From the restoration of Roland Park’s historic trolley stop to the conversion of City Garage into 60,000 square feet of funky makerspace, our 2016 historic preservation awards showcase the best historic preservation projects of the year and the people behind them. Please join us on June 16 at Baltimore’s Green Street Academy to mix, mingle, and be inspired by the great work happening in the city!
Over the next two months, we’ve also lined up a number of fantastic tours. On June 22, our tour of St. Vincent de Paul Roman Catholic Church tells the story of the evolution of this 175-year-old institution and its deep commitment to charitable work. On June 26, our Florence Meets Baltimore by Bike tour will transport you to the Piazza della Signoria, the Ponte Vecchio, the Tempio Maggiore, the Ospedalia Deli Innocenti, the Carrara quarries, and take in frozen deserts along the way… all without leaving Baltimore.
In July, we have a special treat: the chance to climb to the top of the scaffolding now filling the interior of the Parkway Theater for an up-close view of the ceiling and a great opportunity to learn what’s going on as the Maryland Film Festival restores this 1915 movie house.
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.
Three significant historic buildings are up for auction next month as part of the new One House at a Time Select Auction—the Sellers Mansion at Lafayette Square, the Emerson Mansion in Reservoir Hill and the former Odell’s Restaurant on North Avenue. In contrast to the rowhouses usually listed in One House at a Time’s bi-monthly property auctions, these buildings are much larger and better suited to a multifamily, mixed-use, or commercial use. Minimum bids for all three buildings are set at $10,000. The application asks interested bidders to explain their experience with the rehabilitation of vacant multifamily, mixed use, or commercial properties, show their ability to finance the development, and be in good standing as a property owner in Baltimore. To avoid the continued neglect, buyers are also expected to abate the vacant building notice within one year after settlement.
Learn more about these buildings and help us spread the word to help make sure that these properties are developed and preserved.
Sellers Mansion – 801 N. Arlington Avenue
Built in 1868, the Sellers Mansion (801 North Arlington Street) is a three-story Second Empire brick house with a mansard roof that rivaled its outer suburban contemporaries in size, quality of craftsmanship, and attention to detail.
The grand Emerson Mansion was built in 1895 by Captain Isaac Edward Emerson at 2500 Eutaw Place. Over the past twenty years, the condition of the building has deteriorated from bad to worse as broken windows have left the interior open to the weather and copper architectural elements have been stolen.
Former Odell’s Restaurant and Bar – 21 E. North Avenue
Odell Brock opened Odell’s Restaurant and Bar at this former automobile showroom on North Avenue in 1976. Brock passed away in 1985 but the club continued to operate until it closed in 1992. According to the Sun, Odell’s was “revered by some as the heart of house and dance music in Baltimore in the 80s.”
Formerly known as the Guilford Apartments, 233 E. North Avenue dates back to 1902 when the Guilford Avenue Construction Company awarded a $23,000 construction contract to builder C.S.M. Williamson. In the 1900s and 1910s, developers erected small to mid-sized apartment buildings across central and north Baltimore including the nearby Preston Apartment House (1902) at Guilford Avenue and Preston Street and The Walbert (1907) on Charles Street. The 1880s rowhouse next door at 231 E. North Avenue remained a single-family home up through the 1910s but was converted into an office by 1953.
Twenty years ago, the owner of the building received approval to expand from 22 apartments to 40 for a senior housing project. The effort stalled with little progress and, in 2012, a new developer won support from the Board of Municipal and Zoning Appeals to turn the vacant building into nineteen apartments. According to the auctioneer, the owner then gutted the interior preparing to start construction but could not complete the project.
On Thursday, January 28, 2016 at 12:30 pm, 231-233 E. North Avenue is up for auction and we hope the building is rehabilitated and offers a welcome home for new neighbors in the Greenmount West community. The starting bid is for the property is $175,000 and property taxes are $4,465.12 (2015-2016). Thanks to the building’s location within the North Central National Register Historic District, a project at this building could be eligible for the Baltimore City Historic Tax Credit program—check out our tax credit guide for more information. Plans are also available:
Learn more about the 231-233 E. North Avenue from Ashland Auction. For questions or more information, contact auctioneer Adam Shpritz by phone at 410-365-3595 (cell) or 410-488-3124 (office) or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Pr-bid offers are accepted by phone at 410-488-3124 or by email to email@example.com.
After a chilly February, we hope you will warm up with us next month on our new heritage tours in Station North and Fell’s Point.
We’re thrilled offer a tour of the Centre Theater on March 4 led by Jubilee Baltimore’s Executive Director Charlie Duff who is leading an ambitious rehabilitation project for the building. Jubilee and their partners at Johns Hopkins University and MICA are transforming this long-neglected Station North landmark into a home for film education and arts programming. On March 26, the Women’s Housing Coalition is opening up the grand Margaret Jenkins Mansion on Maryland Avenue for a unique tour of a former orphanage turned into a transitional home for women in 2008.
At the end of March we are launching a new series of walking tours in Fell’s Point in partnership with the Preservation Society to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the construction of the Robert Long House. Take a deep dive into the history of Fell’s Point on our tours and the Preservation Society lectures on topics including economic development, African-American heritage, and immigration. Distinguished local historian and former state archivist Dr. Edward Papenfuse, is leading the first tour in the series – Fell’s Point as Boomtown – on March 29.
Thank you once again to everybody who volunteered with us, came on a tour with us, and made a financial contribution in 2014. With you, we are able to work more than ever preserving Baltimore’s historic places and revitalizing our historic neighborhoods!