Ed Gunts

Ed Gunts is a local freelance writer and the former architecture critic for The Baltimore Sun.

Roof of Woodberry’s Tractor Building is partially demolished after falling bricks damage cars below

Crews work to partially demolish the roof of the Tractor Building after bricks fell from the structure and damaged cars below. Photo by Ed Gunts.

As if living in a pandemic wasn’t enough, bricks dropped from the sky in Woodberry yesterday, as part the historic Clipper Mill Tractor Building fell onto cars in the street below.

An emergency crew worked through much of Friday to remove loose bricks and demolish parts of seven rooftop light monitors in an effort to stabilize the cavernous industrial building, which dates to 1916 and is the last major structure at Clipper Mill that hasn’t been renovated for contemporary uses.

With crowd restrictions still in place, organizers for HonFest, Artscape and other events are in limbo


Say it ain’t so, hon. Spring in Baltimore without HonFest?

It’s a distinct possibility this year, with Maryland now in the second month of a state-mandated lockdown that limits the size of public gatherings as a way to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Which leaves organizers wondering: Will today’s crowd limitations still be in place on June 13 and 14, when HonFest is scheduled to take over Hampden for its 28th annual weekend?

Johns Hopkins is tearing down ‘Old Carnegie,’ training ground for generations of biologists

The old Carnegie Institution building on W. University Parkway. Photo by Ed Gunts.

For decades, the Carnegie Building has been a cornerstone of the Johns Hopkins University’s Homewood campus.

Completed in 1960 with funding support from the Carnegie Institution of Washington, the structure was the longtime home of the Department of Embryology, training ground for generations of biologists and site of numerous groundbreaking experiments and discoveries, including work that has led to a Nobel Prize.

Hopkins’ Agora Institute is moving ahead despite pandemic-related cutbacks

A rendering of the proposed design for Johns Hopkins University’s Agora Institute.

Although the Johns Hopkins University has put a hold on most capital projects in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, at least one major campus project is moving ahead.

The Stavros Niarchos Foundation Agora Institute, a one-of-a-kind interdisciplinary center started in 2017, is proceeding with plans to build a six-story headquarters on Wyman Park Drive, next to the former Baltimore Marine Hospital and just west of the main Homewood campus.

David DeBoy shows how to spend ‘corn-teen’ with your Baltimore Hon

Image still via YouTube.

In 2011, local entertainer David DeBoy made a splash with a Baltimore-centric song about his sweetheart, “Baltimore Hon.”

Now he’s back with an updated version that shows he’s keeping the flame alive, even in a “corn-teen.”

“Baltimore Hon in Quarantine” is DeBoy’s latest ode to the woman he loves (his wife Joellen), and how they’re passing time in the age of COVID-19. As with his previous ditty, it’s written in Bawlmer-ese (except that he pronounces the T in Baltimore.)

Odell’s building to become an arts and technology hub in Station North

Credit: Ed Gunts.

Three years after the former Odell’s nightclub was sold for redevelopment, the long-dormant building has new tenants and a new youth-oriented mission.

The Tudor-esque structure at 19-21 E. North Avenue will be converted to an arts and technology hub, with the help of a grant from a new investment fund designed to spark revitalization of the Station North Arts and Entertainment District.

Young Audiences of Maryland/Arts for Learning signed a lease this winter to move its headquarters into the building’s first floor and basement by mid-2021.

Mount Vernon apartment building that would have exceeded height limit will now be shorter

A rendering of the 10-story apartment building proposed for the site of Eddie’s of Mount Vernon. Credit: Ziger/Snead.

Nearly two years after developer Dennis Richter received preliminary approval to construct an apartment building that would exceed the city’s height limit for the property, city officials say he may not need the waiver after all.

Eric Holcomb, director of Baltimore’s preservation commission, told members this month that Richter is now planning to reduce the height of the 10-story apartment building he proposed to construct in place of the Eddie’s of Mount Vernon grocery store and two other structures.

Grand Central nightclub, in danger of displacement, finds a new home

Photo by Ed Gunts.

After nearly three decades on N. Charles Street, Grand Central, one of Baltimore’s largest gay nightclubs, will move to a different spot within the Mount Vernon neighborhood so developers can construct an eight-story office building on the property it currently occupies.

Grand Central’s last day in its current location will be Sunday, April 5, and construction of the replacement building is expected to start later in the month, according to information posted on the bar’s Facebook page.

Despite owner’s objections, CHAP makes Woodberry’s Tractor Building a ‘potential’ landmark

The outside of the Tractor Building in Woodberry. Photo by Ed Gunts.

Seeking a role in determining how Woodberry’s historic Tractor Building is renovated, Baltimore’s preservation commission has made it a temporary city landmark.

Over the objections of the building’s owner, Baltimore’s Commission for Historical and Architectural Preservation (CHAP) voted 5 to 4 yesterday to add the Tractor Building to its Potential Landmark List, an action that gives the panel authority to review and approve proposed changes to the building for at least the next six months.

CHAP gives preliminary approval to plan for apartments over carriage houses

A rendering of the apartments proposed for Mount Vernon. Credit: SM+P Architects.

The third time was the charm for developer Howard Chambers, who finally received preliminary approval today to build apartments above four historic carriage houses he owns at 1012-1020 Morton St., in Mount Vernon.

Baltimore’s Commission for Historical and Architectural Preservation voted 8 to 1 today, with one abstention, to approve a $10 million plan to build 51 apartments on three levels above the carriage houses.