March 26, 2012
I totally agree with the "Readers Respond" letter from Roz Ellis Heid, responding to the city's idea of possibly selling, leasing, or maintaining 15 historic City landmarks ("City eyeing sale of 15 sites," March 21). As Ms. Heid, Baltimore Heritage Executive Director Johns Hopkins and The Sun article note, a number of volunteer groups, including Friends of Orianda House (Crimea Mansion), Baltimore City Historical Society (Peale Museum), and the Roland Water Tower Preservation Campaign have invested money and thousands of hours to preserve and restore these historic landmarks.
March 25, 2012
We are nearing the 14th anniversary of the closing of the Peale Museum, when Baltimore became one of the few historic cities in the world without its own history center. Also lost to the public - although carefully preserved by the Maryland Historical Society - was the entire treasury of local history formerly displayed and accessible at the Peale, which was rightly regarded as "Baltimore's Smithsonian. " The good news is that MayorStephanie Rawlings-Blakerecently announced that her administration intends to give greater recognition to Baltimore history as a critical element of its economic development and cultural enrichment strategy.
March 24, 2012
It is the clearest sign of the direction historic preservation may be going: Even a building called Government House, a 19th-century mansion in Baltimore's Midtown neighborhood, is now in private hands. While some history buffs were horrified to learn last week that cash-strapped Baltimore is considering the sale or lease of 15 other historic properties — prompting fears that "For Sale By Owner" signs would sprout on such icons as the Shot Tower and the War Memorial Building — preservationists say that, increasingly, this is what cities and states must do to save them.
March 22, 2012
As a member of Friends of President Station and a neighborhood resident who has worked tirelessly with many others to create the Baltimore Civil War Museum, I'm incredulous this historic building is now on the "neglected" list ("City eyeing sale of 15 sites," March 21). It's a unique museum/education venue not far from City Hall. It might behoove our local movers and shakers to stroll down to the harbor and have a look. The Civil War Museum is hardly neglected. Hundreds visit each month, admire the artifacts we've gathered over the years, watch a film, enjoy a personalized, guided tour and then shop for National Park's sanctioned Civil War souvenirs.
July 25, 2011
Ruth Garbis, a homemaker who enjoyed writing poetry, died July 18 of heart failure at Stella Maris Hospice. She was 91. Born Ruth Rochkind in Baltimore, the daughter of a Russian immigrant father and Baltimore-born mother, she spent her early years on West North Avenue. During the Depression, she moved with her family to Richmond, Va., and worked in her parents' grocery store and luncheonette. It was while living in Richmond that Mrs. Garbis developed her lifelong commitment to civil rights, when she gave up her seat on a streetcar to an elderly African-American woman, engendering the wrath of the motorman.
February 8, 2011
Faced with a tight budget, Baltimore officials have told the curator of the Edgar Allan Poe House to draw up a plan for self sufficiency, one that nevermore depends on city funds — though it is not entirely clear whether that's possible. This news is dark, dire and woeful, but it is not unexpected. Since the City Life Museums folded in 1997, Baltimore has had a handful of historic venues — such as the Peale Museum and the H.L. Mencken House — that have either gone dark or maintained only sporadic hours.