Bolton Hill Notes

BHCA January meeting moves to Tuesday, Jan. 9, in person

The first board meeting of BHCA in 2024 will be an in-person held on Tuesday, Jan. 9, at Memorial Episcopal Church’s Farnham Hall.

Normally held the first Tuesday of each month, the meeting was pushed back because of its proximity to New Year’s Day. The meeting may be streamed on Zoom for those who cannot make the trip, but only in-person attendees can actively participate.

Part of the agenda will focus on planning and polishing BHCA’s mission going forward.

BHCA members can get discounts on BSO tickets and season subscriptions

BHCA has become a Business Partner with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, which means that all BHCA members can get a 15 percent discount on ticket purchases. And if you already are a season subscriber, when you re-subscribe you can get the same break. Although BSO is right down the street at Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, the discount applies to their performances elsewhere as well.

When you buy tickets online or in person, use the code 15Bpp24 at checkout. Keep it handy.

BHCA likely will organize a member night concert program in the spring, as it did last year, perhaps with cocktails before the performance. Stay tuned.

New benches brighten westside median strips on Mt. Royal Avenue

Five residents of the 1400 block of West Mt. Royal Avenue, concerned about rotting and unsightly old benches facing the street, set out earlier this year to replace a dozen of them. The project is just about complete.

Dr. Thom Shipley and his husband Chris Taylor bought lumber and set up a shop in their backyard and basement to clean and repaint the iron frames, and to replace the rotted wood with new weatherproofed lumber. “Now we have two ‘permanent residents’ sleeping on them, a man and a woman,” Shipley said.

Operating on the theory that it is more efficient to initiate a project rather than wait for permission, the two men recruited three neighbors, Robert Zimmer, David King and Keith Bennett, to help tear out the old benches and install the new ones. It cost about $400 per bench, with some funds provided by BHCA and the Midtown Community Benefits District. Shipley, a longtime resident of Bolton Hill, will turn 90 in February. He was instrumental in nagging the city to replace crumbled sidewalks on Mount Royal Avenue in the neighborhood in the past.

Want to be an election judge in 2024?

With city and national elections looming in the coming year, the Baltimore City Board of Elections is recruiting new and former election judges to assist in conducting the May 14 primary and November 5 general elections.

Although technically volunteer positions, election judges will be paid $250 for the extended day or days they work. Polls in Maryland open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. on election days. A few positions also are available for early voting days.  For further information or to apply, click here.

Garden club greening grant cycle opens Jan. 1

After distributing a record $7,500 in grants for nine planting projects in 2023, the Bolton Hill Garden Club  is now accepting 2024 grant proposals through March 1

The grants are designed to create and improve publicly accessible green spaces to beautify the Bolton Hill community. Garden Club grants fund the planting and maintenance of neighborhood parks, other public green spaces, and tree wells. Priority projects focus on the planting of perennial flowers and native plants, shrubbery and trees, and related gardening materials. Hardscape or labor costs to enlarge or prepare gardening spaces, as in the case of tree wells, will be considered.  All public greening projects are eligible to apply. Grant awards have ranged from $75 to $2,000.

Applications must be submitted by March 1; grants will be announced by April. More information can be found at

Artscape 2024 will be held in August, not July or September.

The political journey that moved Artscape from its traditional hades in July to swampy September has taken a new turn. Artscape 2024 will be held on the neighborhood’s edge, as before, but in August.

The annual free arts festival will take place Aug. 2-4, according to Barbara Hauck, communications manager of Baltimore Office of Promotion & the Arts. BOPA apparently concluded that summer heat is preferable to the experience this past September, when poor planning and tumultuous rains made the renewed festival a loser.

For most of its 40-year tenure Artscape was held on what always seemed the hottest weekend of the year, the last weekend of July. After an extended hiatus because of COVID and tension between BOPA and city officials, the 2023 revival was put on the calendar for September. But planners failed to coordinate with the two universities (MICA and UofB) and venues (Meyerhoff and Lyric), which already had scheduled conflicting events. Then came the all-day rains that wiped out more than half of the planned activities.

Curiously, the new dates do not appear on the Artscape website.

City hopes for renewed weekly recycling pick-ups by March

Baltimore city officials say they will resume weekly recycling pickups, perhaps by March, after a “temporary” hiatus of about two years.

Richard Luna, the interim DPW director, said “tremendous progress” has been made in restoring trash and recycling pickups weekly. He said 80 percent of crews have been hired, new trucks are on the way and private vendors are in place to supplement the 75 daily truck routes.

“The earliest we can resume weekly recycling for the entire city would be at the end of February,” said Luna, appearing before a city council panel. He said it was contingent upon the arrival of newly purchased trucks.

About The Bulletin….

The Bolton Hill Bulletin is published 10 times a year. It is designed by Elizabeth Peters. We invite others to help write, edit, provide photos or work on the business side. Send suggestions and comments to Thanks to Steve Howard, Paula Jackson, Bonnie Legro, David Nyweide, Ginny Perkins, Sallye Perrin, Lisa Savage, Amy Sheridan, Linda Stirling, Lee Tawney, Peter Van Buren and others for helping with this issue. Errors and omissions are the responsibility of the editor, Bill Hamilton.