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Holiday tour treat at the U.S. Custom House Make merry with one last behind-the-scenes tour.

As we enter into the 2016 holiday season in earnest, we hope you can squeeze in one last heritage tour with us into your December: a peek inside the U.S. Custom House on Lombard Street. On Dec. 28, we’ll tour this fantastic building with its Beaux Arts architecture, fabulous call room, and elaborate nautical murals by noted artist Francis David Millet.

If you are looking for more ways to celebrate the holidays with historic sites in Baltimore, don’t miss the 31st Annual Union Square Christmas Cookie Tour on December 11 and the Snowflake Tour of Charles Village Homes on December 18. Each of these tours gives you the chance to get to know a historic Baltimore neighborhood while enjoying sweet treats!

We’ll take up our 2017 heritage tour season in January. Stay tuned and have a happy holiday.

Your support makes Baltimore Heritage work. Please become a member today. Members make all of our education and advocacy programs possible.

Thank you to everyone who has supported Baltimore Heritage and our city’s historic places by joining us on some of our past heritage tours and programs. Today, I am asking you to continue your support by becoming a member. As a small organization with two paid staff and a great group of volunteers, members provide over half of Baltimore Heritage’s operating budget. With member support, we can continue to teach students about local history, fight to protect threatened landmarks, and offer assistance to Baltimore homeowners.

Tour group inside of the Read's Drug Store building
Interior of Read’s Drug Store. Photograph by Johns Hopkins, 2016.

By becoming a member, you can keep enjoying great heritage tours and events like our upcoming visit to Lexington Market to meet long-time merchants and descend into the catacombs underneath the stalls. But your membership gift allows us to do more than tours.  Over the last year, we worked with students and faculty from the University of Maryland Baltimore County to create a new virtual tour of UMBC’s Catonsville campus. We participated in the review of the B&P Tunnel Project for months and helped project planners avoid tearing down historic buildings along the route. We are empowering residents to address the issue of vacant buildings in their historic neighborhoods in partnership with the Community Law Center. We are continuing to research and document Baltimore’s Civil Rights movement and to share what we’re learning online.

Herring Run Archaeology Project, 2016 April 26.
Herring Run Archaeology Project, 2016 April 26.

As a Baltimore Heritage member, you can help us do even more. In the coming year, Baltimore City and the State of Maryland are undertaking a $75 million project to demolish or stabilize thousands of vacant rowhouses in Baltimore. Most of these buildings are located in historic neighborhoods. We are working closely with city and state officials to protect buildings that matter most to local residents and to use program funds to stabilize buildings where investment can make a real difference.

Our members make all of our work possible. Please make a donation of $35 for an individual membership or $50 for a household and become a member of Baltimore Heritage today.

Baltimore Heritage Awards Four Micro Grants for Four Great Ideas Winners Selected at Preservation Pitch Party

A gathering of people at the newly opened Baltimore Immigration Museum awarded four micro-grants for four great preservation ideas at Baltimore Heritage’s 2016 Preservation Pitch Party.  Supporters of the projects got three minutes each to pitch their project and then the crowd determined the recipients of the awards.

Making tough choices from the eight ideas that were presented, the following ideas received funding. As an indication of how compelling the projects were and how narrow the vote was, only four votes separated the winning projects.

  • $500 for the Baltimore Immigration Museum to repair the brickwork around the front door and prevent water from coming in.
  • $500 for the Herring Run Archaeology Project to continue their archaeology efforts in 2017. The group works in Northeast Baltimore identifying and excavating previously unknown archaeological sites in Baltimore’s Herring Run Park with neighbors and community schools.
  • $250 for the Market Center Merchant’s Association to bring Baltimore City public school kids who participate in the Maryland History Day competition to the Market Center Area for a tour of Civil Rights heritage sites. This year’s History Day topic is “Taking a Stand in History.”
  • $250 for Taylor’s Chapel for a project to stabilize frescoes in this 1850s church that likely were painted by Constantino Brumidi, the fresco artist in the U.S. Capitol building.

We’ll be following these projects with updates, event announcements, and calls for volunteers as they unfold this winter and spring. Stay tuned!

Lexington Market Entrance

Don’t miss our 2016 fall lecture on the history of the National Park Service tomorrow night Continue exploring the past and future with tours of Open Works, Green Mount Cemetery and Lexington Market

Come out tomorrow for our 2016 Fall Lecture celebrating 100 years of the National Park Service. The talk by Ms. Joy Beasley, the Park Service’s Deputy Director for Cultural Resources, at the First Unitarian Church of Baltimore begins at 7:00 pm with a wine and cheese reception following. We hope you can join us to hear how the National Park Service has changed how it manages some of our country’s most precious cultural resources over the last century and what it is planning for the next one.

We also hope you can join us for two upcoming tours that explore Baltimore landmarks in new ways. This Sunday, we will journey from artists in the present working in metal, paper and plastic to artists in the past who sculpted intricate marble funeral markers. Our two-part tour starts at Open Works in a historic Railway Express warehouse before crossing the street for a tour of Green Mount Cemetery with Baltimore historian Wayne Schaumburg.

On November 19, we will get an insider’s look at Lexington Market with market manager Stacey Pack to learn about recent changes and plans for the future of this iconic space. Along the tour, we will talk with the owners of Faidley’s, Berger’s, Konstant’s Candy, and other vendors that have been in their stalls for one hundred years or more. We will also go down and explore the catacombs under the marketplace, getting a first-hand look at these mysterious spaces that are normally closed to the public.

We need your voice at the Preservation Pitch Party! Help select projects to receive preservation mini-grants

Baltimore is full of compelling historic sites, buildings, and neighborhoods each with dedicated people working hard for their preservation. To support these people and their projects, Baltimore Heritage will distribute four small grants during a “we the people” Preservation Pitch Party. Supporters of eight preservation projects around Baltimore City will get three minutes to pitch their project and at the end, the crowd will decide which ideas to award. We hope you can join us to contribute your vote!

Last month we asked for preservation groups to submit ideas for projects to fund. We whittled the excellent submissions own to a final group of eight. Of those eight proposals, two $500 grants and two $250 grants will be distributed at the pitch party. Below is list of the eight finalists:

  • Baltimore Immigration Museum is seeking funds for work that needs to be done on their building, including the partial re-pointing and repair of the brick facade around the entry door in order to prevent future water infiltration into the structure.
  • Friends of St. Vincent Cemetery in Clifton Park seeks funds to pay for weed and brush removal tools, wheelbarrows, and work gloves to assist with their work cleaning and restoring this abandoned but no longer forgotten 5.3 acre cemetery.
  • The Herring Run Archaeology Project is looking for funds to continue their work in 2017. The group works in Northeast Baltimore identifying and excavating previously unknown archaeological sites in Baltimore’s Herring Run Park with neighbors and community schools.
  • Irish Railroad Workers Museum requests funds to help promote and increase an audience for their “Second and Fourth Saturdays Presentations” for 2017.
  • Taylor’s Chapel asks for money to restore historic frescos believed to be painted by Constantino Brumidi, who painted the frescoes in the US Capitol building.
  • Friends of Gwynns Falls/Leakin Park is looking to fund an independent assessment from expert consultants to determine the feasibility of the stabilization or restoration of two historic field stone structures (ca.1858) in Winans Meadow in Leakin Park.
  • G. Krug & Son Ironworks Museum seeks funds to help market their 2016 Holidays at Krug, an annual winter event that allows the public to experience the entirety of the 206-year old blacksmith shop.
  • The Market Center Merchants Association wants funding for the Market Center History Day Celebration to bring students in for a tour and discussion of historic sites in around Lexington Market.

The pitch party takes place on Friday, October 21, 2016 from 5:00 to 7:00 pm at the Baltimore Immigration Museum, immediately after the conclusion of Baltimore Heritage’s 2016 Bmore Historic Conference. Please join us and cast your vote and hear about great preservation ideas in Baltimore. The pitch party is free and will include a wine and cheese reception. Space is limited to 75. Reserve your seat at the pitch party today!

For questions, please contact Johns Hopkins at 410-332-9992 or hopkins@baltimoreheritage.org.