A look at Highlandtown, a neighborhood in East Baltimore that has embodied the American melting pot for over 100 years.
Neighborhoods of Baltimore
When Matthew Muir arrived in Baltimore to attend college, the native New Yorker lived in a few neighborhoods while seeking a community that best suited his taste for urban living.
He landed in Mount Vernon three years ago, and it felt like home.
Founded in 1938, Tattoo Charlie’s remains on the Block in Baltimore today, making it one of the oldest tattoo parlors in the United States.
Although New York City’s Ellis Island gets more attention for its status as a hub for immigrants, just behind it was the port of Baltimore. The newly-opened Immigration Museum in Locust Point honors the experience of the millions who came through the port here.
Moving to the suburbs in the late 19th century was a fashionable thing to do, particularly for wealthy residents of city neighborhoods like Mount Vernon and Bolton Hill. Roland Park, a North Baltimore development created in the 1890s, was not the first of its kind in this area to inspire relocation. But in many ways, “Roland Park was the catalyst for the Baltimore suburban movement that followed it.”
That’s what Douglas P. Munro wrote in his 2015 book “Greater Roland Park,” which takes readers on a photographic journey through the neighborhood’s history. Conceived as a garden suburb that incorporated topography into its planning, Roland Park’s spacious lots and large homes earned it a reputation as Baltimore’s premier neighborhood for the affluent. That status has endured through time.
The path to one of the city’s most spectacular views is more than a little unlikely.
Head west past Arundel Elementary/Middle on Veronica Avenue and take a right on Giles Road. From there, a quick left takes you down a short, bumpy road that leads to a methadone clinic and a shuttered mail station. But drive straight, past a Jehovah’s Witness Kingdom Hall on your left, and ahead of you is a serene outlook of the Patapsco and Baltimore’s skyline.
Ask anyone in Baltimore where the Shot Tower is and they likely can tell you, but many wouldn’t be able to name the neighborhood.
If locals can’t identify Jonestown, boosters wonder how tourists will find the neighborhood north of Little Italy that’s home to several landmarks and historic homes. Even Baltimore’s tourist maps overlook the area, colorfully highlighting such nearby destinations as the Inner Harbor, Federal Hill, Harbor East, Fells Point and Canton, while leaving Jonestown and other areas in a drab gray.