Geography and History

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Charles North was originally a community that grew in the 1880’s – 1890’s as a suburb to downtown Baltimore (North Avenue served as the northern boundary of Baltimore City). The area was home to a growing middle to upper class where North Avenue in its heyday served the area with fine shopping, restaurants and movie theaters. The area changed greatly during World War II, but still offers a distinctive collection of Victorian houses with splendid details conveniently located near Penn Station.

In 2008, Mayor Sheila Dixon formally endorsed the Charles North Vision Plan, a multi-phase development initiative to restore this great community and turn it into a key residential, commercial, creative, and entertainment destination for Baltimore residents and beyond. To read more about the Vision Plan and its potential impact, choose one of the following links: PowerPoint;brochure; featured article from the Baltimore Sun.

The Charles North area is at the center of a resurgent city and is a gateway for millions of people who enter Baltimore by rail or via the Jones Falls Expressway. The area has experienced a renaissance as a group of enthusiastic renovators and business owners who have made the area a showpiece of do-it-yourself handiwork.

Bordered roughly by Falls Road, Penn Station, Hargrove Street and 22nd Street, and matching the boundaries as specified in the Charles North Urban Renewal Plan, the area is rich with assets in higher education, the arts and entertainment, architecture, transit infrastructure, and mixed-use development potential. The Charles Street commercial district is home to Baltimore’s premier art cinema, art performance venues, small theater companies, and bars and restaurants, and is convenient to the campuses of the University of Baltimore, the Maryland Institute College of Art, and the Johns Hopkins University.

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