Bolton Hill Notes

A long journey toward 120 townhouses begins with a single porta-potty

Since long before the COVID pandemic began, developer David Bramble has been promising to get started on the first phase of a three-stage development on Bolton Hill’s north border that someday may include new market rate townhouse residences, 200 apartments, retail space and even a grocery store.

On August 25, the process formally got underway with a “groundbreaking” and lots of politicians present. Madison Park North on North Avenue is supposed to lead to the construction of 120 market-rate new townhouses selling for around $300,000 apiece by 2025. You can read the gauzy details here. But as of mid-September, only one thing was new: a porta-potty had arrived at the scene.

Celebrate Frank Shivers’s contributions to the neighborhood, on Sept. 24

A celebration of life for the late Frank R. Shivers, Jr., a 70-year resident of Bolton Hill who wrote the classic history of the neighborhood, is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 24 starting at 3:30 pm at Fitzgerald Park, before the second annual F. Scott Fitzgerald Birthday Party, which begins at 6:30 p.m.  Shivers created and edited what today is this newsletter. And it was Shivers who led the campaign to create Fitzgerald Park on the site of a synagogue that was destroyed by fire.

He died last fall at the age of 94. The Frank R. Shivers Jr. Fund at the University of Baltimore has been created to support archives and research around Baltimore and regional history and architecture.

Here’s something new: puppets in the neighborhood

Vlad Smolkin is an artist who operates a gallery from his home at 1512 Bolton Street. And on weekends from Sept. 17-25, you can see an (adult) puppet show, The Return, about life and death and revelation, with marionette artists and producers from New York and Baltimore. Smolkin calls it a“multi-artist collaboration of puppetry, painting, projection and sound.” Tickets are $40. More here.

Architecture tour includes a nearby site, Oct. 1

Doors Open Baltimore, the annual tour of historic and interesting sites around the city, is back this year in person on Saturday, Oct. 1, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. It is sponsored by the Baltimore Architecture Foundation (BAF) and the American Institute of Architects Baltimore. There also are some guided tours the next day, Sunday. The many historic sites open around Baltimore on Oct. 1 include one near Bolton Hill, the Lillie Carroll Jackson Civil Rights Museum, 1320 Eutaw Place. For more information about the event, go to

Fall Dumpster Day is Oct. 15

Midtown Community Benefits District has arranged for a city dumpster drop off on Saturday, Oct. 15 for residents to drop off bulk trash items.

Loring Emsley Hawes, former Bolton Hill activist, is dead

Loring Emsley Hawes, a longtime Bolton Hill activist, died during the summer on the Eastern Shore at the age of 92. He was a lawyer for civil rights and environmental causes, a charter member of the Bolton Hill Swim and Tennis Club and a Democratic political associate of his neighbor, the late Sen. Jack Lapides.

About the Bulletin . . .

The Bulletin is back after a summer recess with a new designer, Elizabeth Peters, taking over from Laura McConnell. Thanks for your good work, Laura, and welcome Elizabeth! Thanks, too, to Zhee Chatmon who provided our Photo of the Month each issue last year. We invite others to help write, edit, provide photos or work the business side. And we welcome new sponsors. Send your suggestions and comments to Contributions to this issue came from, among others, Paula Jackson, Laura McConnell, John McLucas, David Nyweide, Jim Prost and Lee Tawney. Errors and omissions are the responsibility of the editor, Bill Hamilton.