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New Heritage Trail for Downtown’s Westside

The Baltimore National Heritage Area is working to create a new urban heritage trail for downtown’s Westside. Your voice is important – join us to help shape the new trail to celebrate the people, places and stories of the Westside.

On April 29, 2014, the heritage area held a vision meeting on the new trail. Participants learned about the study area for the trail and the histories of significant historic sites in the Westside. Part of the meeting involved voting on the most important sites (our “Star Attractions”) and sharing other places that are important to the community.

The heritage area would like to thank EMP Collective and Forno Restaurant and Wine Bar for their support of the first meeting.

During summer 2014, heritage area staff will take the input gathered at the April meeting to develop possible routes for the new trail. A second workshop will be held in the fall to gather additional input and comment from the public. 



What Is an Urban Heritage Trail?
An urban heritage trail is a route that highlights the various aspects of a neighborhood’s history.  Since 2005, the heritage area has established four trails. The first, Heritage Walk, winds through the Inner Harbor, Jonestown, and Little Italy. The Pennsylvania Avenue Heritage Trail showcases Bolton Hill and Upton.  Other trails meander through Mount Vernon and Fell’s Point.  The fifth trail will roam through the Westside. A sixth trail is also in the works and will include Sharp-Leadenhall and Federal Hill.

The trails are loosely patterned on Boston’s Freedom Walk and are designed to encourage heritage tourism in less-traveled–yet historically vibrant–neighborhoods.

Interpretive panels with photos, maps, and stories line the trail route and many of the historic sites along the trails feature plaques with more detailed histories. The heritage area also produces a print map/guide which is available at the Baltimore Visitor Center and at public places along the trail.


What Parts of the Westside Will Be Covered?
Our study is not set in stone, but for planning purposes we’re concentrating on the area enclosed by these boundaries:

♦ North:    Franklin Street
♦ South:    Pratt Street (Camden Station and Camden Yards)
♦ East:      Charles Street
♦ West:     Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue

Click here for a PDF map of the focus area. In addition to this area, we’re also planning a trail “spur” to include significant resources west of Martin Luther King, Jr. Ave.


What Types of Buildings Will Be Featured on the Trail?
Everything will be under consideration. We rely on the community to tell us what stories and what buildings are important. The heritage area has a master list of more than 35 sites. We built the list by including properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places, designated as city landmarks, and venerable attractions. This list includes obvious buildings (like the Bromo Arts Tower and Lexington Market) as well as many churches and former department stores. You’ll be able to add to this list: we want your insights and knowledge on the Westside!


What Types of Stories Will You Tell?
The Westside has many fascinating stories to share. Below is a list of what we think is important. Did we miss something? Let us know!

♦ Baltimore Manufacturing and Merchandising
♦ Transportation
♦ Civil Rights
♦ Literature in Baltimore
♦ Sports and Performing Arts
♦ Medicine and Hospitals
♦ Architecture


I didn't make it to the April 29 workshop. Can I still participate?
Definitely! Let us know your thoughts on the trail and what sites should be "Star Attractions." Use the “Contact Us” feature at the very top-right of the website. You can submit your comments online and also find our physical mailing address and phone number.

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