Johns Hopkins has been the executive director of Baltimore Heritage since 2003. Before that, Johns worked for the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development developing and implementing smart growth and neighborhood revitalization programs. Johns holds degrees from Yale University, George Washington University Law School, and the University of Michigan’s School of Natural Resources and Environment.
We’re continuing to add tours this fall with fun programs this weekend and over the next few weeks. We just lined up a new bike tour on October 28: All in the Family, a Bike Tour and Lunch with Baltimore’s Business Legacies. We’ll stop and talk with the owners at three, century-old Baltimore businesses: Budeke’s Paint and Decorating, Meyer Seed, and Tochterman’s Fishing Tackle, and then enjoy a picnic lunch from a fourth legacy business, DiPasquale’s Italian Market and Deli.
Finally, we are excited to welcome Ms. Lisa Craig, Chief of Historic Preservation in Annapolis, to Baltimore on Thursday, November 9 for a free talk, Keeping History Above Water: Cultural Heritage in an Age of Climate Change. Ms. Craig will discuss her work planning for protecting historic places and cultural heritage in the face of rising waters and bigger storms. From hazard mitigation planning and flooding adaptation strategies to 3D modeling and hurricane case studies, Ms. Craig will share with us the leading edge of how Maryland can protect historic neighborhoods and communities from a future of rising tides.
There is a lot happening, and we hope you can join us!
Fall weather is perfect for going new places and exploring the city by bike and bus. We have three new tours lined up over the next few weeks including a beer history themed bike tour, a classical concert at a classical landmark, and a bus tour with local architect Tom Liebel for Doors Open Baltimore.
Baltimore Beer Week 2017 is coming up and Dr. Ralph Brown has volunteered to lead a morning ride on Saturday, October 14 covering breweries and beer-drinkers from the past. The bike tour ends with a sampler flight of beers at the Heavy Seas Alehouse (price included with registration), where we’ll hear from some of the folks making beer in Baltimore today.
The next day, October 15, we’ll be at the War Memorial Building for a tour where we can check out the recent window restoration of this historic landmark and then sit down to enjoy a performance by the Hopkins Symphony Orchestra. We’re excited to partner on this program with the orchestra and to offer a second performance on December 3 with new selections and soloists from the JHU Choral Society and Baltimore School for the Arts chorus.
Finally, you can close out the month with a Doors Open bus tour of local architecture and history from downtown to West Baltimore and back again led by Tom Liebel, architect and chair of Baltimore’s Commission for Historical and Architectural Preservation. Our ride will include stops at six wonderful historic places: the 1814 Peale Museum, Union Baptist Church on Druid Hill Avenue, the Arabber Center off of Pennsylvania Avenue, the 1806 St. Mary’s Seminary Chapel in Seton Hill, the Le Mondo art and performance space on Howard Street, and the War Memorial Building near City Hall by architect Laurence Hall Fowler.
Doors Open Baltimore now includes a full weekend with free open houses and self-guided tours of over fifty sites on Saturday, October 28 and dozens of special events and guided tours on Sunday, October 29. We hope you can be part of this fun annual event!
Baltimore Heritage is a small nonprofit organization. We rely on the many kind people who volunteer their time and commit their support each year to help save Baltimore’s unique historic places.
One historic place we’re helping right now is the Village Learning Place. For the past few months, we’ve worked with the Liesje Gantert, director of the VLP, along with staff and volunteer architects from the Neighborhood Design Center to take a close look at the condition of their former Pratt Library branch on Saint Paul Street. Over the next year, we will build on these efforts to help more local nonprofits improve maintenance of their historic civic spaces across Baltimore. Not all historic buildings are museums: they also provide affordable housing, child care, community meeting space, and more. We are eager to help keep these buildings working well for all the people who rely on them.
In addition to helping us save Baltimore’s historic places, as a member you also get the benefit of discounts on our heritage tour program. With great volunteers like Patricia Hawthorne, who has led our Monumental City tours for years, and new volunteers like Sarah Krum who just started this year, our we are grateful to the many people who make our heritage tours possible. Over the last ten years, our volunteers have organized and led nearly four hundred tours of over two hundred different historic places!
Membership support has been the foundation for nearly eight years of advocacy for the Hebrew Orphan Asylum, the nation’s oldest surviving Jewish orphanage. Today, we are a proud partner with the Coppin Heights Community Development Corporation in turning this long-threatened and neglected building back into a health care facility for people in West Baltimore. We expect construction to begin soon.
Do you have a good idea for how you can help preserve Baltimore’s historic places? Would a $250 or $500 help you to make it happen? Consider applying for our 2017 Preservation Pitch Party or read on to learn more about how we are giving away four micro-grants this fall.
For the next two weeks, we’ll be taking your suggestions for small preservation projects. We’ll pick the top six ideas on Friday, September 22 and help the people who proposed these promising ideas prepare to make their case. On the evening of October 3, they’ll have just three minutes to make a pitch for why they deserve one of four “micro-grants”. Then, the crowd at Whitehall Mill will have the chance to vote and award two $500 grants and two $250 grants.
We are happy to consider any application related Baltimore’s history and historic places. Eligible projects could include doing repairs at a historic neighborhood park; planning a tour of a historic neighborhood; hosting an event to celebrate Baltimore’s history; or engaging neighborhood youth around preservation and architecture.
We know the amount of the award ($250 or $500) may not be enough to complete your entire project. But we believe a little help can sometimes make a big difference. You do not need to be a designated nonprofit or other incorporated organization to apply. Individuals and informal groups are welcome.
If you have any questions, pease email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call our office at 410-332-9992. Whether you submit a proposal or not, you are welcome to join us at Whitehall Mill on October 3; sign up online today!
With summer in the rear view mirror, it’s time to turn to the fall when we hope you can join us on the heritage tours and events we’ve lined up in September and October.
Beginning on Saturday, September 9, we are continuing our monthly tours of Lexington Market “catacombs” and historic vendors. If you missed our Lexington Market tours in the spring, now’s your chance! That afternoon, you are welcome to get involved with the Herring Run Archaeology Project at a volunteer open house where project archaeologists will share updates on the dig and upcoming opportunities.
Thursday, September 12 marks the 137th birthday of H.L. Mencken, and we’re celebrating with a tour: “My Own Two Hands”: A Birthday Tour of the H.L. Mencken House. Our partners, the Friends of the H.L. Mencken House and the Baltimore National Heritage Area, will share the history of the building and its curmudgeonly resident, as well as plans for restoration and reopening. At the end of the month, on Saturday, September 30, we’re taking a one-hour walking tour of Ellicott City, with Preservation Maryland’s executive director Nick Redding. Nick will share a close look at the challenges and progress of the recovery one year after a devastating flood.
On Tuesday, October 3, we are saying thank you to everyone who volunteers with us, joins our heritage tours, and supports Baltimore Heritage as members, donors, and sponsors. We’re hosting an evening of thanks at Whitehall Mill with a reception, a tour of this historic former textile mill, and a chance to help us give away four micro-grants for preservation work in Baltimore. We hope you can join us for this free event and give us the chance to say thank you for all you do.