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Berlin’s HDC approves plans for Burley Manor barn project

The Burley Manor house appears picturesque under the changing leaves on South Main Street. The Berlin Historic District Commission approved owner Edward Hammond III’s plans to restore a barn on the property during a meeting last Wednesday.

By Rachel Ravina, Staff Writer

(Oct. 10, 2019) The barn at Burley Manor is nearer to being restored to its former glory after receiving the support of the Berlin Historic District Commission last week.

“This is your family heritage,” Commission member Mary Moore said to property owner Edward Hammond III after he presented plans for the barn on 313 S. Main St.

Hammond said he wants to take a meticulous approach to the restoration.

“It’s good for it to be maintained to maintain a living link to the town’s past, which is, I think … [is] an important part of what attracts people to the town today,” Hammond told the Bayside Gazette.

He said he plans to do that by using “salvageable materials” and matching as many of the original materials as possible.

“I mean, unfortunately … some of the materials that that building was originally made of are simply unobtainable now,” he said.

The home and barn date to 1835, according to historian Paul Touart’s “Along the Seaboard Side: The Architectural History of Worcester County, Maryland.”

The barn’s brick foundation was rebuilt in 2015, according to the proposal submitted to the town’s Historic District Commission. Hammond also said the barn was made of cypress wood.

Hammond said he, along with his contractor, Shawn Widgeon, hopes to complete the project by next spring. Once it’s finished, he said he plans to use the space for storage. Hammond added that the building needs a complete restoration.

“It will literally fall down within five or 10 years if this isn’t done,” he said.

Hammond said restoring the barn felt “like an obligation to do that,” referring to what his parents, the late Edward Hammond Jr. and Page Smoot Hammond had done to enable Berlin’s revitalization.

“It’s just something that runs in our blood, I suppose to want to do that,” Hammond said.

The property “was cited as one of the most significant dwellings in Berlin,” according to Touart’s work. He may also consult on the project, according to the proposal.

Commission member Norman Bunting moved to approve Hammond’s request, which Moore seconded. The vote was unanimous.

Berlin’s Historic District Commission Chairwoman Carol Rose and Vice-Chairman Dr. Robert Poli were absent from last Wednesday’s meeting.

Correction: This article was updated to reflect the correct name of Hammond’s mother as Page Smoot Hammond.