Preservationists list top 10 endangered historic sites in Howard

Old Ellicott City, Daisy Schoolhouse are new entries

December 11, 2010|By Larry Carson, The Baltimore Sun

Hoping to influence discussion of a new 10-year General Plan, Howard County preservationists have issued a new list of endangered historic sites.

Two new sites are on the list this year, including the Ellicott City Historic District, which the group says is facing development pressures that threaten the integrity of the old river mill town.

"They're chipping away at the edges of the district," said Mary Catherine Cochran, vice president of Preservation Howard County, which issues the annual list to draw attention to the fast-growing county's past.

The Daisy Schoolhouse, built in 1885, is the second new entry. Among the last one-room schools in use in Howard, the building closed in 1946 at its original location on Union Chapel Road. The building was dismantled in 2009 to protect it from demolition, but a new site and reconstruction is needed to preserve it, the group said.

With a new General Plan for growth to be written in 2011, the group wants a formal county historic preservation plan included. Howard is the only county in Central Maryland without one, said Fred Dorsey, the group's president.

Others on the list are:

•Belmont, the 18th-century Elkridge estate now up for sale by Howard Community College.

•Clover Hill, a late-1700s home in Rockburn Park that has been stabilized but needs an occupant.

•Doughoregan Manor, the Carroll family estate in Ellicott City that was the subject of a deal between family members and county officials. Preservationists fear that a pending appeal of the rezoning could endanger the arrangement, which allows development of part of the property to finance preservation of the mansion, outbuildings and the bulk of the estate.

•The old Ellicott City jail behind the Circuit Court building is crumbling from neglect, preservationists contend, and could be used for a new purpose.

•The Forest Diner on U.S. 40 should be saved before a planned mixed-use development results in its demolition. The group suggests the core of the diner should be saved and perhaps moved.

•Highland Crossroads, at Routes 108 and 216, dates from 1759, but development is obscuring its history.

•The National Road, known as Route 144 in Howard County, was the old pathway to the West, but new projects threaten its heritage.

•The former Rouse Co. headquarters is much newer than the other sites on the list, but should be preserved as central Columbia is redeveloped.

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