Real Estate

Ednor Gardens

Starting about 1925 and working for a few decades, developer Edward J. Gallagher and his sons built a Baltimore community of sturdy homes with a bit of green space for the emerging middle class.

Gallagher's early notion was to create a stylish English-type of village in the city. The concept remained, though he went from the Tudor and Norman styles popular at first to the Colonial designs that were in vogue as the worst of the Great Depression ended.

Gallagher named his village for his sons, Edward and Norman.

Since then, the East Baltimore community of Ednor Gardens has matured with a bird-filled leafy canopy over its streets and lawns. Much of the area is on the National Register of Historic Places.

It is half of the busy Ednor Gardens-Lakeside Civic Association, which delivers newsletters to 2,300 homes and keeps a diverse community engaged in neighborhood life.

"We exude family and a sense of pride in the community," said Karenthia Barber, association president. "Neighbors become family."

Block captains make a point of keeping up-to-date with residents and issues on their streets.

In recent years, partnerships and grants, through the city and nearby organizations, have been a boost to a neighborhood long anchored by Memorial Stadium, which closed in 1997 and was torn down in 2001.

Ednor Gardens has public spaces in bloom and Stadium Place, the old stadium site, has a YMCA and senior citizen apartments, with commercial space and more residences to come.

Predominantly, the homes on the rolling hills are rowhouses with distinctive architectural styles. Many have garages and driveways in back; decks are commonly seen add-ons.

Front porches, typically painted white, are a hallmark of many streets of brick homes; on others, it's the sunrooms and stonework.

Duplexes and single-family homes are mixed in. Homeowners say they have good value for their money in an affordable suburbanlike setting that is in the middle of the city.

"What you get compared to other neighborhoods -- other downtown neighborhoods that might have a sexier name right now or are closer to the waterfront -- is greater. Ednor Gardens is below the radar screen right now," said Tom Atwood, an agent with Long and Foster in Federal Hill.

This is an urban neighborhood sometimes hit by crime, but with caveats. People say they feel safe, and walkers, joggers and dog-walkers abound not only in daylight, but also at night.

Residents are part of the Northeastern District police community relations council. A citizens' patrol group reports anything troubling or unusual to an officer.

Backyard child-size gyms abound, and toys can be spotted on many a front lawn and porch. The community sponsors a summer youth art program with the Maryland Institute College of Art, and children can join nearby sports leagues.

Students attend Waverly Elementary School, where this year's test scores in reading and math were roughly at or below state averages. Barclay Elementary Middle posted test scores at or above them. Baltimore City College students outperformed the state average only on biology exams.

Other than a tiny strip center with conveniences, there's no shopping in the neighborhood. But a few minutes' hike to Waverly and Charles Village offers supermarkets, big bookstores and some chain stores. Shopping at big box and department stores means driving to a mall.

Public buses crisscross the community, providing a means for many people to get to work and spots around the city. But lots of places are short drives away -- interstates 83 and 95 are a few minutes away.

Ednor Gardens has an active garden club. The community has been a sponsor of Community Jazz Fest. The YMCA is a popular indoor workout spot. To the east is Lake Montebello, with trails for walking, skating and biking, and Herring Run Park.

Residents head out, going to Charles Village and Waverly's restaurants and clubs. Downtown nightspots are a short drive away.