Latrobe Park Longhouse Restoration Begins This Weekend

| April 19, 2022 | 0 Comments

A Locust Point Civic Association (LPCA) effort to restore the historic Longhouse structure at Latrobe Park will kick off this Saturday. Both sides of the structure, which is 63 ft. long and 15 ft. high, will receive a new mural.

Latrobe Park was designed in 1904 by renowned landscape architect Frederick Olmsted and completed in 1907. The Longhouse is one of two remaining original structures in the park. The pillars to the adjacent gazebo are also historic.

The restoration project is kicking off in celebration of Olmsted 200 which celebrates the 200th anniversary of the birth of Olmstead. In addition to Latrobe Park, Olmstead designed parks such as Central Park in New York, the Emerald Necklace in Boston, the U.S. Capitol Grounds in Washington, D.C., and Jackson Park in Chicago.

Cheryl Duffey, who co-chairs the Parks & Beautification Committee of LPCA, told SouthBMore.com the Longhouse was originally built as a shade structure for parents to sit underneath while kids played at the playground. There were also tables for drinking tea.

The new mural is being designed by neighborhood artist Nicole Buchholz, who was also on the planning team for a project that made improvements, including new murals, to the Riverside Park Pool.

Buchholz will create the outline of the mural and, on Saturday, volunteers will help fill it in. The volunteer event is part of the Latrobe Park Earth Day Cleanup at Latrobe Park that runs from 9am-12pm. The colorful design for the new mural can be seen below.

Buchholz also designed a mural for a wall on the side of the Community Garden on Hull St. which will be installed in the future.

The Longhouse mural is the first of several improvements planned over the next 12 months for the Longhouse. The next will be the replacement of the roof and support system. The final project will be integrating the green space around the Longhouse so it connects better with the playground and Banner Field.

Duffey said this green space could be used by middle school and high school students who may want to hang out and do their homework.

The cost of the Longhouse restoration is funded by the Maryland State Legislature and individual donations. Donations can be made on GoFundMe.

Duffey said LPCA does not yet have estimates for the cost of the project, and said the grant amount from the State has not yet been finalized.

“As a person who has been trying to drive this project forward for years now, I am so excited just to get this far,” said Duffey. “I’m very thankful the legislature has seen the need for healthy green spaces around our city and thankful they have chosen to fund them.”

On May 21st there will be a dedication ceremony for an Olmstead plaque that was installed at the entrance to the stadium.

A future project LPCA is working with Baltimore City Recreation and Parks (BCRP) on is the removal of the middle of the three sidewalks on the north side of the Field House so its serves as more of a concert lawn. This would comply with the original drawings by Olmsted.

Duffey said she does not have a timeline for this project. In 2019, BCRP told SouthBMore.com it had submitted a request for the project.

Rendering of the mural from LPCA

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Founder and Publisher of SouthBmore.com, 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 [email protected] and follow me on Twitter at @SoBoKevin.
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