Thursday, October 29, 2009

A Rowhouse in Bolton Hill, Baltimore

I stayed at my friend Rachel's house in Bolton Hill while in Baltimore. Even just one row house seems to tell the story of hundreds of lives.Above, a strange cement-like covering has begun to fall off the front of the house's original bricks, worn away from the dripping water of window air conditioner units above.Above is the entry hallway of the house, which has now been carved up into three units. Below is a sampling of the beautiful marble in the front vestibule.Below is the cast iron stove, discarded in the basement and now probably worth a fortune to salvagers. I can't read the details, but I imagine it is original to the house, and perhaps, like many houses on the East Coast, the cooking was done in the basement.Also of interest is the ghost markings of a staircase that once led to the basement before it was divided into apartments.The floor is made up of wood blocks, or possibly bricks. It is dark and mysterious in the cellar, but full of interesting cast aside items.The fantastic stairway, its varnish now substantially darkened, is the focal point of the house. It has some of the most beautiful wood I have seen in a house in the United States.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Garrett Jacobs Mansion, Mount Vernon Square, Baltimore

The Garrett Jacobs Mansion, in downtown Baltimore, is out of this world. Read about it here. No matter how wealthy you were in early Baltimore, you still lived in a rowhouse, or three.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Druid Hill Park, Baltimore

Druid Hill Park sits on the near northwest side of central Baltimore, with its large reservoir dominating the landscape. According to a friend whose grandparents grew up in Baltimore, tens of thousands of families used to sleep in the park on hot summer nights to get away from the heat of the rowhouses. Can anyone imagine people behaving enough--anywhere in America--for this to happen nowadays?See the massive, overgrown and poorly maintained park from the air here. It is such a gem, and we in St. Louis should be happy at the major renovations that our own Forest Park has received in the last ten years. Druid Hill Park has so much potential.
The park is lined by beautiful, if slightly neglected rowhouses.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

West Downtown Baltimore

The west side of Baltimore has not seen the rehabbing that the heart of Baltimore's downtown has. It still sits largely abandoned, or featuring low-class cell phone stores and the like. Once the premiere place to shop in Baltimore, it sits awaiting redevelopment.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Portage des Sioux Demolition Going Through?

back in January, I visited Portage des Sioux, and reported on the potential demolition of an abandoned house whose legal wrangling had lasted for sixteen years. Just recently, the city of Portage des Sioux has ordered the building demolished. Read about it here. I'm a little confused about the decision; I personally looked at the house in question, and though it has its problems, it is in better shape than some of the other occupied houses in the town.

Old Penn Station, Baltimore

Friday, October 23, 2009

Battimore and Ohio Railroad Headquarters

This incredible skyscraper has seen new life as a Hotel Monaco. It is truly incredible, and apparently so well-maintained that the bellhop said very little renovation of the spectacular lobby was needed.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Hampden, Baltimore

Hampden, pronounced Ham-den, is one of the most unique neighborhoods in America. Long the subject of John Waters movies, the once isolated mill town north of Baltimore is now right in the middle of the city, sitting on the hills above the Jones Falls Valley.Yes, that is a giant flamingo. The Avenue, or 36th Street, is the central heart of the area.Rowhouses are a religion in Baltimore, and Hampden is no different. A century or more of individual ownership has resulted in great diversity between the once identical houses.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Battle Monument, Downtown Baltimore

This monument is notable for commemorating not a victorious general, but rather soldiers who died in the defense of Baltimore in 1814.

A Blog detailing the beauty of St. Louis architecture and the buildup of residue-or character-that accumulates over the course of time.