Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Armistead Gardens

Armistead Gardens is in the northeast section of Baltimore. It was developed as public housing to supply housing for the influx of people working in industries that supplied WWII. It was begun in 1930 with further additions in 1941. In 1956, a cooperative (Armistead Homes Corporation) was formed by the residents and the 1500 homes were acquired from the Housing Authority. Because the units were constructed with common utilities, homes are not individually owned, but rather members have a 99 year lease with two 99 year options. Many of the current members are second and third generation.

The neighborhood has not changed much over the years with mostly drug related offenses and theft becoming a problem in the area. The area is known as the "white ghetto". Even with aforementioned problems, Armistead Gardens is viewed by many as a fairly decent place to call home.

There is an open field area and also a very unusual cemetery, The Bohemian National Cemetery.

George Armistead was one of five brothers who served in the War of 1812. He fought in the successful battle to win Fort George from the British. When he arrived at Fort McHenry in Baltimore, he ordered a flag so large that the British would have no trouble seeing it. This flag was 42' x 30' and was known as the Star Spangled Banner, the flag for which the National Anthem was written. He died in 1818 and is buried at Old Saint Paul's Cemetery in Baltimore.


SSC said...

Very interesting!!! 99 year lease, is that rent controlled?

charmcitygirl said...

I have no idea how that works. I am learning alot about my own city. Before I started this weekly feature I thought I knew my way around pretty well.

Mark Comer said...

I grew up in Armistead Gardens, 5058 Orville Avenue to be exact. I later bought a little bungalow up the street at 5037.

This used to be a great place to live- we had woods to walk through, the Herring Run Creek to play in, and a place called "The Jumps" where people with dirt bikes used to ride.

In the shopping center at the corner of Erdman and Federal there was an Eddie's supermarket, Freedom Drug Store, Fox's 5 & 10, and the Freedom Inn. Google Earth now shows a blighted eyesore, Freedom Apartments and Clairmont housing are now gone.

From what I understand, Armistead Gardens may be facing the wrecking ball...

Mark Comer