Baltimore Neighborhoods

Baltimore NeighborhoodsI have always loved a good mystery.  Little did I realize how many mysteries I would be solving in the process of researching this book.  I thought a pictorial history book about Baltimore, as depicted in vintage postcards, would be easy.  I was greatly mistaken.  I thought I knew a lot about Baltimore and was quickly humbled when I began my research.  It is my intention that this book being about more than a visual connection with Baltimore.  Rather I want you to come away say, “I didn’t know that.”  For the last six months I have said that to myself almost daily.  Giving narrative to the images between these pages was a painstaking but well worth the effort.  Some subjects were easy if they were well established institutions such as churches or schools.  The postcards that interested me the most, however, were the more obscure ones. Sometimes I just had a business or individual’s name to work with.  Other times I was enlarging the image by 175% on my computer so I could decipher a street sign.  When discussing this book with others I heard a few comments regard “another postcard book?”  I think, Reader, that you will find that this book contains more detail than any other Baltimore based postcard before it.

One of the dilemmas in writing this book was how to organize it.  I needed a definitive point of reference.  I found such a reference at the LiveBaltimore.org website.  Live Baltimore is an on-line resource center for city living.  Their maps and neighborhood definitions were invaluable.  I chose to reference a neighborhood as it is known today so that you may relate more easily to the locations.  Where applicable I have included web addresses so you can further explore a subject if you wish.

Not all neighborhoods are represented here and if your neighborhood isn’t please do not feel slighted.  I was only able to included neighborhoods that I found depicted in vintage postcards.  Space may have also been a contributing factor of any omissions.

I hope you enjoy reading this book as much as I enjoyed writing it.  There is a little bit of my own personal history included here.  I begin the book with my alma mater of Seton High School.  I will confess that I may have given a little more space than necessary to South Baltimore and Federal Hill since I spent the first 25 years of my life in those neighborhoods – call it poetic license.  I regretted not having but two postcards to depicting my current neighborhood of Hunting Ridge.  I hope you find some of your own history written here.  I’d love to hear your story sometime.