In light of ongoing debate over the development of several historic cemeteries across the state, including the Christopher Cemetery in Baltimore, Maryland, Preservation Maryland Executive Director Nicholas Redding issued the following statement:
Historic cemeteries, like historic buildings and landscapes, provide critical connections between our past and future. Cemeteries literally contain the physical remnants – human remains – of our past. Cemeteries are evocative and powerful places that speak to descendants and casual visitors equally.
These silent and serene places are also worthy and deserving our respect and continued vigilance. Paving over cemeteries is never an acceptable or appropriate way to honor or preserve our historic burial grounds.
Moving forward, Preservation Maryland will continue to support the preservation of our state’s historic cemeteries. Whether through our partnership Six-to-Fix project with the Coalition for the Protection of Maryland Burial Sites or our planned project with the Maryland State Highway Administration to document historic cemeteries in a first-of-its-kind GIS database, we are committed to taking real and substantive action to protect these places.
We also believe that the state and jurisdictions across it should work proactively to protect historic cemeteries and make it clear that development of places made hallowed with human remains are not appropriate for development.