April 19, 2018 - Neighborhood Tour
On the final Friday of every month, Live Baltimore heads out of the office and into one of Baltimore's 278 neighborhoods. Each month, we love what we find! March was no different.
This month’s Final Friday took us to Hollins Market in Southwest Baltimore. We began our visit by speaking with our generous host, Ashley Vallis, and her friendly neighbors about the perks of city life in her community.
Ashley welcomed us into her beautiful historic rowhome which she and her husband, Jim, purchased in 2016. The couple benefitted from several city incentives (including the Live Baltimore Trolley Tour award!) that helped them with downpayment and closing costs on their home.
We were in love with the well-maintained historic features of the house including the seemingly endless high ceilings, the tranquil backyard space and the labyrinthine layout of their home. The seller of the house still visits, which is indicative of the strong sense of community thriving in Hollins Market.
When we sat down to chat with Ashley and her neighbors, several made note of how Hollins Market’s location has significantly simplified their daily commutes and routines.
Ashley, who works at University of Maryland Baltimore, walks a mere three blocks to get to her office at the UMB BioPark. You can’t really compete with a 3 block commute, can you!?
And the stage is set for more people like Ashley to take advantage of the convenience of the community’s location. With the recent launch of a new Live Near Your Work program, current employees of University of Maryland Baltimore will be able to benefit from $18,500 in downpayment and closing cost assistance if they purchase in Hollins Market, and six other nearby neighborhoods. The program will welcome new neighbors to the Southwest neighborhoods that are rooted and invested in the communities with which they work.
While some neighbors love the location, others are more attracted to the family-friendly environment. The neighborhood boasts several strong public and charter school options nearby. Many of the neighbors had attended Orioles Opening Game Day the day previous and shared that they all coincidentally ended up at the nearby tot lot after the game with their kids. Now that’s what we call really LOVING city life!
Once we set out on our walking tour, we had the chance to see some of the landmarks the neighborhood is known for.
Hollins Market, the namesake of the community, is an Italianate-style market house built in 1877, making it the oldest, currently operating, original market building in Baltimore City. The market continues to carry an impressive stock of produce, meat, fish and other tasty treats right in the neighborhood!
We also took a few minutes to scope out Lithunanian Hall, which was founded to serve the Lithuanian community in Baltimore City. The Hall is rented for a variety of events throughout the year including the monthly soul night and dance party, Save Your Soul, which takes place in the downstairs Maple Room.
This year, Lith Hall is bringing back the 46th Annual Lithuanian Festival to Baltimore after hosting it in Catosnville for the last couple of years. It’s a two-day cultural festival featuring dance, music, authentic ethnic food, vendors and much more. It’ll be held this year on May 12 and 13 inside of the Hall and outside at the Lithuanian Park; You don’t want to miss this!
We also stopped at The Lion Brothers Building (at Parkin and Hollins) which was originally home to one of Baltimore’s oldest operating businesses: the Lion Brothers Embroidery Company. In 2015, UMB BioPark began a project to repurpose the building and today, it’s home to several Baltimore companies, institutions and start-ups.
After wrapping up the tour we couldn’t agree which part was our favorite, but we could all agree on one thing: We (Heart) City Life because of communities like Hollins Market!