Friday, October 10, 2008

Charles Village: A Great Neighborhood

Good news for all of you residents of Charles Village, you live in a great neighborhood! The American Planning Association named the North Baltimore section of the city as one of its 10 Great Neighborhoods for 2008.
Charles Village stretches mostly from North Ave to 33rd Street along the N. Charles Street corridor. It's a great mix of townhouses and small apartment buildings, most with small front yards and tree lined stretch, a far cry from some of the more urban neighborhoods to the South. It is anchored and influenced by Johns Hopkins University to the North and Station North to the South. Students, young professionals, and families alike call it home.

It was laid out mostly at the beginning of the 20th century when Baltimore extended its borders North to its present locations. The neighborhoods of Charles Village, Guilford and Roland Park were all designed and laid out around the same time. The Olmstead brothers laid out the latter two in the early 1920s, and they have a more suburban fell with winding streets and individual hows instead of rows. However, Charles Village has a similar feel. It was one of the first "streetcar" communities. A streetcar line that went up Charles Street connected here with downtown. The line also went North through Guilford and also along University Parkway, allowing residents to live in comfort but easily get downtown to work. Now the streetcars are long gone, but some vestiges still remain. There is even talk of resurrecting the streetcar line, that has been a hot and debated topic. (I for one am in favor of it).

Still, without the streetcars, Charles Village remains one of the most picturesque and quaint neighborhoods of the city. You can check out more on the APA's website:

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