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Old June 18th, 2007, 07:25 PM   #4321
jbrinsfield
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Could someone fill me in as to why the old Baltimore Sun building came down?
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Old June 18th, 2007, 07:40 PM   #4322
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Two words: Charles Center. It is but one of many beautiful buildings leveled in the name of 1960's progress.
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Old June 18th, 2007, 08:55 PM   #4323
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Originally Posted by jbrinsfield View Post
Could someone fill me in as to why the old Baltimore Sun building came down?
What 30 Floors said, plus ... The Sun moved to 501 N. Calvert Street in the 'Fifties, to where the old Calvert Street RR Station used to be. This gave them more room for their (new and improved) presses, access to a railhead for newsprint delivery, and breathing room for their reporters and their then-nascent TV enterprise, WMAR (which they later had to divest when Fed regs prohibited one entity from owning newspapers and tee vee in the same town). At any rate, the city acquired and demo-ed their old building as part of the Charles Center redevelopment effort, and the site was given over the Morris Mechanic Theater. As NYC had Times Square, the intersection of Charles and Baltimore was known as "Sun Square."
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Old June 18th, 2007, 09:42 PM   #4324
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BDC receives bids for superblock properties
Baltimore Business Journal - 2:20 PM EDT Monday, June 18, 2007

The Baltimore Development Corp. received eight redevelopment proposals for four sites within the so-called superblock on the city's west side, the city's development agency said Monday.

The BDC began seeking proposals for the redevelopment of the four sites in February, according to a press release. The sites fall within three lots between Seton Hill and Mount Vernon on the 400 and 500 blocks of North Howard Street and the 300 block of West Franklin Street.

The eight proposals included:
1. The renovation of contiguous buildings at 400 and 402 N. Howard Street into two ground-level retail stores and two studio apartment in the rear and on the upper floors. The bid was submitted by French Development Co. Inc. of Baltimore.

2. A proposal submitted by P&D Realty LLC of Ellicott City to redevelop the properties into 16 rental apartment units with two ground-level retail stores.

3. A proposal submitted by French Development to renovate five contiguous buildings into four ground-level retail stores, 14 studio apartments and on-site parking. The buildings include 408-410, 412, 414, and 416 N. Howard St.

4. A plan to create a mixed-use project consisting of 11,400 square feet of ground-floor retail space, 27 apartments on the upper floors and on-site parking in the rear. The bid was submitted by Mayfair Development Group LLC of Potomac and includes buildings at 408-410, 412, 414, and 416 N. Howard St.

5. A proposal submitted by Capital Venture Group LLC of Baltimore to turn properties at 300-304 W. Franklin St. and 502-504 N. Howard St. into a mixed-use project containing ground-level retail and two entertainment levels above as part of a five-block live/work/play entertainment district.

6. A plan to redevelop properties at 300-304 W. Franklin St. and 502-504 N. Howard St. to about 4,000 square feet of ground-level retail space and 10 apartments on the upper floors. Mayfair Development Group submitted the plan.

7. Another Mayfair Development proposal in which it would redevelop 506 N. Howard St. into 54 parking spaces on two levels below ground, 19,0000 square feet of ground-floor entertainment retail, and 26 apartments on the upper floors.

8. A plan submitted by Pioneer Contracting Co. of Odenton to convert the former Mayfair Theater building at 506 N. Howard St. into a 64-room Sleep Inn hotel.

Are they now using the term "Superblock" for the entire West Side of Downtown? These places are 4 or 5 blocks away from where I thought the Superblock was. I thought the Superblock was both sides of Lexington Street from Howad to Liberty. Oh well, looks like the walls of the Mayfair have found a savior!





Saint James Place is on the left. It is under major construction now and is looking much better than it did in this picture. The buildings to the left of the Mayfair, and the the theater it's self, are some of the sites they are talking about.

Last edited by 30 Floors Up; June 18th, 2007 at 09:54 PM.
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Old June 18th, 2007, 10:10 PM   #4325
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Let the boom begin!

Southwest could use BWI as 'launchpad' for international service
Baltimore Business Journal - 2:49 PM EDT Monday, June 18,

Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport could become a more significant international hub as Southwest Airlines considers adding flights outside the U.S., airline CEO Gary Kelly said Monday. "We have a lot of work do to, but [international service] is something we're devoted to," Kelly told members of the BWI Business Partnership at its annual meeting in Linthicum. "BWI will prove to be a great launchpad for us."

Kelly said the airline will use a partnership with Indianapolis-based ATA Airlines to launch connections to places such as Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. That service will comprise the first phase of Southwest's experimenting with international flights.

Later, the Dallas-based, low-fare airline plans to capitalize on the recent Open Skies agreement between the U.S. and the European Union, which will allow any European or U.S. airline to fly any route between the U.S. and E.U., Kelly said. BWI is an ideal starting point for Southwest international service because of its geographic location and because it's the airlines fourth-largest hub, Kelly said.

Kelly gave a 25-minute address on the carrier's successful business model as it celebrated its 36th birthday Monday. As a birthday gift, Southwest gave all attendees -- about 250 people -- a free round-trip flight.

Last edited by 30 Floors Up; June 18th, 2007 at 10:16 PM.
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Old June 18th, 2007, 10:28 PM   #4326
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God I'd love to see something great done with the Mayfair. it really is a beautiful building. Not sure a Sleep Inn is the thing though.

Here's a thought - rehab it and make it a theater again! (duh) Add to the growing "theater district" on the Westside. With the Hippodrome and the Everyman taking over at the Towne, this could really revitalize the area and move gentrification out even further.

Any smaller theater companies in town that could move in there? Probably not... but it's nice to dream.
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Old June 18th, 2007, 10:31 PM   #4327
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The roof has caved in and there is nothing left inside. Go here and take a look. It is very sad.
http://www.urbanatrophy.com/thumbnails.php?album=40
I'm happy just to have the front saved at this point.

I wish a company had moved into the Mechanic BEFORE they demolished the inside. I think it would have made a great home for Center Stage.




Last edited by 30 Floors Up; June 18th, 2007 at 10:38 PM.
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Old June 18th, 2007, 10:39 PM   #4328
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Holy crap... that's awful. Can the front of the building be saved, or is it a goner too whenever they do something with the site?
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Old June 18th, 2007, 10:55 PM   #4329
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I'm sure the space inside can be turned into whatever they would like, while preserving the exterior (they do this all the time in major cities with beautiful old buildings that need to be gutted and redeveloped). I'm guessing turning it into a theater again won't be as profitable to a developer as turning it into a hotel.
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Old June 18th, 2007, 11:11 PM   #4330
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pennster View Post
I'm sure the space inside can be turned into whatever they would like, while preserving the exterior (they do this all the time in major cities with beautiful old buildings that need to be gutted and redeveloped). I'm guessing turning it into a theater again won't be as profitable to a developer as turning it into a hotel.
I'm sure that you're right about that, but I just think it could be put to better (perhaps not more profitable) use. Besides, with the area around the theater not so nice, what use would there be for a motel over there? And aren't they restoring one of the old buildings off of President St at the end of 83 into a Sleep Inn already?
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Old June 18th, 2007, 11:17 PM   #4331
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 30 Floors Up View Post
I wish a company had moved into the Mechanic BEFORE they demolished the inside. I think it would have made a great home for Center Stage.

Woulda been nice to get a company in there. Probably not Center Stage, though. Mechanic is both too large (1,614 seats, three times the 541 seats in the Pearlstone, the larger of CS's two theaters) and too small (doesn't have nearly as much back-of-the-house space as CS, which fabricates most of its scenery on site).
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Old June 18th, 2007, 11:18 PM   #4332
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Turning it into a theatre would be the best use for it, I think. There really isn't anything there to warrant a hotel, is there? If the Mayfair became a theatre again it would be the third theatre in that area. That would likely jumpstart some redevelopment, similar to how the Charles Theatre and the Everyman brought in quite a few restaurants on their block. It would be a real victory for the city if the Mayfair could survive as a theatre again.
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Old June 18th, 2007, 11:29 PM   #4333
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MasonsInquiries View Post
i'm confused a bit. i thought david s. brown was the one that's handling this project. then i heard that he was going to try & put a tower there of some sort. now, the article here is sayin' it's going to be shops & homes. hmmm.......

I'm with you. Last I heard they were tearing that ugly thing down and going to try and build a tower eventually. Now they are keeping it? That area is so ugly. I'd be very angry if the building stayed. What a waste of space. It's so uninviting.
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Old June 19th, 2007, 01:25 AM   #4334
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I agree

It's a shame the city has let Cityscape drag on. Rebid the project. If we do not hear any news soon on the Cordish Towe, I say rebid this project also.


Quote:
Originally Posted by 30 Floors Up View Post
Oh I agree. You got 83.34% right for the 2005 starts. That's way better than I could have done because when it comes to Baltimore Development, the one thing I know is that it is unpredictable.

I was just poking around on some of the old threads and saw your predicitions. Sometime it is fun to compare what we think will happen to what actually happens. We'll have to come back to these in 4 years or so and rate your new ones. You may take StevenW's title of SSC's Baltimore's Official Psychic.

I agree with your City Scape prediction. There must be some politics, (READ GRAFT) involved with that project because with any other project, the BDC would have taken it from the developer and rebid it when the developer didn't produce. Of course, if you are a "favorite" developer, (READ CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS), I guess the rules don't apply.

They were going to build apartments and the apartment market has been hot for a long time. If they can't finance the apartments now, when will they be able to?

It is insane that they have allowed this thing to linger for 5 years. the last I heard the developer was trying to get the Brookshire property to increase the development site footprint and open a new hotel, along with apartments, above it. But that was over 2 years ago and not a thing has changed. REBID THE PROJECT.
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Old June 19th, 2007, 05:20 AM   #4335
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 30 Floors Up View Post
The roof has caved in and there is nothing left inside. Go here and take a look. It is very sad.
http://www.urbanatrophy.com/thumbnails.php?album=40
I'm happy just to have the front saved at this point.

I wish a company had moved into the Mechanic BEFORE they demolished the inside. I think it would have made a great home for Center Stage.
The problem with the Mechanic is that it just sucked as a theater. The whole thing was way up from the plaza and had a weird, long staircase for attendees that went up to the stage level and more weird stairways up to the nosebleed sections. It was an ADA nightmare. The sight lines stunk, it was dark and tomb-like, the sonic qualities sucked, there was no lobby space, claustrophobic corridors, none of the current requisites for a theater like bars, cafes, t-shirt sales, etc. The rest rooms were a nightmare, causing long lines at every show. The whole thing was cast as one big piece of concrete so modifications would have probably cost more than a new theater. The historic rattles of recent days are scary. Save it because it's there? Even as a life long theater goer, I would be perfectly happy to push the button to blow it down.

As for Center State, they aren't looking to move. Their mission is as a medium sized non-broadway theater and they have two excellent performance spaces now on Calvert St, large lobbies, a big scenery shop and big backstage elevators, adequate bathrooms, cafes and bars and reasonable close-by parking.

As for the Mayfair, it's current state of complete devastation might make it more adaptable than the Mechanic since it is a complete rebuild... just save the front facade.

Fortunately the old Towne will be becoming the home of Everyman. Good news and a companion for the Hippodrome.

Last edited by scando; June 19th, 2007 at 05:28 AM.
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Old June 19th, 2007, 05:23 AM   #4336
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pennster View Post
I'm sure the space inside can be turned into whatever they would like, while preserving the exterior (they do this all the time in major cities with beautiful old buildings that need to be gutted and redeveloped). I'm guessing turning it into a theater again won't be as profitable to a developer as turning it into a hotel.
Since there isn't any interior left, I guess you can make it into anything you want. It is a nice facade however. I'm curious how that would work as a hotel.
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Old June 19th, 2007, 05:33 AM   #4337
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Quote:
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Could someone fill me in as to why the old Baltimore Sun building came down?
At the point when Charles Center was built, there hadn't been a new office building in the city since the dawn of the depression. For better or worse, the city fathers thought that a clean sweep was needed to clear 25 acres for new buildings. You can argue with how they did it all, but there can be no doubt that Charles Center laid the foundation for believing that the city could live again. I wish they had saved some of the buildings, but if CC had not happened, I hate to think what Baltimore would be now.
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Old June 19th, 2007, 07:36 AM   #4338
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I have to chime in here: I agree and disagree with what is being said here:

True, the commercial core of the city was depressed. With the traditional wholesaling and light commercial district in decline, along with changing demographics of urban retailing, overall taxes earned were falling year-on-end, both in retail and commercial.

However, the fact is several new structures had been built in the downtown core: nearly 1 million square feet of new construction since the Depression-era. The Commercial Credit Building, and Chesapeake and Potomac Building alone represented one half million square feet of new construction. The notion that downtown (new) development was completely stagnant is in part a left-over of the "wordy" marketing campaign of the Barton-Gillet advertising agency, that oversaw the promotion of Charles Center. (If ever an agency desrves respect, Barton-Gillet is the one!)

As far as the clearance of the lots for Charles Center, keep in mind the redevelopment was somewhat revolutionary for its time: Charles Center did not destroy everything within its path. Many “significant” structures were preserved within the original 33 (not 25) acre tract. They were: the B&O Building, Lord Baltimore Hotel, Fidelity Building, and Baltimore Gas & Electric Building. Historicism had very little to do with the decision to save these buildings: money was tight and these buildings were saved, in part, to control costly demolition costs.

I too lament the loss of truly “urban” streets (such as Lexington between Liberty and Charles Street) as well as the diagonal of Liberty down to Lombard Street. To this day I detest how Hanover Street is sliced and diced, relegated to a mere alley between Baltimore and Fayette Streets!

But the end-results were worth the price. In the end, we gained more than we lost…
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Old June 19th, 2007, 01:41 PM   #4339
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Quote:
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Since there isn't any interior left, I guess you can make it into anything you want. It is a nice facade however. I'm curious how that would work as a hotel.
It's going to be the most ornate Sleep Inn in America!

I really don't care that it will not be a theater. It is as far away from the Hippodrome and the Town (7 blocks) as Harbor East is, so it would not contribute to creating a "Theater District" in Baltimore. The Mechanic is actually closer to the other houses. It's only about 3 blocks away.

http://cinematreasures.org/theater/1879/ (You can search on the theater names and find out about them here)

OPPORTUNITY LOST

An ideal theater district would have been where the Mayfair is now. At one time, two other huge theaters stood in the immediate area. The Stanley (3,200 Seats), and the Kernan where connected to the Congress Hotel. The Stanley was the largest theater ever built in Baltimore. It was demolished in the 60's for a parking lot.

The Stanley Theater stood right next to the Mayfair. You can see part of the Mayfair to the left.


Congress Hotel, behind the Mayfair, with the Kernan Theater still attached to it. That theater site is now a parking lot too.


They guy who is fighting eminate domain on Lexington Street (N.Y. Fashions), his warehouse was constructed in an old theter. It had an entrance on Park Avenue.

Last edited by 30 Floors Up; June 19th, 2007 at 03:50 PM.
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Old June 19th, 2007, 01:58 PM   #4340
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i agree. yep, i would say make it into a hotel. especially considering the area that it's in. but i do have a question concerning THIS parking lot below. i think it's already been established that it's too small for an arena, so what do you guys think the city will do with it? it's in a great location that's halfway between downtown and the "opera district".
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