Baltimore Fishbowl former senior editor Rachel Monroe, who left last year to pursue a freelance career, looks at the effects a single decaying home has on a block near Greenmount Cemetery in “The New Republic.” The house is no longer there, but the story behind it reveals why so many abandoned houses plague Baltimore and other cities. Read an excerpt below and view the entire story at newrepublic.com.
When it was still standing, 1906 Boone Street was a classic example of a Baltimore row house: three stories tall and only 15 feet wide, with a curved bay window in front and a narrow garden out back. Built in 1920, it featured a red brick facade, five bedrooms, and a claw-foot tub in the second-floor bathroom. Karen Saunders, who now lives two doors down, remembers living in the house as a child in the 1960s. Lewis Mitchell, a Coast Guard welder, purchased the house next door 21 years ago. Together with his brother, who lives one house over, Mitchell spent more than a year cleaning, painting, and repairing his new home. “I build ships,” Mitchell says. “I figured I could do a house.”