Commission seeks landmark status for Douglass sites

October 07, 2002|By Elizabeth A. Shack | Elizabeth A. Shack,SUN STAFF

Five houses in Fells Point, developed by Frederick Douglass in 1892, will undergo the first step toward becoming Baltimore landmarks tomorrow.

The buildings at 516, 518, 520, 522 and 524 Dallas St. were placed on the National Register of Historic Places in the early 1980s.

The local designation is long overdue, said Kathleen Kotarba, executive director of the Commission for Historical and Architectural Preservation.

The local designation protects the buildings from being destroyed, she said.

The landmark designation is part of an initiative supported by the Baltimore African American Tourism Council, Inc. to create a Frederick Douglass history trail in Fells Point.

Douglass was a slave in Baltimore until he escaped to New York in 1838. He returned to Baltimore in 1892.

Then he developed the houses in Fells Point to help improve the economic situation for African-Americans, said Eric Holcomb, a historic preservation planner with the commission.

The commission will present its reasons for the landmark designation at a public meeting at 6 p.m. tomorrow at the Department of Planning, 417 E. Fayette St.

After the meeting, the proposal will go before the planning commission and then to the City Council.

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