Biography

Jacques Kelly came to the the old Evening Sun as a summer intern in 1969. For many years, he was on the staff of the old News American, ...

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Jacques Kelly

Jacques Kelly

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Hope for rebirth of Howard Street

Hope for rebirth of Howard Street

July 3, 2015

If you possess memories of the glory days of retail shopping on Howard Street, don't try revisiting them this summer. So much of the street remains a vacant shell, an empty place awaiting a developer with the ability to reinvent it.

  • Music shop owner aims to spur interest along north Charles Street

    June 26, 2015

    After about a year of emailing Ian Goldstein about the Station North neighborhood, I met with him and his business partners in their new Charles Street music shop.

  • New Mount Vernon hotel offers authentic Baltimore experience

    June 12, 2015

    The lobby furniture was arriving at the new Hotel Indigo, which is a very old and revered Mount Vernon neighborhood landmark. I stood by as the sofas and wing chairs arrived the day after the initial batch of guests had checked in. Could what I was seeing really be the old downtown YMCA? Could this be busy Franklin Street?

  • Callaway-Garrison neighborhood has fruitful endeavor

    June 5, 2015

    A stretch of apple trees planted in the median of Callaway Avenue in Northwest Baltimore has become a rallying point for a neighborhood looking for recognition.

  • Former Canton Pulaski Building Association building returns to financial roots

    May 29, 2015

    The massive walk-in safe now holds office supplies. There's a big-screen television flashing stock market updates where Canton homebuyers once made their passbook payments. The old president's office sits at the top of the well-worn stairs.

  • Collaboration focuses on neighborhoods and businesses along York Road

    May 8, 2015

    McCabe Avenue was once having a rough time with its neglected housing, but there is hope in the air this spring. Some 26 vacant properties along the street are being substantially renovated, thanks to the Habitat for Humanity of the Chesapeake. Its volunteers and the families coming to the homes are making a substantial difference.

  • Surveyors locate site of home plate of old Oriole Park

    May 1, 2015

    As a 5-year-old, I played in a vacant lot just out the back door of my family's Guilford Avenue home. I can't recall much about this piece of empty, moonscape-like land except that the ground still showed traces of decaying black wood. I was told these were the long-cold embers of old Oriole Park. The park burned in the early-morning hours of July 4, 1944. The team then moved to Baltimore Stadium on 33rd Street, later rebuilt as Memorial Stadium.

  • Book looks at little-known female artists in Mount Vernon

    April 24, 2015

    Retired architect and collector Allen C. Abend has uncovered a group of 16 little-known Baltimore women artists who painted and sketched here about a century ago. Blessed with time and patience, he has just published his own book, "Baltimore's Forgotten Women," subtitled "Painters and printmakers in the late 19th and early 20th centuries."

  • Origins of Ouija board are in Baltimore

    April 17, 2015

    For 76 proud years, Baltimore reigned as the Ouija board capital.

  • Lafayette Square shares its history

    April 11, 2015

    Next Saturday's tour of "Lafayette Square By Foot" carries an accurate secondary description: "Baltimore Thru the Ages!"

  • Church pays tribute to Mother Lange

    April 3, 2015

    When St. Frances Academy in East Baltimore defeats a better-funded high school sports competitor, I see the legacy of a woman wearing a white bonnet. I see the long shadow that Elizabeth Lange has cast in Baltimore.

  • 1893 letter details racially restrictive covenants in city neighborhoods

    March 27, 2015

    A Johns Hopkins historian has discovered an 1893 letter that details the racially restrictive deed covenants that would, over the next 50 years, help to maintain segregation in many Baltimore neighborhoods.

  • Motor House arts center to anchor Station North neighborhood

    March 20, 2015

    Excitement and anticipation filled a vacant automobile sales agency this week. A $6.5 million refurbishment of the newly named Motor House on North Avenue was being celebrated as this arts center project gets launched. I watched its prospective tenants walk this 1914 structure's bare wood floors and envision the new life this fine structure promises as its makeover begins.

  • Hollins Roundhouse neighborhood has rich Irish history

    March 13, 2015

    Planning maps say a section of Southwest Baltimore is called Hollins Market. I've learned its name has been amended to Hollins Roundhouse, because it marries the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad's circular landmark, the roundhouse, with the Hollins Market. However it's recognized, the neighborhood is a gem of Baltimore antiquity.

  • Recreation Pier had many lives

    March 6, 2015

    Nearly 25 years ago, I attended a friend's 50th birthday party in the interior hall of the 1914 Recreation Pier on Thames Street in Fells Point. This fabulous chamber was created as a civic assembly space in the year Baltimore celebrated the centennial of the writing of "The Star-Spangled Banner."

  • Changes ahead for Remington

    February 27, 2015

    Just two years ago, I was sitting in a 12-foot-wide Remington rowhouse discussing the future of the neighborhood with one of its residents.

  • Passport guides visitors through city's African-American history

    February 20, 2015

    A free publication arrived this week to help people interested in Baltimore's African-American history understand their city and its neighborhoods. "A Lasting Legacy: Baltimore's African-American History Passport" is a handy resource.

  • Baltimore's Charles Street corridor is being reborn

    February 13, 2015

    I walk along Charles Street because it's never dull, empty or static. Lately, I've been fascinated by a trio of animated men dressed up as Statues of Liberty. They carry advertising signboards for a tax preparation service. Its office is in a building where, more than 50 years I ago, I bought my toy electric trains.

  • Designers make lifelong impact on Baltimore's arts scene

    February 6, 2015

    Customers walk into her Village of Cross Keys shop and ask Betty Cooke if she still has a place on Tyson Street in downtown Baltimore's Mount Vernon. She did, beginning in 1946, when she bought a ramshackle 1830s rowhouse and joined fellow pioneer renovators. She had her design and jewelry shop in the home's front and her workbench in the back. In time, she and her husband and business partner, William Steinmetz, expanded their shop and design studio to an L-shaped collection of buildings at Read and Tyson.

  • Changes taking shape at Rotunda complex

    January 30, 2015

    The profile of a new residential component in North Baltimore has pretty much taken shape over the past few months. Since 1971, we've called it the Rotunda. Before that, the 700 block of W. 40th St. was the old Maryland Casualty Co., a Baltimore-born business that spared little expense to create a handsome headquarters within a finely landscaped corporate campus. There were once tennis courts, ornamental fish ponds and garden walks where the new buildings have risen.

  • Baltimore's bounty of bakeries

    January 23, 2015

    Readers asked me about departed Northeast Baltimore bakeries, establishments such as Buchler's and Rueckert's. The Baltimore Sun's Recipe Finder column issued a request this week for a jelly cake made by Fiske's on Park Avenue in Bolton Hill.

  • Looking back on the efforts of Central Baltimore's key supporter

    January 16, 2015

    On a recent cold night, I stepped inside Liam Flynn's Ale House in the North Avenue Market building.

  • Hopes for a return to glory for Lexington Market

    January 9, 2015

    As city consultants consider the downtown Lexington Market's future, I dropped by this week. There is no firm timetable for what is promised to be an overdue upgrade, but change appears to be on the horizon.

  • Checking up on Marketplace at Fells Point

    January 2, 2015

    I had to look twice at two facing commercial blocks along South Broadway. After two years of hard work, what is called the Marketplace at Fells Point is ready for occupancy. So ready, more than half of its apartments have tenants. If you hadn't known what it looked like 18 months ago, you would not detect the newness of what you are observing.

  • 2014 saw many changes to buildings around Baltimore

    December 26, 2014

    Baltimoreans often use outdated names to refer to familiar spots and buildings, and 2014 forced me to refresh my list of rechristenings.

  • Northeast Baltimore's treasured food store grows a bit

    December 19, 2014

    As you enter the doors of Bel-Garden Bi-Rite Supermarket, you realize this neighborhood store could only be in Baltimore. There are jumbo jars of pickled onions and pickled eggs. On Wednesdays in the winter, the store offers ladle-your-own take-home sour beef and dumplings. Tuesday is liver-and-onions day. Schmierkase, the creamy dessert cake beloved by old-fashioned Baltimoreans, is available seven days a week.

  • Old academic institution to become a school once again

    December 12, 2014

    The old Gwynns Falls Junior High School is a noble survivor. Cast off by the school system nearly 30 years ago, then purchased by a church, this West Baltimore academic landmark is now poised to see its corridors filled with about 875 students attending a progressive city charter school.

  • Exhibit shows Baltimore's shopping habits of 1950s and 1960s

    December 5, 2014

    A trip to the Baltimore Museum of Industry reveals the little worlds of neighborhoods and shopping in Baltimore about 60 years ago.

  • Remembering the homesteaders of Otterbein

    October 31, 2014

    A recent article about a million-dollar price on a West Lee Street rowhouse reminded me of the autumn of 1974, when I became a participant in neighborhood advocacy journalism. My article ran Nov. 1, 1974, in the old News American and detailed how the city was reconsidering the fate of dozens of early 19th-century homes that were scheduled to be torn down for temporary City Fair parking.

  • Residents of Highfield House mark its 50th year

    October 24, 2014

    Architect Donald Sickler can still recall the color of brick that helped quiet the anxiety surrounding a North Baltimore apartment house that Guilford residents feared would resemble a steely hulk.

  • Clifton Mansion transformed in $7 million restoration

    October 10, 2014

    In the summer of 2013, I visited the Clifton Mansion, which sits atop the little hill in the Northeast Baltimore park and golf course, as a $7 million restoration effort got underway.

  • Schaefer was the neighborhood mayor

    April 22, 2011

    If you lived in Baltimore in the 1970s, it seemed that William Donald Schaefer paved every alley. An exaggeration? Yes. But then, as now, old Baltimore needed a lot of fixing and Schaefer was in his neighborhood mode. He did it well and had the support of some pretty amazing people. He listened to his aides and he also obsessed over letters his constituents mailed him.

  • Hippo's opening another night to remember

    February 14, 2004

    AS MY CAB turned south on Eutaw Street on Tuesday night, I asked the driver, "Where are the moving lights?"

  • Hoping B&O Museum is able to maintain pieces of history

    February 22, 2003

    I’VE OFTEN thought that Baltimore possesses three truly great object collections: the Cone sisters' canvases, the treasure of Henry and William Walters and the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. Yes, the rail museum at Pratt and Poppleton, which suffered such a direct hit from this week's snowstorm, is this country's knockout stable of iron-horse history.

  • Saturday nights in 'Perry Mason's' courtroom

    February 17, 2001

    THE TELEVISION shows of 45 years ago were fairly tame fare compared to what the networks and cable deliver today. But certainly when this medium was relatively new - and the arrival of a fresh set in the neighborhood was still something of a novelty - gathering around the black-and-white screen was an event.

  • Chief medical advice from family: Get better

    February 10, 2001

    IHEARD this week from my sister, the mother of the twin girls who just turned 3. All her children (she has three) are down with the sort of childhood maladies that arrive in the late winter. Her washing machine is working overtime. The children just aren't themselves. Or are they?

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