Wednesday, October 17, 2007

All eyes on Ashburton

Ashburton was developed in the 1920s. It had been a farm belonging to the prominent Gittings family for 100 years. In 1919 most of the property was sold to be developed into a residential neighborhood, excluding the family home and surrounding acreage. The original estate eventually fell out of the family and was developed into a nursing home.

Ashburton is located in the northwest section of Baltimore City. It is comprised mostly of large, single family homes with finished basements, fireplaces, and detached garages. There is a diversity of architecture found with mostly Colonial, Victorian, Spanish and Tudor styles.

When the neighborhood was developed, Jews were not allowed to buy homes there, but as the depression hit that restriction was dropped and the neighborhood became predominantly Jewish. In 1956 a black high school principal moved his family into their new home in Ashburton. This was around the time the illegal practice of "blockbusting" was starting all around Baltimore. Soon more black families moved in and white families fled, the neighborhood was dubbed "The Gold Coast" by the black community.

There was a movement to try to keep the neighborhood integrated. A neighborhood association was formed with 400 families joining, in an effort to attract more white families and keep the mix of white, Jewish and black families living together successfully. The effort was lauded in the press. The neighborhood however continued it's own course and today it's residents are predominantly black and is home to prominent political figures, attorneys, and business people.

The average price of a home sold in Ashburton in according to 2006 data was $209,000.


NJG said...

Nice post...what neighborhood is next?

charmcitygirl said...

Next up, we're moving into the B's, Baltimore Highlands. Over on the east side...