Preserving and promoting Baltimore's historic buildings and neighborhoods.
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 need your help to find the past year’s best preservation projects as we get ready to give out our 2019 Preservation Awards. Please send in your a nomination by Friday, February 22!
Last year’s award recipients included the rehabilitation of Baltimore Center Stage, the restoration of the school library at Baltimore City College, the transformation of the Rec Pier into the Sagamore Pendry Hotel, and a book of photographs showing Baltimore’s unique collection of historic theaters. Our Preservation Project Awards recognize property owners, architects, contractors, and craftspeople who have recently completed rehabilitation, restoration, and adaptive reuse projects. Our Heritage Achievement Awards honor individual and organizations who have supported Baltimore’s historic buildings and neighborhoods through writing, advocacy, education, and community service.
Hang on to your hats and fight back the February “blahs” by coming out for one of our upcoming talks and tours. On Sunday, February 10, we’re teaming up with the Jewish Museum of Maryland to offer a ”two-fer” tour of historic synagogues. We’ll start with a walk through the 174-year-old Lloyd Street Synagogue (the third oldest synagogue in the country!) and then head down the block to visit the ornately-detailed B’Nai Israel which maintained the Jewish community presence in East Baltimore since the 1870s.
On Sunday, February 17, we’re bringing back Jamie Hunt’s popular Mount Vernon Love Stories walking tours. Starting at the Marburg Mansion on Mount Vernon Place, this walk covers two centuries of celebrity gossip, intrigue, and off-beat love lives from John Eager Howard in the 1780s to Jada Pinkett Smith in the 1990. We are offering the same tour in the morning at 11:00 am and the afternoon at 1:00 pm so sign up for the time that works for you.
After being briefly buried under snow on Sunday, we’ve all been thinking warm thoughts—but at Baltimore Heritage we’re thinking hot—like the 2500-degree fire that burned through downtown Baltimore 114 years ago next month. We hope you can join local historian Wayne Schaumburg at the cozy Garrett-Jacobs Mansion on Mount Vernon Place on Sunday, February 3 to learn more about the Great Baltimore Fire. In his talk, A Hot Time in the Old Town, Wayne will share how hot the fire burned (yes, up to 2500 degrees) and how the event fundamentally shaped the Baltimore we know today.
On Saturday, February 9, we are excited to bring back our monthly tours of Lexington Market showcasing historic vendors and exploring the catacombs below the west building. Lexington Market boasts three legacy businesses that have been around for a hundred years or more: Faidley’s Seafood, Konstant’s Candies and Peanuts, and Mary Mervis Delicatessen. Throughout the year, you can expect more tours of legacy business as part of our effort to document and highlight the city’s long-lasting and well-loved business institutions.
Finally, I want to say a very sincere thank you to everybody who joined or renewed their membership in 2018. Nearly two hundred people joined or renewed their membership in the last two weeks of December, bringing our total to nearly seven hundred supporters for the year. We’ve said it before, but we never get tired of repeating it—we are a small organization and your gifts make all of our work possible. Thank you!
As we head into December, all of us at Baltimore Heritage want to wish you a happy holiday season. We also hope you can join us on our final tours and talks of 2018. What better December treat than to take a loved on a heritage tour?
In what has now become a December tradition for us, we’ve lined up a great tour for everyone who stays in town between Christmas and the beginning of the new year. On Thursday, December 27, we’re heading to the Museum of Baltimore Legal History in what has been called the most beautiful courtroom in Maryland, the former Orphan Court of Baltimore City in the Clarence Mitchell Courthouse. Take advantage the the light traffic downtown and join us for a walk through this hidden gem!
Finally, if you haven’t yet renewed your membership with Baltimore Heritage, we are still looking for your support. With discounts on tours and talks for the coming year, becoming a member is a great way to explore Baltimore throughout the year. Membership gifts make fabulous holiday presents as well!
It’s the time of year when we both give thanks and look forward to the year ahead. It is also the time of year when we ask you to renew your membership support for Baltimore Heritage.
We at Baltimore Heritage have a lot to be thankful for—starting with the kind volunteers who lead our tours, research and write about historic places for Explore Baltimore Heritage, join us in fighting for threatened historic landmarks, and so much more. You make our work possible.
We also are thankful that the future is looking brighter for the Sellers Mansion in West Baltimore’s Lafayette Square neighborhood. This past summer, we helped organize a group of volunteer archaeologists and excavated the yard of this 1868 house. Our team identified the remains of a historic nursery building and found artifacts from the Sellers’ family occupation. Most importantly, the dig fulfilled one of the city’s requirements before stabilization work on the building could begin. After more than twenty years advocating for the preservation of this grand structure, we are excited to see the project being moving forward. The rehabilitation cannot come soon enough!
We’d also like to say thanks to our new partners: the Adopt-a-Monument Partnership Fund. This program, now twenty-five years old, matches donors with public sculptures in Baltimore to raise funds for their maintenance and preservation. With thousands of dollars raised every year, the program has helped dozens of sculptures including the Peace Monument in Mount Vernon, On the Trail in Clifton Park, and the Sam Smith statue in Federal Hill. We look forward to both being the fiscal sponsor for this great project and helping it expand to help even more public art in Baltimore.
As we look forward to year ahead, we know that it will be full of new tours in our Heritage Tour Series (two hundred different sites and counting!), as well as work to help threatened historic squares and neighborhoods as they revitalize. Thank you again for your past support and for renewing your Baltimore Heritage membership. We can’t do it without you!