Have you ever seen a handsome building in Baltimore and swear that you had seen it before? Maybe around Florence, Italy? Join Dr. Ralph Brown for our fun bike tour around Baltimore and you’ll swear you are back in Florence—even for just a few hours. Florence has Michelangelo’s David, the Duomo, the Palazzo Vecchio, the Medici, the Arno River spanned by the Ponte Vecchio and great gelato. Baltimore has the Bromo Seltzer Tower, the Jones Falls and, of course, our own tasty gelatos in Little Italy.
We’ll re-discover the sights, sounds and tastes of the great Renaissance city of Baltimore has while learning something new about iced desserts and Baltimore’s key role in their history.
Contained on a little less than three acres across from Clifton Park in northeast Baltimore, the Friends Burial Ground tells the stories of generations Baltimore’s Quaker families across their 300 years of rich history in our city. Established in 1713 on a tract of land known as Darley Hall when the Friendship Meetinghouse was built on what is today Harford Road, the cemetery has been in continuous use ever since. While small, and a bit unassuming, the Friends Burial Ground has approximately 1,800 graves with the earliest legible marker dating from 1802 and many undoubtably date from the 1700s. The stone wall around the grounds and the Sexton’s House both date back to the 1860s and, in 1926, 122 graves were moved from a Friends cemetery at at the Aisquith Street Meeting House in Old Town.
The many notable internments include Louisa Swain, who made history in Wyoming in 1880 as the first woman to legally vote in the United States at age 69, and Dr. Thomas Edmondson who lived in a grand estate that eventually became Harlem Park in West Baltimore. Dr. Edmondson recently resurfaced in the public light: it is his collection of Richard Caton Woodville’s artwork that is currently on exhibit at the Walters Art Museum.
Please join us on a tour of the site with long-time caretaker Adrian Bishop, who will share his knowledge of the cemetery and the Sexton House on the grounds that he and his wife call home, together with Ms. Frances Ferguson, who has been digging graves by hand at the cemetery for over 40 years.
After decades of neglect, it takes a bit of imagination to look at the cavernous A. Hoen & Co. Lithography Plant and see a unique opportunity for neighborhood revitalization. Fortunately, an exciting partnership between the American Communities Trust, Humanim, East Baltimore Development Inc., Big City Farms, Historic East Baltimore Community Action Coalition Inc., Woodberry Kitchen and Johns Hopkins (whew!) is leading the way to transform the plant and the nearby Eastern Pumping Station site into the new Baltimore Food Hub. By fall of 2014, these long vacant historic buildings will be bursting with entrepreneurs, urban farmers, students, and job trainees working with food-related businesses and learning about healthy food and sustainable agriculture.
The A. Hoen Co. Lithography Plant includes a series of buildings from the mid 19th century through the turn of the 20th century and remained in use by the company up through the 1980s. Established in the 1840s, owner August Hoen became a pioneer in both the technology and business of printing – distributing affordable color maps, books, decorative prints and more across the country. Built in 1890 just a few blocks away on the opposite side of the railroad tracks, the Eastern Pumping Station was once stylish industrial landmarks in northeast Baltimore even rivaling the architecture of the nearby American Brewery Building (then known as the Bauernschmidt and J.F. Weissner Brewery) with a more dignified Romanesque style. Architect Jackson Gott who designed the Pumping Station completed a number of projects for Baltimore City included the Maryland Penitentiary in 1893 and the Southern District Police Station in 1896.
Join us to discover more on the fascinating history of both buildings and the exciting future of food and healthy living that their preservation and re-use promises for East Baltimore! Our tour guides will include project manager Gregory Heller from Econsult and Bill Streuver, President of the American Communities Trust.
Support Baltimore parks and enjoy a fun conversation about the history of parks, planning and Olmsted as we pedal together.
In 1840, a 27-year-old Baltimore lawyer named George William Brown took it upon himself to organize a legal library open to the city’s attorneys. The Library Company of the Baltimore Bar, better known as the Bar Library, was born the same year as Mr. Brown and 43 other Baltimore attorneys opened the library in a room at the old courthouse at Calvert and Lexington Streets. (Mr. Brown, it seems, came from a line of innovators: one grandfather was Rev. Patrick Allison, founder of the First and Franklin Church, and another grandfather was Dr. George Brown, a founding member of the first medical society of Baltimore. Both grandfathers were among the men who founded Baltimore’s first circulating library, the Library Company of Baltimore.)
The Bar Library is one of the oldest dues-supported libraries in the country and contains cases, treatises and other legal material dating back hundreds of years. It also is occupies a fantastic historic space inside the Clarence M. Mitchell Jr. Courthouse. The Main Reading Room is 35 feet by 125 feet and is crowned with a soaring barrel vault ceiling. Rich oak wainscot rises fifteen feet around the room, complemented by carved English oak shelves and wall paneling. Please join us in this wonderful historic space starting at 5:30pm for wine and cheese and a tour with Joe Bennett, Director of the Baltimore Bar Library, will begin at 6:00pm.