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Monument to a neighborhood's renewal
Monument to a neighborhood's renewal

Walking along Mount Royal Avenue from Maryland Institute College of Art to the University of Baltimore, what struck me most was the corridor's abject seediness: The buildings had a thick coating of decades-old industrial grime, there were strip bars across the street from the University of Baltimore, mega-sized roaches and a restroom mockup peeked out from the broad windows of the Odorite Building, prostitutes brazenly plied their trade at the corners of Preston and Charles streets. In August 1982, I was a kid from the suburbs starting law school in the city, and this was my first view of student life in Baltimore. The then-new John and Frances Angelos Law School sat squat and brown...