What comes to mind when you think of Baltimore’s Remington community? Working-class housing? The Dizz restaurant? John Ellsberry’s alligator mural on 28th Street?
Soon it also may be a national historic district.
Remington would become one of Baltimore’s newest historic districts, under an application submitted by the Maryland Historical Trust and approved this month by the city’s Commission for Historical and Architectural Preservation (CHAP).
The plan calls for approximately 30 blocks of the Remington community to be added to the National Register of Historic Places as the Remington Historic District. The area proposed for designation is bounded by West 22nd Street on the south, Sisson Street on the west, Wyman Park Drive on the north and Mace Street on the east.
The designation means that property owners may be eligible for tax credits for restoring buildings in compliance with federal standards for historic preservation. It doesn’t mean that proposed building changes would be subject to review the way building changes are reviewed in city historic districts monitored by CHAP.
Most homes in Remington aren’t as grand as those in areas such as Mount Vernon or Charles Village, and the commercial buildings are generally newer than those downtown. But the area is significant as a community that was named after landowner William Remington, began as part of Baltimore County, was annexed by the city in 1888, and grew as it provided housing for workers helping build the city, according to preservation planner W. Edward Leon.
“The earliest residents in the historic district were Irish railroad workers and quarrymen, joined after the 1870s by many Italian immigrants, most of whom made their homes on or near the Falls Turnpike,” according to the National Register nomination form. “Rowhouse development did not begin until the early 1880s, with many of the central and southern blocks of the district filled in by the early 1900s to provide housing for railroad men, quarrymen, and employees of the early manufacturing plants that began to open along the rail lines.”
In recent years, Remington has been discovered as a convenient and affordable source of housing for people who want to live close to the Johns Hopkins University, the Baltimore Museum of Art and other institutions and businesses in north Baltimore. That has led to the development of new restaurants and other businesses serving residents and others who come to the area. A large metal R sculpture was installed in the center of the neighborhood last year to call attention to the area.
The historic district designation has support from the Greater Remington Improvement Association and one of the area’s most active developers, Seawall Development.
Remington is one of the last neighborhoods in north central Baltimore that hasn’t yet received any formal historic designation, said area resident Peter Morrill, who testified in favor of the designation at the August 9 CHAP hearing along with Ryan Flanigan, 2016 president of the Greater Remington Improvement Association.
“We’re thrilled to see this,” said Thibault Manekin of Seawall Development, a firm responsible for such projects as R House food hall under construction inside the old Anderson body shop and the newly constructed but old-looking Remington Row apartments.
Joan Floyd, a longtime community activist who helped defeat the Walmart-anchored shopping center planned for 25th Street, attended the meeting but did not testify.
Remington is one of three communities that were proposed to become federal historic districts, along with Edmondson Village and Mid-town Edmondson. Two buildings also have been proposed for addition to the National Register as individual landmarks, St. Brigid’s School and Convent at 900 East Avenue and the Union Brothers building at 1120 South Hanover Street.
According to Leon, the proposal will now go to Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, then to the state for review by a group called the Governor’s Consulting Committee, then to the National Park Service. If all of the reviews go smoothly, he said, Remington and the other areas could be added to the National Register by next July or sooner.
MiY Home plans to expand
MiY Home, one of the retail success stories of East Baltimore, is planning to expand.
Seth Barkman, an owner of MiY Home, sought CHAP’s approval of a conceptual plan to expand a building at 1617 Eastern Avenue, in the Fells Point Historic District, to provide more room for the furniture store at 1605 Eastern Avenue. Barkman said the business is doing well and needs more display space.
MiY Home stands for Mine is Yours Home and features modern furniture. The architect for the project is Pavlina Ilieva. CHAP approved the conceptual plan with the understanding that MiY Home will come back to the panel when the design is more fleshed out.
Nepalese restaurant to replace Alchemy in Hampden
Mount Everest Restaurant, a business specializing in Indian, Nepalese and American cuisine, will replace Alchemy at 1011 36th Street in Hampden, according to a sign in the window.
Grand opening date for Open Works
September 24 is the grand opening date for Open Works, the $11 million, 34,000 square foot “maker space” at 1400 Greenmount Avenue. A community festival has been planned from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. More information is available at www.openworksbmore.com.
Sister to “Freedom House” is recommended for landmark status
CHAP voted to recommend that the row house at 1232 Druid Hill Avenue be designated a city landmark, even though its owner, Bethel AME Church, is opposed to the designation. The building, called the George King/Abraham Briscoe House, previously was added to a preliminary landmark list after the church tore down the companion property at 1234 Druid Hill Avenue, known as the Freedom House. The city’s Planning Commission will consider the proposal to make 1232 Druid Hill Avenue a permanent landmark at its meeting on August 25.
Inurnment ceremony for Chris Delaporte
An “inurnment ceremony” for Chris Delaporte, former city parks director and first head of the Maryland Stadium Authority, will be held August 23 at 11 a.m. at Baltimore National Veterans Cemetery, 5501 Frederick Avenue. The public is welcome to attend the ceremony, which will include military honors. Delaporte died this summer after a bout with cancer.
Meeting to Save the Circulator Banner Route
A public meeting to discuss ways to save the Charm City Circulator’s Banner Route will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. August 31 at the Baltimore Museum of Industry, 1415 Key Highway. City officials have proposed eliminating the Banner Route, which serves part of South Baltimore, starting in early 2017 as a cost-saving measure for the city’s free bus service.
Nepenthe Homebrew meets fundraising goal
Nepenthe Homebrew, one of the businesses damaged by the recent flooding of the Jones Falls, has met its goal of raising $15,000 for repairs via a gofundme account. More than 200 people contributed to help get the business back in operation. Owners Jill Antos and Brian Arnold, who sell items for beer- and wine-making, aim to reopen by Labor Day.
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