Starting this past spring, we’ve been dreading the traffic and noise and general chaos that was sure to arrive when the major Charles Street reconstruction closed several main trafficways in Charles Village. When it didn’t happen, we were relieved — and a little puzzled. “July!” the planners claimed. “Seriously, things are gonna start getting crazy in July!” A few months later: “And by July, we meant September. For real this time. September.” And each of those times, we believed them. Silly us.
They said Spring 2012, but nothing happened. “Later this month!” they promised back in July — but the roads remained clear. It started to seem as though the ultimately-good-but-really-stressful-for-the-next-few-years reconstruction of Charles Street might not happen at all. But as all you commuters probably noticed, the re-routing begins this week; Charles Street is down to one lane between 28th Street and University Parkway, and the southbound carriage lane is now closed. Traffic updates here; alter your commute accordingly.
Hope you’re enjoying those non-working traffic lights and trees in the middle of the road — they’re a piece of cake compared to the chaos that Charles Village residents and passers-by can expect when Charles Street goes under major construction later this month.
The good news? Once it’s all over, all those obliviously texting students who wander into the middle of Charles Street and terrify drivers will have a roadway that takes their safety into account. The bad news? Driving through Charles Village might be miserable for the next two years.
Builders Partner With Habitat for Humanity To Build Aberdeen Homes for National Home Builders Blitz 2012
During the week of June 4-8, 2012, Habitat for Humanity Susquehanna and Richmond American Homes will build two new homes in Aberdeen, Maryland from the ground up in just four days as part of Habitat for Humanity’s Home Builders Blitz 2012. This nationwide project seeks to build, renovate and repair 250 homes simultaneously around the country during a week-long “blitz build.”
Bryn Mawr and Gilman have each agreed to pay $350,000 to Baltimore to pay for improvements along Northern Parkway and Roland Avenue, which intersect near the two Roland Park schools.
According to the Baltimore Sun, the schools will “maintain the improvements that fall in the public right-of-ways on Northern Parkway between Roland Avenue and Boxhill Lane, and on Roland Avenue between Northern Parkway and Cold Spring Lane.”
This is not the first time the schools have helped pay for improvements along the streets bordering the schools. In early the 2000s, BMS and Gilman joined forces to pay for the bridge across Northern Parkway after a BMS student was struck by a driver while she was running across Northern Parkway. The bridge opened in 2002.
The new Johns Hopkins Hospital buildings are going to be huge. Literally (1.6 million square feet, two towers connected by a pedestrian bridge, a main entrance that’s larger than a football field), but also figuratively. Johns Hopkins has long been known as a leader in medical innovation, and these new buildings allow them to put that innovation into practice.
And, while the official opening is a few months away, a nifty virtual tour lets you go on a sort of 3D walk though the brand-new space. There’s a garden bistro! An oddly-shaped purple couch! Colorful walls!
But all silliness aside, the adult patient rooms look comfortable and (relatively) sizable; every in-patient will get a private room, and come with a sleep-sofa for friends and family. And the whole place looks like a magnet for natural light, which is a good counter to the usual drab hospital atmosphere.
You can’t see everything in the virtual tour, of course. For one, Hopkins is promising the dramatic reveal of “exciting” sculptures and paintings by national and international artists at the hospital’s opening in April. Judging by the hospital art we’ve seen in the past, we’re not holding our breath. But the art selection is approached with anything like the innovation that’s going into every other part of this project, we just might end up pleasantly surprised.
If you’ve spent any time in Charles Village recently, you’ve probably heard that soothing background hum that can only come from heavy machinery. Yes, that’s right, it’s summer — also known as major construction time for Johns Hopkins, which is trying to move ahead on several new buildings before students crowd the campus again in the fall.
According to the architectural renderings, the Brody Learning Commons promises to be an Apple Store-like glowing cube attached to the Milton S. Eisenhower Library. Or, as the PR copy puts it, “a light-filled, four-story hub for collaborative learning, with a robust technology infrastructure [and] spaces for group and individual study.” The BLC will provide the new home for the Rare Books and Manuscript collection, and an atrium level will bridge the new building and the older library; it will allow “natural light to reach the [formerly dungeon-like] lower levels of the Library.”
The two other buildings celebrate two of Johns Hopkins’ strengths: lacrosse and health sciences. One alum is providing all the cash to build the Cordish Lacrosse Center, which will apparently be the fanciest/only facility of its kind, featuring a reception area, training room, 50-person theater, and everything else a reasonable lacrosse building might need.
Finally, a new 56,000-square foot building will host Hopkins’ brand new initiative in individualized health, a kind of interdisciplinary program that will unite engineers, life scientists, and medical researchers who “will focus on bringing information science into the practice of medicine, with an initial emphasis on cancer, in a manner that will allow an unprecedented focus on treatment designed for the individual patient.”
Looks a little space age-y doesn’t it?
Architecture firm Ayers Saint Gross released renderings of an Inner Harbor revitalization project that will include convention center expansion and a waterfront park. The project is expected to cost around $900 million and take four to six years to complete. The drawings depict the revised convention center, both front and ariel views, and the waterfront park.
As our friends at Curbed put it in their story The Entertaining Expansion of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, “Baltimore’s Inner Harbor is a frequent destination for big name musical acts or Orioles fans looking for a place to drown their sorrows, but for the next few years it is going to be one big construction zone.” True that.
It’s a lot of money and a huge inconvenience but Baltimore’s Inner Harbor needs a facelift. It’s time.