Photograph of 36th Avenue by Steve Earley, 2014 April 13.

Springtime is here! Check out our Baltimore by Foot tours from Mount Washington to Pigtown

The first day of spring is here (even if it arrives with a bit of snow) and it’s time for our annual Baltimore by Foot neighborhood walking tours. This year, we’re thrilled to be touring five quite different neighborhoods with resident experts and local historians. Come on one tour or come on them all!

If you missed our Mount Vernon Love Stories Valentine’s walking tour in February, you’re in luck. A cold alert forced us to cancel but we rescheduled with Jamie Hunt to lead the tour again on Sunday, April 12 with a morning and afternoon option. Finally, don’t miss our upcoming tour of the 1889 Jenkins House on Maryland Avenue on March 26 for a look into this historic orphanage that has helped generations of Baltimoreans.

Image courtesy Civic Works.

This Saturday! Meet Baltimore’s historic homeowners and learn new ways to help your house

This Saturday, we are partnering with Retrofit Baltimore and Live Baltimore to host our very first historic homeowner social. Stop by Second Chance anytime from 10:00 am to 11:30 am to enjoy coffee, donuts, and answers to all your questions about weatherization, historic tax credits, and home buying in Baltimore City.

This event is also your first chance to sign up for the 2015 Baltimore Historic House Co-op. The co-op is a way for homeowners to save money on weatherization services through Retrofit Baltimore. For each home-owner who signs up before April 25 and pledges to complete their project by the fall, Retrofit’s contractors are offering a 1% discount – up to a 15% discount for everyone who participates. Learn more about the benefits of weatherization for historic properties or sign up for the Historic House Co-op today.

This new partnership is just one of many new resources that we’ve put together for historic home-owners over the past few months. Check out new or recently updated resources including:

We even have a new resource guide just for homeowners – a growing online toolkit  for the thousands of home-owners who preserve historic neighborhoods. If you have questions or suggestions for how we can help historic homeowners in Baltimore, please get in touch. And don’t forget to join us at Second Chance on Saturday morning!

Left: Centre Theatre, July 19, 1939. BG&E Collection, Baltimore Museum of Industry, BGE.12520. Right: Centre Theatre, January 2015. Courtesy  Eric Hatch.

New heritage tours from North Avenue to Thames Street

After a chilly February, we hope you will warm up with us next month on our new heritage tours in Station North and Fell’s Point.

We’re thrilled offer a tour of the Centre Theater on March 4 led by Jubilee Baltimore’s Executive Director Charlie Duff who is leading an ambitious rehabilitation project for the building. Jubilee and their partners at Johns Hopkins University and MICA are transforming this long-neglected Station North landmark into a home for film education and arts programming. On March 26, the Women’s Housing Coalition is opening up the grand Margaret Jenkins Mansion on Maryland Avenue for a unique tour of a former orphanage turned into a transitional home for women in 2008.

At the end of March we are launching a new series of walking tours in Fell’s Point in partnership with the Preservation Society to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the construction of the Robert Long House. Take a deep dive into the history of Fell’s Point on our tours and the Preservation Society lectures on topics including economic development, African-American heritage, and immigration. Distinguished local historian and former state archivist Dr. Edward Papenfuse, is leading the first tour in the series – Fell’s Point as Boomtown – on March 29.

Chase Brexton Health Center,  2014 Preservation Award Winner

Make a nomination for our 2015 Preservation Awards

What historic places have you seen restored in your neighborhood in the past year? Are you a home-owner celebrating the end of a jaw-dropping rehabilitation project? Or the architect behind an inspired example of adaptive reuse? We need your help to nominate Baltimore’s best in preservation projects and heritage achievements for our 2015 Historic Preservation Awards.

Lillie Mae Carroll Jackson House, Stairwell
Lillie Mae Carroll Jackson House, 2012 Award Winner

We launched our awards program in 1961 and,over the past fifty years, we have recognized close to 300 projects—everything from the rehabilitation of Seton Hill rowhouses to the amazing effort to save the American Brewery. In 2014, our awards celebration honored sixteen projects reflecting the work of over 100 individuals and local firms.

Take a look at our guidelines for more information about our awards categories and review process. Our nomination form is intended to be simple and easy – requiring only a short narrative about the project or achievement, images (before and after photographs are encouraged for all bricks-and-mortar project), and names and contact information for all project partners. Nominations must be submitted by Friday, March 6, 2015 for consideration by our review committee.

Please submit your nomination today then stay tuned for the details on our annual awards celebration in June!

Photograph by William Henry Jackson for Detroit Publishing Company, c. 1903. Courtesy Library of Congress, phLC-D401-16172.

Fall in love with a beautiful building on our upcoming heritage tours

February is the perfect time of year to share a memorable love story and fall in love with a beautiful building. Please join us on Sunday, February 15 for a Valentine’s Day tradition—the Mount Vernon Love Stories Valentine’s walking tour with volunteer guide Jamie Hunt!  Jamie’s tour weaves together stories of trysts, true loves and everything from Benedict Arnold to Al Capone. It’s a real treat and we hope you can join us.

Later in the month, we are looking forward to a preview of a restored Civil Rights museum at the Lillie Mae Carroll Jackson house on Eutaw Place. This tour is the first program in our Civil Rights Landmarks series highlighting historic places tied to the history of Baltimore’s African-American Civil Rights movement. The series is organized through our new partnership with the Maryland Historical Trust and the Baltimore National Heritage Area to document Baltimore’s Civil Rights heritage in the year ahead.

We are always looking for places to tour so, if you have ideas, we’d love to hear from you. You’ll see from our calendar of upcoming tours that we are continuing to branch out with new spring tours planned for Ellicott City and Havre de Grace, so any and all ideas are welcome! Don’t forget, membership support includes discounts on tours and early access to our spring 2015 Baltimore by Foot tours—including walks with local experts in Pigtown, Mount Washington, Hampden and more.