UMB aims to sell Don­ald­son Brown Cen­ter

Cecil Whig - - FRONT PAGE - By JA­COB OWENS jowens@ce­cil­whig.com

PORT DE­POSIT — The Univer­sity Sys­tem of Mary­land is seek­ing state ap­proval to sell the his­toric Don­ald­son Brown Cen­ter prop­erty to a de­vel­op­ment team that aims to turn the long­time con­fer­ence cen­ter into a bou­tique re­sort.

The Mary­land Board of Pub­lic Works (BPW) will con­sider a vote on declar­ing the Mt. Ararat Farm Road land sur­plus Wed­nes­day af­ter an ear­lier at­tempt by the univer­sity sys­tem was with­drawn Nov. 1. Op­po­nents of the plan, led by Del­e­gate Kevin Horn­berger (R-Ce­cil), the town of Port De­posit and neigh­bor­ing res­i­dents, are rais­ing con­cerns over the new plans for the his­toric prop­erty though, in hopes that con­sid­er­a­tion will be de­layed fur­ther.

Do­nated to the Univer­sity of Mary­land, Bal­ti­more, in 1965, the pri­vate es­tate of the late in­dus­tri­al­ist F. Don­ald­son Brown orig­i­nally was the set­ting for en­ter­tain­ing world dig­ni­taries, in­clud­ing pres­i­dents Franklin D. Roo­sevelt and Lyn­don B. John­son. To­day, UMB op­er­ates the prop­erty year-round for re­treats, work­shops, con­tin­u­ing ed­u­ca­tion sem­i­nars or spe­cial events.

With its pic­turesque set­ting over­look­ing the Susque­hanna River atop gran­ite cliffs, the prop­erty is a pop­u­lar wed­ding des­ti­na­tion and fre­quent site of high-level po­lit­i­cal

See CEN­TER Page A6

CE­CIL WHIG PHOTO BY KRIS KIELICH

The color guard salutes dur­ing a cer­e­mony at VFW Elk­ton Memo­rial Post No. 8175 on Sat­ur­day.

CE­CIL WHIG PHOTO BY JA­COB OWENS

The Don­ald­son Brown Cen­ter was built in 1938 as a Geor­gian man­sion for the in­dus­tri­al­ist F. Don­ald­son Brown Jr. and has hosted two U.S. pres­i­dents.

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