New Preservation Project: Announcing Partnership to Support the Bruce Street Arabber Stable, and a Baltimore Tradition Too!

Baltimore Heritage is delighted to be partnering with the Southwest Partnership and the Bruce Street Arabber Stable to help keep the historic stable on Bruce Street from collapsing.

Current owners Dorothy and David Johns wish to continue the tradition of arabbing (a-rab-bing)–in which melodious vendors sell fruit and vegetables from colorful, horse-drawn wagons–out of this stable, but their endeavors are threatened by a tree growing in the rear wall. This project will help protect the stable and allow it to continue growing into a vital community gathering place. 

This two-story, brick stable has been in operation since at least 1897 when this street was still called Bruce Alley. Since then the property has changed owners more than seven times before landing in the hands of Dorothy and David Johns. Dorothy’s grandmother, Mildred Allen, was one of Baltimore’s most successful arabbers, and the first female stable owner in Baltimore. Dorothy wants to celebrate her family’s past, and Baltimore’s unique arabbing culture, by continuing to shelter horses and wagons at the Bruce Street stable. 

The Baltimore Sun, December 9, 1897

Last year, Baltimore Heritage became aware of the need for stabilization of the building. After a site visit in November 2019 with staff from Baltimore Heritage and the Southwest Partnership, the Southwest Partnership retained a structural engineer to provide a preliminary assessment of the necessary work. The engineer concluded that there were three primary areas that needed to be addressed: the rear wall, the roof, and the internal support joists. 

We worked with Dorothy and David and the State of Maryland to secure funds and now work has begun. Check back to get periodic updates on its progress! 

 

For more on Baltimore arabbing: 

The Arabbers of Baltimore: A Photo Essay by Roland Freeman

The Arabbers of Baltimore City: A Market on Wheels by Madeline Ross

2020 Virtual Pitch Party: Help Us Give Away Five Micro-Grants!

Preservation in Baltimore is a participatory sport and we hope you will join in at our 2020 micro-grant giveaway on Thursday, October 22! At this free and virtual event, you’ll get to help us give away five micro-grants to help great projects in Baltimore. Based on your votes, we will give out two $500 grants, two $250 grants, and one $50 grant. Here are the finalists:

Jean Lee Cole, Friends of Contee-Parago Park
Hope Ford, ImagineIN
Matt Hood, The Baltimore Crime Museum
Nneka Nnamdi, Fight Blight Baltimore
Steven Skerritt-Davis, The Linden Avenue Association

We will count the results and let the winners know on the spot which grant they have won! It will be an exciting night and we can’t wait to “see” you there! Questions? Email ricks@baltimoreheritage.org

Accepting Ideas for 2020 Micro Grants for Preservation Work

We’re in our 5th year of giving away micro-grants to help fund preservation work in the city. If you have a good idea to help preserve a historic building or place in Baltimore or help revitalize a historic neighborhood, we’d love to hear from you! The process is easy: simply fill out the online application and hit send by Wednesday, September 23, 2020.

We’ll pick the five most promising ideas and give them a chance for one of two $500 grants, two $250 grants, or one $50 grant. The awards will be made on October 22, 2020 at a virtual pitch party. Over Zoom, supporters of each idea will get three minutes to pitch them and at the end, the crowd will cast virtual ballots to decide which ideas receive the micro grants. Whether funded or not, we will promote all the ideas and projects to help them garner attention and volunteers.

The types of eligible projects are endless, and as long as they relate to Baltimore’s history, heritage, historic buildings or historic neighborhoods we will consider them. Past award winners include: restoring leaking masonry at a historic church, launching an after school arts-based safe space program in a historic neighborhood, supporting archaeological efforts at a historic furnace, and providing supplies for a community trying to provide access to a neighboring park. The sky’s the limit!

The amount of the award ($50, $250, or $500) may not be enough to complete an entire project. That’s OK. The goal is to help spark new and support existing neighborhood-level preservation work. You don’t need to be a nonprofit organization or even a formalized group to be eligible. Individuals and small groups are welcome! Complete rules can be found on the application.

And you can now register for October 22’s Virtual Preservation Pitch Party! 

Seeking Proposals for Contract Researcher

Baltimore Heritage is seeking proposals to undertake a survey of African American heritage sites within the Old West Baltimore National Register Historic District. The work will include documenting historic sites in a spreadsheet format and preparing Maryland Inventory of Historic Places forms for five places.

Update: With regard to COVID-19, this position does not require in-person contact or in-person meetings. It does require research that could include accessing physical collections and archives at places like the Pratt Library, the Afro-American archives, and other repositories. Currently, these are closed to visitors and re-opening schedules have not been announced. If it is determined that accessing physical collections is a necessary part of this research, and these places remain closed for an extended period of time, we will work with the contractor to adjust schedules and expectations.

The deadline to apply in August 21, 2020.

To apply, please follow the instructions in our Request for Proposals. 

For questions, please contact Baltimore Heritage director Johns Hopkins at 410-332-9992 or hopkins@baltimoreheritage.org.