The nine rowhouses a few blocks from Johns Hopkins Hospital stood for more than a century, through waves of immigration, two world wars, the upending of the city’s economy and a shift in its racial makeup.
The arched windows along the 900 block of North Bradford Street reflected both the boom and the decline of a great American city: the prosperous midcentury, when all nine households could afford the Formstone that covered their brick fronts; the tumult of 1968, when residents could smell the smoke from nearby riots; the white flight that would open the street to African Americans and the drug wars that would drive many of them away.
Since it was built on an old brickyard in 1905 by the “two-story king of East Baltimore,” hundreds of people have called the block home.
But only one of them was there to see that history end.
Block by block, Baltimore is demolishing its blight – and pieces of its past.