NOW THAT Baltimore City and Amtrak have spruced up Penn Station, community leaders are working to draw more people to the surrounding area.

The Bazaar at Penn Station is the name of an open-air market that will be held weekly on Sundays starting May 4 in the Amtrak lot at Charles and Lanvale streets, just north of the restored train station.

Conceived as a midtown counterpart to the seasonal farmers' markets under the Jones Falls Expressway, the Penn Station bazaar will bring together vendors featuring crafts, antiques, jewelry, collectibles and other upscale goods.

"The main purpose of the bazaar is to attract attention to the area and show there is more to Baltimore than the Inner Harbor," said Kathy Barnes, a representative of Greater Homewood Renaissance, one of the sponsoring groups.

The bazaar will be more than a flea market, she explained, because it will feature a wide range of dealers and vendors, from artisans to floral designers.

"There's nothing else like it in the area," she said. "For many people, it'll be a great opportunity to show off their talents without driving to the suburbs."

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the 1911 train station has been renovated and upgraded extensively in recent years at a cost of $14 million. The investment included new floodlights at night, repairs to the main clock, new retail spaces on the first level and construction of a 500-car garage that opened in 1995. About 2 million people a year now pass through the station, at a rate of 6,000 to 8,000 daily.

With the garage complete, Amtrak officials have been hoping to find a developer for the Lanvale Street lot. They have agreed to make it available for the weekly market as an interim use that can show off its potential.

The bazaar will operate from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sundays from May 4 to Oct. 26 except during August, when it will not be held. It will be run by a community partnership formed last year by Greater Homewood Community Corp., the Midtown Community Benefits District, Amtrak/Penn Station, the Charles North and Greenmount West neighborhoods and the city.

An 8-foot-wide space rents for $60 per month or $250 for the season. A 16-foot-wide space rents for $120 per month or $500 for the season. Applications and additional information are available from the bazaar operators at 410-889-7927.

The rowhouses of Baltimore

Charles Duff, president of the Baltimore Architecture Foundation, will discuss the rowhouses of Baltimore in a lecture at the Walters Art Gallery's Graham Auditorium at 6: 15 p.m. today.

The talk is the first of three on rowhouse architecture that the foundation and the museum are sponsoring. The others will feature interior designer Dudley Brown speaking about the row- houses of Washington at 6: 15 p.m. May 1, and architectural history professor Jeff Cohen on the rowhouses of Philadelphia at 6: 15 p.m. May 8. The series costs $10 for full-time students and members of the Walters and the foundation, and $15 for others.

In addition, an exhibit on Baltimore's smallest form of rowhouse, the alley house, will open at 5 p.m. May 1 at the American Institute of Architects' gallery, 11 1/2 W. Chase St. in Mount Vernon. "Small Rowhouse Living, 1790 to 2000: Neighborhoods in Transition" will be on display through the month.

Historian Charles Belfoure will present a slide lecture on the Baltimore rowhouse at the AIA Gallery from noon to 1 p.m. May 11. The gallery will also be the setting for a seminar, "How to Find, Buy and Retrofit a Small Rowhouse," from 5: 30 p.m. to 7: 30 p.m. May 21.

Cummings to address Homewood meeting

Seventh District Democrat Rep. Elijah E. Cummings will be the keynote speaker at Greater Homewood Community Corporation's 28th annual meeting, at 7: 30 p.m. today at the Union Memorial Hospital Auditorium, 201 E. University Parkway.

New state office in Hunt Valley

Maryland Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend and Baltimore County Executive C. A. Dutch Ruppersberger are to preside at the public dedication of the Maryland Office of Administrative Hearings, 11101 Gilroy Road in Hunt Valley, at 4: 45 p.m. May 1.

The 65,000-square-foot building, a joint venture of Continental Realty Corp. and Mullan Enterprises, will be the site for 45,000 annual hearings about driver's license suspensions, medical licensing actions, environmental permits and child abuse and neglect findings.

Marshall Craft Associates was the architect, and Mullan Contracting Co. was the builder.

Pub Date: 4/24/97

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