Prettifying Baltimore–For Train Passengers

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Photo by Rachel Woolf, via the Baltimore Sun
Photo by Rachel Woolf, via the Baltimore Sun

More than two million people zip through Baltimore’s Penn Station every year. On the way there, they pass through some of Baltimore’s struggling neighborhoods, replete with vacant lots and boarded-up houses. And so Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has decided to solve the problem with… a new sign.

Okay, so the new sign, which is wooden (for authenticity?) and purple (for Ravens) and speckled with fleur-de-lis (for… New Orleans?), is just the beginning. Mayor SRB also wants to improve the station, rehab or tear down vacant buildings along rail lines, and install green spaces. But the sign is, well, a sign of the mayor’s goal to improve the city’s image in the eyes of those who pass through.

“We’re not expressing the best of Baltimore,” SRB said of the beautification campaign, according to the Baltimore Sun. “When people come to Baltimore, they become ambassadors for the city. We want to tell them the good story of Baltimore.”

Now, if you’re feeling cynical this morning, you could object to the idea of making Baltimore look pretty for visitors, as opposed to actually making it a better place to be for those who actually live here. Or you could just ooh and ahh at the nice new sign.



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1 COMMENT

  1. I have to agree with Rachel — I take the train a lot, and noticed the sign recently. My first thought was, I wonder how much this cost the city (i.e., taxpayers), and what was the point of it? I think I’m feeling a little cynical about the beautification aspect too.

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