WWJD? 1520 Hollins Street: Owner Demolishing Interior Without Permits, Damaging Home Next Door

Property Address:  1520 Hollins Street, Baltimore, MD 21223

Property Owner:  Jeanne Allert and Christopher Spoonire, same address/3727 Church Road, Ellicott City, MD 21043.

City Council District and Contact:  District 9, “Pistol” Pete Welch

State Senator:  Verna Jones Rodwell

State Delegates:  Keith Haynes, Keiffer Mitchell Jr, Melvin Stukes

Neighbors in the community report this owner started demolishing the 2nd floor of this vacant this morning at 7:30, with no permits, and they have gutted the rest of the home previously — again, with no permits.

This property is located in the Union Square neighborhood, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, and is a Baltimore City Historic District.

Jeanne Allert is the Board Chair of The Samaritan Women, and Christopher Spoonire is its Director of Operations.  Seems rather ironic these two work for a Christian charity, yet they’re okay with causing damage to the neighbor’s occupied home and breaking the law.

1520 Hollins Street, front

1520 Hollins Street, front

1520 Hollins Street, rear

1520 Hollins Street, rear

1520 Hollins Street, open window

1520 Hollins Street, open window

1520 Hollins Street, demolished ceiling

1520 Hollins Street, demolished ceiling

Update:  The owner of this property lied to the next door neighbor, saying he had permits for the demolition even though nothing was posted in the city’s online permit database.

According to the city’s code enforcement section, “a permit request was made by CHRISTOPHE SPOONIRE on 12/10/2012. The permit requested pertains to performing interior work on the property (demolition, installation, HVAC, etc). It has yet to be granted.”

Hopefully an inspector came by and saw the work that was done illegally, and issued a stop work order.



  1. Dave Robinette

    This house on Hollins Street HAS to be within a stone’s throw of the H.L. Mencken house. This neighborhood is just waiting for development. In the 1960s and before, the West Lombard Street corridor was home to thousands of people who walked to work downtown. Many were WWII refugees, immigrants, most from Lithuania – their local gathering place, Lithuanian Hall, is somewhere on Hollins Street, I think.

    I’m sure the owners of this property are just holding on until developers begin to restore West Lombard St. Then they will sell, or try to do the rehab themselves. I wonder if they are willing to sell now. Hmmm…

  2. C

    I hope the owner of the damged home places a claim on their insurance, which will sue TSM and get the neighbor’s home fixed.

    • Baltimore Slumlord Watch

      I hope the neighbors sue as well. Doing any kind of demolition work without a permit is unacceptable and inexcusable — people know they have to get a permit for that. Especially someone who works for the State of Maryland in construction.

      • Steve

        Permit or not any type of improvement to the building is increasing the value of your homes. Why would you not want the building to be fixed up to maintain value of your homes. Because if a real estate agent came to your homes and saw a unoccupied, unkempt building, guess what is going to happen to the value of your home? It goes DOWN!!! Only an idiot would want to decrease the value of their own home. I would be appreciative of someone finally fixing an abandoned building next to my home, I would encourage construction and even offer to help. Anyone who thinks otherwise is just plain stupid. There are so many buildings in Baltimore that need repair, Why are people wanting their neighborhood to look like slums. Encourage construction Do Not encourage keeping the city look unkempt. Come On People THINK!!!!!

      • Baltimore Slumlord Watch

        Two reaons:

        1. It’s the LAW.
        2. No permits also means no inspections.

        Would you want someone next door to you digging out the basement all the way to the footings and not have an inspector sign off on it? Because if so, I know a house you might want to buy…oh wait, you can’t. Because it collapsed.

        Doing major structural and demolition work without a permit is against the law — don’t do it. Not unless you’re also willing to pay for the damages you’ll do to the home next door, as the owners of 1520 did.

  3. Pingback: Update: 1520 Hollins Street « Baltimore Slumlord Watch
  4. Pingback: Reader-Submitted Environmental Violations | Baltimore Slumlord Watch
  5. Pingback: Reader-Submitted Environmental Violations | Housing Policy Watch

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s