BALTIMORE — The first of six buildings at the Perkins Homes public housing site was demolished Thursday.
Built in 1942, Perkins Homes consists of 629 apartments in dozens of three-story brick barrack-style buildings.
Since that time, most of the buildings have become completely antiquated.
As part of a $1 billion community transformation plan, a mix of low-income, affordable, and market rate homes will be constructed in its place, along with four to five story buildings with hundreds of new apartments.
The plan also calls for two new parks, in an attempt to integrate the notoriously impoverished neighborhood with surrounding communities that are located just minutes from downtown Baltimore and the waterfront.
“With these bricks starting to come down, we are witnessing the end of an era,” said HABC CEO Janet Abrahams, whose agency is overseeing the $1 billion Perkins Somerset Oldtown (PSO) Transformation Plan. “The future of this community holds great promise as one of inclusion and opportunity. You will see the manifestation of that promise very soon.”
In all about 244 acres will be renovated.
Only six families still live at Perkins buildings. They will be assisted in moving out in the near future.
Funding for the project was triggered by a $30 million Choice Neighborhoods Initiative grant from the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
“This demolition and the construction that is to follow will make it so that Perkins residents can live here. I am excited to see the vibrancy of Perkins Homes revealed. This is monumental and a long-awaited opportunity for this community,” said 12th District Councilman Robert Stokes.