16 April 2010

To Whom It May Concern

This notice went up within the last week notifying "whom it may concern" about the future graduate housing that will be going up on the land. There is a row of mostly boarded up homes directly behind. Most still have the formstone in tack, and date to the later period of rowhouse style.
Another image of the new rowhouses in the area meant to mimic the older style.

28 March 2010

deprivation of historic areas

continuing photography project now that the weather is nice again. there are many factors that play into the "historic integrity" of a neighborhood (as CHAP describes it).

Did you know that there are no locally designated neighborhoods with blue lights, let alone police spotlights in their boundaries?

the houses to the left of the image are completely boarded up, whereas the houses in the front are newly built rowhouses meant to mimic the older style.

25 March 2010

Overview of an Application

here is a link to the application process to making changes to the exterior of your building, if residing within a historic district. It makes me question, besides the obvious 10 year tax credit, the benefit of this designation. It seems more like a paperwork headache to me.

here is an excerpt from the application in regards to the local tax incentive program:


Baltimore City offers a property tax incentive program that will grant a 10-year credit on any assessment increase resulting from qualifying improvements to your property. A minimum investment of 25% of the full cash value of your property, and project certification by CHAP are requirements of this program. Projects must be pre-approved before any work can start. Contact CHAP at (410-396-4866) or www.baltimorecity.gov/government/historic for further information and application form.

first post and learning new things

Today I learned possibly the most vital assest to my thesis in how to improve historic preservation within Baltimore city. The People's Homesteading group in Baltimore, located at 2114 Greenmount Avenue in an old hardware store. They got the Greenmount-Barclay local and national historic district designated, but for reasons I have never thought about before. What they do is take the $40,000 (20%) state tax abate and allocate it towards people's first mortgage, and then there is also a 10 year tax freeze, which is the tax incentive program the city provides for historic districts, (a very long process separate from just getting a district designated historic). Therefore, they have been fixing up homes to sell to not only well-off people, but also to low-income people, and both are extremely nice inside.

It seems like a good program, from the general overview they provided, however I am scheduling a meeting with them to learn the financial side and their long-term plan for when tax incentives expire.

The street view from google maps of the historic area.