By Ed Orser, Friends of Maryland’s Olmsted Parks & Landscapes
Maryland’s State Department of Planning has designated the meeting space in its Baltimore office headquarters as “The Olmsted Conference Room” in recognition of the major role of the Olmsted firm in planning initiatives for parks, residential communities, and other sites in Baltimore and elsewhere in the state. A large introductory panel on the “Olmsted Legacy” identifies the three Olmsteds who for more than 75 years played an important role in Maryland and in nearby D.C.: Frederick Law Olmsted (FLO), John Olmsted, and Frederick Law Olmsted, Junior (FLO Junior).
Planning staff, Steve Allan and John Coleman review the panel for the 1908 plan.
Panels on the extensive Baltimore projects make the case that in few American cities was the Olmsted planning impact greater—with comprehensive planning for parks, residential communities, and urban amenities. The parks panel highlights FLO’s 1876 design for the grounds of Baltimore’s Mount Vernon Place (supplanted by Beaux Arts-inspired features). But the later role of the Olmsted Brothers, especially FLO Junior, in park planning proved more extensive and of longer duration. The firm’s 1904 comprehensive plan for Baltimore’s parks laid the basis for the modern park system. In 2016 the Friends of Maryland’s Olmsted Parks & Landscapes and others succeeded in gaining the City’s historic designation for an East-West corridor of “Olmsted Parkways,” first envisioned in the 1904 plan. Continue reading
Chestertown, founded in 1706, is the county seat of Kent. The Town flourished in the 18th century, serving as a major port for both exporting Maryland’s agricultural products and importing exotic wares from the West Indies and Europe. In an age when overland travel proved difficult and dangerous, Kent County served as a popular stopping point for people navigating between Philadelphia and Virginia via waterways. While Chestertown’s economy stagnated slightly following the revolution, by the 19th century, the construction of the still standing courthouse and the arrival of a railroad line signaled a new era; the population doubling by 1900. Continue reading
In a July 17th article in Maryland Matters, the Maryland Planning Commissioners Association’s (MPCA) Outreach Project was highlighted. This project is an effort to listen to stakeholders so that Maryland’s planning community can best meet the needs of local jurisdictions. The MPCA is a statewide, nonprofit educational organization of municipal, county and regional planning commissioners and boards of zoning appeals members.
MPCA members work to improve the quality of life for all Marylanders through planning, environmental protection, historic preservation, and growth management. Continue reading
David Jenkins and Carolyn McHugh attended the June 20 Focus Group, a part of the MPCA Outreach Project.
The Maryland Planning Commissioners Association’s (MPCA) Outreach project is off to a hot start this summer. With two focus group meetings in the books and five to go, members of Maryland’s planning community are embracing the effort and expressing their opinions. The MPCA hosted the first meeting in Calvert County and the local press took notice.
“We are here to listen,” said Robert Reed, a long-term member of Calvert County’s planning commission and president of the state planning commissioners association that is behind the outreach project.
By Jen Sparenberg, Maryland Historical Trust
The Maryland Historical Trust’s Cultural Resources Hazard Mitigation Planning Program is here to assist local governments in integrating important historic places into hazard mitigation plans and planning activities. The program provides technical assistance on a variety of topics related to floodplain management, hazard mitigation planning and actions, disaster response and recovery, and climate change. Continue reading
New Maryland State Funding Opportunities Just Announced
Just last week, state agencies announced several upcoming funding opportunities for local governments and other collaborators.