Hidden gem: Brewers Hill
Neighborhood: Brewers Hill
Location: Southeast Baltimore
Average sales price: $223,000 (January-June). The cheapest home that sold was $157,000; the most expensive, $271,000.
Notable features: Ask people in the region to name a funky Baltimore neighborhood near the water, and they'll probably come up with Canton. Brewers Hill, its small next-door-neighbor to the east, gets a lot less attention. But it has neatly-kept rowhouses, cool beer-brewing history (wave hello to Mr. Boh, pictured above) and easy access to Canton hot spots without the bustling activity.
As reader EL put it when nominating this neighborhood for gem consideration, "We have all the fun of Canton, but none of the parking headaches or intoxicated frat boys."
Some of the blocks look very much like Canton:
Other rowhouses have an older-Baltimore feel to them, with neat little touches. For instance, stained glass:
Whimsical decorations, part I:
Whimsical decorations, part II:
And even rowhouse art:
The morning I visited to see if Brewers Hill was as nice as advertised, I stopped to chat with Henry and Judith Flores, who lived there for years. They kept their rowhouse when they moved to Baltimore County, and daughter Christina lives across the street in the house her mother grew up in, so the family has a lot of ties to the neighborhood.
Henry Flores calls it the "forgotten" neighborhood because it's so quiet. "For city living, it's an incredible place," he said. "Here we are, standing in the middle of the road!" (We had a long conversation and never got interrupted by a passing car.)
Judith Flores remembers the days when many of the residents worked at the breweries. "You could always smell the beer," she said. Now the buildings where National Bohemian once was made have been redeveloped into offices and shops that play off their brewery roots:
The mix of residents is different nowadays, too. More young professionals. Fewer families with school-aged children.
"When I was growing up, people lived here their whole lives," Judith Flores said. "Now you have a lot of young people moving in."
Former residents tend to come back to visit, though. The gathering place is often the annual summer carnival at Sacred Heart of Jesus Roman Catholic Church on South Conkling Street.
Got personal experience with Brewers Hill? Please share.
Want to see all the photos I took? Check out the hidden-gem gallery.
Tomorrow: Havre de Grace.
(All photographs by Jamie Smith Hopkins / Baltimore Sun)