Editor’s note: The Mount Winans profile is one article in The Sun’s City of Neighborhoods series, spotlighting Baltimore communities.
It’s a secluded spot of land just 50 acres in size and mere minutes from M&T Bank Stadium, Camden Yards and Horseshoe Baltimore Casino. Yet when Michael Tyson walks the quiet streets of his modest Mount Winans neighborhood, he encounters a mini-swatch of suburbia: foxes, deer and, to be sure, a core of working-class residents mindful of the folks next door.
“We’re tucked away and unbothered by a lot of [outside] things,” said Tyson, 36, president of the Mount Winans Community Association, who has lived there 11 years. “A lot of homeowners here have old-school values; they take pride in the area and look out for one another.”
A hodgepodge of public housing, single-family dwellings and modest, weathered townhomes of varying age and construction, Mount Winans is “a hidden little neighborhood, lightly trafficked and packaged between Westport and the railroad lines,” said Brooke Lierman, its state delegate. “There’s one way in and one way out. There’s no reason to go there unless you’re visiting someone or going to church, and the residents appreciate that quietness.”
Mount Winans is an isolated tract in Southwest Baltimore bordered on two sides by the tracks of the CSX Railroad; and on the third and fourth, by Hollins Ferry Road and Mount Auburn Cemetery.
Things to do
The area is residential, save for four churches and a small corner grocery. Kids play ball and ride bikes down dead-end streets, shoot baskets on the playground on South Paca Street and watch the trains rumble past.
Mount Winans’ population fell from 1,154 in the 1990 Census to 748 in the 2010 Census, according to an analysis by Baltimore’s planning department — and the city’s total population has fallen more in the past decade. In 2018, Mount Winans’ median household income was $18,125, about 36% of the city’s median income; it had nearly quadruple the unemployment (27%) of the city at large (7%). The median home sales price from 2017-2019 was about $60,000. About 90% of its residents are Black.
Transit and walkability
Mount Winans’ walkability score ranks 33 out of 100, according to Live Baltimore. It is within walking distance of B&O Park, Paca Street Park and Florence Cummings Park.
Hidden away as it is, Mount Winans “doesn’t get a lot of the city services or attention that we deserve,” said Tyson, who has long complained of illegal dumping there.
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“This neighborhood is a food desert, and we’d like to teach people how to grow their own crops,” sais Tyson, a chef at a Washington restaurant. “We’re talking about everything from job training to just having fun and engaging as a community. Our association has tried for three years to buy the land, but it’s been hectic.”
Michael Tyson, Mount Winans Community Association president; Phylicia Porter (D), Baltimore City Council, District 10.