by Lisa Tome
The possibilities are endless for Elkton's historic Holly Hall building.
And now that the building has been accepted into Preservation Maryland's Six to Fix program, the funding may also be limitless.
Holly Hall is an iconic piece of the town's history. The mansion needs to be restored and preserved.
Preservation Maryland will work to identify funding sources and will assist with reuse planning and feasibility studies to help make the restoration and reuse possible. The building is more than 200 years old and sits beside Elkton's Bridge Street in the area of Big Elk Mall.
Specifically, Holly Hall was built between 1810-20. Additions were added in the mid 1800s and early 1900s.
The building has a place in Mayor Rob Alt's heart. Back when he ran for mayor in 1998, Alt's election post cards included a photo of the Holly Hall building.
Alt said the ball got rolling toward achieving the Six to Fix status after he met with representatives from the Cordish Group, the owners of Big Elk Mall. "They were pleased with the commitment to restore it. I see Holly Hall as a gateway to the community. It's one of the older properties and could be used from a commercial aspect. It could be a bed and breakfast or a restaurant. Maybe a visitor's center. It could house tourism or the arts. And grant money is the key," said Alt.
"We need to fix it up as part of a beautification opportunity. It has been a target for fire, vandalism, and vagrants." He also said the town has made no financial commitment.
Elkton town planner Jeanne Minner is also enthused. She said she wants to see the building restored and occupied.
She said that Preservation Maryland will schedule a meeting. "They will start the ball rolling with options and we will see what they can offer," said Minner.
The remaining Six to Fix sites across the state are flood protection for Dorchester County, Baltimore's Historic Storefronts, Glenn Dale Hospital, Pleasant View, and Antietam Battlefield.