Get To the Point…Fell's Point in Baltimore

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 311291

After several days of high heat and creeping humidity, the weather broke and brought warm, cheerful skies. It was absolutely perfect for wandering about the cobblestone streets of Fell's Point. This historic waterfront community, east of Baltimore's Inner Harbor, is sprinkled with shops, restaurants, and lively pubs.

Kalis Court, Fells Point, MD

Kalis Garden, Fells Point, MD

Su Casa Shop, Fells Point, MD

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fell's Point is a National Register Historic District dating back to the Colonial era. Englishman William Fell bought the land in 1726 and saw the potential for shipbuilding in colonial America. Later, his son and widow divided the land and sold lots beginning in 1763 as others recognized the potential of the deepwater port. Before long, Fell's Point grew into a bustling seaport with docks, warehouses, shipyards, homes, and stores. The USS Constellation, the last Civil War vessel still afloat, was built here in 1854, and today is berthed in Baltimore's Inner Harbor.

The oldest house in Baltimore has stood here since 1765 and is now a museum. There are many houses and commercial buildings that date to the 18th and 19th centuries – Historic District Plaques on properties abound here. Small row houses share space with large town home developments, specialty shops, and familiar TV and film sites.

HLOTS Placque, Fells Point, MDCity Pier, Fells Point, MDThere are theaters, art galleries, museums, book and antiques stores, and ghost tours for those who like their history on the spooky side. The historic Broadway Market is worth a trip for fresh produce, meats, seafood, dairy, and baked goods. For several years, the whole country knew the City Pier as Baltimore Police Headquarters, thanks to the filming of Homicide: Life On the Street here.

Festivals are a Fell's Point specialty – the annual Fell's Point Fun Festival draws some 300,000 people. There is a Privateer Day (can you say "Aargh"?), Halloween, winter holiday festivities including the Miracle on Main Street and the Parade of Lighted Boats, plus fireworks on the 4th of July and New Year's Eve.

Saloon Sign, Fells Point, MD

Tattoos, Fells Point, MD

Snowballs, Fells Point, MD

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mikulski Center, Fells Point, MDSnowballs and saloons, both mainstays of the area, adjoin city gardens and eco-friendly buildings like the Mikulski Workforce Development Center with its green roof. U. S. Senator Barbara Mikulski is an advocate for Baltimore and especially Fell's Point; long before the area became popular, she helped lead the fight against an extension of Interstate 95 that would have destroyed Fell's Point and much of Baltimore's Inner Harbor.

But on our visit we weren't thinking about history or Homicide. We simply enjoyed the wandering, people watching, and being near the water in this eclectic part of Baltimore.

While in Fells Point take a look  at Sleek High Styled 2 Level Penthouse Condo in Baltimore ! 

AR

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Ambassador
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Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
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Gregory,P lease give us a call when you are coming over to Baltimore
Jul 19, 2007 04:20 PM #14
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Margaret Woda
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc. - Crofton, MD
Maryland Real Estate & Military Relocation
Enjoyed your photos of Fells Point, Margaret.  My son used to live there, and I loved it when we could just walk to the restaurants from his place.  No wonder he loved it.  Do you do a lot of business there?
Jul 19, 2007 11:25 PM #15
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Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
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Gary, Thanks for reading.

Margaret from Maryland, Fells Point is a fun place for us to visit.

Jul 19, 2007 11:37 PM #16
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Joeann Fossland
Advantage Solutions Group - Tucson, AZ
Master Certified Coach to Motivated Agents

Margaret

Hope you are having a wonderful summer. This was a great article. I'll have to visit when I am back next year

Jul 20, 2007 01:06 AM #17
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Joeann Fossland
Advantage Solutions Group - Tucson, AZ
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Margaret

Hope you are having a wonderful summer. This was a great article. I'll have to visit when I am back next year

Jul 20, 2007 01:06 AM #18
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Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland
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Joeann, Look forward to seeing you next year! You newsletter was awesome!
Jul 20, 2007 02:52 PM #19
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Carole Cohen
Howard Hanna Cleveland City Office - Cleveland, OH
Realtor, ePRO
Hiya Margaret! OMG I saw that Fells Point was in the Title and I immediately thought of Homicide: Life on The Street, my favorite show ever! lol.  Fells Point is so unique and wonderful and you did a great  job making me feel like I was back there. Thanks for the trip down memory lane! :-)
Jul 20, 2007 04:36 PM #20
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Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland
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Carole, So glad you enjoyed Fells Point.  We are having fun "vacationing" in our own city. When are you coming back for a visit?
Jul 20, 2007 10:48 PM #21
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Carole Cohen
Howard Hanna Cleveland City Office - Cleveland, OH
Realtor, ePRO
Not soon enough my friend but I keep saying 'some day' -
Jul 21, 2007 02:50 AM #22
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Pat Hommel
Annapolis Plaza CB Residential and Commercial - Annapolis, MD
Annapolis, AA Co., Md. Real Estate Sales

Margaret,

Your blog is fantastic!  I have to learn to do mine as well to feature my listings as well as you do!  This is wonderful for learning, meeting great folks, and learning more about real estate marketing.

Pat Hommel

Aug 18, 2007 10:05 AM #23
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Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland
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Carole, Please make plans..I find that "some day" never happens.

Pat, Thanks and again, welcome to the Active Rain community.

Aug 18, 2007 03:17 PM #24
Anonymous
George

 

  Is the site of the TV series Homicide, Life on the Streets open to tourists? 

Feb 03, 2008 12:27 PM #25
Anonymous
Todd LaTour

There used to be an Italian Restaurant right next to the city pier in Fells Point, facing out toward the river.  You could ride the water taxi from the inner harbor, get off at the dock, and walk right into the restaurant.  I don't remember the name,  but I know it is not there anymore.  Does anyone know what the restaurants name was or if they have moved.  There is another establishment there now, the last time I was in Baltimore.   Hope someone can remember the name.  I can't find it anywhere, I guess it went out of business.

 

 

Feb 03, 2009 11:08 AM #26
Anonymous
Karen Mckeown -Cann

The building where they filmed Homicide Life on the street ,is it a real police Station and have any of the actors made return visit to see where their show used to be .I was and still am a fan of this Show .Iknow that one of the actor's is from Philadelphia that is where i reside.If you could answer my question i would appreciate it .Thank you.

Jul 03, 2011 11:07 AM #27
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Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
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Todd and Karen,

I posed both of your questions to my friend Zippy and below are her answers.

 

I will attempt to answer your second question first, about the Rec Center. You are asking about HLOTS --David Simon's highly creative television show adopted from his book by the same name, Homicide Life on the Street.  For the show, the squad room was up one flight of stairs and the gym up the next flight. The roof was off the second floor. I sat in a director's chair and watched the actors work in the Rec Center. I know the casting director and helped get parts for people. I took 200 people on a Baltimore tour with a stop inside the Rec Center one memorable night when the crew was out filming in the city. 

 

Interior scenes from HLOTS were filmed inside this old Recreation Center on Thames.  No police station was ever housed in that building.  On the exterior wall of the Rec Center is a plaque that reads: On this site from 1992 to 1999 a group of talented people created a television legend. That's the gist of it, I am writing this from memory. The city of Baltimore leased the building to HLOTS for one dollar a year for the run of the show.  The stars lived in Baltimore 9 months a year. A welcome back crab feast was held for them. I met the cast and crew at these events and others. I have an impressive scrap book on HLOTS.

 

As to the actors returning, I talked to Clark Johnson when he returned, and over my shoulder in a frame is a quote from Reed Diamond:  "Baltimore stole my heart. I get back as often as I can."

 

The Rec Center was constructed over the water as a pier, where horses and wagons and later trucks could turn off Thames Street, on to the pier, and drive out to the ships at the far end.  Cargo was unloaded and loaded at this location. 

 

It is a covered pier because the second floor was used as a Recreation Center for the kids in the neighborhood.  Dances were held there too, up until World War 2 when the dances were stopped. Due to air raids, the pier's many large windows would need to be covered with dark shades and the city was not going to pay for that.

 

The building was purchased by a developer, Joe Clark, husband of Mary Pat Clark, a member of the City Council.  Five or six years ago Clark said it would become a boutique hotel, and we are waiting for this conversion but see no progress, except for the removal of the tug boats which used to dock along the west wall of the Rec Center.  Upscale guests won't appreciate the ear-piercing whistle and long low roar of a tug boat motor at 3, 4 or 5:00 AM.

 

I've led hundreds of walking tours of Fell's Point, beginning in the late 1980's. I was the first person to bring tourists into the neighborhood, for a walk, and this was before the water taxi even stopped there. I wanted people to learn about its history. For years, I told my tour groups that when the tug boats leave, there will be nothing left of the old neighborhood.  The gentry and their money will have won, and erased all connection to Fell's Point's working class roots. I still recognize and greets the one stevedore and merchant mariner who was born in and has never left the foot of Broadway, as the neighborhood was called.

 

Your first question deals with the old water taxi stop, on Broadway pier, the extension of the street by the same name. The original restaurant in that space opened as Francie's and was run for a short time by Frances Haussner, who owned the famous Haussner's at Clinton and Eastern. Francie's did not last long and a series of restaurants have opened and closed in that same space. I recall that one was a chain, where food was trucked in and heated up in microwave ovens. I have my own favorite restaurants and they are away from tourist areas.

 

Today, Fell's Point is all cutesy. Instead of seamen and solid blue collar folks who work the waterfront and run the bars, and who welcomed everyone, now it's the gentry who've brought their bucks and fancy ways to the neighborhood. Few know its history, unless you count Wikipedia as a source, which I discount. I was born in Fell's Point, and recall the best of the neighborhood. One old lady summed it up best: Fell's Point used to be a community and now it's a commodity.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Zippy Larson, Historian, RN, BA, CTA
Talks on the Duchess of Windsor, Wallis Warfield Simpson
Talks on Fell's Point, Little Italy & Locust Point
"The most entertaining senior citizen on the planet." CITY PAPER
Winner, Best tours of Baltimore 2005, CITY PAPER
Winner, Best tour guide 1989, BALTIMORE Magazine
410 - 522 - 7334

Jul 03, 2011 03:48 PM #29
Rainer
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Zippy Larson
CBRB/zippy - Baltimore, MD

Margaret,

Your style and creativity are outstanding.  Your photo of The Horse You Came In On reminds me of the origin of the bar's name:

When 2 guys in a bar get into an argument, one says:  "Damn you and the horse you came in on." That's a mild story in Fell's Point.  I ask people's permission on my walking tours, before I tell the really raunchy stories. I heard them first hand. I used to sit outside til the wee hours listening to stories from young and ancient mariners.

The condo in Henderson's that you are listing is gorgeous. Did you know that Henderson's is a smoke - free hotel that began as a tobacco warehouse?

The great Baltimore and Ohio Railroad owned Henderson's Pier.  The railroads in Baltimore owned and controlled all the waterfront piers, which gives you a picture of the blue-collar working port.

The Pennsylvania Railroad controlled the north side of the river, and the B&O, the south.  It was a fierce rivalry. The B&O got one property on the north side, and that was Henderson's and used it to store tobacco.

 

Zippy

Jul 04, 2011 02:53 AM #30
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Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
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Zippy, You have such a weath of knowlege about Baltimore. Hope to see you sharing this by blogging on ActiveRain. You are a natural. Let me know if you need any help.

Happy 4th.

Margaret

Jul 04, 2011 03:45 AM #31
Rainer
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Zippy Larson
CBRB/zippy - Baltimore, MD

Dear Margaret,

H*E*L*P

Zippy

Jul 04, 2011 05:18 PM #32
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Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
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Hi Zippy, You got it. Let's talk tomorrow afternoon.

Jul 04, 2011 05:22 PM #33
Rainer
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Zippy Larson
CBRB/zippy - Baltimore, MD

Perfect. I await your call. I know very little and I will learn from the best.

This reminds me of a driving instructor who said he would rather teach girls to drive, than boys. The girls admit that they don't know anything, and they are eager to learn, so he begins with a clean slate. Teaching boys who think they already know a thing or three about cars makes his job harder. 

Zip

Jul 05, 2011 02:07 AM #34
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