In north-central Baltimore Maryland, a neighborhood decided to take their row house facades to a new level.
From 1998 to 2003, annual (and more often) competitions were held for ‘best porch,’ ‘best facade,’ and ‘best railing,’ just to name a few. Prize money was awarded for the homeowners who really took the artistic qualities of their row houses to the next level. The result is a colorful collage of row houses. Because the architecture of the row houses remains intact, the variation in color isn’t overwhelming and retains a pleasant uniformity expected of 20th Century row houses.
The neighborhood was established around 1896 with most of the row houses having been built around the beginning of the 20th Century. It remains a desirable part of the city, partly due to its proximity to the Johns Hopkins University Homewood campus. Many professors and students call Charles Village home, lending a bohemian vibe. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Village,_Baltimore)
For more in-depth information, the neighborhood’s colorful history has been researched and published by Gregory J. Alexander and Paul K. Williams in their book Charles Village: A Brief History (The History Press, 2009).