Category: Tours

Behind the Scenes at Rheb’s Candies, the Downtown You Never Knew, and More Tours In July

It’s July in Baltimore and it’s hot. That’s not new. What is new are two upcoming heritage tours visiting a 100 year old family business and exploring parts of Downtown many of us never knew about. Please join us!

On Thursday July 25, we’re going behind the scenes at Rheb’s Candies to see how they produce their delectable sweets at this 101 year-old business that is still going strong in the Rheb family. The production facility is in the family’s former garage next to their house-turned-shop and here we’ll get an intimate tour of perhaps the sweetest place in Baltimore. 

Did you know that the Continental Congress met in downtown Baltimore? Or that German agents plotted sabotage on Charles Street during World War I? If you didn’t (and even if you did!) join tour guide Jefferson Gray on Sunday July 28 for a walking tour of The Downtown You Never Knew to learn about Baltimore’s hidden history in plain sight.

We are still rolling through our Sunday morning Monumental City walking tours. The next tours are of Jonestown and the Shot Tower on July 14 and Mt. Vernon Place and the Washington Monument on July 21. Come out and bring a friend!

Finally, looking ahead to the fall, we are pleased to be continuing our partnership with the Garrett Jacobs Mansion in a series of Sunday afternoon lectures. We just opened up registration for the first talk on September 15 with historian Charlie Duff on his new book “The North Atlantic Cities” exploring rowhouses around the world. We hope to see you there!

LGBTQ walking tour in Mount Vernon & 2019 Awards Celebration!

In the early morning hours of June 28, 1969, officers from the New York City Vice Squad raided the Stonewall Inn, a well-known gay bar in New York’s Greenwich Village. A crowd of gay, lesbian, and transgender patrons and bystanders gathered and rose up in violent protest against city police’s harassment and abuse—marking a critical turning point in the nation’s struggle for LGBTQ rights. On June 28, 2019, we are celebrating the 50th anniversary of this historic milestone with our own tour of LGBTQ heritage in Baltimore. We hope you can join us for a Mount Vernon walking tour followed by happy hour at Flavor to discuss this important local and national history.

If more plants and less walking appeals to you, join us this Wednesday, June 12, for a behind-the-scenes look at the Rawlings Conservatory. We’ll go deep in the weeds (ahem!) as we explore this 1888 palace for plants modeled after London’s famous Kew Gardens.

Finally, if you haven’t already signed up for our 2019 Historic Preservation Awards Celebration coming up this Thursday June 13, you still have time to get your tickets! We’ll be celebrating the best work of the year at the former A. Hoen & Co. Lithograph Company building in East Baltimore. In addition to helping us congratulate this year’s award winners, you’ll get to explore this former industrial building during a once-in-a-lifetime transformation into new offices and training spaces.

— Johns Hopkins, Executive Director

Entrance sign at Druid Hill Park with the Conservatory in the background.

Druid Hill Park in Focus: Join us for our bike and Rawlings Conservatory tours this June

We have more fun tours to share today but also some unfortunate news. Earlier this week, a surprise demolition took down two 1840s stone houses in the Woodberry neighborhood near Clipper Mill. The loss is particularly upsetting because it follows repeated assurances that the houses would be retained and incorporated into a new apartment building. Read our post on this issue to learn more about what we can do to ensure Baltimore’s historic places are valued and retained.

Now, if you’ve been in Baltimore for any amount of time, we hoped you’ve visited Druid Hill Park at least once or twice. This spring, we’re hoping you’ll spend a little time getting to know the park even better. On Saturday, June 8, we want you to take a ride on Druid Hill Park’s quiet back streets and paths to explore all the hidden nooks and crannies with Ralph Brown and Graham Coreil-Allen as your guides. Then, on the evening of Wednesday, June 12, we’re back at Druid Hill Park for a tour of the Howard P. Rawlings Conservatory. Modeled after London’s famed Kew Gardens, we’ll learn about the past and present operation of this botanical oasis.

A group of volunteers searching for artifacts.
May 2019. Courtesy the The Herring Run Archaeology Project.

We’re also excited to share an invitation from local archaeologists Lisa Kraus and Jason Shellenhamer. Instead of the usual spring field season in Herring Run Park, you can find them in Fell’s Point next weekend, Saturday, June 1 and Sunday, June 2, for a free public archaeology open house at the Caulker’s Houses on South Wolfe Street. We expect this archaeological investigation to turn up all kinds of stories and artifacts including connections to the 1840s and 1850s when the two wooden houses were home to a number of African American ship caulkers. Check out an update on what the dig has found so far over on the Herring Run Archaeology project website. It is a bit of an understatement to say that the houses are not universally accessible (no floors and barely-there stairs!) but, if you can’t go in, you can still see artifacts displayed on a table set up on the sidewalk.

Finally, you definitely don’t want to miss our 2019 Historic Preservation Awards Celebration on Thursday June 13! We’ll be celebrating the best work of the year at the former Hoen & Co. Lithograph Company building. In addition to helping us congratulate the award winners, you’ll get up close and inside and this former industrial building and see its transformation into new offices and training spaces.

Looking for a good excuse to enjoy the beautiful spring weather? Get outside on our upcoming tours!

If you’re looking to get outside and enjoy springtime in the city, we have plenty of opportunities to get some fresh air on our upcoming walking tours, a bike tour through Druid Hill Park, and the latest chance to get inside the Shot Tower.

On Saturday, May 11, our Baltimore by Foot series continues in Union Square where we’re asking what H.L. Mencken might think of summer concerts and window boxes. That same day, we’re also offering our final Lexington Market tour for the spring—and it even has a few spots still open! The following Saturday, May 18, our last Baltimore by Foot tour for the season explores the history (and future) of arts and entertainment on Pennsylvania Avenue.

Early next month, on Saturday, June 8, we hope you can put a little air in your tires and ride along for The Nooks and Crannies of Druid Hill Park by Bike with our two veteran tour leaders Dr. Ralph Brown and artist Graham Coreil-Allen. We keep to a modest pace and a mostly flat grade so people of all biking abilities are welcome.

Finally, whether it rains or shines, our Monumental City Tours continue on Sunday mornings with Historic Jonestown and the Shot Tower on May 12 and Mount Vernon and the Washington Monument on May 19. These affordable tours are a great way to show off the city to visiting family and friends.

With wishes for a happy spring, I hope to see you on one (or two or more!) of our upcoming tours.

A streetscape showing a brick former theater building next to a large brownstone house.

March Tours and Talks at the Baltimore School for the Arts, G. Krug & Son Ironworks and More!

If you explore the Baltimore School for the Arts on Cathedral Street you’ll find more than young talented artists. The school’s two main buildings—the former Alcazar Hotel and the Graham House—are full of fascinating Baltimore history. Please join us on Saturday, March 16 for a tour of the buildings (and a sneak peak at rehearsals with some of the school’s talented performing artists).

On Wednesday, March 20, we’re returning to G. Krug & Son Ironworks for a tour of the nation’s oldest iron-working shop. Our tour will be led by Mr. Peter Krug, part of the fifth generation of Krugs to operate the business, who will show off some of the fantastic decorative iron pieces made here in Baltimore over the past two hundred years.

Finally, our last lecture of the spring at the Garrett Jacobs Mansion will take place on Sunday, March 24 with Antero Pietila talking about his new book: The Ghosts of Johns Hopkins: The Life and Legacy that Shaped an American City.

I hope you can join us at some of these events in March, and stay tuned for an announcement shortly on our 2019 Baltimore By Foot neighborhood walking tours.