State to fund Pennsylvania Ave. face lift

August 23, 2002|By Josh Mitchell | Josh Mitchell,SUN STAFF

The state will pave sidewalks, install streetlights and build fences along Pennsylvania Avenue in West Baltimore as part of an effort to revitalize the historic street, state officials have announced.

The $225,269 project will be funded by the Smart Growth transit program, which helps develop communities within a quarter-mile of transit facilities. Officials will use the money to clean up the 1300 block of Pennsylvania Ave., where a monument honoring the old Royal Theater will be built. For decades, large crowds packed the storied auditorium to see jazz and blues legends such as Billie Holiday and Miles Davis.

The monument and area surrounding it "will serve as a gateway to the community," said George Gilliam, executive director of the Pennsylvania Avenue Redevelopment Collaborative. "It will educate our youth about our rich history and cultural past, and it will be a great tourist attraction."

The monument will be made of brick and stainless steel, resembling the Royal Theater's marquee. It will be built at Pennsylvania and Lafayette avenues, where the theater stood.

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