Renovating and Reinvigorating Historic Buildings

Public use for the public good

All of the properties purchased by the county will remain public assets until flood mitigation projects are complete. The county will undertake an analysis to determine the best public use for the buildings. Once partial demolition of structures over the stream channel is complete, the buildings will be renovated. 

The flood mitigation option selected by County Executive Ball as part of phase 2 of the Ellicott City Safe and Sound plan achieves the goal of prioritizing public safety while retaining more of Ellicott City's historic charm. The plan calls for the removal of 4 buildings on Main Street in order to complete critical capital projects and the partial removal of 6 additional buildings in order to remove constrictions over the stream channel.   

As promised, in December 2018 the county resumed negotiations with property owners who received an official purchase offer under the previous administration. To date, the county has acquired 10 properties on lower Main Street, 4 properties on the West End, and 2 properties in Valley Mede. Structural engineers have inspected buildings where needed. Stabilization efforts have been completed, including the removal of the rear of Caplan’s, preserving the historic character of the façade.

Acquisition and Demolition Update


Green = Buildings or rear additions to be demolished. Historical building components to be salvaged

Purple/Pink = Buildings that will remain.

Blue = Approximate location of active flowing stream


Acquisition Dates

December 2018

9513 Long View Drive

March 2019

8081 Main Street

August 2019

9514 Longview Drive

8611 Frederick Road

8512 Frederick Road

April 2020

8049 Main Street

9520 Longview Road

January 2021

9506 Longview Road

January 2019

8777 Frederick Road

April 2019

8085 Main Street

8095 & 8101 Main Street

8125 Main Street

9509 Long View Drive

October 2019

8055 Main Street

May 2020

8629 Frederick Road

February 2019

8069 Main Street

8109-8113 Main Street

May 2019

8059 Main Street

January 2020

8601 Frederick Road

August 2020

8639 Frederick Road

Frequently Asked Questions

Are there plans to rebuild Caplan’s?

Since the County has acquired Caplan’s, significant measures have been implemented to stabilize the front portion of the building. This includes removing flood debris, installing permanent shoring and bracing, and planning for future improvements. The County plans to construct dry floodproofing at the new rear (south) side of the building, and also is currently working to develop conceptual options for reconstruction of the façade.

Why did Caplan’s get so damaged?

Caplan’s is situated at the bottom of the hill where Main Street turns, which makes Caplan’s both a focal point of the streetscape and more vulnerable to damage from flooding. Caplan’s is the first building along Lower Main Street that is built over the stream channel; and it has taken the brunt of the damage along the rear of the building from strong flood waters and storm debris.

What are the plans for the newly acquired buildings on Lower Main Street?

The buildings purchased by the county will remain a public asset until all flood mitigation projects are complete. All of the structures over the stream channel will need to be demolished in order to remove constrictions. The county will undertake a federal section 106 review in order to perform that work. In the meantime, all of the building interiors have been cleared of storm debris and water-damaged finishes. Many storefronts along Main Street have been rebuilt with display windows in order to provide a weather resistant and attractive façade while final plans are developed and approved.

Can the existing buildings along Lower Main Street be restored to the pre-2018 flood conditions?

The buildings along Lower Main Street will need to change based on hydraulic studies. No first-floor structures can remain over the stream channels.

What work has been completed on Lower Main Street?

Extensive work has been ongoing on the county-owned buildings on Main Street. All of the properties acquired by the county were initially assessed for structural integrity. Most buildings have also undergone some degree of clean out and/or repair activities. New doors or windows were installed at 8081 Main Street (Tea on the Tiber), 8085 Main Street (Portalli’s), 8095 Main Street (Shoemaker Country) and 8111-8113 Main Street. Façade repairs and shadowboxes were also completed at 8085 Main Street, 8095 Main Street, and 8111-8113 Main Street. Several buildings, including the former Caplan’s Department Store at 8125 Main Street had basements filled in to further ensure structural integrity. Mold remidiation work was also completed as needed.