Twin murals at Park and North Avenues completed

Artist Ernest Shaw last month completed the second of the two-part mural at Park and North Avenues. The two pieces frame Park Avenue and feature a diverse group of young people to welcome students traveling across the intersection each weekday to Dorothy Heights Elementary and Mount Royal Public Schools.  They also show symbols celebrating Bolton Hill’s LGBTQ+ community and honoring the late Rep. Elijah Cummings.

The vivid colors and characters are signatures of Mr. Shaw, an educator with roots in Bolton Hill who has created many celebrated murals throughout Baltimore. A locally owned firm, Mural Masters, managed preparation, permitting, logistics and equipment for the effort. This team was selected by the owners of the two properties at Park and North, Alex Aaron and Anthony Butler, who contributed the space for both murals and helped fundraise to complete them. Philanthropic and public support for the project, organized by BHCA, was provided by the Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts (BOPA), PNC Bank and the Abell Foundation, and more than $10,000 was contributed by residents on both sides of North Avenue.

The completed murals are the first part of a larger effort, “Park Ave Unity”, led by neighbors to enliven the intersection that serves as a gateway to Bolton Hill, Reservoir Hill, and West Baltimore. Since 2020, they have partnered with Midtown Community Benefits District  to restore the vacant property at 1743 Park Ave. as a garden full of sunflowers and bee- and butterfly-friendly plants.

To improve the intersection’s safety, BHCA worked with Councilman Eric Costello and the City Department of Transportation to install new turn signals for traffic entering Bolton Hill and Reservoir Hill from North Avenue. Further up the hill at Park and Linden, neighbors are exploring additional traffic calming measures that can reduce the danger to both pedestrians and drivers in this busy intersection.

In the coming years, as Madison Park North and adjacent commercial and residential properties are redeveloped, neighbors look forward to additional opportunities to work across North Avenue and with Midtown and the City to create a more vibrant, safe and welcoming gateway into our communities.

-Chris Kingsley