The next big redevelopment project in Hampden is likely to be the conversion of the historic Fox Industries building at 3100-3200 Falls Cliff Road, the first major manufacturing center of the Noxzema skin care conglomerate.
Courtesy Bmore Media – The Sellers Mansion at Lafayette Square in west Baltimore Harlem Park neighborhood had once been one of the grandest homes in Baltimore. Today, it is decaying from neglect.
When nonprofit Baltimore Heritage discovered that the square was the site of a Civil War army hospital that accommodated 1,000 patients, it organized an architectural dig at which hundreds turned out.
Have you ever driven by an old building for years and years and wondered what it looks like inside? Is is all chopped up with no regard to its historical character, or has someone respected the place?
I had the opportunity to visit a building I’ve driven by too many times to count. I had a meeting there but told the people I met with that I wanted to see the space. They graciously accommodated my request.This building is home to the Maryland Medical Society (aka MedChi), which was founded in 1799 as the Medical and Chirurgical Faculty of the State of Maryland (Chirurgical was the common spelling of surgical at the time). MedChi has been in this space since 1909, and there are rumours that a ghost also inhabits the building.
As you might have figured out by now, I am interested in the “built environment” meaning buildings of all sorts, whether they be historical mansions or small cozy sheds. And I am always interested to learn about buildings that I see every day as I zoom by in my car.
In cooperation with the Baltimore Architecture Foundation where I serve on the Board, and some other local preservation groups, Baltimore Heritage has just launched a smart phone app called Explore Baltimore Heritage.Dozens of historic buildings around the city are pinned on this application, with a history of the building, some historic photographs, and perhaps a short narration featuring the stentorian tones of historian, Charlie Duff.
With more than 70 percent of Baltimore schools in need of major renovation or replacement, city parents, teachers and students are holding a meeting to call for action by the mayor, city council, and state legislators. Groups from over 40 schools will gather at the War Memorial Building, 101 N. Gay Street, across from city hall on Thursday, November 3 from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. to share personal stories of poor conditions in aging buildings and to support advocacy group Transform Baltimore’s campaign to implement a $2.8 billion plan to modernize all schools within the next eight years.
The group will also display more than 2,000 postcards sent by parents, students and others to Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, about the miserable conditions. The postcard comments include:
“Air conditioning is needed because summer programs have had to be cancelled due to heat; the computer lab needs to be upgraded.”
– John Eager Howard Elementary
“Looks like an institution for criminals; children can barely see out [of] the windows.”
– Westside Elementary
“The bathrooms have no doors on the stalls.”
– Gwynns Falls Elementary
Transform Baltimore, a coalition including the Baltimore Education Coalition, neighborhood advocates and others, launched this summer in response to the urgent need for school rehabilitation. Taking a page from school construction initiatives in other states, Transform Baltimore is urging state and local leaders to adopt Greenville, South Carolina’s innovative financing model and find new revenue at the city and state level for city school construction, which they will highlight at the Speak Out, the name the group has given the event.