Tag: Threatened

Baltimore’s West Side Story Revisited

In a great new post on Baltimore Brew, Joan Jacobson and Elizabeth Suman lay out the story of the continuing threats to Baltimore’s historic West Side, an area that has been listed on the Baltimore Heritage Preservation Watch List for nearly 10 years. Among the dozens of irreplaceable buildings still threatened with demolition is the Art Deco styled 1934 Read’s Drug Store, designed by renowned Baltimore architecture firm Smith & May, the same firm that created the iconic Bank of America Building. In January 1955, following a year of negotiations with Read’s, a sit-in demonstration organized by the Baltimore Congress of Racial Equality led to the desegregation of 37 Read’s lunch counters citywide, establishing a enduring association between this downtown corner and the struggle for civil rights in Baltimore and the state of Maryland.

Baltimore’s West Side Story from Baltimore Heritage on Vimeo.

For many, the story of fighting for preservation on Baltimore’s West Side is a familiar one. In 1999, the National Trust for Historic Preservation identified the West Side as one of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places. In the early 2000s, Baltimore Heritage, Preservation Maryland, and West Side Renaissance created Baltimore’s West Side Story, produced by West Side Renaissance director Ronald Kreitner. This documentary screened daily at the historic Senator Theater, introducing audiences to the vital issues at stake in the preservation of historic buildings and small businesses on Baltimore’s West Side. Enjoy the whole 9 minute video to learn more or jump to 1:04 for a special cameo by former Mayor and Governor William Donald Schaefer as a born-again preservationist.

Threatened: Royer’s Hill ME Church

Anderson Automotive Site, WV Urban Developments LLC

In November 2009, WV Urban Developments LLC presented their plans to develop the former Anderson Automotive Site with a Lowe’s, a grocery store, 32,000 square feet of retail, and up to 60 apartments in an area of  approximately 11 acres bounded by 25th Street to the north, Maryland Avenue to the east, 24th Street to the south and the CSX rail line to the west (map). The developer’s presentation to the community is available on the Charles Village Civic Association website here (PDF). After meetings with the Remington Neighborhood Alliance, the Greater Remington Improvement Association, the Charles Village Civic Association, and the Old Goucher Community Association the proposal was covered in a series of posts on Baltimore Brew, in the Baltimore Sun, and The Alligator, a Remington neighborhood blog. While the prospect of expanding neighborhood amenities, new jobs, and broader economic development is exciting, Baltimore Heritage has significant concerns regarding the proposed demolition of the former Royer’s Hill Methodist Episcopal Church at the southeast corner. This 1891 stone building began as a mission of the Lovely Lane Methodist Church and still serves as a landmark within the Remington neighborhood. We believe that this stone building, which retains significant historic character, should be preserved and utilized to help establish a successful transition between the large commercial development and the historic residential Remington neighborhood.

February 7, 2009, Image courtesy Dottie Campbell

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