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Historical & Architectural Preservation / Historic Districts

What is a Historic District?

"It is a geographically definable area-urban or rural, large or small-possessing a significant concentration, linkage, or continuity of sites, buildings, structures, and/or objects united by past events or aesthetically by plan or physical development." - National Register

In Baltimore there are two types of Historic Districts- National and Local. A National Register Historic District is a distinction conveyed by the Federal Government. Local Historic District designation is conveyed by the Mayor and City Council of Baltimore and is generally, requested by the residents of a community. There is no direct association between the two types of Historic Districts. Also one does not automatically lead to the other, and there are differences in the conditions and benefits of being listed either Locally or Nationally.

Baltimore City Historic District is an area in Baltimore City wherein, there are located buildings and structures which have demonstrated special architectural, historical, cultural, economic, social, or community significance. This program is overseen by the Commission for Historical and Architectural Preservation. It is the earliest and first commission in the State of Maryland.

Facts About Becoming a Baltimore City Historic District

  1. Strengthens stabilization and promotes rejuvenation or rehabilitation.
  2. Does not increase property taxes.
  3. No limits on property use or restrictions of sales.
  4. Certified districts are eligible for tax credits and incentives.
  5. Provides for protection and review when affected by State and/or Federal projects.
  6. Gives distinction to designated communities and a unifying bond among property owners.
  7. Areas are designated entirely as the result of local and neighborhood-based initiative.
  8. Provides expert review of proposed exterior changes as part of Baltimore City permit review process.
  9. Protects from demolition and inappropriate development.
  10. Shorter process to achieve designation.

For Information About Becoming A Baltimore City or National Register Historic District

Contact the Commission for Historical and Architectural Preservation, Phone (410) 396-4866. For information about becoming a National Register of Historic Places Historic District contact the Maryland Historical Trust, Phone (410) 514-7649 or contact Peter Kurtze,


417 East Fayette St., 8th floor
Baltimore, MD 21202

(410) 396-4866
(410) 396-PLAN (7526)
Fax: (410) 396-5662