Senator Theatre Refused Historic Tax Credit

Senator Theatre Refused Historic Tax Credit

Maryland Historical Trust Selects 10 properties for credit.

  Reisterstown resident Austin Crise adjusts the Senator's marquee following a community meeting Wednesday night. Interestingly, Crise worked for 12 years in the theater under its previous owner. A friend, also a former Senator employee and a current manager at The Charles Theatre, asked him to help on Wednesday. "I've been here forever, so I had to come here tonight," he said. "Met my wife here... a lot of memories."
The Senator Theatre is not included on a list of properties receiving historic tax credits from the state this year, North Baltimore Patch reported here first.

J. Rodney Little, director of the Maryland Historical Trust, told North Baltimore Patch in an interview this week that the 71-year-old art deco theater is not among 10 properties to receive the 2010 credits.

The tax credit was expected to help finance renovations proposed by James “Buzz” Cusack, who is leasing the theater from the city. 

The historic tax credits in Maryland are awarded through a competitive process similar to the way grants are awarded. The theater was one of 36 to apply for the credit, Little said. 

He said the Senator was not chosen for a tax credit for various reasons including the completeness of the plans for the proposed renovations to the theater and concerns about meeting interior design standards.

“There were various factors, that’s not by any means to say it was a horrible project,” Little said.

He also said the funds available this year for the tax credits were limited.

Councilman Bill Henry, District 4, said in an e-mail that he is hopeful there would still be a way to deal with the state will continue to be a partner with the city and the Cusacks on the project.

“After so many have worked so hard to try to preserve the Senator Theatre as both a nationally-recognized historic treasure and an economic engine for North Baltimore, I would hope that the state would find a way to continue to partner with the city and the Cusacks in moving this project forward,” Henry wrote. 

Calls for comment to Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake’s office and James “Buzz” Cusack for comment were not immediately returned. 

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