Remembering Julian “Jack” Lapides

Today, July 14, long-time Baltimore Heritage board member Julian “Jack” Lapides passed away. His death has saddened us in too many ways to count. And his legacy and impact on Baltimore, Maryland, and indeed the country, is also too expansive to properly capture. Nonetheless, we would humbly like to offer a tribute to Jack for his dedication to making our lives, our neighborhoods, and the world a better place by sharing a few highlights of his life’s work in his own words. Below are audio excerpts from an oral interview that fellow board members Susan Talbott and Barbara Weeks conducted with him several years ago. We hope you appreciate these short recordings for what they are: Jack sharing stories of fighting to save our heritage, fighting for civil rights, fighting always for the right path forward even against overwhelming odds, and always told with a smile and a joke in a way that only Jack could do.


Facing Urban Renewal & the Highway Fight

Beginning in the 1960s, Jack was one of the very first people to oppose a highway that would have paved over Fell’s Point and Federal Hill in East Baltimore and through Poppleton and Harlem Park in West Baltimore. He was instrumental in saving Baltimore’s waterfront and although part of the highway was built in West Baltimore, he helped block it half-way through construction and prevented even greater destruction in West Baltimore.

Saving Stirling Street (Plus Jack’s Favorite Preservation Story)

With his wife Linda, Jack convinced city officials not only to save historic Stirling Street in the Oldtown neighborhood, but to sell the houses for $1 to new owners, thus launching Baltimore’s famous Dollar House Program. 

Preserving the Phipps Building On Hopkins’ Campus

While in the Maryland Senate, Jack threatened to withhold funds that Johns Hopkins Hospital sought for a new oncology center until they agreed to save the historic Phipps building. The result: a saved and restored Phipps building and a new oncology center (with state funds) built nearby.

Passing the Public Accommodations Bill, 1963

In his first year in the state legislature, Jack supported legislation that would make it illegal for owners of places like restaurants and theaters to bar African Americans entry. Jack had won his seat by beating out an incumbent who opposed this civil rights legislation, and was one of two new votes that swung the state legislature into passing the Public Accommodations law of 1963. 

Starting the Maryland State Arts Council

Recognizing the importance of the arts in creating vibrant communities, Jack was one of the founding members of the Maryland State Arts Council in 1967.

The Baltimore City Historic Preservation Fund Is Open!

The third round of Baltimore City Historic Preservation Funding is open for applications. Applications are due August 6, 2021.

Baltimore Heritage, in partnership with the Maryland Historical Trust, Preservation Maryland, and the Baltimore City Commission for Historical and Architectural Preservation, are proud to partner for the Baltimore City Historic Preservation Fund. Funds for the grant program are provided by the Baltimore Community Foundation. The fund’s goal is to provide direct assistance for capital and non-capital activities that advance efforts to preserve historically significant properties in the City of Baltimore.

A special focus of this initiative is to support projects that not only preserve structures but are also important to neighborhood identity and contribute to the revitalization of communities. In the first two rounds, the Baltimore Preservation Fund supported sixteen projects totaling $120,000 in grant awards.

Tax-exempt organizations performing work in the City of Baltimore are eligible to apply for recommended grant requests of $1,000-$10,000. Projects must take place in the City of Baltimore. Projects eligible for the competitive grant funds include, but are not limited to, rehabilitation work of historic materials, preparation of National Register nominations, educational, research, and planning efforts related to preservation efforts.

Please contact Jessica Feldt, Preservation Initiatives Manager at jfeldt@presmd.org with any questions.

Applications for the 2021 round are due August 6, 2021. To learn more, please visit the grant site here.

We Are Now Offering Welcome Back Tours for Downtown Firms!

Downtown is opening up!

Since we’re coming back into the office, now’s the time to learn about where you work. Why does Charles Street narrow at Saratoga? Why do the enormous bronze doors at Ten Light Street sport bee hives, locomotives, and clipper ships? Where can you find hundreds of lions peering down on unsuspecting pedestrians? Join Mr. Johns Hopkins, director of the nonprofit Baltimore Heritage, on a 45-minute guided walking tour to learn about the history, architecture, and stories that make downtown interesting.

Logistics
Length: 45 minutes
Location: Leave from and return to your office lobby (we will tailor the tour to fit your location)
Time: Anytime weekdays 7:00 am to 5:00 pm (fits into a lunch hour or can be the start of a happy hour!)
Cost: $100

Please contact Molly Ricks at ricks@baltimoreheritage.org or 410-332-9992 for scheduling.

 


Want to take your office out for more tours? We’ve got over 15 different tours of downtown. Click here for a whole list!

Announcing New Green Mount Cemetery Walking Tours!

All tours are full

Baltimore Heritage is happy to announce that we will be hosting four tours of historic Green Mount Cemetery starting in April. After 30 years without a break, Baltimore historian Wayne Schaumburg is finally taking a spring off and he has kindly shared his tour notes with us. We hope you’ll join us and tour guide Tim Fabiszak on one of these four dates: April 3, April 17, May 1, & May 15.

Opened in 1839, Green Mount is an early example of an urban-rural cemetery, that is, a cemetery with a park-like setting located close to the countryside. Green Mount is the final resting place of some of Maryland’s most famous, and infamous, figures including Johns Hopkins, Enoch Pratt, William and Henry Walters, Mary Elizabeth Garrett, Betsy Patterson, A.S. Abell, John H. B. Latrobe, A. Aubrey Bodine, John Wilkes Booth, and Elijah Bond, who patented the Ouija Board!

Due to Covid precautions, we are limiting space more than usual. All participants will be required to wear face masks and socially distance during the tour. See these events and more on our Events page!

Members Make It Happen: Thank You from Baltimore Heritage

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. We at Baltimore Heritage cannot say it enough. This year has been challenging for everyone and we could not have navigated it without your support. Our new Five Minute Histories video series and our ongoing Legacy Business and Centennial Homes programs, to name a few, are possible only with your help. If you haven’t yet done so, please consider joining or renewing your membership today.

Here are just a few of this past year’s projects made possible with your support:

We produced over 100 Five Minute Histories videos. Beginning the first day of Maryland’s Covid lock-down, we have traveled all over our city covering topics such as the Civil Rights Movement, mercantile history, immigration, religious development, Native American history, LGBTQ heritage, transportation, landscape design, women’s rights, and even some geology.

We expanded our Friday afternoon history lecture series and went virtual. In partnership with the Baltimore Architecture Foundation, we held engaging talks by Charlie Duff, Nancy Proctor, Jackson Gilman-Forlini, Aaron Henkin, Anne Bruder, Meg Fairfax-Fielding, and more.

We handed out 5 micro-grants and 18 preservation awards virtually. We pivoted to a Zoom pitch party to continue to make preservation a participatory sport with micro grants. Thank you to member Brigid Goody for making this yearly event possible. And we have been featuring our 2020 preservation awards winners on our website and on our YouTube channel.

We continued to fight to preserve Baltimore’s heritage. Restoration has begun at the Bruce Street Arabber Stable. Construction continues at the Lafayette Square bathhouses. And the Center for Health Care and Healthy Living at the Baltimore Hebrew Orphan Asylum will soon be 100% occupied by the Baltimore City Health Department and Behavioral Health System Baltimore.

For all of you who volunteer, log-on to our programs, email us kind words (and correct our mistakes), and support our advocacy work in Baltimore, please accept a sincere thank you from all of us at Baltimore Heritage. Your time, talents and financial support make a difference. Please consider joining or renewing your membership.

We wish you a safe holiday season and thank you again for doing so much for Baltimore.

P.S. Need a holiday present idea? Get in touch about how you can get a gift membership for a friend or family-member!