Union Square holds tour of Victorian homes today


Baltimore's historic Union Square neighborhood will hold its annual Christmas Cookie Tour of decorated Victorian homes today from noon to 5 p.m.

Tickets may be purchased for $10 at Steuart Hill Elementary School, 31 S. Gilmor St., or by calling 233-3168 or 945-1497.

Proceeds will benefit the Union Square neighborhood association. Among its goals is finding a new use for the Enoch Pratt Free Library's former Branch No. 2 at Calhoun and Hollins streets.

Foxhall Farm

Trafalgar House Residential, Maryland, held a grand opening recently for Foxhall Farm, a community of "cluster homes" off Rolling Road near Catonsville. Priced from $219,000, the cluster homes are 42 feet wide and contain up to 2,800 square feet of space.

Saratoga Park

The future of a downtown district known as "Saratoga Park" will be the subject of a community planning discussion that will be held tomorrow from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Berman Auditorium of the Johns Hopkins University's Downtown Center at Charles and Saratoga streets. The district is bounded by Charles, Eutaw, Franklin and Clay streets. To make reservations, call the Citizens Planning and Housing Association at 539-1369.

Little Italy

The Inner Harbor site proposed for Columbus Plaza, a $10 million apartment project that never materialized, will likely remain a parking lot for the foreseeable future.

City officials want to take a $1.4 million federal grant awarded in 1986 to help fund construction of the 99-unit Columbus Plaza and use it to help another group build a 100-unit apartment complex proposed for the 20-acre Inner Harbor East development area.

David Elam, director of development for Baltimore's Department Housing and Community Development, said the city still owns the bulk of the land at the southeast corner of President Street bTC and Eastern Avenue, which was set aside for Columbus Plaza. He said that land will remain a parking lot until an alternate plan is developed for the property.

Mr. Elam said he expects to hear soon whether the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development will approve the plan to transfer the $1.4 million grant to a team headed by Baltimore businessman John Paterakis and Gilbane Properties of Providence, R.I.

Around the region:

* Sports Center USA, the $30 million sports museum proposed for construction inside the Pier 4 Power Plant, will be the topic of discussion during a "Business Over Breakfast" presentation at the Stouffer Harborplace Hotel, Pratt and South streets, on Wednesday starting at 8 p.m. Speakers will include Joseph De Francis and Lynda O'Dea, members of the Power Plant development team. The meeting is free to members of the Downtown Partnership and $15 for non-members. For reservations, call 244-1030.

* Just back from Rotterdam are Baltimore Housing Commissioner Robert Hearn, Baltimore Development Corp. President Honora Freeman, and City Council member Sheila Dixon, D-4th. They were part of a Baltimore delegation invited by Dutch officials to speak about how American cities grapple with waterfront development, the need for affordable housing and other issues.

* Kevin Roche, the Connecticut-based architect whose firm designed the 32-story office tower slated to replace the News American Building at 300 E. Pratt St., will receive the 1993 Gold Medal of the American Institute of Architects in Washington next month.

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