Preservation Maryland has announced their Best of Maryland Awards, celebrating the Best of Maryland’s History and Heritage in 2020.
In a press release, Preservation Marylans said “In these difficult times, Preservation Maryland is honored to shine a spotlight on the tireless work of our Best of Maryland Award winners – volunteers, architects, artisans, and legislators doing the essential work of protecting the places that make Maryland such a special place to live, work, explore – and celebrate.”
William Murtagh, the first “Keeper” of America’s National Register of Historic Places once wrote that, “At its best, preservation engages the past in a conversation with the present over a mutual concern for the future.” In the spirit of Murtagh’s forward-looking approach, Preservation Maryland proudly announced the 2020 Best of Maryland Awardees. (Find a full list of the Awardees here).
The Town of Washington Volunteers were awarded the Community Choice Award. When Washington Grove transitioned from a summer resort to an incorporated town, much of the rustic camp character of this special place carried on including their approach to handcrafting their street signs. Volunteers, led by Susan Van Nostrand, recently worked with the Historic Preservation Commission and the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service to make minor modifications to the original design to ensure that the town would not lose these iconic signs that provide a sense of direction – and a sense of place.
This year’s Best of Maryland awardees are being presented awards at socially distant site visits across the state this month. The public is invited to learn more about each award and to help us honor them by attending a special event at Bengies Drive-In Movie Theater in Middle River, Maryland on Thursday, October 1, 2020. The awards event will be followed by a screening of the 1980s classic, “The Money Pit” as a nod to the challenging and sometimes humorous nature of saving old buildings. Tickets are on sale now on Preservation Maryland’s website, www.presmd.org. All are welcome and proceeds support the nonprofit organization.
Preservation Maryland Executive Director Nicholas Redding explained, “History is a critical guide in uncertain times. During this ongoing health crisis, museums and historic sites have stepped up to provide historical context for today’s struggles and are authentic backdrops to explore and discuss these issues.” Redding continued, “Preservationists have long known that our work is essential, and that’s underscored in this year’s class of diverse award winners from around the state who are helping to make our communities places we’re proud to call home.”