May Is Preservation Month!

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Originally posted on Our History, Our Heritage:

by Secretary David R. Craig, Maryland Department of Planning

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During Preservation Month 2015, let us come together to celebrate Maryland’s extraordinary and diverse heritage. Explore your own historic community through events sponsored by your local historical society, preservation organization or Heritage Area. Learn about your family history. Take a road trip down a Scenic Byway to visit one of our beautiful Main Streets or cultural museums. Share your photos, your impressions and your memories with friends and family.

Part of the Department of Planning, the Maryland Historical Trust (MHT) helps individuals, businesses and communities save the historic places that make our state special. Using state and federal rehabilitation tax credits, we provide millions of dollars each year to businesses and residents to help repair and rehabilitate their historic properties.

A group of monuments and a line of cannon are framed by a split rail fence at Antietam Battlefield at Sharpsburg, Maryland, USA. Antietam Battlefield in Sharpsburg.

The Maryland Heritage Areas Authority, staffed by MHT, allocates nearly $3 million to heritage…

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A Big Year for Maryland Planning at National Awards in Seattle

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Two Maryland planning agencies to receive American Planning Association national awards for planning excellence

APAlogoFor many decades Maryland has supported and fostered sound community and regional planning. This long term commitment to sound planning principles and planning innovation in the “Old Line State” will be recognized by the American Planning Association (APA) in April at their National Conference in Seattle, WA.   For the first time, APA will bestow national awards for planning excellence in the same year to two Maryland planning agencies. The Maryland Department of Planning (MDP) and the Montgomery County Planning Department will be the recipients of the awards announced today and to be presented in mid-April at the APA’s National Planning Conference in Seattle. More

Al Feldstein, retired MDP planner and ARC Program Manager, honored with John D. Whisman Vision Award

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Maryland Regional Development Advocate and Historian Al Feldstein Receives 2015 DDAA John D. Whisman Vision Award

March 2015 More

MDP Participants in 2015 TUgis Conference: Observations & Reflections

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March 17 marked the 26th annual conference

28th annual conference

Last week, multiple MDP staff attended and participated in the Towson University Geospatial Information Sciences (TUgis) conference.  Some of us have been going to this conference for over 20 years while others went for the first time.  This is the third year for their new one-day format and, with over 600 attendees and 100 different sessions, was an excellent conference.  It provided a great opportunity to obtain detailed technical information, enhance our understanding of where the industry is heading, learn about activities underway in Maryland, and connect with colleagues and friends. More

Everything Was Illuminated! Neon Sign for Arts Center Symbolizes the Energy of the “Next Baltimore”

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Originally posted on :

MARCH 3

SAM_2684-(1)Baltimore – The city  celebrated an important achievement on the evening of March 3, by lighting up the marquee of the Centre Theatre, the newest rehabilitated building in Baltimore’s Station North Arts and Entertainment District.

The blue neon of the letters on the distinctive facade instantly illuminated an otherwise dark corridor, acting as a symbolic beacon of the kind of development momentum currently re-energizing the district.

The $18 million project will be “a center for arts and innovation in the Station North Arts and Entertainment District,” according to developer Jubilee Baltimore’s website. The project converts a 67,000 square foot building that has been vacant for more than 20 years into restaurant space, film centers for Johns Hopkins University and Maryland Institute College of Art programs, the Baltimore Jewelry Center, and the Center for Neighborhoods, a nonprofit hub of community development-focused nonprofits including Central Baltimore Partnership, Neighborhood Housing Services of Baltimore and…

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Popup Stores Increase Retail Options in Hagerstown’s City Center, part 2

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Part 2 of a 2-part series (see Part 1)

In this blog series, we present tips and strategies for creating successful pop-up store events, spotlighting the efforts of Hagerstown, Maryland. This post features information about selecting dates, preparing a budget, raising money and marketing, and it closes with a list of additional helpful hints from Hagerstown.  The first post {link} discussed securing and preparing spaces, and recruiting vendors and encouraging regulatory compliance.

Local leaders interested in filling vacant storefronts in historic downtowns and older commercial districts – to increase community livability and stimulate economic growth – might consider cultivating locally owned businesses. More

Popup Stores Increase Retail Options in Hagerstown’s City Center, Part 1

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Local leaders interested in filling vacant storefronts in historic downtowns and older commercial districts – to increase community livability and stimulate economic growth – might consider cultivating locally owned businesses.

Throughout the country, local governments, business improvement districts and Main Street organizations are experimenting with ways to bring retail into older commercial districts with less of an upfront commitment from small business owners. Their tools: retail business incubators and pop-up stores. Pop-up stores use vacant building space for a day, a week, or even longer, but on a temporary basis; they bring foot traffic to the commercial district and can help business owners test the market prior to making a long-term commitment. More

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