After The Baltimore Sun wrote about Lexington Market’s underground vaults, we received several comments from readers wondering how they, too, might get to a chance to check out the dank dungeons. Well, they’re in luck.
This weekend Baltimore Heritage is sponsoring its first-ever tour of Lexington Market and its underground catacombs. Intrepid tourists – who hopefully remember to wear close-toed shoes – will have the opportunity to meander through the old underground vaults and wonder, “What the heck went on in here?”
(According to Sun archives: probably bootlegging).
Above ground, visitors will have a chat with Bill Devine of Faidley’s Seafood and stop by Berger’s, Constant’s and other classic stalls of the market, one of the oldest in the country.
Marsha Wise, director of tours for Baltimore Heritage, said the tour's 30 spots sold out within hours, and there is now a long waiting list. Given the interest, the organization plans to offer the tour on a monthly basis.
“It’s actually a funny story,” said Wise, describing how it all came about. Wise works part-time as a driver for Uber; one day, one of her passengers happened to be the marketing director at Lexington Market. The two decided to collaborate on a tour that would meander deep into the catacombs.
Like many longtime Baltimoreans, Wise, 49, remembers visiting Lexington Market as a child. Her friend’s dad would take them to Konstant’s and buy each a bag of peanuts to keep them pacified while he ran his errands.
Wise hopes this tour will be an opportunity to show people a different side of Lexington Market, which has struggled. Perhaps, she said, people will come for this tour and then return on future trips to buy more goods. For one, she's encouraged by the long waiting list. "Maybe that’s what people need -- they need an invitation, a reason to come," she said.
“You gotta get people back in there,” she said.
The Nov. 19 tour is sold out with a long waiting list. Those interested in receiving information about upcoming tours can email firstname.lastname@example.org