Ed Gunts

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

The Elephant building expected to change owners this week

Photo by Ed Gunts.

The former home of The Elephant restaurant is expected to change owners this week, clearing the way for The Manor, a restaurant and ultra-lounge, to open in the building next month.

The Elephant closed in June and its N. Charles Street home was listed for sale for $1.2 million by MacKenzie Commercial Real Estate.

MICA planning off-campus art gallery in sanctuary of Bolton Hill church

Strawbridge Methodist Episcopal Church. Credit: Maryland Historical Trust.

The historic sanctuary of Bolton Hill’s Strawbridge Methodist Episcopal Church will become an art gallery run by the Maryland Institute College of Art as part of a $1.4 million renovation plan approved by the State of Maryland.

Gov. Larry Hogan announced this week that the Maryland Historical Trust has awarded $294,250 in Historic Revitalization tax credits to help fund renovation of the English Gothic Revival-style church at Park Avenue and Wilson Street, an 1885 structure that has been dormant for more than a decade.

Mickalene Thomas turns BMA’s East Lobby into ‘Baltimore’s living room’

One of the living room installations at the Baltimore Museum of Art by artist Mickalene Thomas. Photo by Ed Gunts.

City leaders have referred to the Inner Harbor as Baltimore’s “playground.” Henry James likened Mount Vernon Place to the city’s “parlor.”

And for the next 18 months, the East Lobby of the Baltimore Museum of Art will be the city’s “living room,” following the installation of an exhibition by internationally recognized artist Mickalene Thomas.

The front of the museum’s East Wing has been turned into a series of oversized rowhouse facades, one in simulated brick, one in siding and one in FormStone.

It leads to a revamped lobby that has images of residential settings from the 1970s and 1980s, along with a wall containing various house plants.

John Waters to face off against Michelle Obama at the 2020 Grammys

Image via Baltimore Soundstage’s Facebook.

You have to feel for John Waters.

The good news is that the Baltimore-based writer and filmmaker just got nominated for a 2020 Grammy Award in the Spoken Word category for his latest book, “Mr. Know-It-All: The Tarnished Wisdom of A Filth Elder.

The bad news is that he’s up against Michelle Obama, one of the most popular people on the planet, who was nominated for the audio version of her bestseller, “Becoming.”

Former union hall in Bolton Hill to become arts and education center

The former union hall at 1505 Eutaw Place. Photo by Ed Gunts.

A former 1960s-era labor union hall on Eutaw Place is being converted to a nonprofit arts and education center that will serve Bolton Hill, Madison Park and Upton.

The center, called Union Hall, will be created inside the former Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers union hall at 1505 Eutaw Place, dormant for the past several years.

Plans call for the three-story building to be converted to a multi-purpose center for community arts, education and job training. Once renovated, it will provide a home for theater and musical events, art exhibits and studios, catered events and other community activities, as well as employment training, referrals, and health and wellness services.

The HI Baltimore Hostel, an affordable option for travelers, closes and goes up for sale

Photo by Ed Gunts.

For sale: 38-bed hostel. Prime downtown location. Lots of memories.

After serving thousands of budget-conscious travelers over the past four decades, one of Baltimore’s most affordable lodging options has closed its doors permanently and is now for sale for $675,000.

The HI Baltimore Hostel at 17 W. Mulberry St., served its last customers on Oct. 19 and is being shown to prospective buyers.

Lenny Moore statue moves closer to finding a home

A rendering of the proposed Lenny Moore statue placed at a city-owned lot just south of M&T Bank Stadium.

Where’s the best place in Baltimore to put a statue honoring Colts great Lenny Moore, who will turn 86 on Nov. 25? The sports complex at Camden Yards? The former site of Memorial Stadium, where he played?

Does the city want one at all?

Those were the questions put before Baltimore’s Public Art Commission, which has the authority to accept gifts of public statuary intended for city-owned land, at a meeting today.

After a three-month break, the Baltimore Eagle reopens today

Photo by Ed Gunts.

After a three-month hiatus, the lights are coming back on at the Baltimore Eagle.

The Charles Street leather bar, one of the largest LGBTQ-friendly night spots in the city, is reopening today under its third management team in three years.

There’s a new chain link fence motif in the front windows and two Leather Pride flags hanging over the entrance ramp. Managers posted messages online that doors will open Nov. 15. “If you’re not tied up Friday,” one posting says, “come to our place.”

Agora plans to expand two more buildings along Charles Street

A rendering of Agora’s plans for 1125 N. Charles St.

Agora is growing again.

Two months after it started to renovate the former Hynson, Westcott and Dunning building at 1030 N. Charles St., to provide office space for its staff, the company is planning to expand two more buildings one block away.

Johns Hopkins Health System unveils plans for $400 million, 12-story research tower

A rendering of the proposed research tower. Photo by Ed Gunts.

Johns Hopkins Health System plans to build a $400 million, 12-story research tower at its East Baltimore medical campus by the spring of 2023.

Hopkins representatives unveiled preliminary plans today that showed part of the research tower will be a new structure rising in place of the Brady Building, a seven-story structure that dated from 1915 and was demolished this year to make way for the new project.