Baltimore Police Department Mounted Unit Equestrian Facility Coming to B&O Railroad Museum Property

| September 20, 2018 | 0 Comments

B&O Railroad Museum, First Mile Stable Charitable Foundation, Baltimore Police Department (BPD), and Baltimore City officials were present at the B&O Railroad Museum to celebrate the ceremonial groundbreaking of the First Mile Stable, a $2.5-million, state-of-the-art home for the Baltimore Police Mounted Unit. The Baltimore Police Unit is the oldest continuously-operated mounted unit in the United States and currently keeps its home on the 500 block of Holliday St. Downtown.

The new 13,000-sq. ft. equestrian facility sits on a 2.4-acre plot of museum property that is located in the grass area adjacent to B&O Railroad Museum’s train tracks that run west of the museum. The site is just north of Carroll Park, and just south of the Traci Adkins Park and Mount Clare neighborhood.

First Mile Stable will include 12 stalls and associated support rooms, an exercise area, and a classroom/museum/community center, which BPD will use to interact with youth in the community. The B&O board members are excited about having BPD’s presence on the property to keep the area safe.

An outdoor paddock will be constructed around a site B&O Railroad Museum calls “the ruins” which features old concrete columns. New fencing will also be installed around the perimeter of the B&O grass properties.

Construction is expected to take nine months with an opening scheduled for next Spring/Summer.

“We are proud to have the oldest continuously operated Mounted Unit in the country. The new stable will allow us to continue building positive relationships in the community,” said Interim Police Commissioner Gary Tuggle in a press release.

In August 2017, officials announced plans to fundraise for and build First Mile Stable. Since then, the First Mile Stable Charitable Foundation has raised more than $1 million of the $2.5 million project goal. The Foundation also announced the launch of public fundraising campaign asking the general public to support the First Mile Stable by making donations through its website, www.firstmilestable.org.

Funds raised through individual, corporate, and foundation gifts will support construction costs as well as support future public education programs, exhibits, tours, and other interpretive tools for community members and guests. Additionally, funds will go towards a perpetual maintenance endowment for the stable.

First Mile Stable Charitable Foundation has a BB&T loan to pay for immediate construction, but it will be paid off when the fundraising is complete.

“This project is not possible without the support of many, and we’re so appreciative of those who have pledged a gift. We’ve been fortunate to have surpassed a major landmark toward our goal, but the need is still there and is still great,” said Courtney Wilson, president of the First Mile Stable Charitable Foundation, in a press release.

The First Mile Stable is part of the B&O Railroad Museum’s master plan that will re-imagine and guide the future development of the museum over the next decade.

“It is rare to see a project like the First Mile Stable that creates a connection between an array of stakeholders – the police, community members, equestrians, educators, as well as transportation/railroad enthusiasts,” said Kris Hoellen, executive director of the B&O Railroad Museum, in a press release. “Our goal is to position our master plan to be holistic, meeting the needs of many, while creating experiences that touch one’s heart and feed one’s thirst for knowledge all in a stimulating, safe and secure environment.”

The Baltimore Police Mounted Unit, founded in 1888, currently consists of six horses (Big D, Pax, Porter, Slurpee, Blair, and Hercules (just retired)). The donation of funds from the First Mile Stable Charitable Foundation to acquire two more horses will help the unit as it works to meet its goal of expanding the unit up to 10 horses.

Kinsley is the architect and contractor for the First Mile Stable. Century Engineering is the engineer for the project, and Pinkard Properties is the project manager. Input from members of the mounted unit was instrumental throughout the design and development of the project.

Future site of the First Mile Stable 

First Mile Stable Location seen in red on the map

Rendering courtesy of First Mile Stable Foundation and Kinsley 

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