Tagged: 21223

More Dumping at Carroll Park

I went for a walk through Carroll Park today, and as I usually do, I ended up walking along the rail tracks behind the mansion. It’s an interesting view of the park and the surrounding neighborhoods. You can see 611-661 S Monroe from the rail tracks, too.

Some would have you believe that nobody uses Carroll Park, and it needs “saving”. As someone who lives a block away, I can assure you — this is anything but true. Most days the park is filled with people using the ball fields, the soccer fields, and the basketball courts. The skatepark and playground are used often, too. The adjacent charter school, Southwest Baltimore Charter School, uses the playground for the kids at recess — which is a great idea. Carroll Park is also home to a large music festival in September, bringing hundreds of people to the neighborhood. My neighbors use it, too. It’s a great place to walk, and I usually see moms and seniors as I’m walking through. It’s also home to the Mt. Clare Museum — a beautiful piece of Baltimore’s history. It’s certainly not a dying park, or in need of any “saving”. It’s a treasure to my neighborhood, and is well-used by people across the city.

However — with all that said, it’s also being used by trash dumpers, and this certainly is something that needs to be addressed. The Baltimore Brew did an article and a follow-up on a recent dump site that was found closer to the golf course (yes, Pigtown has a golf course!) Today on my walk, I came across this dump site:

Construction debris left adjacent to Carroll Park

Construction debris left adjacent to Carroll Park

Of course there's a toilet. There's always a toilet.

Of course there’s a toilet. There’s always a toilet.

And even more construction debris.

And even more construction debris.

My guess this was a rehabber who didn’t want to pay to dispose of waste properly, or pay to get a Dumpster (or permit for a Dumpster. Much easier to dump it somewhere and make it someone else’s problem. Walk a few yards further, and under the Monroe Street bridge, you’ll find yet more garbage that someone foisted off on our community:

Trash under Monroe Street bridge, adjacent to Carroll Park

Trash under Monroe Street bridge, adjacent to Carroll Park

More garbage under Monroe Street bridge

More garbage under Monroe Street bridge

And even more garbage dumped under the Monroe Street bridge.

And even more garbage dumped under the Monroe Street bridge.

As you can see, this area has become a haven for illegal dumping — something I believe the City will work to correct, particularly if residents keep on top of it and make it a priority. One suggestion would be to cut off access from the side street that leads into the rail yard — possibly by a fence that has a gate just wide enough for pedestrian or bike traffic.

Cutting off access to the dump site area by cutting off this street would not prevent access to pedestrians and bike riders, if done correctly.

Cutting off access to the dump site area by cutting off this street would not prevent access to pedestrians and bike riders, if done correctly.

People who engage in illegal dumping should know that our neighborhood knows you’re doing this, and we’re staying on top of this — so think twice before dumping your garbage in Carroll Park, or any city park. If you can’t bear the cost of doing business the legal way, please take your business (and your garbage) elsewhere.

1312 McHenry Street

Property Address: 1312 McHenry Street, Baltimore, MD 21223

Property Owner: Daniel J Blair, 1303 Jones Station Road, Arnold, MD 21012

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

State Senator (District 40): Catherine E. Pugh

State Delegates (District 40): Frank M. Conaway, Antonio L. Hayes. Barbara A. Robinson

1312 McHenry Street

1312 McHenry Street

1832 W Fairmount Avenue

Property Address: 1832 W Fairmount Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21223

Property Owner: Carl Hunter, same address

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

State Senator:  Verna Jones Rodwell

State Delegates:  Keith HaynesKeiffer Mitchell JrMelvin Stukes

In 2011, Bloom Development, LLC filed to foreclose on this home — the court granted the foreclosure. However, in 2012, the court vacated the judgement, and ownership was returned to Mr. Hunter.

1832 W Fairmount Avenue

1832 W Fairmount Avenue

A Dying Piece of Baltimore’s Industrial History: 611-661 S Monroe Street

If you’ve ever driven down Monroe Street to Washington Boulevard, you’ve seen this forlorn building next to the bridge:

611-661 S Monroe Street

611-661 S Monroe Street

The brick wall is crumbing, and the building has been in disrepair for years.  On first glance, it appears to be just another one of Baltimore’s many vacant properties, left to rot over the decades.  However, a little research shows this isn’t just any property — it has historic significance, ties to a famous local family, and deserves to be recognized and celebrated.

History

The building was built in the late 19th century, as the headquarters and manufacturing center for the Alma Manufacturing Company, the first company in the United States to make steel buttons and fasteners for clothing.  The company held several patents for their work, among them No. 963,193 and No. 934,136, for buckles.

On the property were long, low mill and multi-story and high-ceiling manufacturing buildings, situated near the rail tracks.

Former site of the Alma Manufacturing Company

Former site of the Alma Manufacturing Company, as seen from S Monroe Street

Alma Manufacturing signage still remains on one of the buildings next to the rail tracks

Alma Manufacturing signage still remains on one of the buildings next to the rail tracks

The Alma Manufacturing company was founded by a German immigrant, Herman Kerngood, in 1887. At the beginning of the 20th century, Herman Kerngood formed a partnership with Moses Hecht, Benjamin F. Hecht, Nathan I. Hecht, S.B. Sonneborn, and Isaac Blum, to establish the American Steel Buckle Company, Inc. with an authorized capital stock of $1000.  The Hechts were of the same family that started Hecht Brothers and the Hecht Company chain of department stores in the Baltimore-Washington region, starting with a used furniture store founded by Samuel Hecht, in 1857.

The company was taken over by Herman’s sons after his death, and then sold to another manufacturing company in 1946.

Source:  Maryland Historical Trust, Inventory of Historic Properties
Source:  Industrial Development and Manufacturer’s Record, July 20, 1905
Source:  Official Gazette of the United States Patent Office, Volume CLVI, July 1910
Source:  Baltimore Sun, August 2010 “Shopping in Fells Point at Hecht’s Reliable Store” by Jacques Kelly
Source:  Baltimore Heritage: Hecht-May Company
Recent Years

Sometime around 1983, the complex was purchased by one Mahendra “Mike” Shah, who named the industrial center “Shah Industrial Park”.  One of its tenants at that time was the Naron Candy Company.

611-661 S Monroe Street, 1983 (Photo from the Maryland Historical Trust)

611-661 S Monroe Street, 1983 (Photo from the Maryland Historical Trust)

In 1996, the complex burned to the ground in one of the worst fires in SW Baltimore.  It was later determined by the court that Shah had committed numerous counts of insurance fraud, arson, mail and wire fraud violations, and money laundering.  He was subsequently sentenced to 15 years in prison, in 2004.  In 2006, Shah sought to overturn his conviction, but the US Court of Appeals, 4th Circuit, denied his appeal.

Currently, the property is owned by a graphic artist and his wife, having purchased the property in 2009.  I reached out to them twice to find out what they intend to do with the property — once two weeks ago, and then again this morning.  Hopefully they’ll respond.  It’s a terrible shame to see such an important property fall into an even greater state of disrepair.

Larger view of an original Alma Manufacturing building

Larger view of an original Alma Manufacturing building

View of the complex from the rail tracks

View of the complex from the rail tracks

 

 

1826 W Fairmount Avenue

Note:  This property owners are the defendants in a lead paint lawsuit.  See Circuit Court case number 24C12001969 for more information.

Property Address:  1826 W Fairmount Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21223

Property Owner:  Kevin and Gregory L Brown, 4305 Norfolk Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21216

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

State Senator:  Verna Jones Rodwell

State Delegates:  Keith HaynesKeiffer Mitchell JrMelvin Stukes

1826 W Fairmount Avenue

1826 W Fairmount Avenue

 

1910 W Fairmount Avenue

Property Address:  1910 W Fairmount Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21223

Property Owner:  Bernard Siler, 1715 15th Street, NW, Apt 102, Washington, DC 20009

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

State Senator:  Verna Jones Rodwell

State Delegates:  Keith HaynesKeiffer Mitchell JrMelvin Stukes

1910 W Fairmount Avenue

1910 W Fairmount Avenue

Interesting to note this property owner is an attorney in Washington, DC and is also a former prosecutor for the city.  A shame he would leave this property to fall to ruin, and further this neighborhood’s decline.

1934 W Fairmount Avenue

Property Address:  1934 W Fairmount Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21223

Property Owner:  2008 DRR-ETS, LLC, 3604 Eastern Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21224

Resident Agent for 2008 DRR-ETS, LLC: Anthony J Delaurentis, Delaurentis, Reiff and Reid, 3604 Eastern Avenue, Suite 300, Baltimore, MD 21224

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

State Senator:  Verna Jones Rodwell

State Delegates:  Keith HaynesKeiffer Mitchell JrMelvin Stukes

1934 W Fairmount Avenue

1934 W Fairmount Avenue