Ed Gunts

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

Mount Vernon church auction gets bidders but no buyer

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The New Refuge Deliverance Cathedral photographed from above. Credit: A.J. Billig & Co. Auctioneers

Mount Vernon’s New Refuge Deliverance Cathedral is still on the market after Friday’s long awaited auction drew bidders but didn’t end in a sale.

Two parties submitted bids during the online auction for the historic church at 1110 St. Paul St., but neither was high enough to meet the reserve set by the sellers, according to auctioneer Charles Billig of A.J. Billig and Co. Auctioneers.

European fashion house pays tribute to Baltimore-born drag icon Divine

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A portrait of Divine shot by Greg Gorman. Courtesy of Loewe.

Loewe, an upscale retailer based in Europe, is paying tribute to Divine, the Baltimore-born performer and cult figure who once played “the filthiest person alive,” with a fashion collection and an online exhibition of rarely-seen memorabilia.

The fashion company has also introduced a face filter on Instagram that can make anyone look like Divine did in John Waters’ 1972 film “Pink Flamingos.”

As part of its initiative, called Loewe X Divine, the company announced that it’s making a gift to Baltimore Pride, the organization that puts on the annual Pride festival and other LGBT-oriented events in Divine’s hometown. It’s also donating 15 percent of all sales from its Divine collection to Visual AIDS, a New York City-based organization that supports artists living with HIV and AIDS.

Village of Cross Keys sale to local owners set for July 21

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The highly anticipated sale of the Village of Cross Keys to local owners is expected to be final on July 21.

Robert Connors, president of the Roland Park Civic League, disclosed at the organization’s monthly meeting yesterday that a date has been set for the property to be sold to an affiliate of Caves Valley Partners, the local developer that began negotiating last year with the current owner, New York City-based Ashkenazy Acquisition Corp.

Clipper Mill residents challenge Tractor Building conversion plan with court appeal

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

Two weeks after Baltimore’s Planning Commission approved the design for the historic Tractor Building in Woodberry to be converted into apartments, neighboring property owners have blocked construction at least temporarily by challenging the decision in court.

Attorney John Murphy on Wednesday filed an appeal of the Planning Commission’s decision with the Circuit Court for Baltimore City, an action that prevents developer Larry Jennings and Valstone Partners from proceeding with construction until the court holds a hearing on the 98-unit project.

‘Design for Distancing’ guidebook provides ‘tactical concepts’ for reopening local businesses

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Baltimore’s leaders have joined with designers and public health officials to help restaurants, stores and other businesses find ways to operate safely during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young and others on Monday released the “Design for Distancing Ideas Guidebook,” a free online resource created to show business owners and communities how they can use streets, sidewalks and vacant lots to reopen and improve their own properties while complying with public health guidelines for social distancing.

Towson house from John Waters’ ‘Serial Mom’ goes up for sale

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Credit: Ed Gunts.

The residence for sale in Towson has three bedrooms, two-and-a-half bathrooms and a two-car garage on a half-acre lot near a golf course.

And it was purportedly the home of a serial killer.

The house at 600 Lake Drive was used as the home of Beverly Sutphin, the knife-wielding homemaker portrayed by Kathleen Turner in the 1994 movie “Serial Mom,” written and directed by filmmaker John Waters.

Landmark Mount Vernon church going up for auction

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The New Refuge Deliverance Cathedral photographed from above. Credit: A.J. Billig & Co. Auctioneers

New Refuge Deliverance Cathedral at 1110 St. Paul St., in the Mount Vernon historic district, is hitting the auction block next month.

A.J. Billig & Co. Auctioneers has set July 6 as the date for online bidding to begin on the church, and it held an open house today for prospective bidders to tour the property.

LGBTQ-friendly Night Shift 2.0 in East Baltimore closes permanently

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Night Shift 2.0 in East Baltimore. Photo by Ed Gunts.

Night Shift 2.0, the East Baltimore nightclub that opened last September with the goal of creating an “adult entertainment experience” where anyone in the LGBTQ community would feel welcome, has closed for good.

Managers posted a notice on Facebook to thank staffers and patrons and say they won’t be coming back after the state-imposed shutdown to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“It is with a heavy and sad heart to announce that whenever the Coronavirus pandemic is over, Night Shift 2.0 will not be reopening,” the message said, in part.

Planning Commission approves design for Tractor Building conversion

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A rendering of the apartment building planned for the Tractor Building.

Developer Larry Jennings won a final public battle to convert Woodberry’s Tractor Building to apartments when Baltimore’s Planning Commission twice voted 8 to 0 on Thursday to approve the development plans.

The Planning Commission was the last of several city boards the developer needed to satisfy in order to obtain building permits for the conversion, estimated to cost $32 million to $35 million.

Doors Open Baltimore becomes a virtual event for 2020

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Rawlings Conservatory is one site that has opened up for tours during Open Doors Baltimore. Photo by Patrick Gillespie, via Flickr.

Doors Open Baltimore, a free annual event that gives people a chance to visit places that are usually off-limits to the public, is the latest local activity to go virtual for 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Organizers of the popular citywide festival announced this week that they decided to make Doors Open a virtual event this year because of uncertainty over holding in-person events and concerns about potential health risks to participants, including volunteers who greet visitors at every featured location.

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