"We are just a group of ordinary working people," says longtime Edmondson Village resident Betty Martin.
And the West Baltimore neighborhood shares that characteristic modesty. The neighborhood's homes are not flashy. But they're solid Baltimore.
A neighborhood of neat brick and stone row houses, many with front porches and all with yards, Edmondson Village --Baltimore's Best Neighborhood in 1983 -- sits in West Baltimore along Edmondson Avenue.
Perhaps Edmondson Village's best-known resident is Gov. William Donald Schaefer. He lived there for years, including during his tenure as mayor, and was a president of the community association. Another Baltimore mayor and Maryland governor, Theodore R. McKeldin, also hailed from the neighborhood.
TC According to 40-year-resident Mildred Lottes, the neighborhood was built by developer James Keelty, who patterned it after Rodgers Forge in Baltimore County. "Mr. Keelty would dig the foundations and give them a good long time to set before beginning building," she said.
An active neighborhood, Edmondson Village has a treasure trove of activities under the auspices of Martin Resources Inc., a non-profit organization named after the unassuming Betty Martin. The group sponsors a drug-awareness program for neighborhood children and an annual award for high school students.
There is also a reading group, which meets at the local library, classes in cooking, sewing, and, for 8- to 14-year-olds, basketball.
"We also have a senior citizen program," says Mrs. Martin. "And a recreation program at the Rognel Heights Elementary School."
And more. An annual picnic, a Halloween and Christmas party, arts and crafts programs, the Blue Devils Marching Band, basketball, baseball -- and coming in the fall of 1991 -- football.
Churches are another prominent feature of the neighborhood. "We're loaded with churches -- St. Bernadine's Catholic and a Lutheran, aMethodist, and a Baptist church," she continues.
The area has a pretty good selection of schools, too. There are Lyndhurst, Rognel Heights, Mary E. Rodman and Beechfield elementary schools. And Edmondson High School.
The president of the neighborhood association, Dolly Jefferson, said, "We have an excellent working relationship with the city. The city has been supportive of our work in keeping the neighborhood clean and stopping crime. It also has paved the streets and alleys in the neighborhood, supported housing inspections and fixed our curbs."
In addition, the neighborhood playgrounds -- Lyndhurst and Kiddie -- are scheduled to be renovated by the city this summer.
A neighborhood of about 1,075 homes, of which about 60 percent are owner-occupied, Edmondson Village is predominantly made up of two-story row houses with three or four bedrooms, which sell in the $31,000 to $60,000 range.
Of the houses for sale in the neighborhood, Marguerite Gillis of Century 21/Rittenhouse cites two that are representative of what usually is available.
"The brick town house at 506 Lyndhurst has four bedrooms and two bathrooms," she said. "There is also a living room, dining room, kitchen and breakfast room and a fenced front yard with a patio. Theasking price is $49,900; the house has a $96 ground rent.
"Another Edmondson Village brick town house on the market is 833 Mount Holly Road. It also has an asking price of $49,900 and an annual $96 ground rent. There are three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a living room, dining room, kitchen, as well as a finished club room, which includes a full bathroom."
The neighborhood is close to city bus lines: the No. 23, 15 and 20. For shopping, there's the Edmondson Village Shopping Center. The Westview and Security Square malls are nearby.