Photograph by Jeffery Kremen, 3 December 2014.
At each tour I attend, I tell people stories about the wide variety of projects and programs we work on at Baltimore Heritage. As we wrap up 2015, I’d like to tell you a story highlighting what we accomplished over the last year. The “we” in that last sentence is the hundreds of generous members and supporters, scores of volunteer tour leaders, historic site researchers, and heritage program planners, and all of you who participated in one of our events in 2015. We enjoyed our year working together to share the rich history and promise that we have in Baltimore. I hope you enjoy our look back at the work we all made happen for Baltimore this year. — Johns Hopkins, Executive Director
Baltimore Heritage board member David Gadsby explaining historical archaeology to visitors to our spring dig at Herring Run Park.

New Monumental City Tours

Thanks to our great group of volunteer tour leaders, we launched a new series of Monumental City Heritage Tours every Sunday from April to November. Our guides are taking visitors and history-loving locals on tours of downtown gargoyles, historic Jonestown and the Shot Tower, the Patterson Park Pagoda and the Battle of Baltimore, and the Washington Monument and Mount Vernon Place Vernon Place.
Patterson Park Pagoda by Smallbones, 2012 March 14. Wikimedia Commons.

Exploring Beyond Baltimore

Our Heritage Tours program ventured a little afield in 2015 and hit the road from Annapolis to Havre de Grace. A few highlights were the newly refurbished Old Senate Chamber in Annapolis, a visit to the historic lock house and canal in Havre de Grace, and a natural heritage hike in the Patapsco Valley in Baltimore County.   
havre de grace tour
Tour participants flex their muscles to move the human-powered rotating bridge over the historic lock in Havre de Grace.  

Special thanks to our 2015 tour volunteers!

Karen Bomberger
Claude Bowen
Ralph Brown
Andrew Colletta
Kate Creamer
Patrick Cutter
Nathan Dennies
Charlie Duff
Nicholas Redding
Beth Benner
Ralph Welsh
Joanne Baker
Doris Sharkey
Lisa Doyle
Kate Drabinski
Dominick Dunnigan
Todd Harland White
Pat Hawthorne
Adam Hull
Ann Pomykala
Bill Pfingsten
Will Holman
Michael Day
Karen Snyder
Brandi Tomhave
Lesley Humphreys
Jamie Hunt
Nicole King
Peter Krug
Sara Langmead
Lindsey Loeper
Carol Quigley
Ned Tillman
David Gleason
Elizabeth Visconage
Karin Brown
Nathan Dennies
Cathy Rosenbaum
Wayne Schaumburg
Joanne Shepherd
Lisa Simeone
Rock Singewald
Kathy Wandishin
Barbara Weeks
Mike Mellet
Barbara Blount Armstrong
Dr. Gabriel Tenabe
Marian Colimore
Willy Sydnor
The sudden demolition of Freedom House is a wakeup call for the urgent need to protect Baltimore’s threatened Civil Rights heritage.

Strategic approaches to vacancy and revitalization

Photograph by Andrew Cook.

Reusing Industrial Buildings

This past spring, Baltimore Heritage worked with Carol Ott of Housing Policy Watch and Andrew Cook from the Baltimore City Department of Planning to organize a special workshop promoting the reuse of vacant industrial buildings. This project is part of our continued support for the recommendations of the Partnership for Building Reuse task force that identified preservation as a key strategy for Baltimore’s vacant buildings last year.
Juanita Jackson and Clarence Mitchell, Jr. House, 1324 Druid Hill Avenue. Eli Pousson/Baltimore Heritage, 2015 November 13.

Understanding Vacant Houses

Baltimore’s 16,000 vacant houses, many of them historic buildings, are one of the most challenging preservation issues we face today. In 2015, we participated in the state’s preservation review process to engage the Baltimore Department of Housing and Community Development seeking to avoid demolition where possible and fund the stabilization of vacant historic buildings. We also organized a workshop at the Baltimore Museum of Art sharing a historical perspective on vacancy and abandonment with over 100 people.

Preservation helps build Baltimore’s future

The interior of Read’s Drug Store where one of the first student lunch counter protests took place shows the promise for a creative renovation.

Your financial support sustains our work

Baltimore Heritage relies on gifts from individuals and corporations, which make up over two-thirds of our annual operating budget. In 2015, a number of generous members included Baltimore Heritage in their planned giving, a new area for us as we lay the groundwork for the future of historic preservation in Baltimore. Grant support enabled us to take on new opportunities this year, including our work around Civil Rights. With two full time staff and one part time tour coordinator, our small size enables us to keep our overhead low and to spend your contributions and our resources wisely.
Board Member Andrew Colletta staffs a Baltimore Heritage table

Grant and Foundation Support

Abell Foundation
Annie Casey Foundation
Baltimore City Department of Transportation
Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts
Bunting Family Foundation
Dr. Frank C. Marino Foundation
Maryland Historical Trust
National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers
National Park Service, American Battlefield Protection
Program
Patterson Family Foundation

Corporate Sponsors

Agora, Inc.
brennan + company architects
Freedom Car
Freeman Architecture
GWWO, Inc./Architects
Live Baltimore
Murdoch Smith Architects
Murphy & Dittenhafer Architects
Penza Bailey Architects
PNC Bank
Rohrer Studios
Roland Park Place
Hord Coplan Macht
Southway Builders
Terra Nova Ventures
Whiting Turner
Ziger Snead Architectss
Please renew your support in 2015 and have a wonderful new year!