Bolton Hill is an historic residential neighborhood listed as a National Register Historic District and centrally located in Baltimore about a mile and a half north from the Inner Harbor. Most of the neighborhood’s spacious row homes were built from the mid- to late-nineteenth century, but there are also some mid-twentieth century modern town homes and large apartment buildings. You can find spacious, single-family homes as well as apartments or condominiums limited to one floor. With streets lined with mature trees and interspersed with parks, gardens, and medians, Bolton Hill is pleasingly walkable. Restaurants and cafés in and around the neighborhood are reachable on foot, as are entertainment venues up to a brisk 30-minute walk south to the Inner Harbor.
The Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) is an anchor institution in Bolton Hill, as are three churches along Lafayette Street, Brown Memorial Presbyterian Church, Corpus Christi Catholic Church, and Memorial Episcopal Church. Baltimore Unity Hall is a community center that hosts community meetings, artists, performers, and non-profits, including the No Boundaries Coalition.
Bolton Hill residents organize a range of activities for different interests and times of the year. The Bolton Hill Garden Club hosts meetings with speakers on horticultural topics and organizes spring and fall plant sales as well as a holiday season greens sale, with proceeds benefiting greening projects in public spaces around the neighborhood. There are also happy hours around neighborhood fountains, soup nights, a book club, pumpkin carving, and trick-or-treating, when residents sit on their stoops to give out candy on Halloween.
Arts and Culture
In the summertime, Arts in the Parks is a music performance series that takes place in parks in Bolton Hill and adjacent Madison Park and Marble Hill. Just to the south of Bolton Hill are the Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, home of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, and Lyric Baltimore, which hosts shows and concerts throughout the year. Independent films are also a jaunt away at The Charles Theatre in the nearby Station North Arts District.
Memorial Players puts on free community theatre at Memorial Episcopal Church. Live theatre can be found nearby at Arena Players in Seton Hill, ArtsCentric in Station North, Baltimore Center Stage, Spotlighters Theatre, and Theater Project in Mount Vernon, and Chesapeake Shakespeare Company, Everyman Theatre, and Hippodrome Theatre downtown.
Historic Pennsylvania Avenue, a rich source of Baltimore’s civil rights and jazz history, is a few blocks to the west of Bolton Hill. The Lillie Carroll Jackson Civil Rights Museum is a hidden gem of a museum in the neighborhood on Eutaw Place. The Walters Art Museum in Mount Vernon is free to view its permanent exhibits. Artscape, the largest free arts event in the country, takes place annually near the edge of the neighborhood.
The nearest walkable grocery store is Save-a-Lot. Additional grocery stores within a short drive north include Safeway on 25th Street, MOM’s Organic Market on 40th Street, Giant on 41st Street, or Whole Foods off Falls Road in Mount Washington. Pharmacies and convenience stores within the neighborhood can be found at Park Avenue Pharmacy, Eutaw Market, ReNew Mt. Vernon, and Walgreens.
When in season, the Druid Hill Farmers’ Market takes place on Wednesday evenings and the State Center Farmers’ Market on Wednesday mornings and afternoons. On Saturday mornings, Fresh at the Avenue at the Avenue Market on Pennsylvania Avenue offers fresh produce or head to Whitelock Community Farm in nearby Reservoir Hill. Other farmers’ markets around the city can be found here.
Bolton Hill’s member-owned Bolton Hill Swim and Tennis has a large swimming pool, four tennis courts, playground, and grilling area on three acres at south end of Bolton Hill. The Druid Hill YMCA offers exercise machines, pool, and recreation programming and events. Mount Royal Recreation Center has after-school programs for youth and recreation opportunities for adults as well; find out the activities taking place here.
Druid Hill Park, the largest park in Baltimore and home to the Maryland Zoo and Rawlings Conservatory, is a mile to the north and has athletic fields, basketball courts, a Frisbee golf course, picnic pavilions, pool, tennis courts, and miles of paved walking, running, and biking pathways. The Jones Falls Trail in particular passes through Druid Hill Park on its way south to the Inner Harbor and north to Mount Washington.
Restaurants and Cafés
Bolton Hill has a handful of locally owned restaurants, Cookhouse, Noona’s, The Brass Tap, and The Tilted Row, as well as a coffee shop and deli, On the Hill Café. Many additional restaurants, cafés, and bars—from casual to fancy covering a range of cuisines—can be found throughout Mount Vernon.
Bolton Hill has a few primary school options located in the neighborhood. Bolton Hill Nursery offers pre-school for 2- to 4-year-olds. Public schools include Eutaw-Marshburn Elementary School (pre-Kindergarten to fifth grade) and Mount Royal Elementary and Intermediate School (pre-Kindergarten to eighth grade), and Midtown Academy (Kindergarten to eighth grade) is a public charter school.
Bolton Hill’s central location provides plenty of transit alternatives to cars. In fact, the neighborhood has among the most transportation choices in the city. Bike lanes and common bike routes make Bolton Hill accessible to other parts of Baltimore by bicycle. The nearest Light Rail Link station is at the southern edge of Bolton Hill and travels about 45 minutes south to the Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport as well as approximately 45 minutes in the opposite direction north of the city. Baltimore’s Metro Subway Link has a station location at State Center and travels from northwest Baltimore to Johns Hopkins Medical Campus. The local bus system also has additional routes depending on your destination. For eligible riders, MICA offers shuttle services, as does the University of Baltimore, Johns Hopkins, and the regional Collegetown Shuttle.
Baltimore’s Penn Station is no more than a 20-minute walk from Bolton Hill. In addition to Amtrak trains that travel up and down the East Coast, the MARC train regularly runs between Baltimore and Washington, D.C. in about an hour for $12 one way. Bolt Bus also picks up and drops off outside Penn Station.
For residents and guests with vehicles, some Bolton Hill homes have parking in the back of their property off an alley, but street parking is generally available within a block of someone’s residence. Zipcar vehicles are available as well at two locations in the neighborhood.
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