Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Downtown Target in the Future?

A linked story at Baltimore Business Journal from St. Paul, MN, mentions some potential good news for Baltimore in the future. Target is experimenting with a smaller store front, and plans to unveil this new concept in St. Paul sometime in 2012.

Target is also shopping around for other sites in urban areas around the country, one of those is Baltimore. It's anyone's guess where a potential downtown Target could go - Inner Harbor, Harbor East, Canton, Westside - but anywhere would be great.

The only other city location is a full-sized Target at the Mondawmin Mall. A downtown or harbor location would benefit the residential population in the urban core, which now is devoid of any "department store" style retail.

While this is at best a few years away, it's never too early to start thinking about where Baltimore could put one.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Lost Baltimore - Saint Paul Place Houses

(Photo Credit, Baltimore Heritage)

Now that the new Mercy Medical Center tower is almost finished, and scheduled to be opened on December 19th, let's look back at what was lost in order to make room for construction.

Back in 2007 some of the last intact houses from the 1820s sat at the corner of Pleasant St and Saint Paul Place. The were unique in that, with the exception of one, their exterior appearance had not changed much since when they were built. They were also some of the few examples of late Federal townhouses that remained in downtown Baltimore, and the last intact block.  Five three-storey houses sat along St Paul Place, and served as fine examples of the many stately downtown homes that began to be constructed north of the harbor in the 1820s and 1830s. Much larger than their working class and storefront cousins (examples of which flanked these houses on Pleasant Street) many of the houses stretched back to Hargrove Alley with later additions - the original alley gardens long gone.

Their death sentence came as they stood in the way of Mercy Medical Center's expansion of their facilities with a new parking garage and 18 story hospital tower. Even with a hard fight by Baltimore preservationists, the houses met the wrecking ball in 2007.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Crisis Over

The shooter situation at JHH is over. The lock down has been called off on the Medical Campus, and operations seem to be returning to normal. The floor where the standoff took place is still closed according to the latest news.

The latest word is that the Doctor who was shot is in surgery with non-life threatening injuries. The gunmen is dead, but apparently so is his mother, who was the patient over which the shooting and standoff took place.

More details can be found at the Baltimore Sun. Justin Fenton with the Sun has been following the action on his twitter feed, as he was stuck near the campus during the lockdown: @justin_fenton.

Shooting at JHH

This is the big news floating around Baltimore.,0,1885569.story

The gunman apparently shot a Doctor on the 8th floor of the Nelson Building shortly after 11:15am. Afterwards the Hospital and Medical Campus were immediately put on lock down.  The shooter has barricaded himself on the 8th floor and the BCPD Quick Response Team is on the scene.

Baltimore Streetcar Article

There is a quick piece about Baltimore Streetcars and their hopeful revival on Streetsblog today. If you have a minute check it out.

BTW, still no new info on the Charles Street Trolley in a long time, so no idea what the status is on that. With the success of the CCC, maybe this will be a boost.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Prepare to be Charmed

The new CharmCard (couldn't think of a better name?) goes on sale September 21st to be used on the Metro Subway, Bus, and Light Rail in Baltimore! Finally after months years of delays, the cards will now be ready after over a year of testing. To put this all in perspective as to how long this process has taken, the new TVMs were put in place at light rail stations and fare gates at the subway in 2006. At that time the unusable touch pads for the smart cards said "MD Transit Pass".

Cards can be purchased at certain transit events at local stations for $5 with $5 pre-loaded on the card in September and October. Cards can also be purchased at retail locations for $2.50 or online after the 21st.