In the early 18th Century, near the Baltimore harbor, there was a densely wooded area beautifully situated near a natural deep water port. In 1730, an English gentleman named William Fell decided that this would be the perfect place for ship building and related commerce so he established such a center and called it Fell’s Point. Business went well and in the 1760s, his son Edward decided to further develop the area and divided the land into residential plots. Because of the proximity to the shipping business, homes in the area were very popular. By 1797, Fell’s Point was officially part of the new City of Baltimore (wikipedia).
During the following years, Fell’s Point would be a crucial part of the shipping and manufacturing industries in Baltimore. With plentiful employment, Fell’s Point also welcomed a large immigrant population and became a multicultural hub of urban life in the 19th Century. Unfortunately, by the turn of the 20th Century, due to changes in the shipping industry and the migration of manufacturing out of Baltimore, Fell’s Point was an area largely in decline (wikipedia).
During the 1960s, a proposed highway project almost annihilated the waterfront areas. Thankfully, because Fell’s Point is on the National Register of Historic Places and local residents protested, the area was saved. In more recent years, the area has seen a revitalization due to local preservationists work to save the area’s historic buildings and new homeowners who are attracted to the historic row houses and cobblestone streets (wikipedia). To learn more about preservation efforts in Fell’s Point and the neighboring area of Federal Hill, visit the Society for the Preservation of Fells Point and Federal Hill website.
The historic district of Fell’s Point occupies the area from Gough Street to the waterfront, between Caroline and Chester Streets. It’s well connected to surrounding urban areas by public transportation and expressways. There are over 161 registered historic buildings. Housing is reasonable, ranging from $150,000 (and lower) for a modest, brick row house, to over $1 million for a pristine 18th Century row home in a desirable section (realtor.com). If Federal row houses are your thing, there are many to choose from!
Fell’s Point offers a variety of shops, restaurants, coffee bars, music stores, and because of the maritime history, there are over 120 pubs! There is something for everyone and it’s never a dull moment! To learn more, visit livebaltimore.com/neighborhoods/list/fellspoint/.
If you find yourself in the area, it’s definitely worth checking Fell’s Point out. Local events and tours are featured on the Fell’s Point website.
Photos: Christine Halkiopoulos.