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.

A small candy store with a tile roof and a neon sign reading: "Rheb's" Overlaid pink text reads: "How Sweet It Is! Rehb's Candies Turns 100"

Tour Rheb’s Candies on August 8—then mark your calendar for fall events

One hundred years ago, newly-wed couple Louis and Esther Rheb started making fudge and taffy out of their house on Wilkens Avenue. Join us on an August 8 tour to discover the story of Rheb’s candies and tour the family house and garage where a fourth generation still carries on this legacy business and long-time Baltimore favorite sweet spot.

Mark your calendar for a tour on Saturday, September 8 where we will visit the Maryland Historical Society’s newly updated exhibit “Divided Voices: Maryland in the Civil War,” then walk around Mount Vernon Place with our own Eli Pousson, and hear the neighborhood’s stories of slavery and emancipation. The following weekend, on Saturday, September 15, radio host, architectural historian, and Charles Village resident Lisa Simeone will lead a walking tour covering the colorful history of this rowhouse neighborhood.

We’re also pleased to announce a new lecture series in partnership with the Garrett-Jacobs Mansion. About once a month from September until March 2019, we’ll feature a different speaker on Baltimore history. The first speaker is historian Jack Burkert talking about the Port of Baltimore on Sunday, September 23. Other speakers include Wayne Schaumburg, Antero Pietilla, and Ric Cottom. Come to one or come to all!

We hope you are staying cool this summer and can stay tuned as we line up our fall tours, talks, and events.

Discover food history and a Centennial Business

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

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

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

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!