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Saving a piece of Baltimore's history, residents opt to keep rundown townhomes in the community

Vote blocks church's bid to demolish buildings
Saving a piece of Baltimore's history.jpeg
Posted at 4:35 PM, Dec 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-13 17:18:26-05

BALTIMORE — On its face, the townhomes on West Preston Street may seem overrun with blight to the church. This is the same church that owns them just across the street.

That’s why the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Annunciation sought a permit to tear them down from the city’s Commission for Historical and Architectural Preservation.

But well over a hundred opponents want to save them.

“It’s disrespectful to the historic fabric of not only Mount Vernon, but to the city and all the great people who live in the community,” said Mount Vernon-Belvedere Association President Jack Danna.

In the more than two decades that the Cathedral has owned the properties, it has sunk about $90,000 into them.

In spite of its investment, the townhomes have fallen into ruin and the Cathedral says they’re now unsalvageable.

But replacing a part of history with green space or maybe a prayer garden didn’t sit well with those who have engineered saving more downtrodden properties who value preserving the past.

A past, which includes a famous doctor, a renowned architect and unique design features unlike any other in the city.

Ultimately, the commission agreed and denied the permit.

“What we’re asking is that just as the church is taking pride and respects its own heritage, that they apply the same respect to the Mount Vernon heritage and their own intertwined heritage over the last 90 years,” said Baltimore Heritage Executive Director Johns Hopkins.