An Note of Thanks from Park Café and Coffee Bar

Editors’ Note: Near the end of January, police arrested the man they suspect committed robberies in the neighborhood at the Park Café, as well as other nearby businesses. Charged with armed robbery and assault, his preliminary hearing was held on February 23.

Our State’s Attorney liaison Ashe Smith will monitor this case and keep the community informed so we can participate. We received this update from Café owner David Hart. 

The Park Café would like to thank the Baltimore City Police Department for the apprehension of the suspect who is believed to have robbed not only the cafe, but other area businesses.

While the process took longer than any of us—neighbors and police—would have liked, this person is now off the street.

Additionally, on behalf of our staff, we are grateful for the outpouring of concern, the many good wishes, and the continued patronage by our neighbors in Reservoir Hill and Sandtown Winchester, as well as the Bolton Hill community.

As a result of our experience, the Café no longer accepts cash. We are working on a process for selling gift cards using money orders and will unveil this to our customers shortly.

With gratitude, David Hart and Joseph Costa

Reminder: Renew Your Parking Permits

As we noted in our story published in last month’s Bulletin, all current residential parking permits will expire March 31. You may renew and pay for your permits online at the Parking Authority website.

Neighborhood Pickup Days take place at Brown Memorial Presbyterian Church on Lafayette and Park Ave., Saturday, March 18, from 8 am to 12 noon, and Saturday, March 25, from 8 am to 1:30 pm. Purchase your permits online at least three days before you plan to pick up. Enter at the Lafayette St. door.

You can also obtain your permits beginning on March 13 at the Parking Authority Office, 200 W. Lombard Street, Suite B, 21201.

The Parking Authority accepts credit cards, checks and money orders made out to the Director of Finance. Cash is not accepted.

Be sure you bring current documentation when picking up your permits, including your current Maryland Vehicle Registration with an Area 3 address, plus one of the following that shows an Area 3 address:

  • Current driver’s license
  • Proof of residency, such as a current lease signed by all parties that is not month-to-month.
  • Proof of home ownership (settlement papers)
  • Utility bill in your name that is at least 30 days old
  • Official State ID card

If your vehicle is registered out of state, you must register your vehicle in Maryland before being permitted to purchase a parking decal, unless you are a full-time student or a member of the military.

Out-of-state students and military must purchase a Non-Resident Permit from the MVA and present it at pick-up for the decal to be released.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Parking Authority at rpp@bcparking.com or 443-573-2800, extensions 863, 845, or 851. You may also contact your Area 3 representative, Patsy Andrews, by email at pandrewsmd@yahoo.com.

St. Francis Neighborhood Center Embarks on Major Capital Campaign

By Morganne Ruhnke, Development and Event Coordinator at St. Francis Neighborhood Center

Did you know that more than 1,200 children in the Reservoir Hill area live in poverty? St. Francis Neighborhood Center (SFNC) is responding to this need with educational and enrichment programs to uplift children and their families—making more than 40,000 individual contacts with Reservoir Hill residents every year.

Reservoir Hill kids on honor roll
Smiles of Success

 

SFNC is a community-based, non-profit organization committed to ending generational poverty through education, inspiring self-esteem, self-improvement, and strengthening connections to the community. It was founded in 1963 as an outreach center for two local churches, and is the oldest enrichment center of its kind in Baltimore City. SFNC founder Father Tom Composto was a Jesuit priest who moved into the facility in the 1960s. He stayed there for the remainder of his life, devoting himself to the poor.  

Father Tom, also known as the Pope of Whitelock Street, would stand at the corner of Whitelock and Linden and challenge drug dealers to do something better with their lives. After he passed away in 2010, SFNC Board and staff have carried on his passion and vision, with programs and projects that serve the community that Father Tom so dearly loved.

The Center offers a computer lab and a community library that is free of charge to the neighborhood. They offer adult literacy and job readiness programs. They hold community yoga sessions on Wednesday evenings, and Narcotics Anonymous meets there three evenings a week. Every Monday, friends from Corpus Christi Church distribute free groceries to anyone who lives in the 21217 area. Many other partner groups use the Center for their meetings and also provide services that benefit the community.

SFNC’s award-winning flagship programs for youth have received national recognition. The Power Project is a free after-school program, with fifty “prodigies”—youth—currently enrolled. The Summer of Service Excursion (SOSE) is held for eight weeks from 8:30 am to 5:30 pm during the summer months and is the longest running summer program in the City. SOSE participants focus on topics including education, art, STEM, and character building.

Ethan's poem
Poem describing the “St. Francis Way.”

Every summer, the Center coordinates with its many longstanding partners to host the day-long Reservoir Hill Resource Fair & Festival at the corner of Whitelock and Linden. The festival brings together this vibrant, diverse community and features a grocery and bookbag giveaway, food trucks, local art, and live music. Save the date for Saturday, August 5, 2017—and if you are interested in getting involved as a vendor, volunteer, or supporter, contact Morganne Ruhnke at mruhnke@stfranciscenter.org.

St. Francis Neighborhood Center
Consider donating so that even more children can join the fun

The Center is currently embarking on a major capital campaign, “Count on Me.” This community-driven campaign addresses the pressing need to serve more children. More than 30 kids are already on the waiting list for the youth programs, and with the merger of Westside Elementary and John Eager Howard School, the number of children in need will soon triple. We want them all to have a positive place to attend educational and enrichment activities after school and are excited about our plans for growth. To learn more, contact Angela Wheeler at awheeler@stfranciscenter.org.

SFNC occupies a historic, four-story townhouse, and while we love our location, we are limited in our ability to serve more children and to provide programming to fulfill ever-evolving community needs. Our total goal is to raise $4 million in two years to add classrooms, an art studio, a kitchen/cafe, greening projects, multipurpose space, and expand our media lab and library. Once complete, we expect to serve more than 200 children in our education programs, an 100% increase in capacity.

We invite you to be a part of this transformational change. Can we count on you to join us in achieving this milestone for Reservoir Hill and West Baltimore?

How you can you help:

  • Donations of all sizes are greatly appreciated and help us get one step closer to serve more of the community.  To donate and learn more about the center check out our website at www.stfranciscenter.org.
  • We are always looking for people to host fundraisers, serve as mentors and tutors, and help us with special events and daily operations.  To get involved, please contact us at volunteer@stfranciscenter.org.

Find out more on the St. Francis Neighborhood Center website.

Art and Hearts at Midtown Academy

Art auction and exhibition at Midtown Academy
The Art Auction and Exhibition at Midtown was well attended.

By Jennifer Devon, Executive Director of The Midtown Academy

Uniting Diverse Artists

The Midtown Academy kicked off the new year with a bang! The 3rd Annual Uniting Diverse Artists Art Auction and Exhibit raised over $43,000 for the school to support students and critical programming.

The large and wide-ranging show featured over 80 pieces of art from Midtown and Baltimore City student artists, as well as nationally recognized leaders in the art community.

We thank our artists and buyers for their generosity and commitment to our school, as well as our dedicated sponsors, guests and donors. Their support made this event a great success. View more photos of the fun.

Be the Heart Campaign

Spring brings our Be the Heart of Midtown campaign. Each grade is competing to bring in the most participation to raise money for programs and projects at Midtown.

You can make your donation to the Be the Heart campaign at www.themidtownacademy.com.

Donors can designate the grade they would like to support. The campaign will run from February 10–March 10, and the grade with the most participation wins a prize.

Ashley Day

Board Member Spotlight

The Midtown Academy is fortunate to have a number of amazing board members serving as leaders and advisors for our school.

This month our board member and alumni representative, Ashley Day, was featured as a High Achieving Millennial. Read more here.

Mt. Royal Middle School Students Headed to Europe

The beauty of Dublin

By Stacy Wells, Mt. Royal parent and PTO President

Trip to Europe

Help fund the travel experience of a lifetime for 23 middle school students as they journey to Dublin, London and Paris this summer on a European Study Tour.

Organized and led by social studies teacher Joseph Francella from June 26–July 5, each trip will cost $3,770 per student. A scholarship fund has been created, with a goal of $12,000 to provide assistance to students who need it.

Travelers can still be enrolled through March 7, and neighborhood families are welcome to join.

You can learn more about this program and help students get one step closer to Europe with a donation to the scholarship fund by visiting the scholarship fund website.

Thanks to Our Community Partner, Park Café and Coffee Bar

On the first Friday of every month, the Park Café & Coffee Bar sponsors our Golden Eagle Award Breakfast. At the breakfast, awards are given to students who show effort, achievement, generosity, leadership, excellence and safety.

Winners are invited to attend a breakfast at school with members of their family to celebrate their accomplishments. We are very lucky to have the support from this wonderful business located right in our own neighborhood.

Stay Informed

Mt. Royal is proud of our school and loves to share news with the community.

We’ve updated the school website, created a comprehensive Facebook page, and created a Monthly Newsletter (here’s February’s) highlighting student accomplishments and new initiatives at the school. Announcements and updates are also posted online here. Follow us!

Bolton Hill Architectural Terracotta Residency in Ceramics

Five national and international ceramic artists will participate in an innovative residency in the Ceramics department at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Baltimore National Heritage Area.

The Bolton Hill Architectural Terracotta Residency in Ceramics seeks to create a dynamic relationship with the community for its development.

Bolton Hill residents are invited to submit photographs of historic architectural stones in or on their homes, along with stories or histories relevant to their home’s architecture. These will provide context for the artists’ consideration during the residency.

During the residency period of May 27 – June 17, artists will work collaboratively and individually on prototypes of contemporary architectural terracotta that align with the aesthetics of the neighborhood’s historic architecture.

Artists will explore innovation in design and motif through new technologies such as 3D scanning, computer-­aided design (CAD), and computer numerically controlled milling (CNC).

Please send photos and other submissions with your name to professor Mat Karas at mkaras@mica.edu with the subject heading “Bolton Hill Terracotta Project.”

You can also become a partner with MICA and the Bolton Hill ceramic residency by making a gift in support of the project at www.mica.edu/give or by calling 410-225-4259.

Neighborhood History: Thomas Courtney Jenkins and Corpus Christi Memorial Church

Early etching of Corpus Christi Church

By Kristine Smets

Corpus Christi Church, at the corner of Mount Royal Avenue and West Lafayette Avenue, was built in memory of Thomas Courtney Jenkins, who would be celebrating his 215th birthday on March 19.

Jenkins was born in 1802, on the feast day of St. Joseph, the first son of William Jenkins (1767-1843), a successful businessman in Baltimore, and Ellen Willcox (1780-1816), of Delaware County, Pennsylvania.

After attending St. Mary’s College in Emmitsburg, some 50 miles northwest of Baltimore, he returned to the city and joined his father in the leather business. He was given an interest in the firm, but left six years later to establish the Poland and Jenkins firm with partner Poland Adams.

Jenkins became a prominent businessman and financier. He was one of the original organizers of the Parkersburg and Central Ohio Railroad, the Northern Central Railway, and the Atlantic Coast Line, and also organized the Merchants and Miners Transportation Company. 

In 1829, he married Louisa Carrell from Philadelphia, the youngest daughter of John Carrell (1758-1830) and Mary Judith Moore (1766-1817). Her brother, George Aloysius Carrell (1803-1868), later became the first bishop of Covington, Kentucky, and Louisa probably met her future husband in Emmittsburg through George, who was also a student at St. Mary’s College. Louisa attended Mother Seton’s School in the same town.  

The couple resided for many years at 608 North Calvert Street, in what was then called Waterloo Row. The family later moved to 721 St. Paul Street. Thomas and Louisa had 10 children, three of whom died in childhood; a son died during the Civil War.

Thomas and Louisa Jenkins were prominent figures in Baltimore’s Catholic community. Thomas was one of the first pew holders and oldest member of the Board of Trustees of the Baltimore Cathedral. They were engaged in many of the church’s charitable organizations. Thomas was an intimate friend of James Gibbons, Archbishop of Baltimore and later cardinal. They frequently hosted many of the prelates of the church at their home, especially during their attendance at the councils held in Baltimore. 

Thomas Courtney Jenkins

Thomas Jenkins passed away on Christmas Eve in 1881. His wife died a year later, but not before she had asked her five remaining adult children—George, Eliza, John, Ellen and Michael— to build a church in memory of their father. Eventually, they erected the church in honor of both their mother and father. 

It so happened that as the Jenkins children sought to build a church for their parents, Archbishop Spalding was hoping to establish a new parish, Corpus Christi, in the Bolton Depot area. He had already built a combination church/school in the area—a common practice at the time—and the congregation met in an improvised chapel on the top floor of the school until a permanent church could be erected.

Until that time, the Jenkins family had worshipped at the downtown cathedral, and had no official ties to the Bolton Depot area. Nevertheless, they were easily persuaded by the Archdiocese to construct their memorial church here. At the time, Mount Royal Avenue was one of the most beautiful and important boulevards of the rapidly expanding city. Perhaps they were also inspired by Isabella Brown, who had donated $150,000 ten years earlier to construct Brown Memorial Presbyterian Church in memory of her husband George Brown (son of Alex Brown, founder of the first investment banking firm in the U.S.), in the new, trendy neighborhood of Bolton Hill.

Ground was broken on March 17, 1885, and thirteen months later, the cornerstone of the new church was laid at the corner of Oliver Street (now Mount Royal Avenue) and Townsend Street (now Lafayette Avenue). On December 12, 1890, the remains of Thomas Courtenay Jenkins and his wife Louisa Carrell, were transferred to the crypt in the St. Joseph Chapel in the church. Corpus Christi was consecrated on January 1, 1891.

Further reading: Sources for this article include Requiescat in pace: A History of Corpus Christi-Jenkins Memorial Church (1973) by Frances Meginnis and Thomas Jenkins of Maryland, 1670: His Descendants and Allied Families, compiled by Edward Felix Jenkins (1985).

Kristine’s company Chainlines, which specializes in genealogical and historical research, is a Bulletin sponsor. Find out more about her services in this related article in this issue.

Planning Begins for Boltonstock ’17

Planning has started for Boltonstock ’17, and the date has been set: the evening of Saturday, June 3 in Arnold Sumpter Park at Jordan and Laurens Streets.

Boltonstock is the latest incarnation of the Bolton Hill Band Concert, and will again feature delicious food and drink, community engagement, and an all-new lineup of local live music.

Boltonstock '16
Boltonstock ’16 was a BLAST.

With planning in the early stages, why not be part of the process? Planning and logistics meetings will be scheduled in April and May.

The organizers need volunteers to cook, sell food and drink, publicize the event, set up on the day of the festival and clean up afterward. 

If you’d like to lend a hand, email Chas at chas.phillips@gmail.com. You can also support the event by becoming an event sponsor. Sponsorships start at $100 and can be purchased by businesses, organizations or individuals. Contact Chas for details.

Most of all, save the date of June 3 for BoltonStock ’17, and kick off the summer with an evening full of fun with neighbors and friends!

Help Trees Help Us

This tree says, “Help! Get me out of this tiny tree pit!”

by Sarah Lord, Baltimore City Forestry Board

Spring is the season to rededicate ourselves to one of Bolton Hill’s best features: our trees.

Our city is underpopulated by trees. Although the City is working hard to reverse these numbers, only 27% of our city is under the tree canopy, well below the desirable goal of 40%.

Our neighborhood is better off than most, but let’s not rest on our laurels (no pun intended).

Get involved with annual neighborhood tree events by joining neighbors for Tree Pruning on Saturday, March 18 and Tree Planting on Saturday, April 15.

If you’re a do-it-yourself type, you can adopt a tree pit to help our neighborhood trees thrive.

Studies have shown that tree pits should be 4′ x 8’ or larger, allowing trees to grow to maturity and cool not just pavement, but rooftops where possible. Many of our older tree pits are much smaller, resulting in cramped, less healthy trees. If your tree pit is too small, hire a contractor to make yours longer and wider if necessary. 

The ideal tree pit has no fencing around it, not even bricks, so that rainwater runoff can flow into the tree wells rather than bypassing them. The soil or mulch in these pits should be just below the pavement grade. When properly graded, you can watch with delight when rainwater flows into the pits to be soaked up by tree roots, nourishing the tree while diminishing storm water runoff into the Chesapeake Bay.

Or, plant a new shade tree, being sure to leave the trunk flare at its base above the soil line. It’s not a flagpole, so don’t plant it too deep and kill it. Never heap soil or mulch against the tree trunk, and remember to keep the soil level a tad lower than the surrounding sidewalk.

Most of all, help our street trees by watering all the tree pits your hose can reach once the hot dry days of summer are upon us. Do it about once a week, if we have not had a good rain. If conditions have been dry, watering in the fall can be critical to a tree’s survival over winter.

Need advice on how properly to plant, trim, or care for trees? Contact Bolton Hill tree expert Sarah Lord at fennofarm@mac.com or check out fun, free TreeKeepers classes.

Time to Renew Parking Permits

All current residential parking permits will expire March 31. You may renew and pay for your permits online at the Parking Authority website beginning February 20. Residents who are new to an RPP area must apply for permits in person. More information about residential parking permits is available here.

Permits and visitors passes are $20 each.

Purchase your permits online at least three days before you plan to pick up. Bolton Hill has scheduled two Neighborhood Pickup Days, Saturday, March 18, from 8 am to 12 noon, and Saturday, March 25, from 8 am to 1:30 pm, at Brown Memorial Presbyterian Church on Lafayette and Park Ave. Enter at the Lafayette St. door.

You can also obtain your permits at the Parking Authority Office, 200 W. Lombard Street, Suite B, 21201. Office hours are 8 am–5 pm, Monday through Friday. Plus, the office will be open for one Saturday, March 18 from 9 am to 1 pm, and open late one night, Thursday, March 30 until 8 pm.

TIP: you can park for free at the Arena Garage (entrance at 99 S. Howard St.) with validation from the Parking Authority Office.

In addition to credit cards, the Parking Authority also accepts checks and money orders made out to the Director of Finance. Cash is not accepted. Whether at a Neighborhood Pickup or at the Parking Authority Office, you will need to present current documentation when picking up your permits. These documents include your current Maryland Vehicle Registration with an Area 3 address, plus one of the following that shows an Area 3 address:

  • Current driver’s license
  • Proof of residency, such as a current lease signed by all parties that is not month-to-month.
  • Proof of home ownership (settlement papers)
  • Utility bill in your name that is at least 30 days old
  • Official State ID card

If your vehicle is registered out of state, you must register your vehicle in Maryland before being permitted to purchase a parking decal, unless you are a full-time student or a member of the military.

Out-of-state students and military must purchase a Non-Resident Permit from the MVA and present it at pick-up for the decal to be released.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Parking Authority at rpp@bcparking.com or 443-573-2800, extensions 863, 845, or 851. You may also contact your Area 3 representative, Patsy Andrews, by email at pandrewsmd@yahoo.com.

When you pick up your passes, give a big thanks to Patsy, who has organized our convenient neighborhood pickup for many years.

Samaritan Community Welcomes New Co-Program Director

After more than 20 years as a successful attorney, Linda Boyd, Samaritan Community’s new Co-Program Director, felt she wanted to do something else in her life.

Linda knew what that “something else” was. She had volunteered at many local organizations over the years, including Samaritan Community, and knew that she simply wanted to help people. That desire led her to be ordained as a deacon in the Episcopal Church.

When she first started volunteering at Samaritan as part of her social ministry training, Linda worked directly with Samaritan Community members. And she was immediately excited about what she experienced. 

“I had never been part of such a dynamic group before,” she said. “Members are well served in a dignified, respectful manner. The feeling is more like a team effort of all those involved, rather than one group of people being served by another.”

Linda started in her new position this past fall. She is involved in all aspects of Samaritan’s work. She works closely with programming staff to facilitate individual and group empowerment counseling, crisis intervention, and case management. She also creates educational and inspirational activities for support groups and helps oversee a team of more than 45 volunteers.

“She knows us, understands who we are, and has the right knowledge and experience for the job. And with her kindness, patience, and deep desire to help others, this is a really great fit for us,” says Sharon Krieger, Program Director at Samaritan Community.

For more information, visit the Samaritan Community website, and like their Facebook page.

Bolton Hill Nursery Seeks Applications for Festival Grants

Dancing in the rain to Mambo Combo.

In spite of the rainy weather that met last fall’s Festival on the Hill the festival made a profit.

Festival funds are shared between the main organizer, Bolton Hill Nursery, and special projects that benefit the Bolton Hill neighborhood. In preparation for distributing the Festival’s proceeds to worthy projects, the Nursery is now seeking grant applications.

Any nonprofit that serves the 21217 zip code is invited to apply for a grant by the application deadline, March 10. Grants are awarded to special projects that either wouldn’t happen at all or would be greatly diminished without the funds. Grants are awarded May 1; the maximum award is $1,000.

Grant application information and further details are available on the Bolton Hill Nursery site.

Past recipients include Corpus Christi Church, Dance Happens, Mt. Royal PTO, the Mt. Royal School Garden, the Memorial Episcopal Rectory Teaching garden, Samaritan Community, Rutter Mill Park Association, Midtown Academy, and the Brown Memorial Tutoring program.

Pamper Yourself at the New Bolton Hill Salon

The beautiful new Bolton Hill Salon just opened on the first floor of the recently renovated Linden Park Apartments (301 McMechen Street.)

Floor-to-ceiling windows fill the space with warm natural light. “The salon is absolutely gorgeous,” said manager Lisa Gerhardt. 

Open to the public, the salon offers top quality services for women and men, including cuts and sets, haircuts, perms, hair coloring, highlights, relaxers, facial waxing, manicures and pedicures. Their store also stocks a fine selection of quality hair and nail care products.

Stylist Michael Brian Richardson, a longtime resident of the neighborhood, brings more than 30 years of experience to Bolton Hill Salon. Lisa tells us that Michael is an expert on traditional styles, as well as keeping abreast on all the latest techniques and trends in hair and fashion. Utilizing his background in art and jewelry design, Michael creates customized color and precision haircuts and styles that will make you look and feel great.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 410-575-3540, or visit their website

Mention that you read about the Salon in the Bolton Hill Bulletin and get 20% off your first visit.

Meet Joe Palumbo, CPA

Each month, “Meet Our Sponsors” highlights one or two of the businesses and organizations that provide financial support for the Bulletin. We hope this will help readers learn more about the neighborhood, as well as encourage them to support the people who make this newsletter possible. See the list of our sponsors here.

Joe’s favorite destination – Hawaii

Not all CPA offices are boring. In fact, the welcoming, cozy feel of Joe Palumbo’s office at 1500 Bolton Street makes clients think they’re in a friend’s home. Talking taxes becomes just a bit less, well, taxing here.

Sitting in the comfortable armchairs in his front office, you can’t help but take in the floor-to-ceiling wall of Joe’s photos, taken on his wide-ranging trips.

“When I’m not crunching numbers, I love to travel,” says Joe. By his count, he’s traveled to 45 states and 13 countries. “I guess Hawaii’s my favorite place,” he says, “because of the wonderful scenery and the laid-back attitude. But Iceland and Costa Rica rank right up there.”

Joe’s love of travel happily meshes with his other passion, running, He has run marathons in Berlin, New York, Chicago and Boston. Last year in Washington D.C., he completed his 15th and final marathon, and now plans to run just for fun and exercise.

As a Certified Public Accountant and Certified Financial Planner, Joe has been preparing tax returns since 2000. When his then-employer retired in 2003, Joe bought the Glen Burnie business, which became (and still is) his first office.

However, as a longtime resident of Bolton Hill, he always had his eye on the 1500 Bolton Street space, thinking it would make the perfect second office. In 2013, he happened to inquire about its availability just as its occupants were giving up the space. Perfect timing! Joe was moving in within a month.

Besides Joe, the office staff includes administrative assistants Kim Scaglione, in the Bolton Hill office, and Jodi Vanderford in Glen Burnie, as well as accountant Matt Horton. Matt and Joe split their time between both offices.

The firm’s star greeter is Duffy, Joe’s black lab, who goes to work with him every day. Duffy turns 11 on St Patrick’s Day, so be sure to stop by to wish her happy birthday. Or come say hello to Kim, or grab a treat from the office candy jar. While there, why not make an appointment to talk with Joe about your 2016 taxes? Now’s the time, after all.

Joseph J. Palumbo CPA, 1500 Bolton Street, Baltimore or 323 Crain Hwy. S.E., Glen Burnie, 410-412-3321 or 410-761-2664, joe@joepalumbocpa.com

“Getting Involved” – Got Photos?

Group from Memorial Episcopal marching in MLK Day Parade

Judging by the photos on Facebook, a lot of neighbors got involved in January.

We had big events, like the MLK Day Parade, the Women’s March on Washington, and the protest on immigration rights at BWI.

Plus, many others are regularly involved with lower key projects that fly under the radar – volunteering as a tutor or mentor, helping at a shelter or cleaning up a park. 

So, for a photo essay in the March Bulletin, please send us your best shots on the theme, Getting Involved.

We encourage photos of the above events, as well as anything else, from polar bear plunges to selling cookies for your school.

Let’s show each other what we’re made of. There lies inspiration.

Send JPG photos to bhbeditormail@gmail.com – DEADLINE: Monday, February 20

Neighborhood News

Brief updates on news around the neighborhood:

Confederate Soldiers and Sailors Monument
Confederate Soldiers and Sailors Monument, Mt. Royal Avenue.

Confederate Monuments

In case you haven’t seen them, the City installed interpretive plaques on two Confederate monuments, one of which is in Bolton Hill.

In January 2016, a commission appointed by the Mayor recommended that two of Baltimore’s four statues to the Confederacy be removed, while the remaining two receive additions that provide proper context (See Baltimore Sun article for more.)

The Mayor decided that these changes should be completed before she left office, with the interpretive signs installed on her final day. The text for these signs was written by CHAP staff.

The Confederate Soldiers and Sailors monument on Mount Royal Avenue, between Mosher and Lafayette, received the sign below (click to enlarge.) The other that received a sign, the Confederate Women’s Monument, is on West University Parkway.

New interpretive text for Confederate Soldiers and Sailors Monument
New interpretive text for the Confederate Soldiers and Sailors Monument.

Rev. Foster Connors Honored

Brown Memorial Presbyterian’s Reverend Andrew Foster Connors received honorable mention in the Baltimore Sun as one of the Marylanders deserving recognition in 2016.

The Sun highlighted Rev. Foster Connors’ collaboration with other clergy activists in BUILD for their successful negotiation of the expansive Community Benefits Agreement with the Sagamore Development on the Port Covington Project. Read the full Baltimore Sun story here.

Madison Park North Demolition CeremonyInnovation Center to Anchor Madison Park North Redevelopment

On Friday, December 9th, Governor Larry Hogan and Mayor Catherine Pugh gathered at the Madison Park North Apartments to announce Project C.O.R.E. funding awards to help eliminate blight in Baltimore City.

The gathering celebrated the beginning of the demolition that will clear the site for a mixed-use community, with a technology and incubator facility, retail including a supermarket, 300-500 apartments and a health care facility, all in proximity to the John Eager Howard School, which is now under construction.

Read more about the plans for the innovation center in this Technical.ly Baltimore article.

The next monthly meeting of the Neighborhood Coalition for MPN Redevelopment will be Monday, January 23, 7 pm, in the St. Francis Neighborhood Center at 2405 Linden Ave. All are welcome to attend.

Bake Sale Raises Money for Mt. Royal Elementary

In October, neighbors Powell Perng and Stacy Wells met with Principal Grotsky at Mt. Royal Elementary to discuss fundraising goals.

From that meeting, Stacy saw an opportunity to raise additional funds by selling baked goods at the Bolton Hill Garden Club Greens Sale at Brown Memorial Church. The proceeds from the bake sale would go towards funding a 6th-grade student for the annual NorthBay Adventure Camp trip in May 2017.

The camp is a week-long overnight camp where students learn about leadership, environmental stewardship, and teamwork.

MRIA’s Churches and Schools Committee offered to donate baked goods, and, led by famed holiday bakers Marjorie Forster and Barbara Francis, they supplied a sleigh-full of treats for the sale.  In all, $267 was raised by the sale, enough to subsidize 1 or 2 summer camp attendees.

Thanks, Stacy and Powell, for your organizational efforts!

New Spaces Create Opportunities at Samaritan Community

As busy as she is, Sharon Krieger, Program Director at Samaritan Community, is always thinking about the future. For many years, she has dreamed of expanding the organization’s clothing “shop” and creating a workroom where members can gather, work, and connect.

This past September, she was able to realize both of these visions.

Funded partly through a grant from the Middendorf Foundation, these projects were completed simultaneously. The work commenced this past summer, building custom closets, replacing old flooring, purchasing computers, moving furniture, and setting up internet access.

The new Samaritan Community workroom is now available for members to make phone calls, search online for jobs, complete paperwork for social services, register for school and job training programs, and more.

At the same time, Samaritan Community expanded the clothing shop. It now comfortably provides access to all the clothing and household items available to members and their families.

“Both rooms are safe spaces, warm and welcoming. They also hold important functionality for our members,” says Sharon. “They can tend to personal business, explore new opportunities, and get critical necessities more easily. Plus, these new spaces provide a place for members to talk, help, and support one another. I’m confident they will make our already tight community even closer.”

As is true for most everything at Samaritan Community, the importance of community is behind these renovations. For more information on Samaritan Community, visit their website or call its development office at 443-438-9286.

New Bulletin Feature: Meet Our Sponsors

With the beginning of a new year, we are introducing a new monthly feature, Meet Our Sponsors, to the Bolton Hill Bulletin. 

Each month, we’ll highlight one of the wonderful group of businesses and organizations that provide financial support for the publication of the Bulletin, as well as general funding for MRIA’s many other projects.

Most of our sponsors have been with us for years, and we are very grateful for their loyal support. But the new year brings some new faces, including C&H Restoration and Chainlines, plus our featured sponsor this month, The Brass Tap. We offer all of them a warm welcome and our sincere thanks.

We hope this feature will help all of us know more about our neighborhood, and we encourage you to support our sponsors as they support us.

TIP for readers: Click on a sponsor’s ad to go to their website for additional information (try it). You can also find an alphabetical listing for all our sponsors with their contact information on our Sponsor page (or, from the main menu at the top of each page, click on “Sponsors”).

We still have openings for two additional sponsors this year. If you or someone you know might be interested in becoming a sponsor, please contact the editors at bhbeditormail@gmail.com for more information.

Meet The Brass Tap

This month, a hot new craft beer bar will arrive in the neighborhood. Owners Barry and Pauline Lowenthal plan to open the doors of their pub, The Brass Tap, on January 9, with the grand opening celebration scheduled for the January 20–21 weekend.

Brass Tap
Co-owner Barry Lowenthal at the new entrance of The Brass Tap.

Located in the Fitzgerald building between Two Boots Pizza and the Mt. Royal Light Rail stop, this upscale craft beer bar will offer 60 different local and regional beers on tap, plus unique pub food and a large selection of wines & spirits.

Barry grew up in the restaurant business, getting his first restaurant job at 14, and then opening a pizza place at 18. He sold that business when he was 22, but soon realized that restaurant bug had bitten him. Ever since he’s been on the lookout for his next spot. 

It’s been a long wait. After graduating from Cornell University with a degree in Hotel Administration, Barry’s career took a detour, spending the past thirteen years running a carpet cleaning company in the Washington, D.C. area. Meanwhile, his wife Pauline pursued a career in higher education, most recently serving as Dean of Students at Notre Dame of Maryland University.

Meanwhile, Barry kept dreaming. Friends introduced Barry to craft brewing, and he learned how great a beer could be. He picked up the hobby of home brewing as a way to research the special world of hand-crafted suds.

Finally, the time came to take the plunge. With the support of his wife Pauline, Barry convinced his his brother Michael, another restaurant veteran, to move to Georgia to Maryland to help him open The Brass Tap. 

Though The Brass Tap is part of a national franchise, each bar is locally owned and operated. For the Lowenthals, this means a hands-on, family-run operation. Barry explained, “We chose Baltimore because we love the city. We want to be involved in the neighborhood and the greater Baltimore community to make our city an awesome place to live.”

Brass Tap interior
Interior of The Brass Tap during construction.

They plan to have regular live music, happy hours on weekdays from 2–7 pm, and brunch on weekends, plus special parties for festive days, like St. Patrick’s Day and Oktoberfest. The Brass Tap will be the local place to go for Baltimore Beer Week, as well as a welcome watering spot during ArtScape.

Follow them on Facebook here.