The School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation's Historic Preservation program has secured Bostwick, one of only four remaining pre-Revolutionary War structures in Bladensburg, MD.
As part of the memorandum of understanding between the University of Maryland and the Town of Bladensburg, preservation faculty and students will use the 1746 mansion, its outbuildings, and approximately seven acres of grounds owned by the Town of Bladensburg as a laboratory for hands-on learning. Courses taught at the property will include those that have the simultaneous benefit of the preservation of Bostwick. Some major concerns about the property include: water issues, foundation movement, plaster damage, overrun gardens, and landscaping.
The program's focus in not only on the preservation of the structure, but the cultural history as well. "This is more than just a big, old house," says Don Linebaugh, director of the program, who lives in an 18th century laundry house on the property. "Slaves and indentured servants lived and worked here, and their story has yet to be told. I am looking forward to what our historical research and archaeology will bring to light about their stories."
Bostwick will also serve as a site for community enrichment. Preservation faculty will teach classes, workshops and seminars, open to the public, on topics such as: how to preserve your historic home, how to make your historic home more energy efficient, and excavating the history of your historic property.
Bostwick is on the National Registry of Historic Places and once served as the private residence for Benjamin Stoddert, the first Secretary of the United States Navy. The official signing of the memorandum of understanding was March 4, 2008.