Yesterday, I attended the Howard Hughes Corporation’s event that sought to re-imagine what could be done with the Rouse (now Howard Hughes) building. It was a beautiful day, and everybody was in good spirits talking about what the new Downtown might look like.
My mood dimmed when I bumped into a friend who told me that Bring Back the Vision Founder Emily Lincoln had passed away over the weekend. The irony struck me that here we are envisioning the changes that Emily fought so hard for, only to find out she is gone.
I always enjoyed speaking with Emily because her passion to see Columbia become the city it was always meant to be really resonated with me personally. She was passionate about the changes that we’ve all been advocating for and she yearned to actually see them happen. To know that she won’t makes me very sad.
Emily was one of the first people I spoke to about getting involved in the downtown debate. A mutual friend had suggested I give her a call, and after speaking with her, I could tell she was one sharp woman. Her dedication definitely influenced me to learn all I could about the plan that was being shaped for Downtown.
I will miss Emily, and I hope that her family finds peace in this difficult hour.
She earned a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Missouri-Columbia, where she was an honors graduate. After graduation she joined the staff of Senator Stewart Symington in Washington, DC. She moved to Howard County in 1969.
Recognized as a tenacious and devoted advocate of Columbia, Emily is best known for organizing Bring Back the Vision, an advocacy group that works to promote the thoughtful redevelopment of downtown Columbia. The group’s many accomplishments include providing forums for a community conversation about the future of Columbia. These forums included presentations by Roger K. Lewis architect, urban planner and author and Rollin Stanley urban planner, among others.
Emily received her professional license as a Realtor in 1977. She was instrumental in conceptualizing and founding the Howard County Real Estate Masters Club. She led the organization in a joint project with The Columbia Foundation and The Columbia Bank to supply affordable home purchase opportunities to low income families. As a Realtor, Emily understood the issues of affordable housing and was a tireless advocate for the development of housing opportunities within Howard County. She was an Associate Broker and member of the REMAX Hall of Fame.
Emily was a founder and President of the Howard County Economic Forum, Board member of Family and Children’s Services of Central Maryland (FCS) and Chair of the Howard County Advisory Board of FCS. Emily also served on the Howard County Commission on Aging. She was a graduate of Leadership Howard County.
Emily was a leader in the transition of Columbia’s Family Life Center through its merger with Family and Children’s Services of Central Maryland. While serving as chair of the Howard County Advisory Board of FCS, she led the effort to expand operations and establish a satellite office of FCS in North Laurel. This entity` evolved to become the North Laurel-Savage Multi-Service Center providing a variety of human services to a portion of the county, long under-served.
Emily is survived by her son John, grandsons Braeden and Gavin, of Charlotte, NC, sisters Nancy Graff of Cape Coral, FL and Genevieve Shryer of Springfield, MO and brother Roger H. Taylor II of Liberty, MO. She was predeceased by her parents and sister Carolyn Burridge of Baltimore, MD.
A life celebration was held at Emily’s home. The family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Emily Lincoln Family Fund established at The Columbia Foundation at 10630 Little Patuxent Parkway, Century Plaza #315, Columbia, MD 21044