The Mount Royal vicinity used to include some of Baltimore's most elite addresses. The chateau-style Winans House, at St. Paul and Preston streets, is just one example of the grand residences that dotted the area in the 1880s. Mount Royal later became a victim of suburbanization and a decline in railroad passenger traffic, which had sustained many of its hotels. Just a decade ago, the area was on the verge of becoming skid row.
The good news this spring is that Mount Royal is coming back in a burst of activity that will transform its image during the next couple of years.
At Charles and Chase streets, a $1 million Mercantile bank branch is rising. Two blocks north, the five-story Robert G. Merrick School of Business is taking shape, one of a number of projects, costing $33 million, being undertaken by the University of Baltimore. During good times and bad, the university has kept Mount Royal alive.