Preserving our heritage is a vital link to our cultural, educational, aesthetic, inspirational, and economic legacies - - all of the things that quite literally make us who we are.
The Inventory began in the 1960s and has grown over the years to include over 2,000 structures and nearly 1,600 archaeological sites. The AAIHP consists of “properties listed on the Maryland Inventory of Historic Properties, the National Register of Historic Places, and the National Register of Historic Landmarks.” (§ 17-1-101. Definitions. (17). Certain regulations, protections, and consideration are afforded these sites under the County Code when development or subdivision is proposed. Below is a listing of the properties currently in the Anne Arundel County Inventory, which includes individual historic structures and historic districts. Note that archaeological sites, considered part of the inventory are not listed for public view.
Click here for a listing of the County Inventory of Historic Properties, Districts, and Neighborhoods. Note that the list of historic neighborhoods and districts does not include contributing buildings listed by address and tax ID number at this time. To obtain additional information about the historic resources on the County Inventory, contact our office or visit the Information Counter for Maps, Publications, and Services at the Heritage Office Complex.
Properties listed on the AAIHP that are also listed on the National Register of Historic Places or that have been determined “eligible” for listing on the Register are also eligible for Federal and/or State Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credits. To find out more information on these tax credit programs, visit http://mht.maryland.gov/taxCredits.shtml.
What makes a building or site eligible for inclusion on the AAIHP?
Properties eligible for the County Inventory possess many or all of the following characteristics: they are generally more than 50 years old, are representative of an important event, chapter, or era in the County’s history, are associated with the lives of historically significant persons, have historically significant architectural value, or are capable of yielding information important to the County’s history or prehistory.
Donna Ware’s book, Anne Arundel’s Legacy: The Historic Properties of Anne Arundel County (1990), was the first published list of the County’s Inventory of Historic Places.
How Do Properties get listed on the AAIHP?
Since 1983, the County has had historic preservation professionals on its staff, who are tasked with ensuring that historic resources are protected during the development process. That job includes monitoring and maintaining the existing Inventory of Historic Properties, and identifying unlisted properties that are potentially worthy of preservation and important to the County’s heritage. Properties are added to the Inventory by several means and the current list is nearly 50 years in the making.
One of the most common ways properties are listed is when the property is documented as an MIHP (Maryland Inventory of Historic Properties) due to a State or Federal undertaking under requirements of the National Historic Preservation Act. During the process (which is not driven by local regulations), historic properties can be documented as meeting certain criterion and placed on the MIHP which means it enters onto the AAIHP as a potentially important historic resource in the County. Individuals, non-profits, academics, and professionals can also add a property to the MIHP if they identify and provide documentation regarding its potential historic or cultural value. Properties are also added when local development is proposed. § 17-6-501 of the County Code requires that the “...developer shall identify all historic resources on property that is subject to an application for subdivision or an application for site development plan review associated with a building or grading permit...”
Once a property is identified and listed on either the Maryland Inventory of Historic Properties, the National Register of Historic Places, or the National Historic Landmarks list, professionals within the Cultural Resources Division, OPZ, who meet the Federal Secretary of the Interior’s Historic Preservation Professional Qualification Standards, evaluate the property to determine if it holds merit to be designated on the AAIHP.
How does listing on the AAIHP impact my property?
During the review process for any development, the provisions found in Article 17 apply. Sites listed on the Inventory are evaluated on a case by case basis by County staff to determine if they retain historic significance and have the physical integrity to make them worthy of preservation.
Development is defined as the subdivision of a property or any activity other than farming, gardening, or yard maintenance that results in a change in existing site conditions, including the establishment of property through construction, alteration, or relocation of a structure; the provision of stormwater management or roads; grading; and clearing. [§ 17-1-101. Definitions. (26)]
Article 17 requires that a historic building listed on the Inventory be retained and incorporated as a part of new development in a sensitive fashion that does not compromise the characteristics which make that building historically significant. Significant historic or architectural sites or structures will be incorporated into the overall design and plan of the development through harmonious and careful design. Vegetative or landscape buffers or plantings, architectural or preservation easements, and architectural design review of the proposed development may be required to preserve the historical integrity of the site or structure and its setting. Each project is unique and our office works closely with the developer to make sure the project is a success.
Note that the County does not review or regulate any interior changes proposed for a property, nor does it review minor building permits, additions, or modifications. Outright demolition of a significant building is not permitted if it can be demonstrated that preservation is feasible (§ 17-6-501 (c). Substantial renovations and additions are allowed however, so long as the core historic form and character of the building is retained. Cultural Resources Division (CRD) staff often provide guidance to homeowners on how to pursue renovations in a sensitive manner based on the best historic preservation standards to ensure that the building’s historic features and its character is preserved. Owners are encouraged to contact the CRD for assistance.
Feasibility is determined by balancing a host of concerns and issues, including the historic significance or rarity of the property type, its physical condition, level of deterioration or structural concerns, the potential for a successful rehabilitation that would allow a continued use of the property, the challenges of completing an effective rehabilitation of the building, and the loss that would be incurred for the citizens of the County and to the future if the demolition were allowed. The Cultural Resources division weighs these concerns, and makes a recommendation to the County’s Planning and Zoning Director who ultimately determines if preservation is feasible.