Preservation Maryland Executive Director Nicholas Redding argues there are alternatives to demolishing roughly 20 percent of buildings on historic Ellicott City’s Main Street.
After deadly flood waters swept through the old mill town twice in less than two years, Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman proposed leveling roughly 20 percent of the buildings on the Main Street retail district. Clearing the buildings will allow for widening of channel to handle rushing waters from storms.
“We worked hard to try to engage with the Kittleman administration. Because we were concerned that demolition would be on the table this time, and previously we’ve honored Allan Kittleman because we thought what he did after the 2016 flood was pretty fantastic as an elected official,” Redding said. “Unfortunately this time around we weren’t really engaged in terms of partnership with the county executive.”
There are other options to prevent flood damage that don’t include demolition, Redding argues. Howard County should look at how other historic communities have dealt with similar issues, pursue flood mitigation projects that don’t involve razing buildings, and continue to gather public input.