Plaques

couple with plaque

What is the Historic Plaque Program?
Why should I apply for a plaque?
What criteria are used for judging buildings?
How do I apply?
What happens when I apply?
Resources for Researching Frederick County Building Histories

What is the Historic Plaque Program?

The Frederick County Landmarks Foundation endeavors to preserve Frederick County’s natural and historic landmarks. FCLF is the one of the largest volunteer historic preservation organizations in the County. In recognition of their historic integrity, the FCLF Plaque Program has awarded over 300 plaques to Frederick County properties. Owners may apply for a plaque to recognize the age and historic integrity of their property.

To qualify for a plaque, a building must be an original structure over 100 years old with either historical and/or architectural merit; this includes structures that have been maintained in their original form or have been returned to their original configuration. Furthermore, any existing alterations and additions to the original structure must preserve the architectural integrity of the structure and appear as logical progressive add-ons to the original. Additions need not be of the identical period of the original but must have been made during the historical limits designated for a plaque.

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Why should I apply for a plaque?
The obvious answer is that historic recognition increases the value of your property. The real answer is that you recognize that preserving architectural legacy of Frederick County is essential to preserving our history. Historic preservation isn't just about restoring old buildings. It's about discovering who we are by understanding where we've been.

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What criteria are used for judging buildings?
To receive a plaque the committee must determine that your building is both historic and possesses architectural integrity. The committee uses the following guidelines as reference materials when making that determination:

National Register Criteria for Evaluation
Frederick City Historic District Commission Guidelines
National Park Services
Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation and Guidelines
for Rehabilitating Historic Buildings


A structure must be more than 100 years old to receive a black plaque.

A structure less than 100 years old may be awarded a red plaque. Such a structure must meet the highest standards set forth in the referenced guidelines.

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How do I apply?
Complete an application. You can download an application here. (PDF file)
Take photographs of the architecturally significant parts of your building. Send them along with your application.

Research your properties as much as possible. Send your research along with your application.
Enclose the $100.00 application fee with your application.

Send the packet the Frederick County Landmarks Foundation. The address is on the application.
For more information on how to apply for a plaque, contact the Frederick County Landmarks Foundation office at 301-668-6088 or write to us at info@fredcolandmarks.org.

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What happens when I apply?
After the Frederick County Landmarks Foundation receives your application, the Plaque Committee reviews it.  If your building looks promising, you can expect a committee member to call you to arrange a site visit. During the site visit, one or more committee members will tour your building, documenting both its history and architectural significance.  The visiting committee members will take that information back, to the whole committee which will make a recommendation. The recommendations are presented to board at their monthly meeting. If the board approves the application, your building is awarded with a plaque.

Once you are awarded your plaque, your building's information, including a photo of the property is placed into the official registry. Your information is also added to a database of historic sites. In addition, data sheets on placqued structures are duplicated and stored in the library of the Historical Society of Frederick County.

Resources for Researching Frederick County Building Histories

Online information
National Register of Historic Places - Frederick County listings
(compiled information on individual listings)

Maryland Historical Trust
(information and photographs of individual listings)

Maryland Inventory of Historic Places - Frederick County listings
(individual building histories, photographs, title histories, architectural analyses, etc.)

How To Research The History Of Your Old House (Janet Davis, Frederick County Historic Preservation Planner)


Libraries
Frederick County Historical Society Library

The Historical Society of Frederick County’s Library holds a variety of historical materials awaiting discovery. Letters, diaries, Civil War records, maps, family histories, photographs and books on local subjects are all available for use by historians and genealogists in this non-circulating research collection. Knowledgeable staff are available to assist patrons and research services are available for a fee.

Also in the Library’s collection are published records of Frederick’s parent county of Prince George’s from 1762 until 1748, when Frederick County was established. Records of neighboring counties that were later formed out of Frederick County (Montgomery, Washington, Allegany, Garrett, and Carroll) also can be found here. Published indices to land patent records from 1679 to 1783 are available, as well as immigration and migration records and records from the adjoining states of Virginia and Pennsylvania.

C. Burr Artz Public Library Maryland Room

The Maryland Room, located in the C. Burr Artz Public Library, is a noncirculating, local history research collection of primary and secondary sources. Materials actively collected document Maryland's economic, social, political, cultural, and religious history, the genealogy of Maryland's peoples, and the Civil War. Special emphasis is placed on obtaining resources relating to the peoples, places, communities, and institutions of Frederick County and City.

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