Rooms with a viewBy offering the unusual Bromo Seltzer...

NOTES AND COMMENTS

July 23, 1999

Rooms with a view

By offering the unusual Bromo Seltzer Tower to developers for housing, Baltimore officials may have uncovered a potentially explosive market. Think of all the other downtown landmarks that might be transformed into spectacular dwellings.

Imagine a small penthouse a top the historic Washington Monument. It would have a panoramic, 360-degree view of the city and its environs. Another possibility is the Shot Tower. Its apartments, however, would lack windows.

The narrow tower that tops the William Donald Schaefer Building at 6 St. Paul St. has enough space to create a couple of split-level apartments. (Gerald Klein, the former S&L magnate and the building's developer, supposedly had just that in mind.)

Possibly the most unusual residence could be the Seven-Mile Knoll Lighthouse on the tip of Pier 5 in the Inner Harbor. Not only would it have spectacular harbor views, it is built to survive the worst weather.

Deadly calm

A PLANE was overdue at Martha's Vineyard. A child on a day-care outing at a lake in Carroll County was missing. Something else was missing, too: a sufficient sense of urgency.

The Federal Aviation Administration has been criticized for failing to react after it received a call from Martha's Vineyard Airport late last Friday that John F. Kennedy Jr.'s flight was late arriving.

A 21-year-old intern at the island airport called the FAA to inquire about the plane, but was told the FAA doesn't "give this information out to people over the phone." Rebuffed, he hung up and concluded it wasn't a "big deal." It was hours before a search began.

In a fatal accident closer to home, a 2 1/2-year-old Baltimore boy drowned at Cascade Lake, north of Westminster. Adults reported an unlocated child there Monday morning, but "we get dozens of these requests," a staffer said. The swimming area was not cleared and combed.

Nearly a half-hour passed before a teen-ager happened upon the boy under water. He was rushed to the hospital, where he died.

Something was horribly amiss in both instances. At places where the risks are steep -- such as airports and swimming facilities -- nonchalance is a terrible vice.

Pub Date: 7/23/99

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