Year in Review
2014 marked the third year of the Mount Vernon’s aggressive tree program headed up by board member Andy Smith and his band of wonderful volunteers who spent the entire year removing dead trees, pruning trees, expanding and creating new tree wells, and planting new trees. Mount Vernon now has at least seven certified TreeKeeper planting leaders.
It was also the year that the long overdue restoration of the Washington Monument on Mount Vernon Place began. The exterior of the Monument was completed in time for the Annual Holiday Lighting event this year. However, sadly this year, First Thursdays Concerts in the Park moved to the Canton area and the Book Festival moved to the Inner Harbor due to the reconstruction efforts on the Monument. Unfortunately it has been announced that the Book Festival will remain in the Inner Harbor for 2015.
This year Mount Vernon saw many new businesses come and go in our neighborhood: Trinacria Café opened on Center Street and has been a success. Ryleigh’s Oysters on 1225 Cathedral Street replaced the Mexican themed Maria Luna Bistro. Eden’s Lounge closed, and although the property was purchased, its new use has not been determined yet.The Chambers property on Charles Street was purchased and is slated for demolition with a planned re-development in the future.
Nouveau Contemporary Goods moves back into Mount Vernon at 10 W Eager Street. The Nepal Restaurant replaced the former Mughal Garden Restaurant located on Charles Street. The site of the former Brass Elephant and Museum Restaurants remains closed and is still for sale.
520 Park Avenue, an adaptive re-use development project of the old Hoschild Kohn/Aegon warehouse, is one of Mount Vernon’s newest apartment complexes with market-style retail space planned on the first floor. In addition, theAlgonquin, also a re-development project as an apartment complex, finally opened at 11 East Chase Street.
ReUp Home opened at 519 N. Charles Street, specializing in furniture and other finds for your home with a focus on REcycled and UPcycled products. Ware House 518 has taken over the classic Mount Vernon space at 518 N. Charles Street, formerly Crème and formerly Loui’s Book Store Cafe. Studio 7 at 800 N Charles Street, the former site of Donna’s and most recently, Charles Luck Stone Center, is Mount Vernon’s newest hair salon. Grille Twelve 24 at1224 N. Charles Street., will be providing Mount Vernon with a taste of South American cuisine as well as dishes from both the Middle East and Mediterranean regions. Strongbox, located at 816 St. Paul Street, is a retail concept featuring locally crafted artisan goods, original art, vintage housewares and many other smart objects for the body and home.
It was the year that Fred Lazurus IV, President of MICA, retired and was replaced by Samuel Hoi, who brings 30 years of experience to MICA. Former Mayor Kurt Schmoke became President of the University of Baltimore, replacing retiring Robert Bogomolny. Also retiring this year was Steve Cassard, a champion of the Midtown area and UB’s VP of Facilities and Capital Planning.
The Midtown Community Benefits District office is relocating after the current property, owned by the University of Baltimore, was sold. UB had graciously provided the space for nearly 20 years. The property is being renovated as a single family residence.
Meanwhile, Midtown has moved into temporary UB-owned office space at 1107 Cathedral Street while their new office space at 815 N. Howard Street is being renovated. In addition, Peter Merles retired as Executive Director of Midtown after nine years of service to the community and was replaced by Michelle Wirzberger, who is on track to take Midtown to the next level.
CitiWatch Camera Program
Thanks to a challenge grant from the Peabody Institute, seven new cameras were installed in the Washington Monument area, completing phase two of the Midtown District/CitiWatch camera project in the Charles Street corridor from Centre to 20th Streets. Generous grant funding was provided to Midtown by the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention in coordination with Lt. Samuel Hood of CitiWatch, and over $15,000 in private donations were raised by Faith Millspaugh of the Mount Vernon Club from every local institutional stakeholder and many private citizens.
CitiWatch Community Partnership is asking residents and business owners to register the locations of their privately owned camera systems with the city, giving the police faster access to potentially valuable evidence and helping business owners and community members in the apprehension and prosecution of criminals.
If you own a security camera, become part of the CitiWatch Community Partnership by using a simple online registration form at www.CitiWatch.Baltimorecity.gov .
MVBA Holiday Party
Our annual holiday party that took place on Tuesday, December 9th, was by any measure, a successful one, where both new and long time members of the Association enjoyed one another’s company in very pleasant surroundings at Grand Central’s Pub with a sampling of terrific Indian-inspired food catered by Indigma Restaurant, all accented by live piano music.
Our special thanks to Don Davis, owner of Grand Central, that provided the space, and Tony Chemmanoor of Indigma who provided the food. Also, a special thanks to MJ Dame, assisted by Antonio Rivera, who secured the location and the caterer that resulted in an evening of good old fashion social and fun evening devoid of the usual speeches and awards. It was great to see everyone again who attended the party this year. MVBA hopes and wishes that everyone will have a safe and happy holiday season.
New Business in Mount Vernon
Strongbox, located at 802 St. Paul Street, is a retail concept featuring locally crafted artisan goods, original art, vintage housewares and many other smart objects for the body and home. Their inventory will revolve often to meet the needs of the neighborhood and its progressive residents.
Winter Solstice Ritual, December 21
A Winter Solstice Ritual at the First Unitarian Church of Baltimore (Charles and Franklin Streets), will take place at 7:00 p.m. It will include songs, poetry, drama, symbolic extinguishing of the old year’s fire and lighting of the new, turning the Wheel of the Year, welcoming the newborn babes, giving thanks for seasonal blessings, tasting seasonal sweets, and rejoicing in the return of the light. For additional information, contact Pat Montley at 410-252-6074 or email@example.com
FREE Weekly Yoga!
Every Saturday 8:30 am – 9:30 am
At the Belvedere (1 East Chase Street)
Community yoga class is sponsored by the Mount Vernon Place Conservancy. Bring a yoga mat and water bottle and join us! Appropriate for all levels. Sincere thanks also to Belvedere & Co. for providing the venue.
Happenings in Mount Vernon
Walters Art Museum
600 N. Charles Street 410-547-9000
From Pen to Press: Experimentation and Innovation in the Age of Print
Saturday, November 22, 2014–Sunday, April 12, 2015
10:00 AM–05:00 PM
This exhibition explores that moment of tension, beginning with the publication of Gutenberg’s Bible in 1455, when printing was a new, experimental medium. The result was a fascinating interplay of formats that led to hybrid works, failed experiments, and entirely new forms of books. This story is especially pertinent now, as we are experiencing our own technological revolution, moving from printed book to digital publishing.
817 Saint Paul Street 410-752-1225 Office
THE MAN WHO CAME TO DINNER
by Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman
Director: Fuzz Roark
Nov 21 – Dec 21, 2014
Fri & Sat at 8pm; Sun at 2pm
The Stanley living room is monopolized by the irascible invalid; with ex-convicts, transatlantic calls, the arrival of strange gifts from his friends, . . . throw in a harbor penguins in the library, an octopus in the cellar, and 10,000 cockroaches in the kitchen – plus a sudden romance, what more can happen? Just tons of laughs in the 1939 classic!
700 North Calvert Street Box Office: 410.332.0033
It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play
Nov 18–Dec 21
Adapted by Joe Landry
Directed by Nelson T. Eusebio III
Revisit Bedford Falls, fall in love again with George and Mary, and discover the magic of an angel named Clarence. It’s Christmas Eve in 1947, and inside a radio studio a live broadcast brings to life Frank Capra’s timeless film in all of its feel-good glory. Be a part of the live studio audience, and join the cast and crew as they take you on a journey through the most important evening in one man’s life. It’s the perfect holiday outing for the entire family and, who knows, an angel might even get his wings.
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
1212 Cathedral Street 410.783.8000
December 19, 20, & 21
The BSO and the Baltimore School for the Arts dancers come together again in this holiday classic.
Music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Robert Bernhardt, conductor
Nicholas Hersh, conductor (Sunday matinee only)
Barry Hughson, choreographer
Baltimore School for the Arts, dancers
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
If you would like to download a printed copy of the newsletter, please click here