Here in the heart of Dorchester County you will have the pleasure of finding the adored, sought after and highly visited Historic District of Cambridge. The Historic District is part of the walkable downtown near Historic High Street, local pubs and restaurants and the yacht club. Its picturesque features mark it as one of the most booming areas in the real estate market currently.

Beautiful Home on Historic High Street, Cambridge, MD

Dorchester County is one of the oldest colonial cities in Maryland. Dating back 1684, it’s been home to many well-known historic residents including Harriet Tubman, Annie Oakley, Frederick Douglas, Bea Arthur, and five of Maryland's past governors.

The Cambridge Historic District (shown above) covers over forty (40) city blocks. Going in a northwest direction along the waterfront, it includes portions of Wards 1, 3 and 4. Its contents include residential, commercial, and governmental areas in the northwest (West End as the Local’s say) section of the city. Many of the tactful buildings date from the 1700s and 1800s. The residential mix include the Georgian, Queen Anne, Colonial Revival, and American Foursquare styles.

Other historic highlights of the area are the Gothic style Christ Episcopal Church established in 1874 but dates to 1694; the Italian Villa style courthouse across the street designed by Richard Upjohn; turn of the century commercial buildings designed by artist J. Benjamin Brown. There is also an area of Cambridge, Algonquian; named after the native Choptank Indians that were already here during the colonization of the English. Cambridge is named from the Town and County of Cambridge in England.

Historic Church on High Street

The District represents the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries in Cambridge's history. Rows of homes with the similar look and footprint are a direct response to the need for housing as the packing and canning industry boomed at the turn of the 20th century. Cambridge is one of Maryland's two port cities and the waterfront West End area grew because of the shipping and food processing industries. Also, the City of Cambridge holds county seat, which resulted in many historic government buildings.

A local group began to organize efforts to recognize and preserve Cambridge's notable architectural legacies starting in 1986.  Their work resulted in the listing of the Cambridge Historic District on the National Register of Historic Places in 1990. What this means for property owners is a plethora of benefits including Federal and state tax benefits for approved renovations and restorations. 

The State of Maryland Historic Preservation Commission’s purpose is to preserve the history, culture, archaeological aspects, and architectural significance of its listings. This includes the accessory fixtures (monuments, for example) and the environmental preferences of the area. It is also in charge of implementing Cambridge's Historic Zoning ordinances. In regard to Cambridge, they focus mainly on the heritage of the city and its beautiful and extensive waterfront within the Historic District.

To accomplish this, the Historic Preservation Commission is required to review and issue “Certificates of Appropriateness” (COA's) for all exterior improvements to properties in the District. The improvements must fall into the aesthetics of Georgian, Federal, Greek & Gothic Revival, Queen Anne, Colonial Revival, American Four-Square, Bungalow and Art Deco styles; just to name a few.

The Historic Preservation Commission is appointed by the Cambridge City Council. Most of the members are residents. It is essential that the members demonstrate an interest in historic preservation via training, education, employment, or experience in the Historic area.

There are many resources available to assist you in the repairs and renovations in a Historic Cambridge property at the Maryland Historic Trust (MHT) online. The MHT is a reserve of financial assistance programs that can help private property owners in Wards I and III. Also, the Maryland Sustainable Communities Tax Credit can provide a 20% tax credit off your Maryland State Income taxes for the year in which you file for the credit. Refer to the Federal Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit program if your property is income-producing. Click here for more info on Historic Preservation Loans available.

If you’re interested in coming to take a look at the grand, picturesque, homes in the West End area, contact my team at EXIT On The Bay Realty right here in Cambridge, Maryland.

Dorchester County Waterfront Properties for Sale - Daniel W. Shoemaker III Broker/Owner/REALTOR - EXIT On The Bay Realty. Specializing in Hoopers Island, Wingate, Woolford, Church CreekCambridgeHudson/Neck DistrictEast New Market and all nearby areas. Dedicated to providing the care, professionalism and due diligence you not only expect -- but deserve. Call or text me, Dan Shoemaker, today! - (410) 353-4387