Historic Preservation Committee
April 18th 2016
Irish Railroad Workers Museum
918 Lemmon St
After an email discussion, the Committee agreed that the proposed text on the signs would need to be edited. The amount of text on the sign wouldn’t change the price, which would be about $2400-$2500 each for signs that are 26” by 40”. Committee members raised questions about whether the city would permit a large sign to be installed. The Baltimore Heritage Area Association could have a resource for installing signage, and CHAP could provide assistance in finding locations for the signs. Betsy suggested that the location of the sign should inform the text (and vice versa). The Committee agreed they liked the idea of highlighting housing stock rather than, for example, Hollins Market itself, and of placing signs in locations relevant to the text. Michael spoke to Eric Holcomb and Dr Hayward at CHAP and they suggested that the Schroeder St. Park could be a good site for a sign.
To place four signs in the neighborhoods (one for each neighborhood with National Historic District designation) will cost approximately $9000. The Committee will work to raise money over the next six months, and to begin placing the signs by September/October. Suggestions for raising the money included looking for grants, collecting donations at the SOWEBO Festival and other events, and asking the neighborhood associations to make a contribution. CHAP may also be able to help get a good price for signs from a local manufacturer.
The text for each of the signs will be drafted by representatives from the neighborhoods on the Committee (except for Pigtown, and because of the activity of Pigtown Main Street it may make sense to hold off on their sign until coordinating with them). Scott will work on Franklin Square, Bif, Louis, and Dan on Union Square, and Michael and Betsy on Hollins Roundhouse. Draft text of the signs is due by May 2nd. After the text is drafted it will be sent to each neighborhood association for feedback.
The next step is to ID possible locations for sites, have them vetted by DOT and other relevant city agencies, and then present possible, approved sites to the neighborhood associations for selection.
- Baltimore St Tour and Buildings for Preservation
After the W Baltimore St tour Josh sent out a list of the properties that the Committee had identified as in need of stabilization. Scott wanted to make sure that the Malachai Mills house was highlighted on the list. Dan also went on a walk with CHAP representatives and will share the list so that they can be combined.
Josh will invite Eric Holcomb to attend the next meeting or send a representative to discuss the next steps for ensuring that the buildings in need of emergency stabilization are stabilized and so the Committee can begin the longer preservation process.
Dan is concerned about property owners not following the CHAP code and about a dangerous property on the 1100 block of Hollins St. He suggested that the Hollins Roundhouse Association follow up on it regularly. Josh and Betsy will work with the Association.
Mencken House Update
Betsy is on the advisory board that is working to reopen the Mencken House. They plan to be able to make an announcement around Mencken Day in the fall, and then there will be a year-long renovation process. Baltimore Heritage Area Association will take over the top two floors as offices, and then bottom floor will be restored to period appropriateness and will be open to the public Monday-Friday. Volunteers would be needed to have the House open on the weekend. Betsey will invite Jeff Buchheit from the Baltimore Heritage Area Association to attend the next meeting.
Legislative Session Update
The bill for the renovation of Hollins Market was pulled.
Michael Seipp, the SWP Executive Director, suggested that the Committee think about advocating for a package of historic tax credits to fund projects in the area. The Committee approved the idea. The next step is to draft a plan of what they need the money for and why it matters historically.
The Hollins Roundhouse Neighborhood Association has written a letter of support for the Arabbers. They would like to present it to the SWP Board to see if they would sign on. Betty didn’t have a copy of the letter, but the Committee voted that they were in favor of the Arabbers returning to the stables and remaining as Arabbers, pending details on the letter’s contents.
The next meeting will be May 16th at 6pm at the Irish Railroad Worker’s Museum 918 Lemmon St.