The waterfront, a work in progress Harbor changes: As American Can retail center opens, walkway from Canton to Federal Hill takes shape.

November 28, 1998

THE REBIRTH of Canton's old American Can Co. plant is cause for celebration. The vacant and vandalized industrial hulk has been transformed into a glittering complex that houses a bookstore, restaurants, specialty shops and a technology center. Some 800 people will eventually work in the eight-story building that has dramatic views of the harbor and downtown skyline.

The American Can conversion is the latest feather in the cap of C. William Struever, whose construction company in the past 25 years has refashioned many abandoned landmarks, including the Inner Harbor's Power Plant and Hampden's Mill Center.

With the nearby Safeway supermarket, Canton and Fells Point have a retail centerpiece to cater to neighborhoods that keep growing more upscale as old houses are rehabbed and new ones built.

In Fells Point, four old industrial and warehouse buildings along Wolfe Street are being refurbished into apartments. And construction has started on a Maryland Maritime Center in two old buildings in the 1700 block of Thames St. The Maryland Historical Society's Radcliffe maritime collection will ultimately be housed there.

Meanwhile, the waterfront continues to change. A shoreline walkway, which eventually will stretch from Canton to Federal Hill, already extends 4.5 miles -- just three miles shy of its ultimate length. The goal is to have it completed by the year 2000 from the Korean War Memorial in Canton to the Museum of Industry in South Baltimore.

FTC "It's kind of like the Freedom Trail in Boston," says James Piper Bond, director of the Living Classrooms Foundation, which is coordinating the effort.

These are exciting additions that promise to make Baltimore a more livable city.

Pub Date: 11/28/98

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