Group rehabilitates a corner for the community Conversion: A derelict building is being redeveloped into an outreach center for residents near Eutaw Place, North Avenue and Bloom Street.

Urban Landscape

November 27, 1997|By Edward Gunts | Edward Gunts,SUN STAFF

FOR YEARS, the former apartment building at 2100 Eutaw Place sat vacant and derelict, an eyesore for Baltimore's Upper Eutaw-Madison historic district.

But this fall it is being redeveloped as a day care and community outreach center that will serve several neighborhoods, including Bolton Hill and Reservoir Hill.

The Madison Avenue Development Corp., a nonprofit community group, this month began a $1.2 million conversion of the four-story building and an adjoining chapel to the Madison Avenue Outreach Center.

By the end of 1998, the chapel will be a day care center for about 60 preschoolers, and the former residential building will contain classrooms for adult education, after-school tutorial programs, music instruction, a youth center and other community-focused programs.

"This is a cornerstone for the revitalization efforts of the surrounding area," said Klaus Philipsen, head of ArchPlan Inc./Philipsen Architects, designer of the community center.

"It will bring a variety of community programs together in one location, so they will function better. It will also result in the restoration of a prominent building that occupies a strategic corner, where Eutaw Place, North Avenue and Bloom Street come together."

ArchPlan is working on the project as a joint venture with Mel McLaughlin Construction Co., the general contractor. Other designers are Eric Lowe and Gabriel Kroiz of ArchPlan and consultant Peter Doo.

Built in 1906, the building was originally a private residence. It later became a funeral home, an apartment building and a church. The chapel was constructed in the 1950s and has been used by a variety of groups -- most recently, the New Christian Fellowship Baptist Church.

Madison Avenue Development Corp. acquired the property two years ago and held a groundbreaking ceremony Nov. 2, with Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke and other elected officials in attendance.

After construction is complete, the group will lease the building to an affiliate, the Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church. Funding for the project includes support from the city of Baltimore and the state of Maryland, as well as $400,000 in equity from the development corporation.

As part of the renovation, some historic design features of the house, including a marble fireplace, wood parquet floors and ornate window casings with shutters, will be preserved and restored. The front exterior will be cleaned and restored to its original appearance in keeping with the city's historic district requirements.

As part of the chapel renovation, a mezzanine will be constructed beneath the high curved ceiling to provide additional space for preschoolers. A stage with auditorium-style seating will be located on the lower level of the chapel, along with a warming kitchen.

A 58-foot-long tile frieze will be installed on the south side of the building, facing Bloom Street. Designed by students of the Booker T. Washington Middle School, the frieze will have a theme of literacy and will be fabricated with assistance from Baltimore Clay Works artists in Mount Washington. The frieze project will be supported by a grant from the Maryland State Arts Council and its Artists in Education Program, with matching funding from Madison Avenue Development Corp.

Preservation award for State House dome

The restoration of the State House Dome in Annapolis received the Maryland Historical Trust's 1997 Calvert Prize, a much-coveted preservation award, during a recent conference sponsored by Maryland's Department of Housing and Community Development.

Maryland's Department of General Services launched the restoration project last year to repair and stabilize the upper portion of the State House Dome, which dates from the 1780s. The work included replacing a deteriorating 5-foot-tall "acorn" feature that holds the lightning rod at the top of the building with a new one produced by more than two dozen volunteer artisans.

Preservation Project Awards went to four Baltimore restoration projects: the Gallagher Mansion (a housing project for seniors in Govans), Gilmore Grove (low-income housing in Sandtown-Winchester), Paca House (low-income housing on Paca Street) and the U.S. Customs House (a federal office building on Gay Street); and Long Hill, a private residence in Wicomico County.

'Jazz in Cool Places' at Lovely Lane church

Andy McKee and the Manhattan Project, a jazz group, will perform at Lovely Lane United Methodist Church, 2200 St. Paul St. in Baltimore, at 8 p.m. Dec. 5.

The performance is part of a new series called "Jazz in Cool Places," combining music and architecture. Sponsors include Baltimore Heritage and the Baltimore Architecture Foundation. Tickets are $15 in advance and $18 at the door.

For more information, call 410-235-9733.

Pub Date: 11/27/97

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