Federal lawsuit filed over stadium demolition

group says Memorial may qualify as historic site

March 07, 2001|By Jamie Stiehm and Gail Gibson | Jamie Stiehm and Gail Gibson,SUN STAFF

Activists who want to save Memorial Stadium from the wrecking ball said in court papers filed yesterday that federal authorities acted improperly when they awarded $5 million for a housing project at the site without determining whether it was eligible for historic preservation.

Demolition opponents are expected to ask a federal judge this morning to halt destruction of the North Baltimore landmark until housing officials get a clear ruling on whether the stadium could be included on the National Register of Historic Places.

This morning's hearing, scheduled before U.S. District Judge Andre M. Davis, is the second legal effort in less than a week by Preservation Maryland and neighbors seeking to block the stadium's demolition, which would clear the way for senior housing and a YMCA. Work has continued at the site after a Baltimore circuit judge on Friday refused opponents' request for a temporary restraining order until the end of this week, when a city administrative hearing is scheduled on the legality of the demolition permit.

Crews continued work at the site yesterday, with workers bringing in a second crane and wrecking ball to tear down bleachers. Maryland Stadium Authority officials said they planned to stick to a schedule that has them spending the next six months dismantling the stadium.

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