Howard County Times

Four Ellicott City buildings set to be demolished as part of flood mitigation plan could come down in spring

Thank you for supporting our journalism. This article is available exclusively for our subscribers, who help fund our work at The Baltimore Sun.

The demolition of four buildings on Main Street as part of the Ellicott City flood mitigation efforts could begin in spring 2022 if all approvals are in place, according to Howard County officials.

“We’re tentatively planning to begin demolition in spring 2022,” said Shaina Hernandez, senior adviser of policy for County Executive Calvin Ball’s administration.


As part of the Ellicott City Safe and Sound plan, the four lower Main Street buildings scheduled to be demolished — Phoenix Emporium, Great Panes Art Glass Studio, Discoveries and Bean Hollow — will allow other aspects of the planned flood mitigation plan to work, including installing a culvert under Maryland Avenue connecting the Tiber-Hudson to the Patapsco and boring the north tunnel parallel to Main Street from 8800 Frederick Road to the Patapsco River.

“We have some preliminary approvals,” Sharon Walsh, chief of design and construction for the Howard County Department of Public Works’ Bureau of Facilities, said Thursday. “Nothing is set in stone.”


The community’s historic district was ravaged by floods that left two dead in 2016 and one in 2018, resulted in millions in damage and sent more than 8 feet of water on Main Street after rainwater overwhelmed the Tiber River and poured out of the channel.

Demolition on Main Street should take about four to six months once it begins, Walsh estimated.

Howard County Times: Top stories


Daily highlights from Howard County's number one source for local news.

“We certainly want to have the minimum disruption to the neighbors and businesses,” Walsh said. “We will do it as efficiently as possible.”

Six other buildings will have their back portions removed, though their facades will remain unchanged. It is unclear if the buildings will then be connected to form one or remain separate. Caplan’s, at 8125 Main St., has already had its rear portion removed.

Any historically significant architectural items on or in the buildings will be removed and preserved, Walsh said. Some of the buildings’ granite stone will also be repurposed, she said.

Once the demolition is complete, the plan calls for extending Tiber Park to create a plaza, which will be done in phases, Walsh said.

The Safe and Sound plan also includes the creation of a flood mitigation pond at the intersection of Route 40 and Rogers Avenue to increase water retention, and retrofitting the existing Quaker Mill Pond on Rogers Avenue, among other projects.

The county sent a letter of intent to apply for Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act funding from the Environmental Protection Agency earlier this year and is still waiting to hear if it has been approved. If the county receives the funding, which Ball has said he was confident would happen, it can borrow up to 49% of the cost of the Safe and Sound plan. The remaining 51% would be funded by the county and through other sources. The county would not have to repay the loan until construction is complete.


The entirety of the Safe and Sound plan is estimated to cost $113 million to $140 million and be completed by mid-2025.