Tag: South Baltimore

Civil War 150: Slavery and Historic Places in Baltimore

In recognition of the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the Civil War, Baltimore Heritage is sponsoring a two-part program to explore sites in Baltimore with important ties to slavery and to learn about what historic sites around the country are doing to tell the story of slavery in America. The first part of the program is a walking tour of FrederickDouglass’s Fell’s Point, led by historian Louis Fields. The second part will be a talk by Ms. Nell Ziehl of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, on interpretation of slavery at historic sites nationally. Both are free, and I hope you can join us.

Frederick Douglass’s Fell’s Point Walking Tour

Saturday, October 1, 2011, 10:00 am to 12:00 pm
Free, RSVP
RSVP is required.  Expect confirmation with additional details.

Slavery and Historic Sites

Ms. Nell Ziehl, National Trust for Historic Preservation

Thursday, October 6, 2011, 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Ebenezer Church, 20 West Montgomery Street, Baltimore 21230
Free, RSVP not required

Frederick Douglass is quoted as saying that knowledge is the pathway from slavery to freedom, and he certainly grabbed a good dose of it as a youngster in Fell’s Point. It was here that he learned to read and write, and from here that he escaped to freedom. In a two hour walking tour, local historian Louis Fields will lead us through Fell’s Point as experienced and shaped by Frederick Douglass in the years leading up to the Civil War and immediately after it. Mr. Fields was a driving force behind the creation of the plaques and monuments to Frederick Douglass that are now located throughout the area.

In the second part of our Civil War commemoration series, Ms. Nell Ziehl will lead a discussion on how sites owned by the National Trust for Historic Preservation across the country preserve and interpret slavery. The interpretation and presentation of history involving slavery has evolved quickly over the last several years, with richer information and more accurate accounts in the forefront. The National Trust owns several sites with strong ties to slavery and the Civil War and has been a leader in this movement, and Ms. Ziehl will share some of the challenges and successes in this ongoing endeavor. Please join us for either or both of these free events.

These events are made possible by Free Fall Baltimore and its sponsors: Susquehanna Bank and the Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts, Joseph and Harvey Meyerhoff Family Charitable Funds, The Abell Foundation, William G. Baker, Jr. Memorial Fund, American Trading and Production Corporation (Atapco) and Baltimore Community Foundation. Thanks also to Free Fall media sponsors: The AFRO-American Newspapers, The Baltimore Sun, The City Paper, The Urbanite, The Jewish Times, , Maryland Public Television, WBAL-TV, WJZ-TV, WBFF/Fox45-TV, CW/Baltimore-TV, WMAR-TV, WUTB-TV, WYPR Radio, WEAA Radio, WWMX Radio , Radio One: Magic 95.9; Spirit 1400; WOLB; 92Q, and CityPeek.

A fantastic (and wet) celebration of this year’s historic preservation highlights

This past year ushered in great historic preservation work around Baltimore, and we at Baltimore Heritage were pleased to recognize some of the best projects and the people behind them in our 2011 Preservation Awards Celebration last Friday in Union Square. With a series of thundershowers sweeping through West Baltimore exactly at the moment the outdoor program was set to begin, the event was a wet and wild time. Some call Baltimore the “City of Firsts.” We lay claim to the house of the first American saint (Elizabeth Ann Seton), the first umbrella factory (William Beehler, 1828), the first African American Supreme Court Justice (Thurgood Marshall), and the tallest building up to the Civil War (the Shot Tower). And now I think we can lay claim to having the wettest historic preservation awards event ever.

With the untiring work of a horde of volunteers and board members, and gracious hosting by the Union Square Association and many residents around the Square, 300 people from around Baltimore celebrated the best historic preservation projects of the year (listed below), and got more than a fair share of summer showers. Historic Union Square shone brightly, and despite the rain, or maybe even because of it, many of us reaffirmed our appreciation for Baltimore’s great historic places and those who work to preserve and revitalize them. This is the first in a series of posts that will highlight the people and projects that won preservation awards this year from Baltimore Heritage. I hope you enjoy learning a little more about some wonderful buildings and the great efforts that have gone into saving them.

I would be remiss if I didn’t thank our hosts for the event, the Union Square Association, the gracious owners who opened their houses for house tours, our corporate sponsors, all of our volunteers, and the intrepid event committee: Jim Suttner (chair), Elise Butler, Lisa Doyle, Jean Hankey, Lesley Humphreys, Mary Beth Lennon, and Stephen Sattler. Read on for a full list of our 2011 Preservation Award Winners and check out our many photos from the evening celebration on Flickr.

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Open Houses at the 2011 Baltimore Heritage Preservation Awards

Union Square Park, 2011 Baltimore Heritage Awards Celebration

29 S. Stricker Street, Open House for 2011 Baltimore Heritage Awards CelebrationThis year, we’re trying something new to help celebrate the Baltimore’s best historic preservation projects and the people behind them–we’re holding our 2011 awards gala outdoors in historic Union Square park. We hope you can join us for a festive evening beginning with a set of private open houses around the Square, including the Hollins Street rowhouse where H.L. Mencken lived and wrote and the grand Turnbull Mansion whose restoration was a true labor of love.

Open houses will be followed by dinner, drinks and live music under the stars in one of Baltimore’s most treasured historic spaces. If you haven’t been to Union Square in a while (or even if you live right next door), please join us in honoring the great work that is going on in West Baltimore and the entire city.

Union Square, West Baltimore | Friday, June 10, 2011

  • 4:30 PM | Open Houses
  • 5:30 PM | Reception
  • 6:45 PM | Awards and Dinner

$60 for Baltimore Heritage Members ($70 for non-members. Join!)
Purchase tickets online today!

Welcome to the Friends of West Baltimore Squares

The Friends of West Baltimore Squares is a new organization dedicated to the celebration of West Baltimore’s unique historic squares and parks through events, outreach and advocacy. Launched in February 2011 by Baltimore Heritage in partnership with the Parks & People Foundation, the Watershed 263 Council and neighborhood leaders in Franklin Square, Harlem Park, Lafayette Square, Perkins Square and Union Square, our goal is to support the expanded use and appreciation of historic parks, connect West Baltimore residents and leaders interested in urban greening and historic preservation, and offer fun new ways to explore West Baltimore neighborhoods.

Please stay connected with our new effort by visiting the Friends of West Baltimore Squares website, connecting with us on Facebook, and following us on Twitter. If you are a resident of West Baltimore, interested in supporting the Friends of West Baltimore Squares as a volunteer, or interested in attending any of our fun upcoming events, please sign up for our e-mail list and keep an eye on our calendar. We have also started a small discussion list for anyone who’d like to contribute their own ideas to the project.

Finally, we invite everyone to join us for our inaugural West Baltimore Squares Spring Walk and Celebration on the evening of Saturday, April 30. We’ll walk from Union Square to Lafayette Square through five great historic parks ending with a celebration at Lafayette Square with light refreshments & music starting at 7:00 PM followed by a movie screening at 7:30 PM. We hope you can join us on April 30 for the start of this new exciting effort!

2010 Preservation Awards: Housewerks

Image courtesy Tracey Clark

Tracey Clark and Ben Riddleberger purchased the 1885 gas valve building historically known as the Chesapeake Gas Works in 2005 to house their architectural salvage business, Housewerks. Over the past five years Riddleberger and Clark have stabilized and restored the long vacant building (also known as Bayard Station) and have highlighted its many fine details. These include ornamental plaster and woodwork, fireplaces, 10 foot high Palladian windows and a granite walls on the lower level. They extensively researched the history of the building and proudly display early images throughout their store. In addition, they worked with the Pigtown neighborhood in 2006 to have the building included on the National Register of Historic Places. With more than a little sweat, the building now is a centerpiece in a quickly changing industrial part of South Baltimore.

Image courtesy Tracey Clark