Annapolis Statehouse
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Easement Program

Historic Annapolis holds more than fifty preservation easements on properties throughout the historic district of Annapolis. A preservation easement is a legal tool that guarantees the long-term protection of historic properties in private ownership. It is an agreement between a property owner and holder of the easement that governs how the current and future owners must treat the property.

In conveying an easement intended to preserve the exterior façade of a structure and/or the scenic views and surroundings, a property owner surrenders the rights of future owners and themselves in making unrestricted alterations to the exterior (or interior, should there be an easement on the interior) of the building. The owner may make alterations, however, they will be subject to review and approval by the holder of the easement.

A building owner retains the property title, together with all privileges and obligations of ownership—including the right to sell or lease the property.

There are tax benefits involved in granting a preservation easement. The Internal Revenue Code permits an owner to donate (or grant) a partial or full interest in a historic property to a tax-exempt charitable organization and receive a tax deduction. The owner may get a deduction for granting a preservation easement if three conditions are met:

  1. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, or is a contributing building within the boundaries of a historic district.
  2. The easement is donated to a “qualified organization” (such as Historic Annapolis) that is able to hold, monitor, and enforce the easement.
  3. The easement is granted in perpetuity.

To learn more about preservation easements, or inquire about an easement Historic Annapolis holds on your property, please contact Karen Brown at 410.990.4513 or