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.

Baltimore by Foot is showing off the city from the Gwynns Falls to Lauraville! Get outside this spring to explore Baltimore's unique historic neighborhoods

Spring is finally here and we are ready to take you on a tour. Our Monumental City tours kick off on Sunday, April 8 with our Jonestown and the Shot Tower tour—the same day that the Baltimore Farmers’ Market and Bazaar opens for the season! On Sunday mornings from April to November, you can take a walk to explore downtown, the Shot Tower, Mount Vernon Place and the Washington Monument. This year, we’ve added Federal Hill to the mix so be sure to check out the full schedule.

If you save Sunday for sleeping in, you can still sign up for our Saturday morning neighborhood walking tour series beginning on Saturday, April 21. Our annual Baltimore by Foot neighborhood walking tours show off four unique historic neighborhoods and one beautiful historic park:

You can sign up for just one tour or all five! We have tickets left for every tour but we expect to sell out. I hope you can get outside, enjoy the warmer weather, and come along for a tour soon.

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)

Join us at Hayles and Howe Ornamental Plasterwork and Scagliola on March 14 Don't miss this rare look at the restoration of ornate plaster-work from a landmark theatre

One of Baltimore’s premier artisan plaster studios, Hayles & Howe Ornamental Plasterwork and Scagliola, is currently working on a remarkable project: the restoration of ornate moldings and ceiling elements from Philadelphia’s historic Metropolitan theater. Please join us for a rare chance to see these craftspeople in action!

Metropolitan Theatre, Philadelphia in 2012. Photograph by Chandra Lampreich, 2012. Courtesy Hidden City Philadelphia.

Our late afternoon tour on Wednesday, March 14—Awards from the President to the Queen: Inside Hayles and Howe Ornate Plasterwork and Scagliola—isn’t in Philadelphia, of course, but at the company’s studio on Sisson Street in Remington. This 4:00 p.m. tour is a little earlier than most of our Behind the Scenes tours so you can meet the skilled people working on this project. Wear shoes that you don’t mind getting dusty and sign up soon—we expect tickets to sell out!

Drinks at a storied historic bar and an architectural tour at a massive historic church Plus a talk in Hampden tonight on the history of Poole & Hunt

If you want to learn a little Baltimore history in a storied restaurant and bar, we’ve got you covered on Tuesday, March 6 for Baltimore on Show: A Behind the Scenes Tour and Drink at The Elephant. In addition to learning wonderful history, your fifteen dollar ticket includes the bar’s signature Tiffany Punch cocktail!

If you gravitate more towards fantastic architecture, join us on our Blending Gothic and Modern on a Massive Scale where will explore the rich details of the Cathedral of Mary our Queen (the third largest cathedral in the country!) on Thursday, March 15.

Finally, don’t forget to stop by the Hampden library tonight for a talk by Nathan Dennies on how Poole & Hunt became Clipper Mill! I hope to see you there.