The Howard County Welcome Center, located at 8267 Main Street in Ellicott City, has reopened with limited hours from 12-4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
According to a Visit Howard County press release, health and safety provisions to protect visitors and staff include:
Masks required (properly worn)
Social distancing signage
Plexiglass barriers at the Welcome Desk
Limit of 10 guests at a time with a 10-minute maximum
Frequent sanitization of surfaces and touchpoints
Reduction of touchpoints to include suspended merchandise sales
The Visitor Center staff can offer local insights as well as the Official Howard County Visitor Guide and regional maps and travel brochures, historical, cultural, and recreational displays
The Visitor Center is in a renovated historic Post Office from 1939 with its vintage fixtures and charming furnishings, New Deal era murals and the original walk-in safe now complete with brass P.O. Boxes.
The oil paintings on the west and east walls of the Howard County Welcome Center were painted in 1942 by Petro Paul De Anna, an artist commissioned by the federal government as part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal. From 1934 to 1943, the New Deal murals and sculpture seen in Post Offices were produced under the Treasury Department’s Section of Painting and Sculpture, later called the Section of Fine Arts. Unlike the Works Progress Administration/Federal Art Project, with which it often is confused, this program was not directed toward providing economic relief.
Instead, the art placed in Post Offices was intended to help boost the morale of people suffering the effects of the Great Depression with art.
Through a partnership with the Ellicott City Partnership and the Ellicott City Restoration Foundation, a full restoration took place in early 2016.
Visit Howard County staff is also available via email and phone. For more information, see www.visithowardcounty.com/about/tourism-council/meet-the-team.