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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.

10 Light Street Detail

Doors Open Baltimore bus tour and Baltimore’s beer brewing history by bike Don’t miss the new date for our 2016 Fall Lecture

We still have a few seats open on our Doors Open Baltimore Bus Tour this Saturday, October 22 and we’d love to have you come along. From 9:30 am to noon, we’ll visit four fantastic historic buildings with architect and preservation commission chair Tom Liebel. The stops include the cavernous Cathedral of Mary Our Queen, the sculptor’s paradise Schuler Studio, St. Ignatius Church and its glorious architecture, and 10 Light Street, perhaps Baltimore’s grandest Art Deco building.

Of course, these are just a few of the over fifty sites you can see during Doors Open Baltimore this Saturday. Be sure to check out our Explore Baltimore Heritage tour to learn more about the history and architecture of these landmark buildings.

We also wanted to let you know: our 2016 Fall Lecture celebrating 100 years of the National Park Service is rescheduled to from Thursday, November 3 to Wednesday, November 2. The talk by Ms. Joy Beasley, the Park Service’s Deputy Director for Cultural Resources, still starts at 7:00 pm (with a wine and cheese reception following) and is still at the First Unitarian Church of Baltimore. 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.

Finally, if you can ride a bike, we hope you can join us on the morning of Saturday, October 29, 2016 for a pedaling tour of all things beer. From Baltimore’s Barnitz Brewery in 1748 to today’s Union Craft Brewery in Hampden, we’ll get a little exercise and learn about our city’s rich brewing history. The tour will start and end at Union Craft Brewery.

Fort McHenry National Monument. Courtesy National Park Service.

Celebrating the National Park Service Centennial at our Fall Lecture Join us for our fall lecture and the Doors Open Baltimore bus tour

America’s national parks have been called the best idea our country has ever had. The National Park System includes hundreds of parks and millions of acres—everything from small urban parks to great expanses of wilderness. This year their chief steward, the National Park Service, turns 100 years old. Please join us for a discussion of how the Park Service grew from a small office in 1916 into today’s force for preserving natural and cultural heritage. Our speaker, Ms. Joy Beasley, is the National Park Service’s Deputy Associate Director for Cultural Resources, Partnerships, and Science, the agency’s designated Federal Preservation Officer, and luckily for us is also a Baltimorean.

The talk is on Wednesday, November 2 at 7:00 pm with a wine and cheese reception following. Our host is the First Unitarian Church of Baltimore, a historic treasure of its own.

Doors Open Bus Tour on October 22

Doors Open Baltimore

We enjoy getting a chance to peek inside dozens of great buildings during the annual Doors Open Baltimore event so much that this year we’re teaming up with event sponsors the Baltimore Architecture Foundation and AIA Baltimore to host a guided bus tour to explore five of the featured places in depth. Join preservation architect Tom Liebel, who also chairs the city’s historic preservation commission, as we hop from site to site on a journey down Charles Street and learn what makes these places fantastic.

Free parking is available at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen. The member rate for this tour is available for members of Baltimore Heritage, Baltimore Architecture Foundation, and AIA Baltimore.

Don’t forget that you can learn more about Doors Open Baltimore sites with our Explore Baltimore Heritage tour. You can also download the recently updated Explore Baltimore Heritage app for iOS or Android.

Portrait of Babe Ruth standing with a bat

Discover the history of bakeries, Babe Ruth, beer, and more Fall in Baltimore means… Baltimore Heritage bike tours, bus tours and walking tours!

As we head into the fall, we hope you can join us on some of the bike tours, bus tours and walking tours that we’ve line up to explore Baltimore from Edgar Allan Poe to Babe Ruth, from German sticky buns to Baltimore beer, with loads of new and historic inventors and artisans in between.

Our bike tours start on September 17 with our ride-and-sample East Baltimore Bakeries by Bike Tour. It is perhaps the only bike tour where you must be careful to watch your calories. On October 29, we are pedaling again on our “3 B’s Tour”: Baltimore, Bikes, and Beer. We’ll learn about malt and hops from the Barnitz Brewery (Baltimore’s first in 1748) to Union Craft Brewery (a relative new-comer) where we’ll end, of course, with a beer.

If you prefer four wheels over two, our Babe Ruth in Baltimore Bus Tour on September 24 offers two hours of insight into one of Baseball’s greatest stars, from the hardscrabble streets of Baltimore’s longshoreman district, through the formative years of his life and development as professional baseball player. As a treat, we’ll get a peek inside the former Cardinal Gibbons High School to see the mural honoring Ruth at the place where he got his start in the National Pastime.

And if plain old walking shoes are your go-to mode of transportation, join us on October 8 for Poe and Beyond at Westminster Hall to learn about Poe’s death and to tour the church, graveyard and more than a little eerie catacombs. The following day on October 9, we are exploring 150 years of Industry and Artistry in Station North and Open Works on a walking tour of Station North and a look inside Open Works, a just opened maker-space for Baltimore’s newest artisans working in metal, wood, fabric and more. Come on our morning tour and then head back out into Station North to visit dozens of artists who will have their studios open as part of the Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts 28th Annual Open Studio Tour.

The 3300 block of Eastern Avenue in Highlandtown, a facade grant recipient

Storefront Improvement Grant Program Kicks Off

In July, we joined our nonprofit partners the Neighborhood Design Center and AIA Baltimore to kick off a new program through the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development to rehab and improve commercial storefronts that were damaged during the civil unrest in Baltimore last April. The program, called the Storefront Improvement Grant Program, is providing $650,000 to fix storefronts along main streets from Pennsylvania Avenue in Sandtown Winchester to Eastern Avenue in Highlandtown.

From a pool of 145 applications, 26 projects were selected to receive funds. Each business will get up to $10,000 for improvements, as well as an architect volunteering through the American Institute of Architects Baltimore Chapter. After working out a design with the owner and architect, youth training teams from Civic Works and Living Classrooms will do the actual construction. We at Baltimore Heritage are helping by providing assistance on meeting historic preservation standards to ensure the redesigned storefront helps the owner and the surrounding neighborhood.

In addition to Sandtown Winchester and Highlandtown, the following other neighborhoods are slated to have storefront improvement projects: Pigtown, Waverly, Park Heights, Hollins Market/Union Square, and Market Center/Downtown. With project design work beginning this month, construction for the first set of storefronts is expected in the early fall.