Kick off 2017 with two Behind the Scenes Tours Get an insider's look at the Meyerhoff Symphony and Manger Meats

Happy New Year! We are ready to ring in 2017 with some great new Baltimore Behind the Scenes tours.

On Tuesday, January 10, we’ll go backstage at the Meyerhoff Symphony Hall to learn about acoustical design, music legends, and the history of the Symphony Hall and the Meyerhoff family. On our tour, we will walk the stage and explore the basement, music library, and the area where the musicians hang out before the show.

On Saturday, February 4, we’re visiting the 150-year-old Manger Packing Corporation in southwest Baltimore to learn about the tradition of sausage making and Baltimore’s German heritage from Alvin Manger, great-grandson of the company’s founder and current patriarch of the Manger family’s business.

Finally, please join our statewide partner Preservation Maryland on Wednesday, January 4 for a town hall meeting to learn about how you can advocate for preservation during this year’s Maryland Legislative session. The meeting is at Union Mill (1500 Union Avenue) at 6:30 pm. Registration is not required!

I hope your new year is starting off well and I hope you can join us for these and other tours in the year ahead.

It is not too late to help Baltimore Heritage! Become a member or make a donation in 2016

The final hours of 2016 are disappearing quickly but it is not too late to support Baltimore Heritage before the new year begins!

For a small nonprofit like Baltimore Heritage, every gift matters. If you donate five dollars or five hundred dollars, your support goes directly to helping preserve Baltimore’s historic places and revitalize our neighborhoods. Member giving in 2016 helped us:

Thank you again to all of the people who volunteer their time and support Baltimore Heritage through membership and donations. Please become a member or make a donation of any amount. Together, we’re making a difference. Happy New Year!

Help us to help Baltimore. We rely on your support to build on Baltimore's heritage and lift up our neighborhoods.

Every year we say thank you to everyone who has volunteered their time with us, supported us as a member, and rolled up their sleeves while working to improve Baltimore and our historic neighborhoods. We rely on people like you for your support and we are grateful for every dollar you can give. Please consider making a donation today.

Thinking back on the changes and challenges of the past year, we believe 2016 showed us that preserving historic places and teaching local history is more critical than ever. We need to do more in the year ahead.

We need to preserve diverse historic places that tell all of Baltimore’s story.

Photograph by Eli Pousson, 2016 April 6.

Late last year we lost Freedom House, a former center of Civil Rights activism in Upton’s Marble Hill. In April, Public School 103, Thurgood Marshall’s own elementary school, suffered a devastating fire. When we lose buildings like these, we lose places that teach us about past efforts to redress inequality. Our losses have spurred us to redouble our efforts to protect our city’s Civil Rights history through our ongoing Landmarks from the Movement project.

We need to share more stories of struggle and success from past generations that help us overcome our challenges today.

Mount Vernon Pride walking tour on Charles Street. Photograph by Nicole Stanovsky, 2015 May 31.

With generous help from our volunteers, we are proud to have hosted fifty-six tours of twenty-nine unique historic places in 2016. We explored everything from the catacombs under Lexington Market to Baltimore’s brewing heritage. In the year ahead we plan to showcase our city’s immigrant experience through places like the Immigrant House in Locust Point and the courageous legacy of activism found in Mount Vernon’s LGBTQ landmarks. We seek to share the stories of the many people and places that shape our communities and our city.

We need to concentrate our preservation efforts even more in Baltimore’s most disinvested historic communities as they work to revitalize.

554-572 Presstman Street. Photo courtesy DHCD.

In January, the city and state launched Project CORE: a multi-year program to demolish vacant rowhouses and fund new investments in neglected buildings. Since the program began, we’ve sought to steer demolition away from the most important historic places and advocating for reinvestment where it can do the most good for historic neighborhoods that need it. In the year ahead, we are expanding our work in West Baltimore neighborhoods like Harlem Park and Greater Rosemont. We support and celebrate the people who are building on Baltimore’s heritage to lift up their communities.

If you have not already donated this year, please renew your membership or become a member for the first time. By supporting our work today, you can help us grab the opportunities and face the challenges that lie ahead for Baltimore’s historic landmarks and neighborhoods. Membership is still just $35 for you or $50 for your household and it only takes a few minutes to donate online.

We hope you have a happy and peaceful holiday season!

P.S. In addition to giving online through our website, we can now accept gifts of stock. You can also always sign up to volunteer – we’ll be recruiting tour guides for our Monumental City Tours in 2017. Please contact me at hopkins@baltimoreheritage.org for more information.

Holiday tour treat at the U.S. Custom House Make merry with one last behind-the-scenes tour.

As we enter into the 2016 holiday season in earnest, we hope you can squeeze in one last heritage tour with us into your December: a peek inside the U.S. Custom House on Lombard Street. On Dec. 28, we’ll tour this fantastic building with its Beaux Arts architecture, fabulous call room, and elaborate nautical murals by noted artist Francis David Millet.

If you are looking for more ways to celebrate the holidays with historic sites in Baltimore, don’t miss the 31st Annual Union Square Christmas Cookie Tour on December 11 and the Snowflake Tour of Charles Village Homes on December 18. Each of these tours gives you the chance to get to know a historic Baltimore neighborhood while enjoying sweet treats!

We’ll take up our 2017 heritage tour season in January. Stay tuned and have a happy holiday.

Your support makes Baltimore Heritage work. Please become a member today. Members make all of our education and advocacy programs possible.

Thank you to everyone who has supported Baltimore Heritage and our city’s historic places by joining us on some of our past heritage tours and programs. Today, I am asking you to continue your support by becoming a member. As a small organization with two paid staff and a great group of volunteers, members provide over half of Baltimore Heritage’s operating budget. With member support, we can continue to teach students about local history, fight to protect threatened landmarks, and offer assistance to Baltimore homeowners.

Tour group inside of the Read's Drug Store building
Interior of Read’s Drug Store. Photograph by Johns Hopkins, 2016.

By becoming a member, you can keep enjoying great heritage tours and events like our upcoming visit to Lexington Market to meet long-time merchants and descend into the catacombs underneath the stalls. But your membership gift allows us to do more than tours.  Over the last year, we worked with students and faculty from the University of Maryland Baltimore County to create a new virtual tour of UMBC’s Catonsville campus. We participated in the review of the B&P Tunnel Project for months and helped project planners avoid tearing down historic buildings along the route. We are empowering residents to address the issue of vacant buildings in their historic neighborhoods in partnership with the Community Law Center. We are continuing to research and document Baltimore’s Civil Rights movement and to share what we’re learning online.

Herring Run Archaeology Project, 2016 April 26.
Herring Run Archaeology Project, 2016 April 26.

As a Baltimore Heritage member, you can help us do even more. In the coming year, Baltimore City and the State of Maryland are undertaking a $75 million project to demolish or stabilize thousands of vacant rowhouses in Baltimore. Most of these buildings are located in historic neighborhoods. We are working closely with city and state officials to protect buildings that matter most to local residents and to use program funds to stabilize buildings where investment can make a real difference.

Our members make all of our work possible. Please make a donation of $35 for an individual membership or $50 for a household and become a member of Baltimore Heritage today.