Baltimore in March
I find that I have to travel to Baltimore in a couple of weeks.
I will have two days while I'm there to wander about and
I'm looking for suggestions for 1) old industrial sites that are
at all accessible and 2) places where it is safe and allowed to
shoot some old stone architechture ( prefferably interiors).
I realize that old industrial sites are mostly off limits - but someone
here may have some unique access information.
As to the architechture - something like old churches, libraries, banks,
whatever would seem interesting.
I will have a car, so I can also get out of the central city if
Thanks in advance.
Baltimore has all you're looking for. It also has some very rough neighborhoods worth avoiding. Use common sense as you travel about.
Federal Hill, Bolton Hill, Fells Point, east side of town, Johns Hopkins University area, etc.
You are also a relatively short drive from Annapolis.
Terry, there is an old Methodist? church at the monument/circle on N. Charles St. The architecture in the surrounding neighborhoods is good as well. There is an abandoned factory that is easily accessible if you travel to the Highlandtown neighborhood on Eastern Ave. The factory is on the right (unless it has been torn down in the two years since I lived there). As Pinholemaster mentions, Baltimore has many bad neighborhoods. Bad. As a general rule, I'd avoid SOWEBO, southwest Baltimore. Some of it is okay for a crap neighborhood, but I have had guns pulled on me and been hit by bottles more than once. Just be aware of your surroundings if you wander away from the more touristy/public places.
As mentioned, Annapolis is close as is D.C. Both are worth a visit if you have time.
Forgot to add that there is a book on Baltimore's architecture that is grouped by neighborhood. Despite some of the negative reviews, I think it's a good guide.
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If you want old industrial architecture in a reasonably safe area, go to Hamden (a Baltimore neighborhood, located along I-83, best exit- Coldspring Lane). Go down Falls Road a little ways, then drop down the hill. A good number of the old mill buildings in the Jones Falls valley are still standing. Hamden is still a blue-collar working class neighborhood for the most part, and relatively safe/clean. It is experiencing some gentrification, but it hasn't entirely lost the old feel that made it famous. I'd be careful about going out Eastern Avenue into Highlandtown. It isn't as safe as it used to be. As a general rule, actually, unless you've got someone who is really familiar with Baltimore to escort you, I wouldn't wander around much. Most of Mount Vernon (the neighborhood around the Washington Monument on lower Charles Street) is ok, but it transitions REALLY fast (don't go west of Howard Street!). Do NOT go over to the Johns Hopkins Hospital area - urban war zone. Druid Hill park is quite nice in the daytime - there's a lovely reservoir with terrific city views, and some interesting monuments scattered through. Also in Druid Hill park is the Rawlins Conservatory, a lovely Victorian greenhouse structure which is usually pretty quiet and easy to set up and shoot inside. Mount Royal Avenue up through Bolton Hill, past the Maryland Institute College of Art campus is very picturesque. There are still some old city market buildings in Baltimore that can be visited and are worth a look, but i don't know how well received photography inside will be- some of the merchants will probably think you're a health inspector and will want to throw you out. The Johns Hopkins University main academic campus (on North Charles Street, NOT the medical school campus in East Baltimore) has a fair bit of interesting architecture, including the Homewood house, which was built in 1800.
If you'd like some company/tourguiding, let me know when you'll be in town and I can make arrangements and try to round up a few of the locals to do an excursion up that way.
FC may be right about Highlandtown, but I think it is safe enough to wander during the day. It has always had it's share of problems, but it's not nearly as bad as many other areas. I guess it's all relative. However, I do have a photo of the aforementioned factory that says "Live by the gun/die by the" (it trails off, incomplete) which might be an indicator:-) He's also right about the quick transitions from safe to scary. That's why I mentioned being aware of your surroundings. Baltimore is changing quickly, but it always struck me as a huge ghetto with a few thin veins of decent neighborhoods. It might be interesting to see if FC would give you a tour of DC. I personally think it is much more interesting than Baltimore both photographically and in terms of entertainment.
There is also the shot tower near the inner harbor IIRC. I vaguely remember other industrial buildings there but that was some years ago.
The Shot Tower is basically alone now, and due to budget problems I don't even think it is open to visit anymore. If you take the drive out to Fort McHenry there are some interesting buildings in the neighborhood adjacent to it.
Hi guys- Baltimore native here, long time lurker, etc...
I have to second the suggestion of the Hamden/Jones falls old Mills area. There are nice stores and cafes in Hamden, then you can dip down Falls Road to the old mill area-
Abandoned industrial sites abound on the East side...but I cannot stress enough that the neighborhoods transition VERY rapidly, and its the border areas that can be the most dangerous- do not wander around at night, and DO NOT INTERACT with any groups of young people in ghetto areas- even if they seem like little kids to you they can be VERY dangerous.
If you want to do something a little different- a 360 degree view of the city is available from the top of the Washington Monument on Charles Street...it's free to climb up there and the view is amazing- there is room at the little observation room at the top to set up a large format tripod (I've done it!)-
Good luck! PM me if you need help in town- I'd love to go out shooting around.