Do you ever wonder about the history of the computer or smartphone you’re using to read our tour announcements? Please join us on Wednesday, July 25 for a tour exploring the long history of computing from ancient adding machines to mid-century punch cards and mainframes and more.
The System Source Computer Museum in Hunt Valley features a remarkable collection of artifacts including the Altair 8800, on which a young Bill Gates learned to code; an accurate replica of an Enigma cypher machine used by the German navy in 1942; and even an original iPhone which turned eleven years old last month. You can check out the museum’s collection on their website but, even in our digital age, the screen is no substitute for exploring history in person.
You can also find us leading a walking tour around Federal Hill on Sunday, July 22 for our ongoing Monumental City tours. We hope you are staying cool this summer and can stay tuned as we line up our fall tours, talks, and events.
If you thought garment manufacturing in Baltimore was a thing of the past, think again! Fashions Unlimited has been making sportswear for companies like Fila, Nike, and Champion in its South Baltimore factory since 1976 and is still going strong today. We hope you can join us on the morning of June 26 for a tour of their factory with owner Phil Spector. We also hope you’ll join us this Saturday, June 9, as we head out the old Eastern Avenue Trolley line to take a tour of the Heritage Society of Essex and Middle River Museum and its rich collection of information on this part of Baltimore County.
Tomorrow night, June 7, we are pleased to partner with the Greater Hampden Heritage Alliance and the Mid-Atlantic Regional Moving Image Archive as they host a special showing of WJZ-TV archives capturing 50 years of Baltimore on film. Tomorrow’s event is at the Picker House at Mill No. 1 on Falls Road.
And if you haven’t made it out for a Sunday morning Monumental City tour, please come by for an hour on Sunday June 10 as we take a tour of the Phoenix Shot Tower and nearby Jonestown. Or join us later in the month! On Sunday, June 17 we’ll tour the Washington Monument and Mount Vernon Place and, on Sunday, June 24, we’ll take a tour Federal Hill.
Over the past few days, preservationists from all over came together in Annapolis for the second Keeping History Above Water conference. Participants shared experiences using GIS to track eroding shorelines, protecting infrastructure in coastal cities, and designing resilient museum exhibits. Conference participants even played the Game of Floods—a board game created to teach players about flood risk from rising sea levels.
We can’t promise you’ll play a board game at next week’s lecture on climate change and cultural heritage but we can promise you’ll discover how communities are working to protect historic buildings and archaeological resources from rising water and serious storms. Our speaker, Lisa Craig, is the Chief of Historic Preservation for Annapolis and she brings over twenty years of experience in preservation to meet the challenges facing Annapolis and historic coastal communities all across the world. I hope to see you there.
We also have more tours this fall. We’re back at Lexington Market next Saturday, November 11 (come for the history and then stay for the food!). Our market tours continue through the winter but there are only three Monumental City tours left this year: Jonestown and the Shot Tower on November 5, Downtown Landmarks and Lions on November 12, Mount Vernon Place and the Washington Monument on November 19. Tickets are just five dollars!
Finally, if you are already a member of Baltimore Heritage, thank you. We can’t do it without you. If you haven’t donated this year, please consider renewing your support or becoming a member for the first time.
Spring is here and I know you are all eager to get outside! The arrival of spring is a sign that we’re kicking off our 2017 Monumental City Tours with a climb up to the top the Patterson Park Observatory on April 23. In May, we return to the Baltimore Farmers’ Market & Bazaar where we offer tours of Jonestown and downtown landmarks on the first and second Sunday of the month through November.
This month, you can also join our Mount Vernon Pride tour of LGBTQ heritage from the original building of the Chase Brexton Health Center to the locations where early twentieth-century lesbian women helped shape some of Baltimore’s premier educational institutions. We’ll continue to explore downtown with Theatrical Baltimore: a walking tour with theater historian Bob Headley. Spend a morning learning about our city’s rich performing arts history, from vaudeville venues to historic movie houses.
If two wheels are your thing, we’re hosting our first spring bike tour on May 21: Florence Meets Baltimore By Bike: Gelato and Ice Cream. If you promised your sweetheart a trip to Florence but just can’t make it work, do the next best thing by joining our tour. You’ll learn why Baltimore is way more important than Florence in the history of frozen desserts.
Finally, don’t miss two upcoming events from our partners: tomorrow’s Opening Day for Trails and next weekend’s Everyday Utopias public art installation at Pool No. 2 in Druid Hill Park. Pool No. 2 (1921-1956) operated as a segregated pool in the historically black section of Baltimore’s Druid Hill Park. Everyday Utopias invites viewers to consider the promise of both real and imagined aspects of civic participation as they navigate their way through physical structures and spiritual spaces of the pool’s remains. Sheena M. Morrison, MFA Candidate in MICA’s Curatorial Practice Program, brings together eleven contemporary artists who respond to the palpable history of Pool No. 2 with imaginative wit, humor, and compassion. Please join Ms. Morrison on for the opening reception on Saturday, April 15, 4:00 pm to 8:30 pm.
Join us this Sunday for Baltimore Meets Florence: Italian Architecture & Desserts by Bike. It’s the next best thing to a trip to an actual trip to Florence. The tour transports you to the Piazza della Signoria, the Ponte Vecchio, the Tempio Maggiore, the Ospedalia deli Innocenti, and the Carrara quarries. Plus, find out why Baltimore is way more important than Florence in the history of frozen desserts. Sorry, but this hypnotic experience only lasts a few hours.
Next week, join the Baltimore Architecture Foundation (BAF) and Baltimore Heritage for a tour of a historic 1856 Victorian home designed by architect Thomas Dixon, founding member of the American Institute of Architects, Baltimore Chapter. In 2004, the home’s owner carefully restored the building and won awards for their efforts from the Maryland Historic Trust, the Mount Washington Improvement Association, and Baltimore Heritage. This Mount Washington landmark is currently up for sale.
Next month, join us and Housewerks owner Ben Riddleberger, for a tour of their showroom and a little wine and cheese. Opened in 1885 as the headquarters of the Chesapeake Gas Works Company, 1415 Bayard Street originally served as the valve house for an immense gas production facility. Housewerks Architectural Salvage now occupies the building as a showroom for salvaged items from historic Baltimore.
Finally, don’t forget that this Sunday, and almost every Sunday until Thanksgiving, our volunteer-led Monumental City Tours will take you on one-hour jaunts to learn more about Baltimore: Jonestown and the Shot Tower, Landmarks and Lions Downtown, Mount Vernon and the Washington Monument, and the Patterson Park Observatory.