Casino Funding to Help Improve South Baltimore Gateway on Hanover Street

| November 25, 2015 | 0 Comments

For the past few years, the South Baltimore Neighborhood Association (SBNA) has been working on improving the gateway to the neighborhood at S. Hanover St. and Wells St. As a result of the association’s work with the Department of Transportation (DOT) and then Councilman William Cole on a traffic-calming study in 2012, medians were recently constructed on the 1800 and 1700 blocks of S. Hanover St. to slow traffic and add landscaping to the area.

Casino Local Impact Funds in the amount of $50,000 will be made available to SBNA, in addition to other surrounding neighborhoods, next year for community project initiatives. Using these allotted funds, SBNA has put together a plan to further improve the gateway with new branding and signage. SBNA has been working with the Neighborhood Design Center (NDC) on concepts that include a “SoBo” sign on the city-owned grass lot at the northeast corner of S. Hanover St. and Wells St., landscaping improvements to that lot and a grass lot on the southeast corner, and SoBo light pole banners. Architects from the NDC working on the project include Eric Baumgartner of GWWO Inc./Architects; Julie Matthews of Oheme, van Sweden & Associates, Inc.; and, Donald Ross Smith of RTKL Associates.

Future concepts could include SoBo-branded benches, bike racks, and trash cans for the area; new jersey sidewalls where Hanover St. bridges over the train tracks; and, signage on the I-95 exit overpass just south of the intersection. A potential sign for the overpass could read, “Welcome to the Historic Neighborhoods of South Baltimore.”

“The goal is to create a more inviting entrance to our neighborhood and create a sense of community through common branding. We have also discussed how the gateway can serve as an exemplary streetscape (banners, new/maintained trees and tree pits, bicycle racks, garbage cans, etc.) that could eventually radiate outwards,” said Garrett Schiche, the Casino Local Development Council representative for SBNA, as well as the SBNA Vice President. 

SBNA has been working with DOT to get the right-of-access to the green spaces. Construction on the project could begin in Spring 2016.

SBNA has also been working with the Baltimore Office of Promotion & the Arts (BOPA) on the PNC Transformative Art Prize. It is hoping to have a sculpture constructed in the median on the 1800 block of S. Hanover St.

Just south on Hanover St., Sagamore recently landscaped many of the nearby medians and corners, as well as areas throughout Port Covington.

NDC Renderings. Designs are concepts and not final. South Baltimore/SoBo light pole banner designed by Matthew Mayer. 

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Founder and Publisher of, longtime resident of South Baltimore, and a graduate of Towson University. Diehard Ravens and O's fan, father of three, amateur pizza chef, skateboarder, and "bar food" foodie. Email me at and follow me on Twitter at @SoBoKevin.
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