The Unwanted Historic Designation

Two buildings in Baltimore were recently approved by the city's historic preservation commission as being worthy of historic designation. The only problem is that the owners don't want it.

"At a recent preservation commission meeting, involving the 74-year-old Scottish Rite Temple of Freemasonry in Tuscany-Canterbury, an attorney for the owners said they didn't want the building to be listed, but that they understood the panel has 'a set of criteria you have to meet' and pledged to work with the city no matter the outcome of the vote. No one else testified objecting to the designation."

"The difference in the two reactions may hold lessons for future occasions in which the Baltimore's Commission for Historical and Architectural Preservation moves to designate buildings that owners don't want to see listed -- as members have said they intend to do to protect buildings from demolition."

"Once a building is added to the landmark list, the preservation panel has legal authority to review and block changes to the exterior -- which could hold up the sale or redevelopment of a property."

Full Story: Preservation hearings produce same result, different attitudes

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