Baltimore City Real Estate
Baltimore is the most populous city in the U.S. state of Maryland, as well as the 30th most populous city in the United States, with a population of 602,495 in 2018 and also the largest such independent city in the country. Baltimore was established by the Constitution of Maryland as an independent city in 1729. As of 2017, the population of the Baltimore metropolitan area was estimated to be just under 2.802 million, making it the 21st largest metropolitan area in the country. Baltimore is located about 40 miles (64 km) northeast of Washington, D.C., making it a principal city in the Washington-Baltimore combined statistical area (CSA), the fourth-largest CSA in the nation, with a calculated 2018 population of 9,797,063.
The city’s Inner Harbor was once the second leading port of entry for immigrants to the United States. In addition, Baltimore was a major manufacturing center. After a decline in major manufacturing, heavy industry, and restructuring of the rail industry, Baltimore has shifted to a service-oriented economy. Johns Hopkins Hospital (founded 1889) and Johns Hopkins University (founded 1876) are the city’s top two employers.
With hundreds of identified districts, Baltimore has been dubbed a “city of neighborhoods.” Famous residents have included writers Edgar Allan Poe, Edith Hamilton, Frederick Douglass, W.E.B. Du Bois, Ogden Nash, Gertrude Stein, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Dashiell Hammett, Upton Sinclair, Tom Clancy, Ta-Nehisi Coates, and H. L. Mencken; musicians James “Eubie” Blake, Billie Holiday, Cab Calloway, Tori Amos, Frank Zappa, Tupac Shakur, Dan Deacon, Robbie Basho, Bill Frisell, Philip Glass, Cass Elliot, and Ric Ocasek ; actors and filmmakers John Waters, Barry Levinson, Divine, David Hasselhoff, Don Messick, John Kassir, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Mo’Nique; artist Jeff Koons; baseball player Babe Ruth; swimmer Michael Phelps; radio host Ira Glass; television host Mike Rowe; Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall; Speaker of the United States House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi; and United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson. During the War of 1812, Francis Scott Key wrote “The Star-Spangled Banner” in Baltimore after the bombardment of Fort McHenry. His poem was set to music and popularized as a song; in 1931 it was designated as the American national anthem.
Baltimore has more public statues and monuments per capita than any other city in the country,and is home to some of the earliest National Register Historic Districts in the nation, including Fell’s Point, Federal Hill, and Mount Vernon. These were added to the National Register between 1969 and 1971, soon after historic preservation legislation was passed. Nearly one third of the city’s buildings (over 65,000) are designated as historic in the National Register, which is more than any other U.S. city.
Baltimore exhibits examples from each period of architecture over more than two centuries, and work from architects such as Benjamin Latrobe, George A. Frederick, John Russell Pope, Mies van der Rohe and I. M. Pei.
The city is rich in architecturally significant buildings in a variety of styles. The Baltimore Basilica (1806–1821) is a neoclassical design by Benjamin Latrobe, and also the oldest Catholic cathedral in the United States. In 1813 Robert Cary Long, Sr., built for Rembrandt Peale the first substantial structure in the United States designed expressly as a museum. Restored, it is now the Municipal Museum of Baltimore, or popularly the Peale Museum.
The McKim Free School was founded and endowed by John McKim, although the building was erected by his son Isaac in 1822 after a design by William Howard and William Small. It reflects the popular interest in Greece when the nation was securing its independence, as well as a scholarly interest in recently published drawings of Athenian antiquities.
The Phoenix Shot Tower (1828), at 234.25 feet (71.40 m) tall, was the tallest building in the United States until the time of the Civil War, and is one of few remaining structures of its kind. It was constructed without the use of exterior scaffolding. The Sun Iron Building, designed by R.C. Hatfield in 1851, was the city’s first iron-front building and was a model for a whole generation of downtown buildings. Brown Memorial Presbyterian Church, built in 1870 in memory of financier George Brown, has stained glass windows by Louis Comfort Tiffany and has been called “one of the most significant buildings in this city, a treasure of art and architecture” by Baltimore Magazine.
The 1845 Greek Revival-style Lloyd Street Synagogue is one of the oldest synagogues in the United States. The Johns Hopkins Hospital, designed by Lt. Col. John S. Billings in 1876, was a considerable achievement for its day in functional arrangement and fireproofing.
I.M. Pei’s World Trade Center (1977) is the tallest equilateral pentagonal building in the world at 405 feet (123 m) tall.
The Harbor East area has seen the addition of two new towers which have completed construction: a 24-floor tower that is the new world headquarters of Legg Mason, and a 21-floor Four Seasons Hotel complex.
The streets of Baltimore are organized in a grid pattern, lined with tens of thousands of brick and formstone-faced rowhouses. In The Baltimore Rowhouse, Mary Ellen Hayward and Charles Belfoure considered the rowhouse as the architectural form defining Baltimore as “perhaps no other American city.” In the mid-1790s, developers began building entire neighborhoods of the British-style rowhouses, which became the dominant house type of the city early in the 19th century.
Formstone facings, now a common feature on Baltimore rowhouses, were an addition patented in 1937 by Albert Knight. John Waters characterized formstone as “the polyester of brick” in a 30-minute documentary film, Little Castles: A Formstone Phenomenon.
Oriole Park at Camden Yards is a Major League Baseball park, opened in 1992, which was built as a retro style baseball park. Camden Yards, along with the National Aquarium, have helped revive the Inner Harbor from what once was an industrial district full of dilapidated warehouses into a bustling commercial district full of bars, restaurants and retail establishments. Today, the Inner Harbor has some of the most desirable real estate in the Mid-Atlantic.
After an international competition, the University of Baltimore School of Law awarded the German firm Behnisch Architekten 1st prize for its design, which was selected for the school’s new home. After the building’s opening in 2013, the design won additional honors including an ENR National “Best of the Best” Award.
Baltimore’s newly rehabilitated Everyman Theatre was honored by the Baltimore Heritage at the 2013 Preservation Awards Celebration in 2013. Everyman Theatre will receive an Adaptive Reuse and Compatible Design Award as part of Baltimore Heritage’s 2013 historic preservation awards ceremony. Baltimore Heritage is Baltimore’s nonprofit historic and architectural preservation organization, which works to preserve and promote Baltimore’s historic buildings and neighborhoods.
Baltimore is officially divided into nine geographical regions: North, Northeast, East, Southeast, South, Southwest, West, Northwest, and Central, with each district patrolled by a respective Baltimore Police Department. Interstate 83 and Charles Street down to Hanover Street and Ritchie Highway serve as the east–west dividing line and Eastern Avenue to Route 40 as the north–south dividing line; however, Baltimore Street is north–south dividing line for the U.S. Postal Service. It is not uncommon for locals to divide the city simply by East or West Baltimore, using Charles Street or I-83 as a dividing line or into North and South using Baltimore Street as a dividing line.
DEVELOPMENT AND PROMOTION
By the beginning of the 1970s, Baltimore’s downtown area known as the Inner Harbor had been neglected and was occupied by a collection of abandoned warehouses. The nickname “Charm City” came from a 1975 meeting of advertisers seeking to improve the city’s reputation. Efforts to redevelop the area started with the construction of the Maryland Science Center, which opened in 1976, the Baltimore World Trade Center (1977), and the Baltimore Convention Center (1979). Harborplace, an urban retail and restaurant complex, opened on the waterfront in 1980, followed by the National Aquarium, Maryland’s largest tourist destination, and the Baltimore Museum of Industry in 1981. In 1995, the city opened the American Visionary Art Museum on Federal Hill. During the epidemic of HIV/AIDS in the United States, Baltimore City Health Department official Robert Mehl persuaded the city’s mayor to form a committee to address food problems; the Baltimore-based charity Moveable Feast grew out of this initiative in 1990. By 2010, the organization’s region of service had expanded from merely Baltimore to include all of the Eastern Shore of Maryland. In 1992, the Baltimore Orioles baseball team moved from Memorial Stadium to Oriole Park at Camden Yards, located downtown near the harbor. Pope John Paul II held an open-air mass at Camden Yards during his papal visit to the United States in October 1995. Three years later the Baltimore Ravens football team moved into M&T Bank Stadium next to Camden Yards.
Baltimore has seen the reopening of the Hippodrome Theatre in 2004, the opening of the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture in 2005, and the establishment of the National Slavic Museum in 2012. On April 12, 2012, Johns Hopkins held a dedication ceremony to mark the completion of one of the United States’ largest medical complexes – the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore – which features the Sheikh Zayed Cardiovascular and Critical Care Tower and The Charlotte R. Bloomberg Children’s Center. The event, held at the entrance to the $1.1 billion 1.6 million-square-foot-facility, honored the many donors including Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, first president of the United Arab Emirates, and Michael Bloomberg.
On September 19, 2016 the Baltimore City Council approved a $660 million bond deal for the $5.5 billion Port Covington redevelopment project championed by Under Armour founder Kevin Plank and his real estate company Sagamore Development. Port Covington surpassed the Harbor Point development as the largest tax-increment financing deal in Baltimore’s history and among the largest urban redevelopment projects in the country. The waterfront development that includes the new headquarters for Under Armour, as well as shops, housing, offices, and manufacturing spaces is projected to create 26,500 permanent jobs with a $4.3 billion annual economic impact. Goldman Sachs invested $233 million into the redevelopment project
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