Baltimore's Restored Mill No. 1. Image courtesy Terra Nova Ventures, LLC.
During National Historic Preservation Advocacy Week, six projects were awarded “Preservation’s Best.” Congressional Historic Preservation Caucus Co-Chairs Michael Turner and Rush Holt, along with US Senators and Members of Congress representing the project winners attended to recognize and present the award to their constituents.

Through federal incentives like the historic tax credit, historic preservation drives economic development and community revitalization across the nation by taking historically significant buildings, that are dated and abandoned, and turning them into viable community assets in a 21st Century economy. “Preservation’s Best of 2013” highlight exemplary historic tax credit projects that revitalize our cities and small towns, and breathe new life into our communities.

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Mill No. 1, Baltimore, MD

Mill No. 1 enjoys an important history along the Jones Falls, starting as a cotton mill in 1847 and in 1973 becoming the home of Life Like Products. The Mount Vernon Company, which operated several mills in the Jones Valley, became the world’s largest producer of cotton duck in the late 19th century, supplying cotton for sails, uniforms, tents and parachutes for the army. The collection of buildings, listed on the National Register for Historic Places, dates from 1845 to 1918.

Rep. Elijah Cummings congratulates David Tufaro of Terra Nova Ventures on the restoration of Mill No. 1; also pictured, Jennifer Nolley, Charles Alexander, Betty Bird, Vicki Vaughn and Kimberly Laird.

Rep. Elijah Cummings congratulates David Tufaro of Terra Nova Ventures on the restoration of Mill No. 1; also pictured, Jennifer Nolley, Terra Nova Ventures;  Betty Bird, historic consultant; Vicki Vaughn, Chesapeake Community Advisors; and Kimberly Laird, Bank of America.

Terra Nova Ventures, LLC, used a mix of financing from state and federal historic tax credits and new market tax credits to rehabilitate Mill No. 1 into offices, apartments, and restaurants. The buildings rehabilitated in accordance with historic preservation guidelines included Mt. Vernon Mill No. 1, a concrete warehouse building, the “Picker Building” and the “Store House.”

The project included restoring the historic architecture and character of the buildings while rebuilding the interior to fit new uses, including apartments, office, restaurant spaces, and parking. Restaurant spaces will be located in the 3,859 sf boiler room, featuring a clerestory and exposed stone walls and in the 4,405 sf Picker building, featuring vaulted ceilings, exposed stone and brick walls, overlooking of the Jones Falls. The office spaces contain approximately 42,000 sf with views of the Jones Falls and unique spaces. The 90 apartments will be a blend of studio, studio lofts, one bedroom and two bedroom spaces averaging 908 sf with market rate rents, situated in the building so as to command views of the river. Parking to serve the mixed use will be contained primarily within the large mill building, with a few surface spaces.

More Building History

Content courtesy Terra Nova Ventures, LLC

Mill No. 1 enjoys an important history along the Jones Falls starting as a cotton mill in 1847 and in 1973 becoming the home of Life Like Properties, a model train and hobbies warehouse. In 1847, David Carroll and Horatio Gambrill converted Laurel Mill to Mount Vernon Mill No. 1 and started Mt. Vernon Company with William Kennedy. The large mill, known as Mt. Vernon Mill No. 1 was built in 1873 following a fire that destroyed the original 1847 building. The small L- shaped building, known as the “Picker Building” dates from 1873 with a later addition in 1879. The “Store House” was a later addition and concrete building, connected to the Mill No. 1 by a pedestrian bridge, was built in 1918. All of these buildings create a unique piece of history along the beautiful setting of the Jones Falls and are well connected to the surrounding mill neighborhoods, including Stone Hill and Brick Hill, built by the Mount Vernon Company for employee housing. In the late 19th Century, the company provided the world’s largest supply of cotton duck, supplying cloth for uniforms, knapsacks, tents, and parachutes during the Civil War, WWI and WWII. In 1973, the Mt. Vernon Company sold the buildings to Life-Like, and continues production to this day in North Carolina.

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