Preservation & Revitalization in West Baltimore

Baltimore Heritage is working to connect historic preservation and community revitalization in historic West Baltimore neighborhoods, focused around the US 40 corridor, proposed for the development of the Red Line light rail route. Major initiatives in this effort include our Friends of West Baltimore Squares partnership with West Baltimore residents and the Parks & People Foundation and the Friends of the Hebrew Orphan Asylum advocacy initiative.

Watchlist buildings in West Baltimore neighborhoods

Hebrew Orphan Asylum

Rayner Avenue and Ashburton Street

The history of the Hebrew Orphan Asylum site spans nearly 200 years of development from its beginning in 1815 as “Calverton,” the country home of Baltimore banker Dennis Smith, to its vital role providing social and medical services for the City of Baltimore, first as the Baltimore City and County Almshouse (1820-1866) and then as the Hebrew Orphan Asylum (1872 -1923). Baltimore Heritage is currently working in partnership with the Coppin Heights CDC and Coppin State University to preserve and plan the rehabilitation of the Hebrew Orphan Asylum Building.

Sellers Mansion

801 North Arlington Street, Lafayette Square

Built in 1868, the Sellers Mansion 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. Its carved stone lintels, patterned slate roof, original roof cresting, and its two classically detailed porticoes (one of which still retains its elegantly carved wooden columns and capitals) identified this household as one of taste and affluence. Although carefully restored in the 1960s and adapted to a variety of community uses through the early 1990s, the mansion currently stands vacant and in an advanced state of deterioration. The building was included on the 2006 inventory of endangered buildings by Preservation Maryland. With advanced deterioration, work will need to begin soon if the building is to be preserved.

Boss Kelly House and Row

1106 West Saratoga Street

1106 West Saratoga Street is part of a row of houses that were built between 1830 and 1845. The building takes its name after “Boss” John S. (Frank) Kelly, the leader of the West Baltimore Democratic Club who controlled all things political in West Baltimore in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The Baltimore Department of Housing has acquired 1106, as well as the rest of the row and hundreds of other properties in the Poppleton neighborhood, to turn over to the private development firm of La Cite. La Cite’s current plans are to retain the Boss Kelly House and demolish all the other buildings in the row to build new housing.

Upton Mansion

811 West Lanvale Street

Constructed in 1838, Upton Mansion is significant architecturally as a rare surviving nineteenth century Greek Revival country house. It was added to the city’s historic landmark list in 2008 and was included in the 2009 list of the most endangered buildings in the state by Maryland Magazine and Preservation Maryland. The City of Baltimore owns the building, which has been vacant since the Department of Education left in 2006.


Edmondson Avenue Historic District

In the West Baltimore neighborhoods of Greater Rosemont, Baltimore Heritage worked with local neighborhood associations to research and designate this area of over 1400 historic rowhouses and churches.