Press Release: August 10, 2016
As the various components of the Downtown Frederick Hotel and Conference Center project begin to take shape, an important element is about to occur. Over the next several weeks, archaeological testing will take place at the site. This work relates to both the Birely Tannery as well as the Frederick Railway Terminal Building, better known as the Trolley Building.
The Maryland Historical Trust (MHT), a state agency, requested preservation and archaeology information for the Tannery, in particular, as its history is not well documented. This work is a first step toward many preservation activities and strategies required for the Downtown Hotel Project. To fulfill the state’s request as well as City requirements, application was made to MHT, the City of Frederick and the Catoctin & Frederick Soil Conservation Districts to allow the archaeology work to occur. The City’s archaeology advisor reviewed the plans, permits have been secured and schedules are being coordinated. Archaeology work will commence on August 17th.
"The public should be prepared to see activity on the site," said Pete Plamondon of Plamondon Hospitality Partners, developer of the Downtown Frederick Hotel Project, "and we're excited about this next step. A dig of this magnitude has not been completed downtown since the early 1990s."
The archaeology will be performed by Kerns CRM Consultants, who has completed projects in Frederick and throughout the state. Dr. Mechelle Kerns, owner and adjunct history professor at the US Naval Academy, will oversee the removal of surface material as well as perform archaeological testing, research and reporting. The excavations and reporting will employ procedures consistent with City and State preservation guidelines. It is anticipated that their fieldwork will take a couple of weeks to complete, weather permitting.
Once the fieldwork is complete, results of the testing will be presented in a report to Kann Partners (the Preservation Architect on the project team) for consultation with the State and City on preservation matters. These findings, along with the historic research and documentation of the buildings within the project area, will be used for evaluation and planning to develop the most effective approach for preservation, mitigation, and interpretation of the historic property.
Plamondon added, "We encourage everyone to come watch our consultants in action. This process will be fun and we're hoping to find some artifacts that will help us tell the story of the Tannery. Our consultants are industry experts. We're committed to a healthy preservation ethic and strategies that enhance our efforts in bringing this exciting project to downtown."
Contact: Pete Plamondon, Jr.
Plamondon Hospitality Partners