone. We’re changing the narrative by investing in things like transit and bike lanes and looking for innovations that can better serve county residents. http://bit.ly/2mJHykb

RT @BaltCoExec: For too long, Baltimore County has been focused on roads alone. We’re changing the narrative by investing in things like transit and bike lanes and looking for innovations that can better serve county residents. http://bit.ly/2mJHykb