Historic Preservation

Historic Preservation Program

Since its incorporation as a town in the 18th century, Bel Air has been a central part of Harford County development and history.  To preserve this heritage, the Town Historic Preservation Program seeks to provide assistance in preserving architecturally significant properties and focus attention on community history. These resources serve as visible reminders of Town history and help to maintain and enhance the character of the community fostering a sense of civic pride and an appreciation of a shared heritage among citizens.

Historic Preservation Commission

The Historic Preservation Commission reviews and recommends historic designation of applicable sites to the Bel Air Board of Town Commissioners for designation by resolution.  The Commission also reviews proposed plans for renovation, additions, or demolition of designated historic sites to assure protection of historic resources.

Historic Designation

Properties which have been surveyed through the Maryland Historical Trust and are 50 years of age are eligible for Historic Site Designation.  The Bel Air Historic Preservation Commission will review property owner requests for designation during a public hearing.  If the Commission determines that the property is significant, the request is then forwarded to the Bel Air Board of Town Commissioners for final approval.  A formal resolution accompanies the request.

Historic Properties in Bel Air

Bel Air has 52 locally designated historic properties:  Each of these sites has been determined by the Bel Air Historic Preservation Commission and the Board of Town Commissioners to be of historic, archeological or architectural significance to the Town. To inquire about a specific property, please contact the Bel Air Planning Department at 410-638-4540 or 410-879-9500.

Adaptive Re-Use of Buildings

and the prestige of national designation, these properties are also eligible for federal and state tax credit and grant programs.

Historic Walking & Driving Tour

A historic walking tour brochure outlines the history of the Town and provides a glimpse of the history and architecture.

Maintaining Your Old House

The "To Maintain and Restore Your Old House" brochure gives information on the repair or replacement of siding, doors, windows, roofs, shutters, porches and gutters and downspouts.  There is also a section regarding new construction, as well as information on tax credit eligibility for designated historic properties. If you own or are considering purchasing a historic home in Bel Air, this information is valuable.