Martin L. Millspaugh


October 20, 2007|By Jacques Kelly

Martin L. Millspaugh walks to the rim of Federal Hill and looks from left to right.

"You can't see it all," he says of the city's development -- the offices, hotels, residences and marinas.

For many years, he was chief executive of Charles Center-Inner Harbor Management, the quasi-public development agency that oversaw the Charles Center and the Inner Harbor. As a young man, he was a City Hall and urban affairs reporter for the old Evening Sun.

"I feel like I'm busier than ever," he said. Millspaugh, 81, is technically retired, but he is not without assignments.

He is working on a documentary film with Ivy Media about the downtown's physical transformation from 1950 to 2000. He works from an office in his Roland Park home.

In 1985, as the harbor was taking shape -- Harborplace, the National Aquarium and the Hyatt Regency Hotel were all open and successful -- he and Jim Rouse formed Enterprise Development, Inc. to assist other cities in repeating Baltimore's success. Many other cities took their advice, he said, adding, "We worked ourselves out of a job."

Now he wants Baltimore's story preserved in film and a book, but that publication is some months away.

He is working with the Baltimore Council of the Urban Land Institute to create the documentary, which might be shown on public television.

"I hope to help preserve Baltimore's role as a model of the best of urban design," he said.

To this end, he serves on advisory boards and performs tasks for Rash Field, Pratt Street and the Middle Branch of the Patapsco River.

And keeping it in the family, his daughter, Lisa Schroeder, is helping Pittsburgh redevelop its riverfront.

In the past two months, he's given a half-dozen tours and lectures about the Inner Harbor and Charles Center. He also still gets invitations and receives delegations from other countries -- Uganda, Northern Ireland, Morocco and South Korea.

"When we carried out the master plan for the Inner Harbor in the 1960s and 1970s, it never occurred that Baltimore would attract a tourist. In the 1980s, it all came together."

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