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Help with property-preservation questions coming to Hagerstown

Pop-Up shops were introduced in Hagerstown a few years ago to bring shoppers and small-business owners together for a weekend blitz that generated excitement in the community. But Pop-Up Preservation Offices? That’s a new concept.Preservation Maryland is setting up shop to see if there’s interest, Nicholas Redding, executive director for Preservation Maryland, said in a phone interview.

The pop-up, which is supported by the Rural Maryland Council, will be staffed by a Preservation Maryland employee and local partners. In Washington County, the partner is the Heart of the Civil War Heritage area. The target audience is historic-property owners, those considering buying a historic property, people who serve on organizations who own historic properties and more. Redding said the plan is to “get out in the field and be more accessible to folks who are trying to do this work around the state,” in rural counties far from the group’s Baltimore headquarters. The office is going to Carroll County, Garrett County, Washington County and the Eastern shore, each for one day.

Washington County will have the first Pop-Up Preservation Office on Thursday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The temporary pop-up office will be at the Washington County Historical Society, 135 W. Washington St., Hagerstown. The goal is to “break down some of the barriers,” answer questions about historic properties, how historic districts work, how tax credits work and other issues related to historic properties and preservation, Redding said. “We’ll see how it works out. It’s a test. The idea of a pop-up office is new,” Redding said. He said helping just one person with a difficult preservation-related issue would be enough, although the office would be happy to help more. “Saving one historic property is a success for us. And to have better dialogue with people in Washington County,” Redding said.

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