Historic preservation in Station North has been in the news recently with historic tax credits awarded to the former Centre Theater in January and the announcement in December that the long-neglected Parkway Theater will be the new home for the Maryland Film Festival. We asked Charlie Duff, Executive Director of Jubilee Baltimore and the developer of the Centre Theater to share his thoughts on the exciting progress of preservation in Station North.
If you visit North Avenue during the day, you might think it hasn’t changed for years; it’s just a big rundown street. At night, however, North Avenue is starting to be a happening place, a focal point of Baltimore’s emerging Station North Arts and Entertainment District. Like Fells Point, Station North is livelier by night than by day.
Long known for the Charles Theater – and not much else – Station North is now home to several dozen restaurants, galleries, and venues for music, arts and theater. It’s busy every night and hopping on weekends, and the Station North music scene led Rolling Stone to name Baltimore the best Indie music scene in the country. But it’s not just a scene. It’s also a neighborhood and a part of Baltimore’s economy. More than 700 artists live and work in Station North right now. They’re young and vigorous, and they think Baltimore City is the greatest place on earth.
Even though Station North is Bohemian and avant garde, historic buildings are the key to the growth of Station North. Here’s a brief listing of projects that take advantage of historic buildings:
MICA Studio Center – This summer MICA completed a $20 million renovation of the former Jos. A. Bank loft building on North Avenue near Howard Street. More than 300 MICA students now have studios and take classes on North Avenue. They come and go at all hours of the day and night, and the street is richer and more vibrant because of them. And the building, a splendid loft building from the first decade of the 20th century, looks fabulous.
Baltimore Design School – Under construction now in the 300 block of East Oliver Street is the Baltimore Design School, Baltimore’s new 6-12 school for kids who might want to be architects or designers. This fabulous 1916 loft building, vacant for more than 25 years, uses $3 million in State historic credits. Go check out the amazing (and authentic) brand-new steel windows. Students arrive in September.
The North Avenue Market – Occupying the whole block of North Avenue between Charles and Maryland, the North Avenue Market is becoming beautiful and lively again. New owners are restoring its lovely 1928 façade, and new tenants are making North Avenue hum. The Windup Space, in the North Avenue Market, is the hottest ticket in artistic Baltimore, and printmakers flock here to rent amazing equipment by the hour at the Baltimore Print Studios.
10 E. North Avenue – When Jubilee Baltimore learned that one of the largest vacant buildings in Station North was going to be auctioned off, we put together a team of investors and bought the building very cheaply. Add the cheap price to the $3 million in State historic credits that we’ve just won, and 10 E. North Avenue becomes a real opportunity to create lively space for impecunious but creative people. What should happen here? After much research and millions of conversations with local artists, we are pursuing leads to create a shared use artist space with well-equipped, well-managed, code compliant work spaces of various kinds. We are also in discussions with MICA and a couple of good restaurants and arts venues.
Station North may not look like a great historic district, but it is becoming a great place. It wouldn’t be happening at all without cheap, wonderful buildings and historic tax incentives. Take a walk down North Avenue and recharge your Preservation batteries. Preservation works!
Jubilee Baltimore is a non-profit developer and neighborhood revitalization organization helping the people of Baltimore to build safe, stable, desirable, mixed-income neighborhoods through affordable housing development and neighborhood revitalization. If you are interested in highlighting a great preservation effort in your neighborhood, please get in touch!
While several churches and residences in Baltimore have Tiffany stained-glass windows, St. Mark’s Evangelical Lutheran Church is the only building with a Tiffany interior. Louis Comfort Tiffany was one of America’s most famous interior designers and artists of the late 19th – early 20th century. Today, he is best known for his stained-glass. Built in 1898, St. Mark’s (featured on Explore Baltimore Heritage) is one of only a few intact Tiffany-designed interiors left in the world. The Tiffany Glass and Decorating Company designed and produced the ornately decorated walls, mosaics, stained-glass windows, and lamps in the church.
Along with celebration the designation of St. Marks and celebrating Baltimore’s religious heritage, we’re also hoping this event will encourage other religious institutions to consider landmark designation, particularly interior designations.
St. Mark’s Evangelical Lutheran Church Open House
Saturday, February 2, 2013, 10:00 am – 1:00 pm – Remarks at 10:30am
St. Mark’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, 1900 Saint Paul Street, Baltimore, MD 21218 Sanctuary tours and light refreshments offered throughout the morning.
The open house is hosted by St. Mark’s Evangelical Lutheran Church and the Commission for Historical and Architectural Preservation (CHAP). For questions or to RSVP, please contact Lauren Schiszik, CHAP staff at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 410-396-5796.
G. Krug & Son is an institution on Downtown’s West Side with over 200 years of history in forging and restoring ironwork across the City of Baltimore. We’re excited to share the news that the shop has now opened a museum to share their rich history launching with a free open house this Saturday!
This is a business that literally built Baltimore into the city it is today and the pieces of the jobs worked on in the shop’s 202-year history can still be found inside. Artfully done drawings, photographs, and job files containing the names of some of the city’s most influential people and institutions are all featured in the new museum. Peter Krug started the museum to showcase a history of Baltimore and a family owned company that has been there for much of that time and share their unique perspective on the historic port city that supported a fledgling country. G. Krug & Son employees will lead tours from 11:00am to 2:00pm and offer demonstrations of the blacksmithing process.
Open House at G. Krug & Son Ironworks and Museum
G. Krug & Son – 415 W. Saratoga Street
Saturday, November 10, 2012, 11:00am to 2:00pm Parking – On-street or off-street at surface lot at 112 N. Eutaw Street or garage at 208 N. Paca Street. Transit – The shop is a short walk from the Lexington Market Metro Station or Lexington Market Light Rails stop.
Baltimore residents of all backgrounds remember the bustling shops of Howard and Lexington Streets but a handful of Jewish-owned businesses – Hutzler’s, Hecht’s, and Read’s Drug Store just to name a few – stand out in stories and memories from the history of downtown’s west side. Bring your camera and join Baltimore Heritage for a free photo walk and tour exploring the history of Jewish entrepreneurs and workers – making clothes, selling furniture, and more – who made Howard and Lexington a place to remember.
We deeply appreciate the support of our donors who make Free Fall Baltimore possible. Special thanks goes to Susquehanna Bank, The Abell Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, with additional support provided by American Trading and Production Corporation, William G. Baker, Jr. Memorial Fund, and the Henry and Ruth Blaustein Rosenberg Foundation.
Urban renewal shaped the landscape of Baltimore in tremendous ways during the 1950s and 1960s – fundamentally transforming historic neighborhoods from Mount Vernon to Bolton Hill. We’ll be riding and walking through this fascinating history with two great programs – a happy hour and a free walking tour around State Center on Friday, August 24 followed by a morning bike tour on Saturday, August 25 across nearly all of central Baltimore. Both our tour and happy hour are organized in partnership with Bikemore – Baltimore’s new bike advocacy organization.
Toasting State Center at Dougherty’s Pub
Friday, August 24, 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm Dougherty’s Pub, 223 West Chase Street Baltimore, MD 21201 Free State Center walking tour starts from Dougherty’s at 5:15pm
Our regular Preservationist Happy Hour is back in Mt. Vernon at Doughterty’s – a great neighborhood pub with fifteen beers on draft, seasonal specials, and happy hour beer specials. If you’re looking for something to eat, they have a classic bar menu with burgers, sandwiches and more. We’re also offering a preview of our Urban Renewal by Bike tour with a free 45-minute walking tour through State Center – a complex of government offices built from the 1950s through the 1970s and one of the city’s largest urban renewal projects.
Baltimore by Bike Takes on Urban Renewal
Saturday, August 25, 9:30 am to 12:00 pm RSVP today! $10 per person.
Meet at Mount Vernon Place in the west park between Charles and Cathedral Streets.
Ride along for a tour of the city’s best brutalist buildings, modern apartment towers, and more as we explore the history of post-WWII urban renewal efforts from Mount Vernon Place to State Center. Of course, even in the 1960s preservationists fought to preserve historic buildings, so we’ll also get to take a look at once-threatened landmarks from the Garrett-Jacobs Mansion to the Shot Tower.