Friday, June 12, 2015

Should Remington Be a National Register District?

By Pete Morrill

The National Register of Historic Places was created as a part of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 and is the official Federal list of districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects significant in American history, architecture, archeology, engineering, and culture. Since its inception, the National Register has grown to include more than 80,000 properties and more than 1.4 million individual listings.

Baltimore has played an important role in American history; the city boasts more than 84 National Register and local historic districts within its boundaries. But Remington is not among them. This is not because our neighborhood lacks significance. To the contrary, Remington is closely tied to some of the most emblematic and significant movements in the city in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

Mills situated along the Falls were part of the first wave of industrialization in Baltimore; stone quarried from our neighborhood went into the construction of numerous structures throughout the city; in 1885, the first commercial electric street car in the United States made its first run from its power station at the corner of W. 25th Street and Howard Avenue up to Hampden; and the numerous garages, tire shops, and auto dealers heralded the beginning of the age of the automobile in Baltimore. To put it plainly, Remington hasn’t been included in the National Register simply because no one has nominated it.

Listing in the National Register opens opportunities for federal, state, and local tax incentives and grants to incentivize projects that would benefit the community while preserving its historic character.

Otherwise, unless state or federal funding is involved, the designation does not come with any restrictions or require special permitting such as a local historical designation might. Private property owners are free to do as they wish with their buildings without any additional oversight but are eligible to receive the benefits that nearby neighborhoods have enjoyed for some time. As our neighborhood continues to grow and change over the coming years, I hope that Remingtonians will take an interest in the neighborhood’s past and strive to keep Remington’s history alive. If you’d like to get involved in designating Remington as a National Register District, contact ◘

George Kromer, the first rector at Guardian Angel, leading children to church. The dining hall and gym there now bear his name.