In today’s Cecil Whig a column examines an issue members of Elkton’s historic and Architectural Review Committee (HARC) initiated when they met with the town board and discussed eliminating or reducing regulations protecting Elkton’s surviving cultural resources. As a result of all the fuzz about “preserving stately homes, procedures for demolishing old buildings, and enforcement of historic building regulations,” Cecil Whig columnist Ed Okonowicz headed downtown to see what was going on and see if he could “locate the top historical spots.”
That proved to be challenging, he wrote. One downtown regular and a trustee of the Historic Elk Landing Foundation, Jon Carpenter, was interviewed. He described Elkton’s policy that contributes to the “current historic district dilemma” as one of “benign neglect.”
The confusion, frustration and genuine regret over lost opportunities, “might support suggestions by some members of the town’s Historic and Architectural Review Committee that it continuation may not be worthwhile,” Okonowicz said. “Unfortunately for some time, it appears preservation efforts were ineffectual and not forward thinking. Efforts by county and Elkton agencies to entice travelers to view the city’s heritage face a steep uphill challenge because very little structural history survives. Perhaps Elkton’s poor historic preservation legacy should serve as an example of what over community should not do and proves that in some cases, the present may be too late to salvage what’s left of a proud community’s rapidly vanishing past,” the columnist concludes.