At the request of the Office of the Mayor and in collaboration with the Baltimore Development Corporation (BDC), DAVID RUBIN Land Collective has established a flexible framework for positive change in the cultural heart of the City. Working with local partner, Ziger/Snead, the Vision focuses on supporting the existing inhabitants of the neighborhood – a range of participants, including residents, future residents, business owners, property owners, artists, students, the downtown workforce, professionals, and others – as well as future residents. It creates connectivity between adjacent neighborhoods, enhancing the Westside in a manner that establishes and enhances its own identity within the City. The plan builds upon itself in three phases: immediate, low-cost interventions; three- to five-year implementations; and long-range, five- to fifteen-year efforts. Working within the “low-hanging fruit” of the public realm, the Vision creates place where there is now pass through by focusing on three nodes of City land holdings, establishing goals for these parcels prior to the City’s release of Requests for Proposals. In this way, the City can reinforce a holistic approach to community-building within an arts-based neighborhood.
The Bromo Seltzer Arts Tower is the eponymous beacon of the Bromo Arts & Entertainment District, and a wonderful piece of quirky, historic architecture formed in the style of the Palazzo Vecchio. The deep cobalt of the Bromo Seltzer bottle and the healing powers of its effervescent fizz were an inspiration for the Vision Plan. The excitement and “fizz” of arts, entertainment and culture will encourage those who already love the neighborhood to stay, while attracting others to renew long-vacant lots and buildings.
The Vision Plan re-imagines Lexington Market as a cultural beacon atop a hill, with public space stitching together surrounding districts. In a bold design gesture, DAVID RUBIN Land Collective and Ziger/Snead propose that Howard Street, the central and under-utilized spine of the district, be re-imagined as an at-grade, linear rail park which unifies adjacent neighborhoods. The modified streetscape will be implemented incrementally, from north to south. Episodic and distinctive public space throughout the neighborhood connects Lexington Market and the spine of Howard Street to draw citizens through the District, encountering engaging program every walking minute.Project Images