Baltimore City housing officials deserve strong support for their plan to acquire the 900 block of Whitelock Street -- and offer the site for redevelopment. This plan finally gives some real hope for a Reservoir Hill corridor that for years has been identified as a major drug and crime area.
Fifteen years ago we would have hesitated to recommend surgery that may include demolition of a mixed-use block of businesses and residences that is the heart of a community. But passage of time has persuaded us that nothing short of giving the dilapidated stretch a new identity is going to turn the neighborhood around.
At stake is not Whitelock Street alone but the future stability of Reservoir Hill, a residential neighborhood which at the turn of the century included some of Baltimore's best addresses. Over the years, many of the stately Victorian town houses along Eutaw Street and Madison Avenue, above North Avenue, have been rescued and restored, but too many still remain vacant eyesores.