stabilizing historic buildings that can be saved and reused,
supporting nonprofit and local government staff positions to guide the implementation the project,
and documenting the buildings selected for demolition.
Baltimore Heritage and Preservation Maryland, along with our nonprofit partner, the Baltimore National Heritage Area, recently presented our proposal to city and state agencies as part of the ongoing preservation review of Governor Hogan’s Project CORE (Creating Opportunities for Renewal and Enterprise).
As we shared last month, CORE provides around $75 million in state funds for demolishing and stabilizing vacant buildings in Baltimore over four years. The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development and Baltimore Housing have agreed that 10% of the Project C.O.R.E. funding should go to mitigating the loss of rowhouses proposed for demolition inside designated historic districts.
Over the past few months, we have been working on a new class for people interested in historic preservation who want to learn how to tell the stories behind local buildings and neighborhoods. We’re calling the class Explore Baltimore Heritage 101 and we are excited to announce the four-week schedule for June and July:
Research: Tuesday, June 21, 7:00pm – 9:00pm
Writing: Tuesday, June 28, 7:00pm – 9:00pm
Visuals: Tuesday, July 5, 7:00pm – 9:00pm
Outreach: Tuesday, July 12, 7:00pm – 9:00pm
The first three sessions will meet at the Baltimore Free School classroom at 30 W. North Avenue. The final session on outreach will be held in the basement gallery at AIA Baltimore at 11 1/2 W. Chase Street. The class is free of charge and we will provide light refreshments at each session.
Each session is two hours long—enough time for a quick presentation about the topic of the week, discussion and questions, and hands-on projects and activities where participants will practice writing compelling stories, building interactive timelines, and making tour maps. Between each class, we plan to share readings, videos and activities online so you can expect to spend another hour each week to prepare for the next week’s session. The class is led by me—Eli Pousson—and builds on our experience over the past three years of working with contributors for our Explore Baltimore Heritage website and app.
If you want to join the class, please sign up online ASAP; space is limited. We are asking everyone who is interested to plan to attend all four sessions. We know this is a big commitment but we promise to make it worth your time. We have limited space so please register soon.
You do not need any previous education or experience with research or historical writing to join the class. If you are interested in Baltimore’s historic buildings and neighborhoods, that is a fine place to start. We do expect you to be comfortable using a web browser (we’ll be using Google Docs, Trello and other free online tools). You should also be comfortable sharing your writing in public.
We have designed this class to teach you how effective communication about historic places can help you to promote preservation and revitalization projects. By participating in this class, you’ll also be helping us learn how to teach these skills to other people across the country. Explore Baltimore Heritage 101 is a pilot for our Local Preservation School project—a new experiment in online education funded by the National Park Service. We also welcome your questions and suggestions—please share your comments below or get in touch.
Please join us for our 2016 Historic Preservation Awards Celebration at the Green Street Academy, the 1925 former Gwynns Falls High School that has been wonderfully restored for a 21st century charter school. This year, we are honoring a wide range of projects from a humble historic trolley stop in Roland Park to a city automotive garage turned makerspace for start up manufacturers in Port Covington. From single family homes to large hotels and theaters, the array of projects speaks volumes to the quantity and quality of restoration work going on in Baltimore. Read the full list of award-winning projects.
This year’s celebration is generously supported by our 2016 title sponsors: PNC and The Agora.
Thank you also to our 2016 lead sponsors: FreedomCar; Gant Brunnett Architects; GLB Concrete Construction, Inc.; GWWO Inc./Architects; Lewis Contractors; Marks, Thomas Architects; Murdoch Smith Architects; Rohrer Studio; Roland Park Place; Southway Builders, Inc.; The Whiting-Turner Contracting Company; and Ziger/Snead Architects. Finally, thank you to our 2016 supporting sponsors National Lumber Company; Hayles and Howe, Inc.; McLain Wiesand; Murphy and Dittenhafer; Penza Bailey Architects; and Terra Nova Ventures.
The celebration will take place on Thursday June 16, 2016 starting at 5:30 p.m. In addition to seeing the fantastic award-winning preservation work around Baltimore, we are offering guided tours so you can see first-hand how this 90-year-old school building now provides an innovative space for today’s students. And, of course, there will be plenty of good food and drink, and lots to celebrate.
Three significant historic buildings are up for auction next month as part of the new One House at a Time Select Auction—the Sellers Mansion at Lafayette Square, the Emerson Mansion in Reservoir Hill and the former Odell’s Restaurant on North Avenue. In contrast to the rowhouses usually listed in One House at a Time’s bi-monthly property auctions, these buildings are much larger and better suited to a multifamily, mixed-use, or commercial use. Minimum bids for all three buildings are set at $10,000. The application asks interested bidders to explain their experience with the rehabilitation of vacant multifamily, mixed use, or commercial properties, show their ability to finance the development, and be in good standing as a property owner in Baltimore. To avoid the continued neglect of these buildings, buyers are also expected to abate the vacant building notice within one year after settlement.
Learn more about these buildings and help us spread the word to help make sure that these properties are developed and preserved.
Sellers Mansion – 801 N. Arlington Avenue
Built in 1868, the Sellers Mansion (801 North Arlington Street) is a three-story Second Empire brick house with a mansard roof that rivaled its outer suburban contemporaries in size, quality of craftsmanship, and attention to detail.
The grand Emerson Mansion was built in 1895 by Captain Isaac Edward Emerson at 2500 Eutaw Place. Over the past twenty years, the condition of the building has deteriorated from bad to worse as broken windows have left the interior open to the weather and copper architectural elements have been stolen.
Former Odell’s Restaurant and Bar – 21 E. North Avenue
Odell Brock opened Odell’s Restaurant and Bar at this former automobile showroom on North Avenue in 1976. Brock passed away in 1985 but the club continued to operate until it closed in 1992. According to the Sun, Odell’s was “revered by some as the heart of house and dance music in Baltimore in the 80s.”
Our next tour is not for the faint of heart. In the 1940s, Chicago heiress Frances Glessner Lee created crime scene models on a one-inch-to-one-foot scale to be used as police training tools to help investigators learn the art and science of detailed forensics-based detection. Join us next Wednesday as Mr. Bruce Goldfarb shares the history of the Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death and how they found their way to Baltimore.
Don’t forget that this Sunday, and almost every Sunday until Thanksgiving, our volunteer-led Monumental City Tours will take you on one-hour jaunts to learn more about Baltimore: Jonestown and the Shot Tower, Landmarks and Lions Downtown, Mount Vernon and the Washington Monument, and the Patterson Park Pagoda.
Join us for the 2016 Historic Preservation Awards Celebration!
Finally, we are thrilled to invite you, our members and friends, to Baltimore Heritage’s 2016 Historic Preservation Awards Celebration at the newly renovated Green Street Academy. This year, we are honoring a wide range of projects from a former city garage and auto repair shop to historic theaters, a humble trolley stop to Baltimore’s Washington Monument.
The celebration will take place on Thursday, June 16, 2016 beginning at 5:30 pm. In addition to seeing the fantastic work inside the 1925 former Gwynns Falls High School, there will be plenty of good food and drink, and lots to celebrate. You can purchase tickets now and we hope you can join us!