Here’s what the City Paper had to say about our fair in their 2014 Best of Baltimore edition:
“We love Mount Vernon, home of City Paper HQ, and like every other year, we are tempted to give it the nod here. But one of the great things about Baltimore is the cheap rent, which allows interesting people to do interesting things without working all the time. Seton Hill is sort of like Mount Vernon West, except instead of Mount Vernon’s four little parks, you have the big, brick-walled St. Mary’s Park, and you know you can’t afford one of the big MV mansions, but you can get one of the small little alley houses in Seton Hill. The neighborhood was once Baltimore’s French Quarter—betcha didn’t know we had one of those— founded by refugees from the Haitian and French revolutions, and has the classic architecture and annual French Festival (Oct. 19 this year, with rounds of Petanque and a toddler tour de France) to prove it.”
404 George Street in Seton Hill up for auction next Thursday Learn more about this opportunity to turn a vacant house back into a home
Tucked away on a narrow street, 404 George Street has had our attention since concerned neighbors first contacted us in 2012 about this three-story rowhouse in Seton Hill. Next Thursday, January 7, the building is up for auction—offering a unique opportunity to buy a historic house just steps away from the famed Mother Seton House.
In July 2012, local residents pushed Baltimore Housing to file a receivership case against the owner who held the building since 1986. Receivership is a process where a municipality or a qualified non-profit applies for a court to appoint them as the receiver of the property and move to restore the property to use.
Unfortunately, years of neglect took a toll on the structure. At the first auction in October 2014, the 404 George Street received no bids from interested buyers. Thankfully, Baltimore Housing quickly responded and stabilized the building to make the property more attractive to prospective developers. Stabilizing distressed vacant houses is a key strategy for encouraging private reinvestment and is often more cost-effective than demolition.
On Thursday, January 7 at 1:00 pm, 404 George Street is up for auction again. If you are a local builder, developer or an enthusiastic home rehabber, we invite you to come out next Thursday and invest in this beautiful community. If you are a neighbor, we need you to help spread the word!
Built in the 19th century, 404 George Street is less than a block away from the Mother Seton House and St. Mary’s Seminary Chapel—an 1808 landmark designed by architect Maximilian Godefroy. St. Mary’s Park boasts a recently restored fountain and won recognition from Baltimore City Paper as the city’s best park in 2014. The 2012 master plan for Seton Hill has much more information on the neighborhood. Of course, the property is eligible for city and state historic tax credits—review our historic tax credit guide for more details.
Please help make 2016 the year that the vacant house at 404 George Street turns back into a home.
Learn more about 404 George Street and the auction process from the Ashland Auction Group. For questions or more information, contact auctioneer Adam Shpritz by phone at 410-365-3595 (cell) or 410-488-3124 (office) or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Bids start at $30,000. Pre-bid offers are accepted by phone at 410-488-3124 or by email to email@example.com.
This year has been tumultuous for Seton Hill and for this beleaguered but beloved city that we call home. We would like to take this opportunity to highlight the positive actions which occurred after the April unrest. We saw community members and people from the region on Seton Hill’s Eutaw Street early in the morning after the unrest, sweeping glass and helping shop owners clean up their properties. The Seton Hill Association worked with property owners and City officials to ensure that recovery programs and assistance information was passed quickly. The Association participated in meaningful discussions regarding the relations between community members and the men and women of our Police Department. The physical damage to our neighborhood is largely repaired but the dialogue continues and must continue. We have seen that we are stronger as a neighborhood when we work together, and we are so happy and proud to be Seton Hillers.
We have much to be thankful for this year:
Great appreciation goes to the Sulpicians, the Catholic brothers who administer the Saint Mary’s Spiritual Center and Historic Site at 600 N Paca St who, in partnership with Lewis Contractors, donated the needed repairs for the fountain in Saint Mary’s Park and have also committed to funding the continued seasonal maintenance of the fountain for the future.
Thank you to McCormick Paints, our friendly neighborhood paint store at 418 W Franklin Street, for donating the supplies to paint and renew the park fountain during the repairs to the mechanics.
The French Companies has continued to be a big supporter of The Seton Hill Association, helping us to continue to fund the Park Steward which has made such a difference for our green space.
New Board Members:
We are happy to welcome our new board members; Nicholas Blendy (VP), Wayne Reed (Sec) and Vito Piazza. The renewed energy that they bring to our organization has already been felt and the year ahead looks brighter with these new faces on the board.
Thanks to the continued work of John, our Park Steward, and Borad Member Karen French’s tireless advocacy, Saint Mary’s Park continues to look great.
Some great things have happened in our area this year:
Neighborhood Fiber Company relocated to the rehabbed firehouse at 700 N Eutaw Street.
The Marketplace opened at 520 Park providing a new food destination just outside Seton Hill.
Seton Hill has built a great partnership with the new Hotel Indigo at Cathedral and Franklin.
With a well organized and well attended fundraiser Happy Hour and a very productive MLK day park cleanup in January, Seton Hill began a continuing and fruitful relationship with the University of Maryland School of Law which we hope will continue. Seton Hill has solidified our relationships with the neighborhoods that surround ours; Heritage Crossing, Upton, Marble Hill, Bolton Hill and Mount Vernon while working together to advocate for the stalled State Center Redevelopment project. Still no answer from the Governor, but the strong ties we have built will serve Seton Hill long into the future. These relationships have already assisted us in advocating for better policing, more cohesive development planning and other shared goals.
Howards Park Dog Park Construction is well underway, representing a long won accomplishment and positive synergy between Seton Hill and Mount Vernon.
A look into the crystal ball:
We will help celebrate the 225th anniversary for the Sulpicians presence in Seton Hill.
The French Fair will be back and better than ever, given that we had to cancel the 2015 fair.
Election season will soon be upon us. The primaries are coming up fast on 26 April 2016. We will provide you with updated polling location and other voter information on our website. Stay tuned.
Happy Holidays, and a renewed Seton Hill New Year!!