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Author: Eli

Eli Pousson started as a Field Officer at Baltimore Heritage in partnership with the National Trust for Historic Preservation in October 2009. Prior to moving to Baltimore, Eli worked for the DC Office of Historic Preservation and completed graduate work in anthropology and historic preservation at the University of Maryland College Park. Eli continues to work with the Lakeland Community Heritage Project and other heritage organizations in Prince George’s County, Maryland.

Discover food history and a Centennial Business Sipping and strolling in Little Italy and behind the scenes at Baltimore’s oldest stone company

Trying not to let spring get away from us, we are eager to share on latest tours to get you outside this spring. On Monday, April 30, we’re sampling Italian food and taking a short walk around Little Italy with Kit Chiapparelli, co-owner of Chiapparelli’s restaurant: A Glass of Wine, an Appetizer, and a Stroll: Food and History at Chiapparelli’s and Little Italy.

On Thursday, May 17, we’ve lined up another outdoor tour, this time to see first hand how architectural stone products are made at the 150-year-old Hilgartner Natural Stone Company, one of Baltimore’s Centennial businesses: Oh Those Marble Steps: 150 Years of Stone Work at the Hilgartner Stone Company. We’re planning at other Baltimore businesses with roots going back a century or more throughout the year. Stay tuned for details!

And, as always, if you haven’t made it to a Monumental City walking tour yet, please come along! On Sunday mornings through November, we’re offering one-hour guided tours of downtown statuary, the Shot Tower and Jonestown, the Washington Monument, and Federal Hill. Come outside with us and explore Baltimore.

Updated: Home of the Friendless up for auction rescheduled for Thursday, May 3 1870 landmark on Druid Hill Avenue needs a developer with a plan for reuse

Update – April 13, 2018: The March 8 auction was cancelled. The auction was rescheduled for Thursday, May 3 at 12:00 p.m.

The former Home of the Friendless, an 1870 orphanage located at 1313 Druid Hill Avenue in Upton, is up for sale in a foreclosure auction scheduled for Thursday, May 3 at 12:00 p.m. Two years ago, Baltimore Housing awarded the building to local developer AZ Group through the Vacants to Value Surplus Property Sale. Unfortunately, while the building was approved for state historic tax credits last year, the plan to convert the 13,300-square-foot building into seventeen apartments never found the financing required for rehabilitation work to begin.

Home of the Friendless/Druid Health Center. Baltimore Heritage (CC0)

With this new sale, we’re hoping the building finds a new developer that recognizes the importance of this West Baltimore landmark and find a way to bring it back to life. Learn more about the auction by Melnick Auctioneers or see photographs of the Home of the Friendless on Flickr.

Home of the Friendless Property Information:

  • Address: 1313 Druid Hill Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21217
  • Lot size: 6,825 square feet
  • Interior size: 13,300 square feet
  • Zoning: Row House Residential District (R-8)

You can read about the history of the building in the National Register landmark nomination (PDF) by Fred Shoken or our brief Explore Baltimore Heritage story.

Two park benches facing a cast-iron fountain in the middle of a small planting bed.
Henry Highland Garnet Park with the Home of the Friendless in the background. Baltimore Heritage (CC0)
A side view of a two-story brick buildings with turrets at two corners.

Former Eastern Female High School building up for auction this Friday, October 27 After a 2015 fire, the building needs a new owner and a new use

Update:The October 27 auction was cancelled but will be rescheduled. For questions, contact Paul R. Cooper, auction agent, by email at paul@alexcooper.com or by phone at 410-977-4707.

The 148-year-old Eastern Female High School building is up for auction this Friday, October 27 at 10:30 am. The building suffered a serious fire in July 2015 but we are optimistic that this former nj defensive driving course school and local landmark can find a new owner and a new use after fifteen years of vacancy and neglect. The Casey Group, a local firm acting as the receiver for the property, required potential bidders to register by last Friday, October 20.

A sign reading: "Alex Cooper Real Estate Auction To Be Sold On the Premises Fr/ Oct 27th @ 10:30 AM Paul Cooper 410-977-4707 www.AlexCooper.com"
Photograph by Eli Pousson, 2017 October 24.

The Baltimore Department of Housing and Community Development began seeking a receivership sale for the building in December 2014 and, in September 2015, the city’s District Court appointed the Casey Group the receiver for the property. The property is located at the edge of the Pleasant View neighborhood where the city’s first HOPE VI redevelopment project opened in 1998 with over two hundred townhouses and a 110-unit senior building.

The Eastern Female High School is a designated local landmark which means that the Commission for Historical and Architectural Preservation must review any proposed changes to the exterior of the building. Read more about the history of the former school on Explore Baltimore Heritage.

A large brick building with a gable roof.

Second annual Preservation Pitch Party donates $3,500 to creative local heritage projects Surprise gifts from Southway Builders and FreedomCar offer $500 for all seven preservation micro-grant finalists

Baltimore Heritage’s second annual preservation micro-grant pitch party on last Monday at Whitehall Mill ended in a happy surprise. Southway Builders and FreedomCar made the unexpected decision to offer matching gifts and expand our micro-grant funding pool from $1,500 to $3,500. The result? Instead of just giving out four gifts, all seven groups that pitched an idea received $500 to make it happen.

On behalf of everybody at Baltimore Heritage, congratulations to the seven organizations, and sincere thanks to micro-grant donors Ms. Brigid Goody, Southway Builders, and Freedom Car!

The seven projects span the city from east to west Baltimore, including:

  • Beloved Community Services Corporation at Union Baptist Church is working with the Baltimore Museum of Art to launch Soul Café: a project to create a safe space for community art engagement in Upton’s Marble Hill.
  • Civic Works is making a new exhibit at Clifton Mansion showcasing an antebellum call-bell system and improving visitor experience on tours for their Legacy Education Project.
  • H.L. Mencken House is buying garden supplies for volunteers to beautify the front stoop and improve the home’s back garden.
  • Lillie Carroll Jackson Civil Rights Museum is buying books and organizing a new Saturday Civil Rights history book club for teens and young adults.
  • Mount Clare Museum House is planning new special weekend tours celebrating Mount Clare’s one hundred years as a house museum
  • Poe Baltimore is designing and printing a set of postcards featuring historic images of the Poe House.
  • Preservation Society of Fells Point is planning to secure and stabilize the Caulker’s Houses on Wolfe Street, the only surviving eighteenth-century timber frame buildings left standing in Baltimore

Thank you to everyone who submitted proposals for the pitch party and everyone who came out on October 3. We plan to check in with the seven award-winning projects and share updates on their fantastic projects over the next few months. Stay tuned!

Large brick building with a sign reading "Whitehall Mill" painted on the side.

We say “Thank you!” at Whitehall Mill on October 3 Join our community of friends and supporters for a reception, tour, annual meeting, and micro-grant giveaway

At Baltimore Heritage, we rely on support from hundreds of people in and around Baltimore: volunteers who make all our events possible, history-lovers who come on our heritage tours, and people who support our work as members, donors, and sponsors. Thank you!

We hope all of you can be our guests on October 3, 6:00 pm at the historic Whitehall Mill on for a reception, tour, and chance to help us give away four micro-grants for preservation in Baltimore. The evening program is also this year’s annual meeting where we elect board members and officers. Special thanks to Delbert Adams Construction Group for sponsoring this event. Please join us and help guide our work in the year ahead.

Reception & Tour

Enjoy light fare, wine, beer and more! We’ll take a tour through this former 1700s grist mill including the spectacular apartment home of artist Hilton Carter. Mr. Carter has turned his apartment at Whitehall Mill into an oasis with hundreds of plants and his own industry-inspired artwork. He has been featured in Baltimore Magazine and Baltimore Art, and is graciously opening his home for us.

Preservation Micro-Grants

We are giving out four micro-grants of $250 and $500 to deserving preservation efforts in Baltimore. Six people will give three-minute “pitches” of their ideas and then we will ask you to cast a vote for the ideas you’d like us to fund. We’ll learn about some great initiatives underway in Baltimore and have a little fun while helping them out. If you have a good idea, please send it in!

Board Elections

Finally, since our founding in 1960, Baltimore Heritage has been run by a board of directors elected by members who have contributed in the last year. We’ll elect our board and officers for the coming year and hope you will participate. If you haven’t made a membership gift this year, please make a donation today.

Thank you again for supporting Baltimore’s historic buildings and neighborhoods, and for supporting our work to keep them vibrant. We hope you can sign up to join us on Tuesday, October 3 at Whitehall Mill.