Tag: Central Baltimore

Let’s Go O’s (and adpative reuse)! Join us for a Behind the Scenes tour of Camden Yards

Camden Station
Camden Station

Camden Yards, home to the Baltimore Orioles, is much more than a ballpark. When the park first opened as the new home of our Baltimore’s baseball team in 1992, the buildings had already served the people of Baltimore for over 130 years. Many of us have visited Camden Yards on game day amid the crowds of enthusiastic sports fans. Here is a chance to see the ballpark at a quieter time and to visit places that are not typically open to the public. Our tour will include the dugout, umpires tunnel, press box, club level, and the JumboTron control room. We will hear about the history of baseball in Baltimore while gaining an appreciation for all that goes into making a home for a great team like the Orioles.

Behind the Scenes Tour of Camden Yards
Saturday, March 9, 10:15 am or
Sunday, March 24, 12:30 pm
333 W. Camden Street, Baltimore, 21201
RSVP Today!  $15 members | $25 non-members
Parking is available at lots B & C located between Oriole Park and Ravens Stadium for a fee or visit the MTA website for details on transit options.

The history of Camden Yards began in 1855 when the B&O Railroad started construction on Camden Station. The iconic B&O warehouse  that frames the west side of the stadium today was built between 1899 and 1905. The warehouse is over eight stories tall and over 1,100 feet long – large enough to hold the freight from 1,000 railroad cars. The station remained in active use by the B&O’s passenger trains until the 1980s making it one of the longest continuously operated railroad terminals in the United States. The building has gone through many changes since its original design of a castle-like façade to today’s ballpark. Today, Camden Yards and Camden Station are a nationally known success story for adaptive reuse and a great place to catch a game!

Photograph of Camden Yards, 2006 by Carol Highsmith. Courtesy LOC, LC-DIG-highsm-04854
Photograph of Camden Yards, 2006 by Carol Highsmith. Courtesy LOC, LC-DIG-highsm-04854

Stewardship of Baltimore City-owned historic landmarks remains a critical issue

"This Place Matters" at the McKim Center
“This Place Matters” at the McKim Center

Last week, the Baltimore Business Journal published a report prepared for Baltimore City by a real estate consulting firm recommending various options for seventeen historic buildings owned by Baltimore City. When the City first commissioned this report last spring, it prompted widespread concern over the future of much-loved landmarks like the Shot Tower, Peale Museum, and Cylburn Mansion. At the time, we called for an open process that would ensure a seat at the table for the many citizens and volunteers who for decades have protected and celebrated these important landmarks. Now that the consultant’s report is final and the City has begun considering options for the seventeen buildings on the list, we believe the need for an inclusive deliberation is paramount to ensure the sites under consideration can be preserved and remain assets for Baltimore.

Carroll Mansion, 1936. Image courtesy Library of Congress, HABS.
Carroll Mansion, 1936. Image courtesy Library of Congress, HABS.

We commend Baltimore City for focusing on the seventeen historic properties subject to the report, some of which are in desperate need of repair. Long term leases, money-generating tenants, and perhaps even outright sale should be considered for some of the sites. Many others on the list, however, have friends groups that have cared for them for years (decades in some instances), that have raised money for their maintenance and restoration, and that are current and active in their work. Clifton Mansion, the Shot Tower, Carroll Mansion, and the Crimea are prime examples in this category. Still others, including the Peale Museum, Roland Park Water Tower, and President Street Station, have groups actively working with the City to gain control and begin restoration. The people who have devoted themselves to the buildings on the list should be part of the decision-making process. The consultant’s report appears to leave out the time, money, and dedication that Baltimoreans have already put into these landmarks and to undervalue their potential for the future stewardship of these historic places.

We will continue to advocate for an open process as the City moves forward in making decisions over the fates of these seventeen buildings. The seventeen buildings on the table deserve to be occupied and restored so that they can remain assets for Baltimore. The seventeen properties addresses by this report include:

Preservation works in Station North: Re-making historic buildings for a new Baltimore

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.

Charles Theater in Station North, courtesy the Station North Arts District

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.

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10 E. North Avenue, courtesy Jubilee Baltimore

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.
North Avenue Market, 1929. Image courtesy the BG&E Collection, Baltimore Museum of Industry, BGE.1847N.
North Avenue Market, 1929. Image courtesy the BG&E Collection, Baltimore Museum of Industry, BGE.1847N.

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!

St. Mark’s Evangelical Lutheran Church celebrates Baltimore’s religious heritage with a free open house this Saturday

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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 lauren.schiszik@baltimorecity.gov or at 410-396-5796.

Open House at the G. Krug & Son Ironworks and Museum this Saturday

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.