Wednesday, February 3, 2010


Baltimore is notorious for its "checkerboard"-like layout, in that one block might be banging with revitalized homes in historic areas, while the next is faced with flashing blue lights. With last week's guest speakers, I wondered how this checkerboard-ness was going to be dealt with. The Station North area would essentially create a strong border, specifically on the corner of North and Greenmount.

There already seems to be, in my opinion, a tension on North Avenue. On the south sides exists Charles street where young college kids gather for movies and drinks.. etc, while the north side is almost desolate, even with the installation of The Wind Up space and a few other attractions on the north side of the street. Perhaps tackling neighborhoods is the easiest way to go about revitalizing Baltimore City, but with the continued efforts in bringing up single areas also increases the checkerboard throughout this city.

It's not to say that I am not a believer in the Station North plan, I just worry about the continued tension that will naturally exist between its surrounding communities.

1 comment:

  1. im not officially added as a contributor i realized so for the sake of having my response in on time this is being presented as a response...sorry

    Moving throughout Baltimore City, whether by means of a car, bicycle, light rail, bus or by foot, it is impossible to ignore the rows of buildings boarded up and abandoned. At times it seems that the whole city is deteriorating, yet there is a fully functional arts scene? The inexpensive housing, vacant lots, and health and safety simply not being a concern of the city (the copycat) has become the ideal setting for a unique arts district to thrive. By revamping the Station North Arts and Entertainment District it seems inevitable that some (if not most) of the current arts scene will change.
    While I am a supporter of the way the arts scene functions now; out of basements, and abandoned buildings—drinking 40’s and staying out well past any “normal” music venues time frame, I can’t help but think that my enjoyment is simply for selfish reasons. I know that I am supposed to hate gentrification and feel bad about the whole process of displacing families and businesses—and I do, but I cannot help feeling that allowing Baltimore to try and take care of itself without a helping hand would be futile. Revitalizing the area through the development of a new cultural hub has some very straight forward and obvious flaws, but perhaps its better then no effort at all by the City.