June 17, 2011

How to fix Old Town

Old Town is perfectly poised to be the neighborhood to bring out the most urbanely scaled side of the Hopkins Hospital campus. The key is to extend McElderry Street (shown in yellow) from the foot of the iconic Hopkins Dome Building (background) to the center of Old Town at Gay Street (foreground), then continue it westward to Mount Vernon and Downtown.

Old Town is currently one of Baltimore's saddest and most forsaken neighborhoods. It is most infamous as the scene of a 1968 race riot, then was completely rebuilt to much fanfare in the mid-'70s. But almost as quickly, it started to deteriorate again, until by now it has suffered far more damage and abandonment than was ever inflicted by the riot.