Whitelock St. is the place where generations of Reservoir Hill residents have come to meet, shop, and enjoy their community. Originally a farm road for the tenant farmers on the Whitelock estate back in the 1700′s, Whitelock St. has also been the scene of some hard times, including the riots of 1968 and looting during the blizzard of 1979. Before the buildings that once stood on these vacant lots were demolished in 1994, many of the store fronts were boarded up and most were caged.
Maryland Governor Spiro Agnew called in the U.S. National Guard to clear Whitelock St. of rioters (April 1968)
(Photo credit: W.M. Hackley)
Since then, Whitelock St. between Brookfield Ave. and Linden Ave. has been vacant, reducing the former heart of the neighborhood into an empty lot. But Reservoir Hill residents have long wanted to re-establish Whitelock St. as the physical, emotional, and civic heart of the community.
Starting around 2009, after years of waiting for developers who came and went, residents from all parts of the neighborhood dedicated themselves to re-fashioning Whitelock St. to reflect their shared vision for a place where neighbors, and in particular, children, could feel welcome and safe.
In 2009-2010, St. Francis Neighborhood Center and the Linden Brookfield Neighbors Block Club, with help from Healthy Neighborhoods and Parks & People, worked to make German Park, situated just west of the Community Garden, safer and more open by removing large scale debris and masonry walls. In 2010, Whitelock Community Farm broke ground on the eastern edge of the block. And in 2011, RHIC partnered with Baltimore City Department of Housing & Community Development and the Baltimore Ravens to build a new playground at German Park along the western portion of Whitelock St. closest to Linden Ave.
In 2012, we worked with the City to secure right-of-entry agreements for lots on both the south and north side of Whitelock between Linden Ave. and Brookfield Ave. Follow our progress as residents continue to create a new Whitelock St. that is home to a new playground, a thriving community garden, an innovative community farm, and a community green space that can be programmed for farmers’ markets, outdoor movies, and picnics.
Thanks to the Reservoir Hill organizations that are working together to make the new Whitelock St.: Beth Am, John Eager Howard Elementary School and Recreation Center, Kids on the Hill/New Lens, Next Level Boxing, Reservoir Hill Community Garden, St. Francis Neighborhood Center, and Whitelock Community Farm.
Thanks to our Baltimore partners: Baltimore City Department of Housing & Community Development, Baltimore Community Foundation, Chesapeake Bay Trust, Constellation Energy, and Healthy Neighborhoods, Inc.