The Belmont estate in Elkridge is getting a name change to Belmont Manor Historic Park, according to The Baltimore Sun.
John Byrd, director of Recreation and Parks for Howard County, told Elkridge Patch that signage will change soon.
“We named it Belmont Manor Historic Park to reflect the public ownership,” Byrd said.
Howard County purchased the Elkridge estate—an 18th-century mansion, barn, carriage house and additional buildings on 82 acres—in June.
Under its previous owners—which in the past three decades included the Smithsonian, American Chemical Society and Howard Community College—the estate was called Belmont Conference Center.
The name change reflects the shift in use, according to Byrd.
“It will function more as a park in terms of what we offer there,” said Byrd.
Among plans for the property are allowing environmental nonprofits to use the space for educational and recreational purposes.
Three county employees are working from the maintenance shop on the premises making repairs, Byrd said.
Howard County will invest $500,000 to $600,000 in maintenance prior to opening the estate to the public, according to The Baltimore Sun.
The money will go toward the following, Byrd told Patch:
- lead paint mitigation
- addressing minor soil contamination around fuel oil tanks
- tree pruning and removal
- fence repair
- carpet and paint updates inside manor house
- furnishings for public use (phone/furniture)
To offset the expense of running the estate, County Executive Ken Ulman proposed selling the Dobbin House, which is a 13-acre property and guest house just outside the gate to Belmont.
The County Council approved the proposal on July 26 on the condition that all proceeds would go toward maintaining Belmont.
The estate may be open to the public in summer/fall 2013, reported The Baltimore Sun.
- County Executive Proposes Selling Dobbin House
- Belmont to Become Nature Park
- Elkridge Pleased by Belmont Decision
- County Anticipates Next Steps on Acquiring Belmont Estate