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FELLS POINT (1.5 miles South of the Medical Campus) – Fells Point is a historic waterfront community just east of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. Established during the colonial era, Fells Point is a neighborhood rich in history, attractions and colorful people. The maritime community was settled in 1730 by William Fell, a Quaker shipbuilder from Lancaster, England. By 1800, the neighborhood was teeming with 16 shipyards that churned out famous clipper shops, sloops, and frigates. Today the 14 block area is one of the few remaining downtown waterfront communities on the East Coast. It is among the most popular addresses for young residents of Baltimore, who like it as much for its old-fashioned feel as they do for its bounty of ethnic foods and chummy pubs. Known to many visitors as a lively entertainment district, it is enjoyed by its diverse residents as a very livable community where individuality is welcome. Fells Point is a mixed-use neighborhood, so many services and shopping opportunities are within easy walking distance.
Cultural attractions include two theatres, several art galleries, museums, bookstores, an art movie house, video stores, a large number of live music venues and a public library.
For food, there’s the historic Broadway Market – where vendors sell fresh produce, meats, seafood, dairy products, baked goods and other items – plus specialty shops and numerous carry-outs, cafes and restaurants to suit any taste. There’s one supermarket right on Broadway and two others just minutes away by car. The neighborhood has its own drugstores, liquor stores, florist, music store, optician, and dozens of shops selling everything from fine woolens to brassware to souvenirs to skateboards. Fells Point is also a major antique center, with many shops in the neighborhood.
Fells Point is well-known as a place to have fun, not only in its many pubs, saloons, bars and nightclubs but also at events such as the Fells Point Fun Festival (which draws about 300,000 visitors annually), Halloween, the Old-Fashioned Candlelight Christmas festivities and Parade of Lighted Boats, and fireworks displays for the 4th of July and the new Year’s Eve.
Public spaces to enjoy include Thames Street Park, the public square and pier at the foot of Broadway and the Waterfront Promenade. Patterson Park, the Pier Six Concert Pavilion, museums and all the attractions of the Inner Harbor are nearby.
With the Jones Falls Expressway just minutes away and good connections to the northbound and southbound portions of Route 95 and the Beltway, Fells Point is in a very convenient location. It is also served by MTA buses and water shuttles. Residents can obtain residential parking permits.
FEDERAL HILL (3 miles Southwest of the Medical Campus) -Federal Hill overlooks the Inner Harbor. It is a ten-minute walk from Harborplace and well within walking distance of most downtown businesses. Camden Yards, M&T Bank Stadium, the MARC rail line to Washington and a Light Rail station are all within a 15-minute walk. Federal Hill Park, one of the city’s prime landmarks, is on the northern edge of the neighborhood. It provides a spectacular view of the Inner Harbor and downtown skyline. Central to the neighborhood is the Cross Street Market and the surrounding business district on Charles and Light Streets. The city-owned market has stalls, which offer a wide variety of food to be prepared at home as well as takeout stands. Around it is a wide range of excellent restaurants, mostly moderately priced, a microbrewery and other taverns that specialize in craft beers. Federal Hill is a neighborhood primarily of brick, late 19th Century homes, many (but not all) of which have been rehabbed into modern residences in the past 15-20 years. Federal Hill is a cohesive, inclusive neighborhood with a strong community sense that works hard to preserve its individuality. The neighborhood is a federal historic district, and the northern portion has strict preservation and urban renewal requirement. This neighborhood is served by a number of city bus lines.
CANTON (1.5 miles South of the Medical Campus) Just East of Fells Point, Canton has rapidly become a hotspot itself. The neighborhood of 19th century brick rowhouses has in recent years been augmented by a number of pubs and restaurants. Canton was founded when, a little over 200 years ago, a Captain John O’Donnell sailed into Baltimore from China. Recently the neighborhood was revitalized along its Boston Street corridor, where old factories were transformed into new stores and condominiums. Canton area attractions include O’Donnell Square, the Canton library (the first Enoch Pratt branch in continual operation since 1886), the Canton Waterfront Park & Fishing Pier Park, two marinas and a public boat launch, the DuBurns Soccer Arena and many small interesting restaurants.
LITTLE ITALY (2 miles Southwest of the Medical Campus) –Little Italy is located in the heart of the downtown renaissance in Baltimore. Nestled between the Inner Harbor and Historic Fells Point, you will find a warm and inviting neighborhood where most residents in the community are of Italian descent. The personalities found there are always warm, welcoming and colorful. The area boasts more than 20 of Maryland’s best Italian restaurants and trattorias. Walking distance from the fine neighborhood is Fells Point, Camden Yards, and, of course, the Inner Harbor. In addition, the water taxi provides shuttle service from Fells Point to/from Little Italy.
Little Italy was founded in 1849 to serve the growing Italian population. Genoese adventurers were the first Italians to arrive to Baltimore. They came to America hoping to find fortune during the California Gold Rush. They poured into Baltimore waiting for trains that would take them to the golden lands out west. Many times the wait was too long, and when the money they had brought ran out, they found work locally. Little Italy has flourished and the restaurants have grown from one to over 20. The neighborhood strives to maintain the Italian heritage and traditions while embracing the revitalization of Baltimore. Most businesses in the area are family owned and operated. Little Italy is a true jewel in Baltimore City.
GREEKTOWN (2 miles Southeast of the Medical Campus) A thriving self-contained residential and business community consisting of one family town houses, it is noted for its many restaurants, authentic Greek coffee houses, bakeries and small businesses. It is truly a diverse community of blue collar and semi-professional people of numerous ethnic derivations. Even though the Greektown population is of mostly white European descendants it also includes people of Indian, Asian, African-American and Hispanic ancestry living in total harmony in a low crime environment.
CHARLES VILLAGE (3 miles West of the Medical Campus) The Charles Village Community is a 100 block special assessment district located in north central Baltimore. Loosely, the Charles Village boundaries stretch from 20th Street to 33rd and from Greenmount Avenue to Howard Street. The area is conveniently located close to downtown and has very easy access to I-83. Major bus-lines follow the Charles Village major north-south streets such as North Charles, St. Paul, Maryland Avenue and Greenmount. Both the residents and the businesses are extraordinarily diverse with strong civic associations throughout the area. Charles village has a strong local business climate and an abundance of well-known cultural and educational resources, being the home to such institutions as the Johns Hopkins University and the Baltimore Museum of Art. Charles village has four distinct business districts, each with its own special emphasis and character. Greenmount Avenue is a traditional neighborhood “Main Street” with the look and feel of an international marketplace. South Charles Village is well known for its eclectic mix of ethnic restaurants and white-collar professional firms, especially those in the fields of graphic design, advertising, architecture and printing. Howard Street has become Baltimore’s “Automotive Alley” with its heavy concentration of car-related services. And St. Paul Street, around the corner from JHU, has evolved into a student-orientated retail strip. In fact, the much anticipated Charles Village Project, tasked with erecting retail, student housing and parking complexes on university-owned land across Charles Street from the Homewood campus is tentatively scheduled for completion by the fall semester of 2006, transforming an already busy Charles Village into the ultimate student friendly district.
BOLTON HILL (2 miles West of the Medical Campus) -Bolton Hill is a neighborhood with tranquil tree-lined streets, small quaint urban parks with fountains that complement this period architecture of 19th century mansion homes and modern town homes. Most homes contain plots of exterior space set out as hidden retreats or formal gardens that combine with the elegant buildings to make Bolton Hill an urban retreat in the city. Bolton Hill is located within walking distance of the city’s cultural district that includes the Lyric Theater, Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, Walters Art Gallery, and Everyman Theater. The Charles Theater featuring first run movies and art films is only a short walk. The H. Lewis Gallery features shows by local artist. Penn Station with Amtrack and MARC is located within a five-minute walk from the neighborhood. The Hopkins shuttle bus makes a stop at Penn Station on its way to the Medical Campus. Three light rail stations serve the neighborhood. Two bistros and the Hidden Bean, provide the neighborhood with eclectic menus, and some of Batlimore’s best restaurants are only a short distance away (Spike and Charlie’s, La Tessa Tano, City Cafe, Arrogant Director, Central Station, Donatello’s, Viccino’s, and several pubs). Mapleleaf, Fitzgerald, Park Avenue, and Eutaw Place parks provide a chance to meet neighbors, linger, and enjoy being part of Bolton Hill. The Bolton Swim and Tennis club is the center of summer activities for many residents and children in Bolton Hill with an Olympic-size pool, a youth swim team, 4 tennis courts, a tennis pro, a playground, and a picnic area. A fall Festival On The Hill brings visitors and residents together to celebrate with food, crafts, music, and art. Artscape, a summer Baltimore celebration of the arts, brings national and local artists to the neighborhood in a three-day festival and celebration combining food, music, and the arts. The Bolton Hill Band Concert is an annual attraction in Fitzgerald Park featuring the Baltimore City Band with spirited music and good food. Most Bolton Hill residences were constructed between 1850 and 1900. Street front facades set them apart. Stone sills outline windows and liberal use of brown stone facade or massive gray stone at the base suggest very grand interiors. Iron fencing and gateways and patches of lawn—rare for 19th century row houses define the homes as exceptional. Most houses exhibit massive marble steps and a liberal use of marble on the exterior. The Beethoven Apartments in the 1500 block of Park Avenue were erected in the 19th century as Baltimore first street front terrace or a group of houses constructed to appear as a single structure. The three and four-story gray stone Friends Apartment at Park and Laurens was built by a Friends Congregation as a meeting house sometime before 1896. Friends School took over this space in 1899. The property was converted to apartments in 1974. Many homes were divided into flats, and new tenants included lawyers, journalists, artists, writers, teachers and students. The clusters of housing constituted a preferred neighborhood for generations of Johns Hopkins faculty and students who walked the North Avenue Bridge to the Homeland Campus, less that one mile away. One of the famous resident of this neighborhood was Woodrow Wilson. Artists and writers won Bolton Hill the reputation of being a “Gin Belt,” Baltimore’s Jazz Age Bohemian district in the 1920s. F. Scott Fitzgerald published Tender Is The Night from a home shared with Zelda Fitzgerald on Park Avenue in the 1930s. Alger Hiss was born and reared in Bolton Hill and his nemesis, Whitaker Chambers, lived in Bolton Hill for several years. Bolton Hill takes its name from an 18th century Baltimore estate, “Bolton,” itself named for an English property called “Bolton-le-Moors.” George Grundy, a Baltimore merchant from England, built the white pillared, three-storied landmark soon after the American Revolution. It sat at the foot of Bolton Hill until 1900 on the site of the current Fifth Regimental Armory. Bolton Hill became the city’s well-known home in exile to once prosperous former Confederates, planters, and military officers who had lost fortunes during the Civil War. A cultural district of Baltimore built from Mulberry to Mt. Royal Station in turn-of-the-century years remolded the social makeup of Eastern Bolton Hill after 1900.
MT. VERNON (1.5 Miles West of the Medical Campus) – A National Register Historic District, Mount Vernon encompasses the best of what city living has to offer. This lively neighborhood not only serves as the cultural center of Baltimore but as the home to a diverse group of residents and businesses. College students who walk to class and professionals who work there, in the downtown area, or as far away as Washington and New York are just some of the people who take advantage of Mt. Vernon’s convenient location. Singles and empty nesters, who seek to avoid the monotony of the suburbs, enjoy a wide array of art, entertainment, and services just steps from their front door. Living spaces include single family Victorian row homes, carriage houses, condominiums, apartments in row homes and several high-rises. The following is a summary of what is available within Mount Vernon’s boundaries and does not include the many shops, services and attractions along the 15 minute walk from here to the Inner Harbor.
- The Washington Monument and Museum (1814). You can view the collection inside the base and climb the 228 steps to the top for a panoramic view. This was the first Washington monument to be built in the United States. Designed by Robert Mills and completed in 1842, George Washington’s statue stands atop 178-foot-high column with inside stairs to the top.
- Mount Vernon Place and Washington Place. Four garden squares flanking the monument with fountains and statues, surrounded by the Walters Art Gallery, The Peabody Conservatory of Music, and grand residences including the largest row home in Baltimore. Site of the Baltimore Book and Flower Mart.
- Theatres and Concert Halls. Live performances at The Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, the Lyric Opera House, the Peabody Institute, Center Stage, Theatre Project, Everyman Theatre, Spotlighters Theatre. Foreign and independent films at The Charles Theatre.
- Museums and Galleries. The Walters Art Gallery, The Maryland Historical Society, Maryland Institute College of Art, Mount Vernon Museum of Incandescent Lighting, the Meredith Gallery.
- Over 100 Shops. Including a supermarket, pharmacies, book stores, boutiques, and delis.
- Antique Row: 5 blocks, over 15 Antique stores.
- Over 30 Bars, Cafes and Nightclubs: Dance at the Hippo, listen to live jazz at Harry’s or two-step at the Stagecoach. Try the house ale at Brewer’s Art or sip espresso at City Cafe.
- Medical Facilities: Maryland General Hospital along with a multitude of private practices are within the neighborhood boundaries. Mercy Hospital is minutes away in the downtown area.
- Local Transportation: MTA buses criss-cross Mt. Vernons boundaries with east-west/north-south services to points throughout the city. The Subway system runs along Mt. Vernon’s western boundary with service to the northwest suburbs, downtown and Johns Hopkins medical campus. The central Light Rail line offers frequent service to Penn Station, BWI Airport and north/south suburbs.
- Pennsylvania Station: Access to Amtrak, the MARC and the Light Rail systems here makes Mount Vernon a convenient place for commuters and frequent travelers to live. Amtrak’s introduction of High Speed Rail in fall 1999 reduced travel time to D.C. to 25 min. and to New York to 2hrs. 10 min. Discount passes are available from Amtrak to most destinations.
Mt. Vernon acquired its land and name during the 19th century when John Eager Howard and his heirs donated the highest point in Baltimore to become the site for the first memorial to George Washington. The site of the Washington Monument in Mt. Vernon Square is generally regarded as one of the most beautiful urban sites in the world. Between 1800 and 1900 Mt. Vernon was at the center of Baltimore’s transformation from an insignificant harbor city to a place of prominence and wealth. This was the time when fortunes were made and great philanthropies bestowed. During the neighborhood’s early history, wealthy residents including Henry and William Walters, Robert Garrett, A.S. Abell, and Theodore Marburg commissioned well-known architects such as Niernsee & Neilson, Stanford White, John Russell Pope, and Robert Mills to build the grand buildings and monuments that still grace the neighborhood. In addition to serving as home to wealthy Baltimoreans, Mt. Vernon was chosen as the site for major cultural institutions. The legacies of influential people such as George Peabody, Henry and William Walters, and Enoch Pratt continue on as the Peabody Conservatory, the Walters Art Gallery, and the Enoch Pratt Free Library. The rejuvenation of the many historic and architecturally significant buildings has enabled Mt. Vernon to remain not only a diverse residential neighborhood, but also a cultural center and restaurant district of the city of Baltimore. Please note that the Johns Hopkins shuttle makes a number of stops in the Mt. Vernon neighborhood on its way to the medical campus.
MT. WASHINGTON (5 miles Northwest of the Medical Campus) –In northwestern Baltimore City, bordered on the east by the Jones Falls Expressway (I-83), Northern Parkway to the south, Key Avenue & Glen Avenue to the west and the city line to the north. This location uniquely situates Mt. Washington in a country setting with easy access to the Jones Falls Expressway, from which the Inner Harbor is only a fifteen-minute drive. The neighborhood is comprised of approximately 2000 residences surrounded by attractions, both natural and man-made. On the North West edge, Luckman Park provides a place to play tennis, picnic or walk through the woods. At the other end of the neighborhood, the University of Baltimore Fields include playing fields for lacrosse and rugby, and a golf driving range open to the public. The Mount Washington Village is in the eastern section of the neighborhood and includes restaurants, salons, clothing stores and specialty shops. Also included in the village is the Clayworks, a non-profit organization that promotes the exploration of ceramics in the setting of an old library building. Across the Jones Falls from the village is the Mount Washington Mill, a historic mill complex along the Jones Falls reborn as a shopping center including a Fresh Fields natural foods grocery store, Starbucks, Framin Place, Amazing Glaze and Smith & Hawken. To the north is the Bonnie View Country Club, which includes golf, tennis and swimming. Mt. Washington boasts two swim clubs: the Mt. Washington Swim Club, which is a neighborhood non-profit summer time swim club, and Meadowbrook club, which is a year-round swim club and fitness center that includes an Olympic-size swimming pool. To the south is the beautiful Cylburn Arboretum, which includes specimen trees, well marked nature trails and bird watching places. The neighborhood is served by the Light Rail, with service to Camden Yards and the Airport, and several bus lines. There are many apartment complexes in Mt. Washington. The largest and most popular of these is Bonnie Ridge, which has many groups of buildings within its large complex.
Cost of living comparsion
Baltimore is an extremely affordable city. Almost everywhere you chose to live you can find reasonably priced housing. To learn more about the cost-of living in Baltimore as well as cost-of-living comparisons across the United States and Canada we encourage you to visit www.bestplaces.net or the CNN Money Cost of Living Comparison Calculator(link). Here we offer a summary of the cost-of-living comparison based on the year 2006 data from both sources. The above Salary Calculators derive their sources of information from the BLS Consumer Price Index, Census Bureau, NAHB, surveys, etc.
If one is making $25,200 in Baltimore, MD (2006-2007 graduate student stipend), one will have to make the following amount of money if living in the corresponding cities to maintain the same standard of living:
If you enjoy downtown city living, consider Fells Point, Canton and Federal Hill neighborhoods. Even though they sound like extremely expensive places to live, one can easily find affordable housing in those areas.
If you enjoy city life, we encourage you to consider Charles Village, Mt. Vernon, and Bolton Hill neighborhoods. Many colleges and universities are located in these three areas, including the Johns Hopkins University (undergraduate and graduate Arts and Sciences campuses), Loyola College, Maryland Institute College of Art, Peabody Institute, and the University of Baltimore. Most of our students live near the Johns Hopkins Homewood campus in Charles Village and ride a free Johns Hopkins Shuttle everyday to medical campus. Note that Johns Hopkins shuttle also serves the Mt. Vernon neighborhood.
If you enjoy suburban living we encourage you to consider the Mt. Washington neighborhood. Finally if you would like to live outside the city, consider living in White Marsh, Towson, Pikesville and Owings Mills areas. A number of our students live in the Pikesville and Owings Mills areas and use metro, which goes directly to the Johns Hopkins Hospital (20 minute ride).
For more information on living in Baltimore visit: