From its earliest days as a community of families heralding from England, Germany, and Russia to today’s roots in Italian towns like Naples, Palermo, Abruzzi, Baltimore’s Little Italy is steeped in rich history and fantastic food. Please join us and owner of Chiapparelli’s Restaurant, Kit Chiapparelli, for a glass of wine, a few appetizers, and a stroll around the neighborhood. In an hour tour, we’ll get to taste a sampling of the old country and hear generations of good stories about the Little Italy community.
Trying not to let spring get away from us, we are eager to share on latest tours to get you outside this spring. On Monday, April 30, we’re sampling Italian food and taking a short walk around Little Italy with Kit Chiapparelli, co-owner of Chiapparelli’s restaurant: A Glass of Wine, an Appetizer, and a Stroll: Food and History at Chiapparelli’s and Little Italy.
On Thursday, May 17, we’ve lined up another outdoor tour, this time to see first hand how architectural stone products are made at the 150-year-old Hilgartner Natural Stone Company, one of Baltimore’s Centennial businesses: Oh Those Marble Steps: 150 Years of Stone Work at the Hilgartner Stone Company. We’re planning at other Baltimore businesses with roots going back a century or more throughout the year. Stay tuned for details!
And, as always, if you haven’t made it to a Monumental City walking tour yet, please come along! On Sunday mornings through November, we’re offering one-hour guided tours of downtown statuary, the Shot Tower and Jonestown, the Washington Monument, and Federal Hill. Come outside with us and explore Baltimore.
In June, Baltimore Heritage recognized 14 great historic preservation projects and people who have contributed significantly to the preservation of Baltimore’s historic places. Read on over the course of the summer as we cover these buildings and people, beginning with the Baron and Company Cigar Building.
The Baron and Company Cigar building at 1007 East Pratt Street lies within the South Central Historic District, along Central Avenue just east of Little Italy. Most of the structures in this area are vernacular rowhouses but a few, including the Cigar Building, are much larger industrial buildings that help give the area its distinctive flair. Baron and Company Cigars first occupied the space beginning about 1880, and by 1910 a company called the American Coat Pad Company had moved in. American Coat Pad was an apparel company that distributed throughout the United States, Mexico and Canada devoting itself exclusively to the little poofy parts of men’s and women’s coat fronts. In 2010, Mr. James Seay and his company, Premier Rides, Inc., along with Fishell Architecture, renovated the building into office space for a number of companies and light manufacturers.
The current restoration included saving and restoring existing doors, replicating metal windows where the originals had deteriorated too badly to be salvaged, and keeping the original metal shutters. The interior spaces were largely compatible for light manufacturing, and were kept intact, with much patching of plaster of course. Many of the original interior doors were salvageable and were kept, as was much of the original wooden flooring. Overall, the work seems squarely in keeping with the purposes for which this late 19th century industrial building was built. Starting out life as a cigar company, then as a clothing manufacturer, it has a new lease on life as offices and light manufacturing.
Read on for more shots of the building from before and after this award winning rehabilitation!
In our first foray to combine Baltimore’s great history with equally great food, please join us at Little Italy’s Chiapparelli’s Restaurant for an evening of Italian food and history about the Little Italy neighborhood shared by life-long residents. The evening will include a buffet of antipasto, calamari, salad, bread, and, of course, wine. We will end the evening with a short walk through the neighborhood to learn a little more about this wonderful Baltimore community.
Chiapparelli’s Restaurant | 237 S. High Street, Baltimore, MD 21202
Tuesday, March 29, 2011 | 5:30 – 7:00 PM
$35 for members, $50 for non-members
Price includes antipasto, calamari, salad, bread, and wine.
Confirmations will be sent by email, and payment will be due upon confirmation. Free on street parking and paid off street parking are both available in the area. Valet service available at the restaurant for an additional fee. For additional information and questions, call Baltimore Heritage’s tour coordinator, Marsha Wise, at 443-306-3369 or email her at email@example.com.
Remembering John Pente, Maryland Morning on WYPR, July 30, 2010