The Baltimore County Council has added eight area properties to the county's list of historic landmarks, a move designed to preserve the architectural character of the buildings.
The properties are the McCubbin-Quinn Bungalow in Glyndon, Christian's Chance near Butler, Roslyn and the Hamburger-Hefter Bungalow in Pikesville, Samuel's Hope in Ruxton, the Ridge School and Riderwood railroad station in Riderwood, and the Brooklandville railroad station. They were named landmarks last month.
Since the program's inception in 1976, the county has placed 215 homes, schools, churches and commercial buildings on the list, affording them protections and benefits in an effort to save them from deterioration or demolition.
FOR THE RECORD - An article in Monday's Maryland section on historic landmarks in Baltimore County misspelled the name of the Greif family, owners of the textile manufacturer L. Greif and Bros.
Inclusion on the list means any changes to the exterior must be approved by the county Landmarks Preservation Commission and, in most cases, that the architecture and building materials remain consistent with the original structure, said David Goldsmith, vice chairman of the commission, a 15-member group charged with selecting sites.
Government involvement also prevents what Goldsmith calls "demolition by neglect," or allowing a property to decay through lack of basic upkeep.
"It does preserve [the properties] and that's the aim of the whole program," said Goldsmith, 72, who also sits on the board of trustees of the Baltimore County Public Library.
David Hefter, owner of the Hamburger-Hefter Bungalow since 1991, said he likes the idea of his house as an antique. He also likes the state and local tax credits he can earn to help defray the cost of improvements to the property, a key factor in offering his home for inclusion on the list.
"There are some guidelines, but I don't think it's a hassle," said Hefter, 43, who added that the celebrity of former inhabitants of his nearly 90-year-old home in the 100 block of Brightside Ave. has contributed to its legacy.
The Grief family, owners of the textile manufacturer L. Grief and Bros., and the Hamburger family, owners of Hamburger's - the Baltimore department store founded in 1850 - both lived in the house. Isaac Hamburger bought the place in 1930, and his sons sold the bungalow to Hefter 11 years ago.
Leigh McDonald Hall, 38, who has lived in Samuel's Hope for the past 3 1/2 years, also cherishes her dwelling. "I like the old architecture," Hall said of her 250-year-old home in the 7500 block of Bellona Ave. "I think it's very attractive."
Although the complexion of Ruxton has changed over the years, from a quiet stop on the North Central Railroad to a suburban community, Samuel's Hope has stood its ground.
Beyond the rules governing improvements and the tax credits, there's something intangible and coveted about being named to the landmarks list, officials say.
"It's an honorary status," said Tim Dugan, chief of planning services for the county. "There is a prestige to being a landmark historic property."