Maritime history

March 05, 1996

SUPPORTERS of a Maryland Maritime Center for Fells Point are seeking $1 million in state bonds to house the Radcliffe maritime collection, which currently is on view in the basement of the Maryland Historical Society on Monument Street.

The center would occupy a collection of historic buildings near Thames and Ann streets. This is in the heart of an area that was known for its seafaring and ship-building traditions. Many shipping-related businesses still exist there and seasonal water-taxis shuttle visitors to and from the Inner Harbor. Fells Point is where Baltimore was born. In the past 25 years -- after plans to demolish it for an expressway were defeated -- the area has gained popularity for its night life and eclectic shops. In recent years, residential renovation has begun spreading farther inland.

The plan is to open an orientation center next year and maritime exhibits in 1998.

Fells Point is an ideal site for a center preserving local maritime traditions. The bond request is a modest one, considering the center's tourism potential and the fact that state money would be matched by private donors.

Pub Date: 3/05/96

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