BHCA is the new MRIA

Linda Rittelmann, BHCA President

By Linda Rittelmann, President, Bolton Hill Community Association

Big changes are afoot in Bolton Hill. After 90 years, the Board of Directors of the Mount Royal Improvement Association voted unanimously to change the name of the organization to the Bolton Hill Community Association (BHCA) at their April meeting.
The Bolton Hill Community Association is now officially the name by which Bolton Hill’s interests are publicly recognized. All meetings, events, and activities sponsored by MRIA will henceforth be known as BHCA meetings, events, and activities.

Historically, Mount Royal was considered a larger area in Baltimore that included the Bolton Hill, Reservoir Hill, and Madison Park neighborhoods. MRIA was chartered in 1928, but the geographic boundaries of the organization were subsequently hemmed in to include the area of the city on the south to and including the properties on the south side of Dolphin Street, on the east to and including the properties facing the east side of Mount Royal Avenue, on the north through the median strip of North Avenue, and on the west, to and including the properties fronting on the west side of Eutaw Place.

Kreiner’s store at 1500 Bolton, early 1900’s

In addition to the formal geographic realignment, the change in identity also allows Bolton Hill to reflect the realities of inclusiveness and diversity that the community embraces and promotes. MRIA originated as an exclusionary organization and perpetrated segregation for much of its early history. BHCA firmly repudiates and rejects those tenets, and for decades has been, and is now, representative of a vibrant community that accepts and welcomes all.

MRIA’s status as a 501(c)4 organization also limited its charitable and tax deduction activities. BHCA  has been incorporated as a 501(c)3 organization, which will permit more of these activities, while also allowing the organization to pursue charitable grants and avoid sales tax for its charitable activities.

And with a new name comes a new website! Through this new site,  the BHCA hopes to continue its efforts to reach out to everyone in our community. On behalf of the Board of Directors, we are pleased to present as the portal to the Bolton Hill Community! And a huge thank you to Peter Van Buren for bringing it to life. It is solely because of his dedication and commitment that this site exists.

  • Look around and make use of the information we provide here. It will be updated as frequently as possible by a dedicated group of volunteers, and we welcome anyone who would like to provide new or updated content. Our goal is to make the site user-friendly and provide all the information you need to enjoy the wonderful services and amenities our community has to offer, both here in Bolton Hill and the greater Baltimore area.
  • Support the neighborhood businesses and services you see on the site. They make the site possible by purchasing ad space.
  • Bring your experience and expertise to BHCA’s activities and programs. We have a wealth of talent and experience in our community. Help us address issues of greening, trash, safety, social justice, economic development, and historic preservation.
  • Bring your concerns to our attention – maybe we can help.
  • Learn about supporting the major redevelopment being planned for State Center, the planning efforts for Madison Park North redevelopment, the North Avenue corridor, Innovation Village efforts and much more.
  • Celebrate the improvements in most every block, where someone is at work on preserving the historic character of their home, or where new businesses are being opened or thriving.
  • Enjoy the care and attention given to both public and private green spaces, and take part in the weekly, monthly, and annual activities that enrich us.

Together we can create our vision:

“Bolton Hill is the premier diverse urban community committed to historic preservation and maintaining its attractive residential character; with lively streetscapes, green parks and pathways, safe and child-friendly streets, supportive institutional neighbors, local shops which meet our needs, dedicated to helping the City to grow into a vibrant and healthy metropolis.”

I am grateful each and every day to be part of this beautiful, historic neighborhood, and I thank all of you for the privilege of contributing to the continued success for BHCA and the success for all of Bolton Hill.

I look forward to meeting more of you and joining together in helping this community be ever stronger and ever greater.