Volunteers have poured money and effort into landmarks Baltimore now wants to sell

March 26, 2012

I totally agree with the "Readers Respond" letter from Roz Ellis Heid, responding to the city's idea of possibly selling, leasing, or maintaining 15 historic City landmarks ("City eyeing sale of 15 sites," March 21). As Ms. Heid, Baltimore Heritage Executive Director Johns Hopkins and The Sun article note, a number of volunteer groups, including Friends of Orianda House (Crimea Mansion), Baltimore City Historical Society (Peale Museum), and the Roland Water Tower Preservation Campaign have invested money and thousands of hours to preserve and restore these historic landmarks. There are probably others as well who have labored quietly to save other historic treasures. The city should not ignore the dedicated efforts of these citizens.

Before spending $46,500 for an Annapolis consultant to determine "market value" for city landmarks, I suggest the city convene a meeting of the Baltimore history community, to work as a team to save, restore, and preserve these historic treasures that tell Baltimore's history. These are what make Baltimore unique. It's about heritage value, not market value.

Donald Torres, Ellicott City

The writer is a member of the Baltimore City Historical Society.

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