Tag: Downtown

Join us for the 2015 Preservation Awards at the Chesapeake Shakespeare Theater

We are thrilled to invite you to Baltimore Heritage’s 2015 Historic Preservation Awards Celebration downtown at the newly renovated Chesapeake Shakespeare Theater. This year we are honoring a wide range of projects: a single family home in Fell’s Point, a nursery school in Bolton Hill, a former police station, and the Shakespeare Theater itself. We’re also honoring incredible work by individuals, including Ms. Elaine Eff for her work on Baltimore painted screens and Mr. Martin Azola for his lifetime’s work restoring historic buildings in Baltimore.

The celebration will take place on Thursday, June 18, 2015 beginning at 5:30 pm. In addition to seeing the fantastic work inside the Shakespeare Theater, we will take a peek next door at the historic Merchant’s Club building that the theater is planning to occupy. There will be plenty of good food and drink, and lots to celebrate.

Find more details on our event page or sign up today! I hope you can join us.

New Monumental tours of Baltimore history and architecture – Sundays from April to November

Looking for a fun activity on a Sunday morning? Friends and family coming to town and you’d like to show off the best of Baltimore? Join us for a Monumental City tour!

We are expanding our Looking Up Downtown tours at the Baltimore Farmer’s Market walking tours into a new tour series highlighting the history and architecture of four iconic Baltimore landmarks & neighborhoods almost every Sunday morning from April to November.

First Sunday – Downtown Landmarks and Lions

Courtesy Library of Congress, Historic American Building Survey.Come with us to find a piece of the Berlin Wall, a War of 1812 cannon ball mounted on a Conestoga wagon hitch, and over a hundred lions looking down at you from the tops of Baltimore’s buildings.

Second Sunday – Jonestown and the Shot Tower

Courtesy Wikimedia Commons.Walk with us just a few blocks east of the Baltimore Farmer’s Market to explore one of the oldest neighborhood’s in the city and get inside the famed Phoenix Shot Tower—the tallest structure in the United States until 1846.

Third Sunday – Mount Vernon and the Washington Monument

Courtesy Wikimedia Commons.Take a short stroll around Mount Vernon Place to hear the stories of local residents including the owners of the B&O Railroad, the founders of the Walters Art Museum, and the wealthy owners of Mercantile Bank. End the tour with a climb up the newly renovated 200-year old Washington Monument! This tour begins on July 19.

Fourth Sunday – Battle of Baltimore and the Patterson Park Observatory

Patterson Park Pagoda by Smallbones, 2012 March 14. Wikimedia Commons.Climb the stairs of the Patterson Park Observatory and enjoy an unparalleled panoramic view revealing the fortifications where Baltimore defeated the British during the War of 1812, the home of the original butcher on Butcher’s Hill, and Patterson Park’s rich history from the early 19th century up through the present day.

We hope you can come out and join us for all four tours this year. Find more details or register on our events calendar.

Our Monumental City tours are supported by the Baltimore National Heritage Area and our partners: the Friends of Patterson Park, Carroll Museums, and the Mount Vernon Place Conservancy. Special thanks to all of our volunteer tour guides who help us bring Baltimore’s landmarks to life!

News: And Service For All highlights history of Read’s Drug Store

Thank you to Ron Cassie for a detailed and thoughtful take on the legacy of the successful student sit-ins at Read’s Drug Store that took place 60 years ago this month. Check out the full story for more details on the long history of civil-rights student activism by Morgan State students or learn more about our exciting new partnership to document historic places connected with Baltimore’s Civil Rights heritage.

A few days later, the front page of the January 22, 1955, national edition of The Afro-American newspaper ran a short story, datelined Baltimore, with the headline “Now serve all.” Read’s, which had 39 area stores, had suddenly decided to desegregate, with the article citing a “sit-down strike” at its “largest store in the heart of the city, the day before the change of policy was announced.” …Baltimore Heritage director Johns Hopkins (distant descendant of the Johns Hopkins) says it was during the late 2000s, when demolition of the Read’s building was formally proposed, that the story of Read’s began to come to life again. He believes the location of the building and its historic sit-ins are central to understanding the city’s complicated record regarding racial prejudice—nowhere more obvious than at Howard and Lexington. The city’s beloved department stores—Hochchild’s, Stewart’s, Hecht’s, and Hutzler’s (“where Baltimore shops!”)—all maintained some form of segregation until 1960 or later.

“When it really hit home for me, what this building and block represent, was when a class of eighth graders and a class of ninth graders came out on separate field trips during demonstrations a few years ago,” Hopkins says. “Their reaction was very powerful. You could see what it meant to them to know that story and to be there, where it happened. It’s one of the few physical places like that in existence in Baltimore. It’s not the Taj Mahal, but landmarks like this draw kids in, and they get interested in learning about that history.”

Continue reading And Service For All: Sixty years ago, Morgan State College students staged the first successful lunch-counter sit-ins by Ron Cassie, Baltimore Magazine (January 2015).

News: Baltimore blacksmith shop to run nonprofit museum

Baltimore blacksmith shop to run nonprofit museum, Arthur Hirsch, The Baltimore Sun, October 14, 2014.

Sparks started flying at the blacksmith shop on West Saratoga Street when James Madison was president of the United States, and a crew there is still on the job, now operating in a hybrid historical museum and working business…

“It’s not just another museum,” said Johns W. Hopkins Jr., executive director of the preservation organization Baltimore Heritage. “It is highly unusual for many reasons, that combination being one of them.”

Eat your way through Baltimore’s Old Chinatown

President Nixon’s historic 1972 visit to China

Behind the Scenes Tour of Old Chinatown
Saturday June 1, 2013 from 4:15 pm to 6:30 pm
RSVP Today!
$45 members / $55 non-members
Includes sampling of international food from several restaurants
Limit of 10 people

Beginning in the 1870s, Chinese settlers started arriving in Baltimore from California and other West Coast states. Most had worked as laborers for the transcontinental railroad that was completed in 1869 and came east looking for jobs and to escape a rising level of persecution. In Baltimore near Lexington Market, the immigrants established places of worship (Joss houses), laundries, gambling houses, and restaurants. The original “Chinatown” was in the 200 block of Marion Street and even included a school for 40 children. Baltimore’s Chinatown was relocated to Park Avenue during an urban renewal effort in the 1950s and achieved its peak in the years preceding President Richard Nixon’s historic visit to China in 1972. Today the area has a number of shops and restaurants featuring international cuisine, including of course Chinese.

Please join us and our guide, Ms. Sharon Reuter, on a walking and eating tour that will follow Baltimore’s Chinese immigrants through historic Chinatown along Park Avenue to the present-day hodgepodge of ethnic eateries. The tour will include sampling dishes from Vietnamese/Thai, Ethiopian, and of course Chinese restaurants. It will also include learning about this once-bustling two-block area in the heart of downtown Baltimore and finding out what happened to the vigorous Chinese community and its many restaurants that once inhabited the area and which newer immigrants have since opened restaurants nearby.

The tour will provide an early dinner with a menu of vegetables, legumes, beef, shrimp, pork and duck dishes, along with water, tea and a bottle of Chinese beer. Vegetarian options, with or without shellfish, are available with advance notice. I hope you can join us! Johns