The year ended in Baltimore with a new commercial village emerging at the former Port Covington railway yard in South Baltimore. It’s been renamed the Baltimore Peninsula and, perhaps because it’s somewhat hidden by the Interstate 95 elevated highway, is not so visible.
Skeptics wonder about The Peninsula. There is a precedent. What were once oil storage tanks and industrial sites in the part of Canton near the waterfront are now a new neighborhood that seems to enlarge and change month by month.
The Peninsula, like other grand schemes, will take awhile to reach completion.
It was a year to observe the first stages in the transformation of the former Perkins Homes public housing on South Caroline Street. This is another ambitious undertaking.
Parts of the endeavor stretch northward toward the Old Town Mall, that 1970s urban renewal effort, and it almost reaches the edge of the harbor.
When completed (no date set) this reconfigured part of Baltimore should reweave together neighborhoods between the Johns Hopkins medical campus and Harbor East.
It was also a year when Baltimore’s harbor shoreline saw heavy equipment and cranes. A new T. Rowe Price complex and a large residential block — called Allied Harbor Point — with a hotel, is going up in the emerging neighborhood at the southern tip of South Central Avenue.
The transformation of an old neighborhood shopping center happened. It’s now known as Northwood Commons and its rebirth occurred on the site of a civil rights battleground of the 1960s. The old Northwood Theatre is long gone, but demonstrators would not give up until the theater admitted African American patrons in 1963.
Baltimore’s Waverly neighborhood and its main street business district greeted the arrival of Red Emma’s at the old Hopper’s restaurant, as well as the Waverly Hall, a handsome restoration of the community’s onetime library and drugstore. There’s a new tenant leased — Pure Chocolates by Jinji — and the apartments upstairs have been rented.
The long-awaited debut of the new Lexington Market arrived in 2022.
There were not so many vendors — more are promised — but the space is clean and holds promise. The building stands to be a centerpiece of all the adjacent renewal, which includes the preservation of the old Drovers and Mechanics Bank, at Eutaw and Fayette streets, as a SpringHill Suites.
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After years of waiting, the renovation of Pennsylvania Station commenced. The 1911 depot is encased in scaffolding and Amtrak has completed a new high-speed platform at train level.
The Station North community successfully dealt with Area 405 (for 405 Oliver St.), an old industrial building that remains a home to artists, thanks to a successful $3.8 million campaign to preserve this hub of work spaces and studios.
Mount Vernon’s venerable Latrobe Building, Charles and Read streets, emerged remade in 2022, as the Ulysses Hotel, complete with a stylish bar.
Some 35 people who experienced homelessness in Baltimore are now housed in a new residence called Sojourner Place at Oliver. It cost $22 million and is several blocks east of Greenmount Cemetery. It is a collaboration of Health Care for the Homeless and the Episcopal Housing Corp. The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation also helped with a grant.
The part of East Baltimore north of the Johns Hopkins Hospital is being rebuilt, building by building. Tenants are filling the old Hoen Lithograph building on East Biddle Street and sections of the old Baltimore City Department of Public Works pumping station have been nicely preserved.
A large property, an old Becker Brothers’ tobacco warehouse at 1103 N. Washington St. that sits alongside the Amtrak and MARC railroad embankment in East Baltimore, is the next place to keep on eye on in this come-from-behind spot. It is being groomed as a location for engineering, construction and architects. This curious structure once housed a roller rink.
And finally, restoration began in 2022 of the 1877 former public school, Male and Female Grammar School No. 6, where future U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall was a student from 1914 to 1920. Look for this important component of the Upton neighborhood to be ready for tours this summer.