It’s the time of year when we both give thanks and look forward to the year ahead. It is also the time of year when we ask you to renew your membership support for Baltimore Heritage.
We at Baltimore Heritage have a lot to be thankful for—starting with the kind volunteers who lead our tours, research and write about historic places for Explore Baltimore Heritage, join us in fighting for threatened historic landmarks, and so much more. You make our work possible.
We also are thankful that the future is looking brighter for the Sellers Mansion in West Baltimore’s Lafayette Square neighborhood. This past summer, we helped organize a group of volunteer archaeologists and excavated the yard of this 1868 house. Our team identified the remains of a historic nursery building and found artifacts from the Sellers’ family occupation. Most importantly, the dig fulfilled one of the city’s requirements before stabilization work on the building could begin. After more than twenty years advocating for the preservation of this grand structure, we are excited to see the project being moving forward. The rehabilitation cannot come soon enough!
We’d also like to say thanks to our new partners: the Adopt-a-Monument Partnership Fund. This program, now twenty-five years old, matches donors with public sculptures in Baltimore to raise funds for their maintenance and preservation. With thousands of dollars raised every year, the program has helped dozens of sculptures including the Peace Monument in Mount Vernon, On the Trail in Clifton Park, and the Sam Smith statue in Federal Hill. We look forward to both being the fiscal sponsor for this great project and helping it expand to help even more public art in Baltimore.
As we look forward to year ahead, we know that it will be full of new tours in our Heritage Tour Series (two hundred different sites and counting!), as well as work to help threatened historic squares and neighborhoods as they revitalize. Thank you again for your past support and for renewing your Baltimore Heritage membership. We can’t do it without you!
Today is your last chance to help Baltimore Heritage with a tax-deductible gift in 2017. Please don’t wait! Join or renew now or make a donation of any size. As a small nonprofit organization, your support goes a long way to help preserve historic places and revitalize historic neighborhoods in Baltimore.
I just took a look back at the programs and events, advocacy, and technical assistance our Baltimore Heritage community accomplished this past year and I am amazed.
I’m amazed by the 2,415 people and organizations that donated, volunteered, and supported our work preserving historic places and promoting historic neighborhoods. With just two-and-a-half staff, we are not the biggest non-profit in Baltimore but we feel fortunate to have so many friends and neighbors who love this city just as much as we do!
Here’s what’s behind that truly extraordinary number:
Three generous donors funded our preservation micro-grants
Three volunteers and three great partners helped launch our new Maintain Civic Spaces project
Seventy-seven people showed up for our Vacant Buildings 101 workshops
Forty-six volunteers led eighty heritage tours of historic places
Over fifteen hundred people came on tours generating over $2,000 for local historic sites
Over eight hundred people supported our work as members
Nineteen corporations and thirteen foundations gave grants or sponsorships
Wow! For all of you who volunteer, come out to our programs and tours, and support our work in Baltimore, please accept a sincere thank you from all of our staff and board of directors at Baltimore Heritage. Here is how your time, talents and financial support make a difference.
Leading tours of thirty unique historic places
In 2017, forty-six people volunteered their time, talent, and knowledge to lead eighty tours of thirty separate historic places around Baltimore. Our annual Baltimore by Foot neighborhood walking tour series took visitors to Stone Hill and Dickeyville. Our Behind the Scenes tours explored historic theaters downtown, the “catacombs” at Lexington Market, and the H.L. Mencken House — just to name a few.
With over fifteen hundred participants, your tour tickets raised nearly $2,000 for preservation of small museums and historic sites across the city. We covered a lot of territory thanks to our tour volunteers:
Melissa Archer, Shelley Arnold, Joanne Baker, Tom Beck, Ralph Brown, Blaine Carvalho, Marianne Colimore, Graham Coreil-Allen, Sally Craig, Kate Creamer, Kate Drabinski, Bill Dunn, Patricia Foster, Rose Gallenberger, Marjorie Goodman, Virginia Green, Francesca Guerin, Patricia Hawthorne, Robert Headley, Duncan Hodge, Guy Hollyday, Matthew Hood, Louis Hughes, Lesley Humphreys, Jamie Hunt, Lisa Kraus, Sarah Krum, Lindsey Loeper, Alvin Manger, Richard Messick, Stephanie Moore, Peter Morrill, Richard Oloizia, Stacy Pack, Shirley Perry, Wayne Schaumburg, Doris Sharkey, Jason Shellenhamer, Terry Shepard, Lisa Simeone, Rick Smith, Willy Sydnor, Debra Thomas, Dave Tirschman, Tom Walker, Gregory Weidman, and Debra Wiener.
Teaching Vacant Buildings 101 to neighborhood advocates
Vacant buildings cause problems for residents all across Baltimore City. But residents can also work to solve these problems! Baltimore Heritage and the Community Law Center teamed up to lead three workshops and publish a new online resource for Baltimore residents, property owners, and community leaders to take action on this issue. Thanks to our colleagues Becky Witt and Kristine Dunkerton at the Community Law Center for working with us.
Giving away micro-grants for preservation projects
With the generous support of one of our members, Ms. Brigid Goody, and surprise gifts from FreedomCar and Southway Builders, in the second year of our preservation micro-grant program we offered six grants totaling $3,000 to the Preservation Society of Fell’s Point, the Beloved Community Services Corporation at Union Baptist Church, Mount Clare House Museum, Poe Baltimore, H.L. Mencken House, Lillie Carroll Jackson Civil Rights Museum, and Civic Works.
Maintaining historic buildings as civic spaces
This year, we partnered with the Neighborhood Design Center’s Community Design Works program to recruit volunteer architects and conduct conditions assessments of the Village Learning Place and the Hodge House at First & Franklin Church. We’re now interviewing local nonprofit leaders with the Friends of Patterson Park and McKim Center to understand best practices for maintaining community-serving buildings. Thanks to Laura Wheaton at NDC, volunteer architects Darragh Brady, Andrew Chaveas, and Jay Orr, PNC Bank for its support, and everyone who has helped us to launch this exciting new initiative.
Sustaining our work and mission as members
Over eight hundred individuals and families contributed as members, nineteen corporations provided sponsorship support, and thirteen foundations and organizations supported our programs and events. These contributions make up over fifty percent of our operating budget and provide the critical funding for all we do, from advocating for places like the Sellers Mansion to providing technical assistance on historic preservation projects.
Corporate & Business Supporters: Agora, Brennan and Company Architects, Cho Benn Holback, a Quinn Evans Company, Delbert Adams Construction Group, FreedomCar, GLB Concrete Construction, GWWO Architects, McLain Wiesand, Michael J. Walkley, PA, Murdoch Architects, O’Connell & Associates, PNC, Rohrer Studio, SM+P Architects, Southway Builders, Terra Nova Ventures, The Whiting-Turner Contracting Company, Zeskinds Hardware and Millwork, Ziger/Snead Architects
Foundation Supporters: Abell Foundation Matching Grant, Annie Casey Matching Grant, Baltimore Office of Promotion and Arts, Greater Cincinnati Foundation, Kaiser Foundation Matching Grant, Marino Foundation, Maryland Association of History Museums, Mount Washington Garden Club, National Recreation Foundation, Preservation Maryland, University of Maryland, University of Maryland Foundation, Van Buren Family Foundation
I wish you a wonderful holiday season and I look forward to working with you in the new year.
Baltimore Heritage is a small nonprofit organization. We rely on the many kind people who volunteer their time and commit their support each year to help save Baltimore’s unique historic places.
One historic place we’re helping right now is the Village Learning Place. For the past few months, we’ve worked with the Liesje Gantert, director of the VLP, along with staff and volunteer architects from the Neighborhood Design Center to take a close look at the condition of their former Pratt Library branch on Saint Paul Street. Over the next year, we will build on these efforts to help more local nonprofits improve maintenance of their historic civic spaces across Baltimore. Not all historic buildings are museums: they also provide affordable housing, child care, community meeting space, and more. We are eager to help keep these buildings working well for all the people who rely on them.
In addition to helping us save Baltimore’s historic places, as a member you also get the benefit of discounts on our heritage tour program. With great volunteers like Patricia Hawthorne, who has led our Monumental City tours for years, and new volunteers like Sarah Krum who just started this year, our we are grateful to the many people who make our heritage tours possible. Over the last ten years, our volunteers have organized and led nearly four hundred tours of over two hundred different historic places!
Membership support has been the foundation for nearly eight years of advocacy for the Hebrew Orphan Asylum, the nation’s oldest surviving Jewish orphanage. Today, we are a proud partner with the Coppin Heights Community Development Corporation in turning this long-threatened and neglected building back into a health care facility for people in West Baltimore. We expect construction to begin soon.
At Baltimore Heritage, we rely on support from hundreds of people in and around Baltimore: volunteers who make all our events possible, history-lovers who come on our heritage tours, and people who support our work as members, donors, and sponsors. Thank you!
We hope all of you can be our guests on October 3, 6:00 pm at the historic Whitehall Mill on for a reception, tour, and chance to help us give away four micro-grants for preservation in Baltimore. The evening program is also this year’s annual meeting where we elect board members and officers. Special thanks to Delbert Adams Construction Group for sponsoring this event. Please join us and help guide our work in the year ahead.
Reception & Tour
Enjoy light fare, wine, beer and more! We’ll take a tour through this former 1700s grist mill including the spectacular apartment home of artist Hilton Carter. Mr. Carter has turned his apartment at Whitehall Mill into an oasis with hundreds of plants and his own industry-inspired artwork. He has been featured in Baltimore Magazine and Baltimore Art, and is graciously opening his home for us.
We are giving out four micro-grants of $250 and $500 to deserving preservation efforts in Baltimore. Six people will give three-minute “pitches” of their ideas and then we will ask you to cast a vote for the ideas you’d like us to fund. We’ll learn about some great initiatives underway in Baltimore and have a little fun while helping them out. If you have a good idea, please send it in!
Finally, since our founding in 1960, Baltimore Heritage has been run by a board of directors elected by members who have contributed in the last year. We’ll elect our board and officers for the coming year and hope you will participate. If you haven’t made a membership gift this year, please make a donation today.
Thank you again for supporting Baltimore’s historic buildings and neighborhoods, and for supporting our work to keep them vibrant. We hope you can sign up to join us on Tuesday, October 3 at Whitehall Mill.