It’s a New Year so reach out of your comfort zone and meet up with your Seton Hill neighbors/make new friends and participate in #BaltimoreRestaurantWeek. Enjoy a 3 course dinner menu for $25 (our price). RSVP to email@example.com.
On 21 December, the Governor killed the State Center Redevelopment plan. He, along with Comptroller Peter Franchot and the State Treasurer Nancy Kopp voted to rescind prior approval for this plan. This is devastating for West Baltimore, and the revitalization that has long been planned. There has been a lot of press about this cancellation. You can read about it here.
Additionally, you should listen to this WYPR’s Midday with Tom Hall to hear John Kyle, President of the State Center Neighborhood Alliance, and Caroline Moore of Ekistics, the lead developer discuss what this means not only for West Baltimore, but for Baltimore and the state of Maryland. As was poignantly stated by Caroline Moore of @Ekistics_LLC, the contract for this development was with the State, not with the politicians. Killing this deal is a blow to the 9 neighborhoods that, as Mr. Kyle stated, “for 10 years … have been standing together, working together, compromising together.” Gov Hogan’s decision is an “outrage”.
The plans for this project started more than 10 years ago, in 2005 under then Governor Bob Erlich. The state complex is comprised of dilapidated buildings that are no longer meeting the needs of the State. The infrastructure is old, and the technology outdated. The area becomes a ghost town after business hours, and this hulking complex with expanses of parking cuts right through communities. The plan for State Center Redevelopment was born. The plan, cancelled by the Governor, was a well thought out 28-acre complex that would unite the surrounding nine neighborhoods that would create a vibrant community where people could work and live. There were plans for a grocery store, and shopping. It was a transit-orientated development that had bike trails and sidewalks and connected you to the City’s public transportation options. This was a once-in-a-generation opportunity, and the surrounding communities formed the State Center Neighborhood Alliance to ensure that the voices of the affected communities were heard.
Although Governor Hogan’s decision to cancel this project is incredibly detrimental, the Seton Hill Association, along with the SCNA, will continue to advocate for change and revitalization in this area.
It’s hard to believe it, but 2016 is just about over. The President of the Seton Hill Association, Wayne Reed, has a few words he’d like to share about 2016, and his thoughts on the year ahead.
On December 5th, Catharine Pugh became Baltimore City’s 50th Mayor. On December 8th, our Councilman Eric Costello was sworn in again to the Baltimore City Council representing us in the 11 District. Both Mayor Pugh and Councilman Costello have been good friends and advocates for the Seton Hill neighborhood as evidenced by them periodically attending our General Meetings and events and always assisting the Seton Hill Association with various initiatives including increasing in the beautification and preservation of our historic dwellings, maintaining safe streets, and creating vibrant parks and green spaces for all of our neighbors and friends to enjoy.
We highlight the existing businesses, faith communities, and creative Arts locations in and around Seton Hill and we’re especially pleased to see new ones like the Neighborhood Fiber Company (700 N. Eutaw Street). We are extremely pleased to add the Howard’s Dog Park renovation to the long list of what makes Seton Hill an amazing neighborhood for people and now our pets have a new location to make friends and get in some cardio.
We have numerous residential/arts/retail developments with construction underway/about to begin or exciting plans to our South and East recreating a vibrant downtown Baltimore that will likely give us more retail/restaurant choices nearby and create new neighbors and friends and leisure alternatives. Make sure you go to www.BaltimoreDevelopment.com or http://godowntownbaltimore.com for updates.
Conversely we have lots of road closures, patches of new tar and orange cones and utility upgrades and emergencies everywhere too numerous to count. This has added to our individual stress levels and leaves us all unsettled not knowing what lies ahead. The Seton Hill Association hears your frustration and we’ve aggressively been working with others to improve communication and notifications with all relevant City agencies and contractors. We all have to believe that the modernization of an infrastructure largely designed in the early 1900’s will lead to better services for us and a better quality of life too supporting the many more people that will predictably live in downtown Baltimore.
The SHA will continue to post information as we receive it. The Seton Hill Association met with a diverse group that included realtors to devise a Seton Hill Marketing Plan. This is important because we have several homes and lots that are now vacant but with renewed efforts these vacant houses and lots will house our future neighbors so we want to share the good personal stories about why people live in Seton Hill. Please mark your calendars and attend all of the General Meetings scheduled for 1/10/17, 2/14/17, 4/11/17, 6/13/17, 8/8/17 and 10/10/17 this is our mechanism to hear from you and disseminate information about utility infrastructure updates, parking changes, solutions for crime, or overall neighborhood beautification including a possible grant mural depicting the history of Seton Hill on a building bounded by West Monument and Druid Hill. All General meetings will begin at 7pm and be held at the St. Mary’s Spiritual Center at 600 N. Paca Street.
You can become a member (renew your membership) and find updated information including agendas at www.setonhill.org. If you ever need to reach (this includes sharing ideas, concerns or wanting to volunteer) the Seton Hill Association you may send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
There are many reasons why I love Seton Hill one of which is the easy access to the Light Rail or Subway. This makes traveling to the Thurgood Marshall Airport easy and gives me endless possibilities including exploring the many Light Rail destinations including Hunt Valley or Mount Washington. Closer to home we also welcomed the Baltimore Bike Share with a convenient location at the Mount Vernon Marketplace. We can now rent bikes so go to https://www.bmorebikeshar.com/ for more information and plan your next trip to the Inner Harbor, Druid Hill Lake, or an endless supply of equally interesting neighborhoods.
St Mary’s Park
Closer to home this summer we welcomed a new Park Steward in the St. Mary’s Park. We all love the park especially the fountain or the calm and serenity that can be found sitting on a park bench and watching children play or the new story board signs that detail the history of the park origins when the same ground was once a seminary. The Seton Hill Association hosted several park clean ups and these ranged from last Thursday of the month neighborhood clean-ups to days of service like the Urban League National Youth Summit or area schools St. Mary’s Park Clean Ups.
From the park you don’t need to travel far for inspiration because you’ll find the St. Mary’s Spiritual Center and Historic Site. Here you can learn more about Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton and tour the Mother Seton house and see the Historic Seminary Chapel designed by Maximilian Godefroy (also the person who designed City Hall). The new park story boards and storytellers denote a powerful history of the Sulpician Fathers, the Oblate Sisters, and the significant early footprints of the Haitian community in Baltimore.
In 2017 the Seton Hill Association challenges you to really “turn up the volume” to others and recall the good things about living in Seton Hill and find at least one way that you can add your talents, interests, abilities, and voice to keeping our neighborhood safe, improving the overall aesthetics, attracting and retaining new neighbors. You can fulfill the challenge by attending General Meetings, volunteering on a committee, participating in a park clean up, donating funds, time, or talent to organizing a Spring or Fall fun event, being the person on your street who picks up the trash on the street, welcoming a new neighbor, keeping an eye on a neighbor’s home while he/she is away, planting flowers in flower boxes or posting on social media “good stories” about neighbors doing good deeds.