In a city where some public schools don’t even have working water fountains, should the school system spend $1 million to put a historically-accurate clay tile roof on a school in Roland Park?
That was the issue debated Wednesday night during the monthly meeting of the Roland Park Civic League, the community organization whose jurisdiction includes the Roland Park Elementary/Middle School at 5207 Roland Avenue.
Hard to believe that this marks the beginning of my 10th year of blogging! And as I say every year, blogging has literally been life-changing. The people I’ve met, the experiences I’ve had, the things that I’ve learned and shared are all such a part of my life now. Although I’ve slowed down a bit, and after more than 2,337 posts, I think I am entitled! This is my philosophy for the coming year!
One of the first local posts I wrote was about my friends at Housewerks Salvage. All these years later, it continues to be a treasure trove of amazing pieces. I got a call the other afternoon, telling me that through a series of events, Housewerks had just acquired some pieces from the British Embassy, just 40 miles down the road in Washington, DC. I couldn’t wait to see these exceptional pieces, so met up with two of my besties and went down to check them out.
Baltimore Design School Open House: For Students Interested in Architecture, Graphic Design and Fashion Design
Baltimore Design School is a public middle-high school that focuses on design. In the high school, students will learn the basics of Fashion Design, Architecture, and Graphic Design. In the fall of 2011 the school started with grades 6 and 7, adding a new 6th grade each year, so that by 2016, the school will be a full 6-12 school
The Baltimore Design School believes that all students, with good instruction and practice, can learn art and design skills and achieve high standards in their academic programs. We value student interests in drawing, making things, fashion ideas, creative problem-solving, three-dimensional abilities, planning and building, and communicating visually through graphics. We love students who see problems that need new solutions, who envision possibilities, and imagine a better world.
We believe our graduates will be leading designers and architects of the future who see design as a way of thinking, problem-solving, and living a productive and rewarding life.
Every now and then, a terrible restaurant or a bad movie inspires a critic to reach new heights, penning a tear-down that’s positively dripping with vitriol. Believe it or not, Klaus Philipsen, the Baltimore Business Journal’s architecture critic, has found something in Baltimore to get all worked up about: the new downtown 7-Eleven.
Here’s a sampling:
Like tourists wearing sombreros in Mexico or lederhosen in Bavaria, retail buildings often masquerade in garb inspired by local cliches — mission-style, colonial or anything in between. What constitutes a mere laughable nuisance in suburban shopping centers, however, becomes architectural assault in an urban historic district.
Yike! But there’s more:
[T]he strip footing and tiny trenches for wastewater lines foreshadowed hastily erected spindly steel columns, confirming that whatever was being built here couldn’t be of any substance…. The overall appearance was that of a 5-year-old having decorated a sideways milk carton to look like a house.
And then he gets into a slightly disturbing metaphor:
Both horizontal (modern) and vertical (historic) orientations were on display in the surrounding Seton Hill neighborhood. This bastard was of neither parent….Instead, what rose here was a single-story convenience store that had been artificially inseminated with colonial seeds in order to grow to the heights of nearby rowhouses: seeds that were duds, with blind windows and without the fruit of access, an unsuccessful attempt at being contextual.
There’s more–the lederhosen even make a reappearance!– so please go read the full take-down. The only downside is that Philipsen’s outrage is so righteous and extreme that it makes me kind of interested in checking out this architectural assault of a building. Have you been to the convenience store at the corner of North Paca and West Franklin? Was it an abominable experience?
Baltimore truly is the Charm City—and never is that more apparent than when our gardens and trees are in full bloom, and the early summer sun dapples the city just so, accenting the remarkable architecture that’s around almost every corner. Thankfully, this is also the season when many of our most beautiful historic neighborhoods make themselves available through walking home and garden tours—with residents eager to show off their blocks in all their blooming glory. This year marks the 20th annual home and garden tour in historic Reservoir Hill, and it takes place June 7th and 8th. Save those dates.