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The Perry Hall Improvement Association was formed in 1945 to “beautify, safeguard,
encourage and improve the physical, moral and spiritual living conditions of the people
who reside in or are influenced by the community of Perry Hall.” The association defined
the area as “power lines on Belair Road near St. Joseph’s Church, on South, by Gunpowder
Falls on North Joppa Road & Cowenton Avenue on East to power lines on Joppa Road near
Simms Avenue.” The first meeting was held on July 31, 1945. The Association started
in response to the proposed establishment of a cemetery on Joppa Road near Belair
Road. This commercial venture was successfully defeated; the first of the Association’s
many attempts to balance commercial and residential interests in the area.
Through the 1940s and ‘50s the Association successfully campaigned for reduced speed
limits near the Perry Hall School, got street signs installed by the state on Route
40, and mounted several successful protests against rezoning for light industry and
waste disposal (auto junkyard and garbage dump). Contacts with other area associations
were established and although membership and attendance fell through the late 1950s
the association continued to monitor and protest commercial development in the area.
The 1960s saw renewed interest in the Association and its activities. Successful lobbying
resulted in the establishment of the Perry Hall branch of the Baltimore County public
library and the formal change of name from Fullerton to Perry Hall by the Post Office.
Traffic, roadway maintenance and zoning continued to be the major areas of concern.
After 1965, zoning becomes the predominant area of interest for the Association. The
Baltimore County rezoning plan, driven by the increase in population in the area and
a desire to draw more commercial interests included many changes for the Perry Hall
area. The history of the Association through the late 1960s and 1970s is one of almost
constant protest or appeal of various zoning decisions by the Baltimore County Planning
Board. In 1970, the Association celebrated its 25th anniversary with the publication
of a history of the area, “An Invitation to Memory” and in 1976 was responsible for
coordinating many of the Bicentennial celebrations in the area.
The 1980s again saw a decline in interest and membership in the Association. This
may have been because rezoning disputes had been resolved for the most part and/or
because increased population, housing and commercial interests in the area had moderated
Perry Hall’s strictly residential emphasis. The proliferation of other interest groups
in the area and of umbrella organizations serving the entire county presumably reduced
the appeal of the Association.
Organized into eleven series: Series I. Bylaws, 1945-1984. Series II. Histories, 1945-1976.
Series III. Rosters, 1945-1984. Series IV. Minutes, 1945-1981. Series V. Financial
and Legal Documents, 1948-1980. Series VI. Correspondence, 1945-1986. Series VII.
Laws and Regulations, 1955-1980. Series VIII. Case Files, 1963-1980. Series IX. Publications,
1970-1988. Series X. Clippings, 1960-1980, n.d. Series XI. Research Files, 1945-1986.
This collection of the records and documents from the Perry Hall Improvement Association
(PHIA) covers the period from the establishment of the Association in 1945 through
1986. The majority of the material covers the period during the 1960’s and 1970’s
when Baltimore County was experiencing rapid expansion. Extensive rezoning was underway
to accommodate population growth and businesses wishing to expand into the county
in areas formerly exclusively residential. The PHIA took an active interest in the
rezoning process, acting as advocate for individual property owners fighting zoning
changes and the allocation of residential property for commercial use. Case files
of zoning cases or appeals in which the Association had an interest are present. Much
of the correspondence in the collection is between the PHIA and the different offices
of the county involved with zoning and county services. There are reports and bulletins
from county and state offices, the zoning commission and planning board, primarily
from the late 1960’s and 1970’s. Copies of zoning laws and building codes are available
from different periods.
Internal documents of the Association cover the period from 1945 through 1981. The
by-laws and amendments and the business license of the Association are present. Minutes
of the regular monthly meetings are generally complete for 1945 through 1981. Minutes
of the Board of Directors and Special Committees are sporadic, primarily in the late
1950s and 1960s. Rosters of the membership of the association, both active and inactive,
dues paid lists and attendance sheets are available for most of the period through
the 1970’s. Treasurers’ reports and other financial records are present for individual
years. Programs from Association events and a history of Perry Hall compiled and published
by the Association are present. Clippings from local newspapers are included but not
well documented, often without dates of publication. Miscellaneous material and files
on subjects or groups peripheral to the association are grouped as research files.
MSS 1994-04; The papers of the Perry Hall Improvement Association (PHIA) was donated
in 1994 by Mrs. Genevieve Buetttner, a long time member of the PHIA Board of Directors.
The papers of the Perry Hall Improvement Association (PHIA), an advocacy group founded
in 1945 by the residents of Perry Hall, Maryland became part of the UMBC Special Collections
in 1994 when it was donated by Mrs. Genevieve Buetttner, a long time member of the
PHIA Board of Directors. Accession records are not specific as to date of receipt
or where the papers had been kept prior to coming to UMBC. The collection arrived
at UMBC in nine cardboard boxes, unnumbered and without an existing order. The records
and papers were in plastic bags, loose-leaf notebooks, manilla envelopes and folders,
with no arrangement other than within individual notebooks or files. The collection
was processed and the finding aid written by Drew Alfgren, under the supervision of
Marcia Peri, Archivist, in August, 1999.
Describing Archives: a Content Standard (DACS)
Archives Processing Manual: Description (2015): The processing manual used in Special Collections for all descriptive platforms, including
Finding aid available.
Finding Aid: http://library.umbc.edu/speccoll/findingaids/coll002.php
Reproductions allowed for research purposes. UMBC is the copyright owner; permission
to reproduce is required.
Perry Hall Improvement Association
Civic improvement -- Maryland -- Perry Hall (Md.) -- History
Community organization -- Maryland -- Perry Hall -- History
Perry Hall (Md.) -- History
Extent: 1 folder
Bylaws and amendments thereto of the Association.
Extent: 2 folders (.25 linear feet)
Includes written history of the Association from 1948-1957, programs, publicity
and related material from Association events, 1947-1976.
Extent: 11 folders (.5 linear feet)
Lists of members, active and inactive; meeting attendance sheets; dues paid lists;
directories; Presidents list. Arranged in chronological order.
Extent: 8 folders (.5 linear feet)
Minutes of regular monthly meetings, Board of Directors meetings, Special Committee
meetings. Arranged in chronological order.
Extent: 10 folders (.75 linear feet)
Attorney retainer agreements, bank statements, checkbook stubs, business license,
income tax forms, receipts, letters of authority. Arranged alphabetically by subject.
Extent: 14 folders (.75 linear feet)
Form letters and fliers; correspondence with state and county offices; general
correspondence. Arranged chronologically within subjects.
Baltimore County rules and regulations; Home Rule Charter; Zoning regulations;
Individual slip laws. Arranged alphabetically by subject.
Extent: 31 folders (1 linear feet)
Case files of zoning cases, including all correspondence, judgements and appeals.
Legal cases other than zoning (minimal). Arranged alphabetically by plaintiff.
Date: 1970-1984; bulk 1970-1980
Extent: 26 folders (.75 linear feet)
Newsletters; planning and zoning reports; information brochures; Association
publications. Arranged chronologically within subject.
Date: 1960-1980, undated; bulk 1970-1980
Extent: 7 folders (.3 linear feet)
Articles and photographs from local newspapers. Arranged alphabetically by subject.
Extent: 9 folders (.3 linear feet)
Primarily material on other area groups active during the same period. Files
may contain any of the following: correspondence, clippings, pamphlets, brochures
and incidental material. Arranged alphabetically by subject.
Perry Hall Improvement Association (PHIA) homepage. Accessed November 12, 2015. http://www.perryhallmaryland.org/.