If Hampden is one of the hippest neighborhoods in the country (according to Forbes), then Fells Point is one of the greatest, says the American Planning Association. The non-profit community planning group picks ten neighborhoods to honor each year as a part of its Great Places in America program, and this year Baltimore’s been lauded again. (You may remember the APA from back in 2008, when they selected Charles Village for the same honor.)
This year’s other winners included Baton Rouge’s Garden District, Philadelphia’s Chestnut Hill, and downtown Walla Walla, Washington.
The APA said that it picked Fells Point “for its historic maritime role, character and charm, architecture, and preservation efforts.” They also lauded the waterfront neighborhood for its “stunning views of the inner harbor, impressive late-18th and early-19th century architecture, and streets bustling with people and traffic all day long.” The APA pointed out that the city shifted zoning in the area from favoring heavy industrial to encouraging commercial and residential development in the 1970s, which helped create the walkable, cobblestoned neighborhood we know today. Fells has long been a favorite of city planning types, who appreciate programs like the Fells Point Main Street Program, which helps keep storefronts and sidewalks looking good. Litter and bar noise is another question — but we’d rather just bask in the glow of the award for now, thank you.
Presumably the “Best Neighborhood” designation will result in a big banner, many promotional materials, and some gloating, all of it well deserved.
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