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Then and Now

This category contains 22 posts

Lost City: Baltimore’s Grand Theatres

What happened to the movie business in Baltimore? Between 1900 and 1970 about 235 movie theatres in Baltimore opened and closed. The technological advances that created this once popular form of entertainment also contributed to its demise, as television and later the internet allowed viewers to stay at home to watch a wide variety of program [...]

Lost City: Local Taverns and Big Breweries

Back in the days when Baltimore was a manufacturing center, neighborhood bars were gathering places for the blue collar workers that worked in the industries. Their thirsts were quenched by the local breweries that produced beer for working men and women and even some high quality brews. Many of these neighborhood taverns were destroyed in [...]

“The World’s Largest Outdoor Insane Asylum:” Memorial Stadium, Part II

(This is the second part of a two part series. The first part was posted on December 11, 2014.) Oriole Park’s fiery end in 1944 provided a much needed revenue source for Baltimore’s Venable Stadium. The project had become an expensive city-wide joke. The stadium had become known as the city’s “White Elephant.” Venable failed [...]

Halcyon Days: Lauraville in the 1930s

Recent Saturday morning trips with my mother to Lauraville once again prompted interest in our family’s deep roots in the neighborhood and the lure of the area today. Library staff receives frequent calls and research requests on the subject and claim it is one of the city’s most popular communities. We grew up listening to [...]

A Pictorial Tour of the Washington Monument (under renovation)

Underbelly staffers Eben Dennis and Joe Tropea were recently invited by Lance Humphries, chairman of the Mount Vernon Place Conservancy Restoration Committee, to tour the Washington Monument as work on the restoration project was winding down. Along with the many historical facts they learned, amazing views they took in, and vertigo they experienced, Dennis and Tropea came [...]

Then and Now: the Mayfair Theatre on Fire

When we heard there was a two-alarm fire at the old Mayfair Theatre on the 500 block of North Howard Street last week, many MdHS staffers rushed outside and around the corner to see for ourselves. The once proud building is one of our favorite neighbors and we were all concerned. Most of us instinctually [...]

A Monumental Undertaking

If you are fortunate enough to live or work in Mount Vernon, you’ve probably noticed the barricades that recently went up around the Washington Monument. The Baltimore Sun has been covering the project for months, and surprise!, there has been no lack of controversy regarding overall restoration of Mount Vernon Place. City Parks and Rec, at [...]

Baltimore, a History Block By Block: Q&A with James Singewald

When he is not busy shooting rare, historic objects for the Maryland Historical Society, James Singewald keeps himself occupied with a more personal form of historic preservation. For the past six years he’s been capturing the deteriorating urban landscape of Baltimore City, one block at a time. This week, we highlight Singewald’s work, which recently [...]

Then and Now: The Owl Bar

The Owl Bar has long been a favorite after-work drinking spot for MdHS staffers. A decent beer selection, cheap happy hour specials, and some of the best brick oven pizza in town are only part of the draw though. The bar, tucked in the back of the Belvedere Hotel, has a certain ambience to which [...]

A Stitch in Time: Replicating the Star-Spangled Banner 1964-2013

Recently while processing the Hutzler Photograph Collection,* the library staff came across a familiar scene: patriotic stitchers sewing an immense American flag. For the past few weeks, the MdHS campus has been teaming with dedicated volunteers working diligently on the Star-Spangled Banner Project. The project seeks to recreate Mary Pickersgill’s efforts to sew the 30 [...]

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