New Sign Installed in the Mount Clare Neighborhood

| October 29, 2019 | 0 Comments

A new “Welcome to Mount Clare” sign was installed earlier this month at the roundabout median at S. Mount St. and Wilkins Ave. The new sign project was led by the Mount Clare Community Council in partnership with Southwest Partnership (SWP) and Image 360 Baltimore Downtown.

Kintira Barbour, who handles community engagement for the Mount Clare Community Council, said, “In the past year we’ve really been trying to band our community.” In reference to the neighborhood’s new lotus flower logo featured on the sign, she said, “We chose it as a representation of strength, resiliency, and purity. A lotus blooms out of murky water, as a neighborhood in transition, we have that same sentiment.”

The black metal sign has an archway and metal cutouts of the lotus flower and “Mount Clare.” Mount Clare Community Council received a $5,000 grant from SWP for the sign and worked with Image 360 Baltimore Downtown on the graphics, design, and construction.

The new sign is just the beginning of new initiatives Mount Clare Community Council is working on. The council received an additional grant from SWP for light pole signs to further brand the community. They are also working on beautification of vacant lots to prevent illegal dumping, are planning an urban orchard, and will be partnering with Downtown Locker Room and Civic Works for other projects.

“We want to make sure people get outside,” said Barbour.

“Mount Clare is a hidden gem,” she continued. “We actually have true diversity – ecomonic status to ethnic background to age. We actually work really well together in our community. We are working on our reputation. Southwest Baltimore has a lot of negative connotations, but we are trying to show what’s great about our community.”

Mount Clare is just south of Union Square, which has seen increased investment in recent years. SWP is working hard to bring investment to all  seven communities in its footprint and has developers lined up for certain parcels in Mount Clare. SWP’s development map shows plans in Mount Clare for new green spaces following the demolition of vacant properties and an expansion of Traci Atkins Park. There are also properties that have been eyed for rehabs and redevelopment.

“It is exciting to see investment, but we want to see how it affects people who are already here,” said Barbour. “We want to make sure people already here know what is going on. The idea of property value increasing is exciting, but there are some fears of the negative impact of development. That’s where SWP and Mount Clare Community Council are able to have open conversations with residents.”

Barbour wants to make sure that many of Mount Clare’s renters are put in a position to buy homes in the neighborhood and she looks forward to seeing an infusion of new residents and families. Barbour grew up in a different part of Baltimore, but said she was drawn to Mount Clare when she returned to the city after living in Pennsylvania because of the the grass roots efforts to improve the community.

Mount Clare is just north of Carroll Park, but is separated by the B&O Railroad Museum’s train tracks and property. She said the neighborhood is trying desperately to have a safe passage to the park. Baltimore Police Department’s (BPD) First Mile Stable, an equestrian center for the Mounted Unit, is under construction on the B&O property. Along with the 12 horse stalls and associated support rooms, First Mile Stable will have an exercise area and a classroom/museum/community center, which BPD will use to interact with youth in the community.

Just west of Mount Clare in Carrollton Ridge where up to 50 new townhomes are planned to replace vacant homes on Monroe and Eagle St.

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