Category: Looking Up Downtown

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!

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.

Behind the Scenes at City Garage and the Maryland House

Our upcoming tours give you an insider’s look at one of the most talked about projects in Baltimore, let you step into an often overlooked gem at the Maryland Zoo and tell the love stories of Mount Vernon. We are also bringing back our popular Monumental City tours on Sundays from April to November!

On April 14, our Port Covington tour offers a behind-the-scenes tour of the City Garage and a chance to talk with Sagamore Development about their vision for the future of South Baltimore. Originally developed in 1904 around the end line of the B&O Railroad, the Port Covington area is today poised to become Baltimore’s largest urban redevelopment project.

For our Maryland House tour, Tony Azola of the Azola Companies and Lori Finkelstein of the Maryland Zoo will guide you through an architectural gem located just next to the Rogers Mansion. The Maryland House was built for the 1876 Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia and then rebuilt on the Zoo grounds. Special thanks to Preservation Maryland for co-hosting this tour! We also will hold our Mount Vernon Love Stories tours (rescheduled from a very cold Valentine’s Day weekend) on April 9 at 11:00 am and 1:00 pm.

Finally, our Monumental City tours return starting April. These tours are a great way to explore Baltimore on Sunday mornings. Join us for as we explore Jonestown and the Shot Tower (1st Sunday); Landmarks and Lions Downtown (2nd Sunday); Mount Vernon and the Washington Monument (3rd Sunday); and the Patterson Park Pagoda (4th Sunday).

Looking Up Downtown tours are free for Blue Star Families now through Labor Day

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As a participant in the Blue Star Museums program, first launched in the summer of 2010, we are proud to offer free admission to all active duty military personnel and their families for Looking Up Downtown walking tours from now through Labor Day, Monday, September 3. On this 75-minute guided walking tour, everyone from first-time visitors to Baltimore to born-and-raised locals can learn something new and surprising about the architecture and history of downtown Baltimore.

The route – less then one mile and stroller friendly for families with small children – winds through the grounds of the Zion Lutheran Church, continues past a few enduring local landmarks like the Alex Brown & Co. building that still bears the scorch marks from the Great Baltimore Fire of 1904. the and ends right back where it started at the Baltimore Farmer’s Market. All Looking Up Downtown! Gargoyles & More walking tours start at 9:30am on the first and third Sunday from April through November. Meet at the Baltimore Farmers’ Market in front of the Hollywood Diner at North Holiday and South Saratoga Streets. RSVP to join us this weekend or stay tuned to check out another tour later this year!

Don’t forget to check out other local history museums participating in the Blue Star Museums program this summer! In Baltimore, along local museums and historicsites include:

Blue Star Museums is a collaboration among the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense, and more than 2,000 museums across America. Leadership support has been provided by MetLife Foundation through Blue Star Families.

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