Governor Larry Hogan announced $600,000 in grant awards for six historic restoration projects via the Historic Preservation Capital Grant Program at the Board of Public Works meeting. The program helps qualified entities across the state with capital preservation initiatives.
Grants are available to nonprofits, local governments, corporations, and individuals for purchase, restoration, and, in certain circumstances, pre-construction work. This fiscal year, the Historical Trust received more than 30 applications.
Governor Hogan stated, "The Historic Preservation Capital Grant Program is a critical tool in fostering economic growth centered on local historic treasures." “These monuments, structures, and heritage regions throughout Maryland are cultural assets that help to strengthen our communities and pass along our traditions to future generations.”
According to the press release, The Historic Preservation Capital Grant Program funds physical preservation initiatives and architectural, engineering, archeological, and consulting services required for the construction of a building. Property acquisitions can also be financed. All aided homes must be listed on the National Register of Historic Places or be eligible for listing. Organizations can apply for up to $100,000 in funding per project.
The press release stated that The Historic Preservation Capital Grant Program had aided hundreds of homes in every county and Baltimore City since its establishment in 1978. Individuals, non-profits, municipal governments, and businesses are all eligible. In 2018, Governor Hogan reinstated funds for this program for the first time in over a decade.
The churches receiving grants are:
Talbot County's Asbury United Methodist Church (previously Easton Asbury M.E. Church) ($100,000)
The grantee is Historic Easton, Inc. (nonprofit)
Easton's oldest African American church structure is Asbury United Methodist Church, which is also the second oldest African American church structure in Talbot County. Frederick Douglass dedicated the chapel in 1878. In the 1930s, Asbury was a temporary high school for African-American students, and it is now a community center for the Hill, a traditionally African-American neighborhood. Structural stability and repairs to the base of the leaning bell tower and spire are part of the funding project.
Wicomico County's Whitehaven United Methodist Church ($100,000)
The grantee (nonprofit) is Whitehaven Heritage Association, Inc.
In 1892, the Whitehaven United Methodist Church was built. The interior woodwork of this vernacular church is particularly noteworthy, as it is unique among Wicomico County churches. An unknown artisan created the herringbone pattern on the inside heart pine paneling, indicating that he is experienced with boat building procedures. While it is no longer utilized for congregational services, it has left an indelible mark on the Lower Eastern Shore's traditions. The roof, steeple, siding, porch, foundation, and other interior improvements are all part of the grant project.