Baltimore’s Vacant Houses!

While in Baltimore at an energy conference this week, I wandered around and snapped photos of several vacant buildings in what the locals called the “hood”.  Being from Buffalo, I am used to seeing a lot of vacant houses but what surprised me was that all of these row style houses are vacant, falling apart but they are still standing. There seemed to be thousands of them with a few here and there that are occupied.

In Buffalo, many of these would have already been torn down. Maybe because these common row houses are brick, they stand against fires and that is why they have not been demolished? Perhaps the city doesn’t have the income to tackle these buildings? What worries me is that if one comes down, several will have to come with it because of how connected each house is to one another. I bet many of these buildings are still standing because they are all supporting each other.  Whatever the reason they are still standing, I am keeping my fingers crossed that they live another 20 years in hopes that the neighborhoods will bounce back again.

Here are a couple links to read up on Baltimore’s Vacancy Crisis. Read up. Its quite fascinating. Seeing these in the flesh made me realize that Buffalo is not alone with its vacancy problems.

1. Vacancy and Art: Beautifying Baltimore’s vacant houses.

2. Selling Vacant Baltimore: A blog dedicated to selling these beauties.

3. Baltimore Brew: We have a vacant house for you!

Making Parking Garages Look Good.

When I was in Baltimore this past week, I spotted this parking garage. (See pic below!)

It doesn’t look fancy or anything but the art added to the exterior really made what would normally be a plain Jane site, into something that was pleasant. The colorful art gave life to something that is typically lifeless. What a simple, easy idea!

I wish Buffalo would take something like this into account when building parking garages… there are several downtown (Including this one –  The BNMC Parking Garage) that could be easily spruced up which would make the downtown area more appealing!

I also included  a link to the top 10 most beautiful parking garages. Take a look. Some of the parking garages are really neat!


Photo: Downtown Baltimore Parking Garage near Mulberry Street.