Rehabilitating and restoring an old building or house is an exciting challenge. Although the process can be difficult, your hard work will be richly rewarded when you successfully complete your project. The Pratt Library owns a large collection of books, videos, and other sources to help make your historic home more charming, authentic and livable. There are also a variety of Web sources to help you with you work.
The following list is a small sampling of the sources available in the Pratt Central Library, but a more comprehensive list is available in PDF form.
American Society of Landscape Architects, Maryland Chapter
The Maryland Chapter of ASLA is the professional association for landscape architects, representing more than 275 members within Maryland.
Application for Notice-to-Proceed Permit (PDF)
Exterior changes to all properties within Baltimore City's historic districts, and local Landmark structures must be presented to the Commission for Historical and Architectural Preservation (CHAP) for review and approval.
Baltimore Architecture Foundation
A non-profit, educational, public-oriented outreach organization, which focuses its attention and energies on helping to promote an understanding of and an appreciation for Baltimore's built environment.
Baltimore Chapter of The American Institute of Architects
The local chapter of the AIA has a committee dedicated to issues pertaining to historic resources.
Baltimore City Commission for Historical and Architectural Preservation (CHAP)
The CHAP Mission is to enhance and promote the culture and economy of Baltimore through the preservation of buildings, structures, sites and neighborhoods that have aesthetic, historic and architectural value.
Baltimore City Historic Districts
Baltimore City Historic District is an area in Baltimore City where there are buildings and structures that have demonstrated special architectural, historical, cultural, economic, social, or community significance.
Baltimore County Historic Preservation
Including county landmarks, historic districts, and tax credit information.
Baltimore's Antique Row
Directory of shops in Baltimore’s antique shopping district along Howard and Read Streets.
Built in America: Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS)/Historic American Engineering Record (HAER), 1933-Present
The HABS and HAER collections at the Library of Congress document achievements in architecture, engineering, and design in the United States through a comprehensive range of building types and engineering technologies.
Illustrated Guidelines for Rehabilitating Historic Buildings
From the National Park Service
John Leeke's Historic Homeworks
Helping owners, tradespeople, contractors and professionals understand and maintain their historic and older buildings.
Maryland Historical Trust
It is the responsibility of the Trust's Office of Preservation Services to help Marylanders appreciate the need to preserve the buildings, bridges, structures, and archeological resources that form the fabric of our past.
National Park Service: Technical Preservation Services Preservation Briefs
More than 40 pamphlets instructing on preserving, rehabilitating and restoring historic buildings are freely available at this site
National Register of Historic Places
The National Register is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect our historic and archeological resources.
National Register Properties in Maryland Search
Explore Maryland's National Register properties.
National Trust for Historic Preservation
The National Trust for Historic Preservation is a private, nonprofit membership organization dedicated to saving historic places and revitalizing America's communities.
An online resource for historic preservation, building restoration, and cultural resource management in the United States and Canada.
Regional Information Center at the Baltimore Metropolitan Council
Information on access to building permits in the Baltimore area.
Baltimore Furniture: The Work of Baltimore and Annapolis Cabinetmakers from 1760 to 1810 by the Baltimore Museum of Art
Maryland Department XNK2406.B3Q REFERENCE
Furniture in Maryland, 1740-1940: The Collection of the Maryland Historical Society by the Maryland Historical Society
Maryland Department XNK2435.M3M37 1984Q REFERENCE
Miller's Late Georgian to Edwardian Furniture Buyer's Guide by Jonty Hearnden
Fine Arts & Recreation Department (X)NK2528.M557 2003Q
The Architecture of Baltimore: An Illustrated History by Mary Ellen Hayward and Frank R. Shivers, Jr.
Maryland Department (X)NA735.B3A73 2004Q
The Baltimore Rowhouse by Mary Ellen Hayward and Charles Belfoure Maryland Department (X)NA7238.B3H38 1999
Directory of Heritage and Preservation Organizations: Alphabetical Listings by the Maryland Association of History Museums
Maryland Department (X)F176 .M4 2002
Great Houses of Maryland by Susan Stiles Dowell
Maryland Department (X)NA730.M3D67 1988Q
Historic Preservation Services/Programs: A Guide for Maryland Citizens & Communities by the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development: Division of Historical and Cultural Programs
Maryland Department (X)F173.M371992
Researching the History of Your House: Instructions and Guide to Local Institutions by Debbie Washington
Maryland Department (X)F189.6.A23W37 1993Q
Tracing the History of the Baltimore Structure: A Guide to the Primary and Secondary Sources by Richard J. Cox
Maryland Department (X)NA735.B3C69
Legal Guide to Buying and Selling Art and Collectibles by Armen R. Vartian
Fine Arts & Recreation Department (X)N8770.V37 1997
Judith Miller's Color: Period and Regional Style from Around the World by Judith Miller
Fine Arts & Recreation Department NK2115.5.C6M55 2000Q
Paint and Color in Decoration by Tom Helme
Fine Arts & Recreation Department NK2115.5.C6H45 2004Q
Historic Preservation: Project Planning & Estimating by the Swanke Hayden Connell Architects
Business, Science & Technology Department XTH3411.S92 2000Q REFERENCE
Historical and Architectural Preservation Laws of Baltimore City: Article 6 of the Baltimore City Code by the Mayor and City Council of Baltimore, Dept. of Legislative Reference
Maryland Department XF189.4.B35 2000 REFERENCE
The Rehab Guide by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development
Business, Science & Technology Department (X)TH4816.R43 1997Q vol.1-9
Colonial Style: Creating Classic Interiors in Your Cape, Colonial, or Saltbox Home by Treena Crochet
Fine Arts & Recreation Department NK2003.C76 2005Q
The V&A Guide to Period Styles: 400 Years of British Art and Design by Anna Jackson
Fine Arts & Recreation Department NK2043.J32 2002Q
Victorian Style by Judith Miller
Fine Arts & Recreation Department NK2115.5.V53 M55 2005Q
* Windows and Trim
Historic Millwork: A Guide to Restoring and Re-Creating Doors, Windows, and Moldings of the Late Nineteenth through Mid-Twentieth Centuries by Brent Hull
Business, Science & Technology Department XTH2270.H85 2003Q REFERENCE
New Spaces from Salvage: Creating Perfect Interiors from Recovered Architecture by Thomas J. O'Gorman
Fine Arts & Recreation Department NK2115.5.A73 035 2002Q
How to Paint a Baltimore Screen by Elaine Eff
Sights & Sounds Department Video Reserve Collection
Little Castles: A Formstone Phenomenon by Lillian Bowers
Sights & Sounds Department Video Reserve Collection
The Maryland Department includes a collection of over 7,000 clipping (or "vertical") files. These files generally date back to the 1920s or early 1930s and may include among their contents articles from newspapers or magazine, flyers, brochures and notices.
Among the 20,000 black-and-white photographs in the Maryland collection are images that will show exterior and some interior design of homes and other buildings. The collection is Baltimore oriented, but includes other parts of the state as well.
Useful indexes are available for searching in the Maryland Department. There is an index to Maryland Historical Magazine that covers the publication from 1906-1978 (after 1978 there is an annual cumulative index at the end of the year). Also, indexes to The Sun (1891-1959; 1983-1989) and Evening Sun (1910-1955; 1983-1989) are housed in the Maryland Department.
The Central Library houses a large collection of Maryland newspapers on microfilm. Many of these titles date back to the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and are useful for identifying lifestyle and furnishings of their respective eras.
Atlases and maps
Maps and detailed atlases offer a novel approach to learning more about historic neighborhoods, construction and when houses were erected.
This guide should enable you to start your work on your historic home or building. If you do not have access to the Pratt Library, please try your local library for assistance. Those without library access, or customers who may need additional assistance can contact the Library via e-mail, by phone at (410) 396-5430, or by mail at:
Enoch Pratt Free Library
Central Library/State Library Resource Center
400 Cathedral Street
Baltimore, MD 21201