Category: Behind the Scenes Tours

Bustling Baltimore, Beyond and Below: Discover Historic Towson, Christmas in Old Baltimore, and Our Lexington Market Catacombs!

In the month ahead, we are remembering the bustling days of years past in and around Baltimore. Please join us on Nov. 23 as we slip over the county line with a walking tour in our northern neighbor, Towson. If you are feeling festive, on Nov. 17 Baltimore historian Wayne Schaumburg will the second talk in our fall series at the Garrett Jacobs Mansion on Christmas in Charm City. Finally, if you have not yet joined us, head over to Lexington Market on Nov. 9 for a tour of the market and underground catacombs.

On Saturday, November 23, Towson’s own history buff, Ms. Brenda Carl, will take us back through the town’s wonderful history and notable characters, including Divine of John Waters fame. See how places like Prospect Hill Cemetery, Loch Raven Reservoir, and East Towson, founded by African Americans formerly enslaved at Hampton Mansion, helped make Towson into the vibrant college town it is today.

On Sunday, November 17, join Baltimore historian and educator Wayne R. Schaumburg for a talk on “Christmas In Old Baltimore.” Mr. Schaumburg will focus on some of Baltimore’s great holiday customs from the 1940s to the 1960s, including downtown shopping, visiting Santa, the Toytown Parade, firehouse train gardens, and even our favorite holiday topic to quibble over: aluminum trees.

Finally, on Saturday, November 9, catch our next Lexington Market tour to see behind-the-scenes at what Ralph Waldo Emerson dubbed “the gastronomic capital of the world.” We will also explore the catacombs under the marketplace. Rediscovered in 1951, the origins of these tunnels and vaults are mysterious…perfect for the post-Halloween enthusiasts.

We hope to see you at some or all of the above events and tours. It’s going to be a great month of heritage and history!

This Sunday! Baltimore in the Golden Age of Radio (Plus, Pre-Talk Tour of the Garrett Jacobs Mansion)

From Guglielmo Marconi’s experiments in sending audio signals via radio waves in the 1890s to the strains of Rock and Roll coursing through teenage ears in the 1960s, and everything in between, Baltimore historian Jack Burkert explores the Golden Age of Radio in the lives of Americans, with a special focus on Baltimore. In today’s world of internet and visual media, we forget how radio transformed America with national networks, new snazzy commercial jingles, and the story of how one company came to dominate the new radio market only to suddenly exit altogether. Of course, Mr. Burkert will take a look at Baltimore’s own radio stations, some of the broadcasts they transmitted, and a few of the charming personalities involved in the radio business along the way.

This program and our speaker series have been funded by Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young and the Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts.

*NEW* Come early for an inside look at the historic Garrett-Jacobs Mansion during a rare Sunday afternoon pre-talk tour, led by one of our docents. The tours start at 1 p.m. Learn more about the Garrett family’s far-reaching influence, the building’s architecture (designed by two prominent architects, Stanford White and John Russell Pope), and “Baltimore’s Mrs. Astor,” Mary Frick Garrett Jacobs. Tickets are an additional $10.

 

Behind the Scenes at the Parker Metal Decorating Building and Save the Date for Our Fall Lecture Series, Lexington Market Catacombs Tours, and More

In August and September, we’re taking on industrial Baltimore with tours of manufacturing facilities old and new at Parker Metal Decorating and Fashions Unlimited. We’re also resuming our tours of the catacombs and 100-year vendors at Lexington Market, and will host the first of our fall lectures at the Garrett-Jacobs Mansion. Please carve out some time and join us!

On Monday evening, August 12, we’ll join Sam Himmelrich, the owner and developer of the Parker Metal Decorating Company building, on a tour of this nearly 100 year old former lithography factory turned funky office and event space.

On the morning of September 13, we’re going back to see modern garment manufacturing in action at Fashions Unlimited. Our tour there last year was so popular that we’re repeating it to see how Made In America is happening here in Baltimore in the form of swim suits, Mt. Everest climbers’ parkas, and European League soccer jerseys.

On Saturday September 14, we’re resuming our monthly tours of the catacombs and 100-year merchants at Lexington Market. If you can’t make it on this tour, we’ve lined up additional tours through December!

We’ve also finalized our fall lecture series in partnership with the Garrett-Jacobs Mansion. We’ve got four fabulous authors and historians lined up:

  • September 15: Rowhouses Near and Far: Historian Charlie Duff on his New Book “The North Atlantic Cities”
  • October 6: Baltimore in the Golden Age of Radio with Historian Jack Burkert
  • November 17: Christmas in Old Baltimore with Historian Wayne Schaumburg
  • December 15: The Woman’s Hour: The Great Fight to Win the Vote with Author Elaine Weiss

And finally, our Sunday morning Monumental City tours are rolling along. The next tour is this Sunday (August 4), where we’ll leave from the Sunday Farmers Market on a one-hour walking tour to explore downtown landmarks and lions.

Happy summer, and we hope to see you sooner AND later.

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