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Unnamed developer to invest $7 million in historic Upton Mansion, Baltimore housing department says

The city plans to announce a developer Wednesday for the vacant, yet historic Upton Mansion at 811 W. Lanvale St. The building is pictured in 2014.
The city plans to announce a developer Wednesday for the vacant, yet historic Upton Mansion at 811 W. Lanvale St. The building is pictured in 2014.(Barbara Haddock Taylor / Baltimore Sun)

Baltimore housing officials will announce Wednesday a developer selected to revitalize the historic Upton Mansion in West Baltimore, a vacant landmark considered one of the neighborhood’s major anchors.

Most recently occupied by the Maryland Department of Education, the mansion will receive a $7 million investment from the unnamed development team, the city’s housing department said Monday in a news release about the announcement. The group won the bidding to redevelop the historic site after the Department of Housing and Community Development called for submissions in April, according to the housing department’s announcement.

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The firm will rehabilitate the space into a “new home of a Baltimore-based historical institution,” the department said. That organization also was not identified.

Built in 1838, the Upton Mansion serves as an official Baltimore historic landmark in the Old West Baltimore National Register Historic District, according to a blog post authored by Baltimore Heritage. The building was constructed as the “country home” of Baltimore attorney David Stewart, who later served briefly as a U.S. senator. It later became the headquarters for Baltimore’s oldest radio station — WCAO, which was licensed in 1922 — and the Baltimore Institute of Musical Arts, an African American musical conservatory.

The Baltimore City school system vacated the building in 2006, and it has since deteriorated from years of neglect and vandalism.

In 2009, Maryland Magazine and Preservation Maryland deemed the Greek Revival structure among the most endangered buildings in the state.

The City of Baltimore owns the more than 10,000-square-foot structure, which is valued for tax purposes at about $340,900, property records show. It resides in the “West Impact Investment Area,” a designated corridor that the city has highlighted as a funding priority.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated the year WCAO was licensed and which education agency occupied the building. The Sun regrets the error.

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