Federal Hill wins Great American Main Street award
Believe it or not, Federal Hill was just named one of this year's five Great American Main Streets, according to a short piece by Sun reporter Brent Jones.
More than 80 businesses have opened since 2000, providing 270 new jobs in the neighborhood. Federal Hill Main Street has rehabbed 58 historic structures and received $350,000 in public investment and more than $1 million from private donors.
Now, I'm going to open this up for discussion. I'd like to know if you think Federal Hill deserved this or not.
But before I do, I want to weigh in here ...
Keep in mind, I live in South Baltimore, so I'm not impartial here. I walk these streets ("a loaded six-gun in my hand") pretty often, and I've been to plenty of other cities too.
And I think this award is a little overblown. Maybe that's putting it lightly. Look, Federal Hill is a cool place. I like all the little boutiques. I like the bars. I like the Cross Street Market, which is the cleanest, nicest neighborhood market in town.
But this is a relatively small part of Federal Hill. And look, I know it's technically South Baltimore and Federal Hill and all these other little mini-hoods jumbled together, but I'm using the blanket term Federal Hill because that's what most people call it.
There are plenty of vacant buildings and storefronts just outside of the small shopping center. It doesn't take you that long to see all the shops Federal Hill has to offer.
There are plenty of other towns and cities with much nicer, cleaner main streets. And I think that since the nice people behind the National Main Street Awards give out five every year, they may be running out of good main streets.
What do you think?
Also, thanks to Jason for the heads up.
(Sun photo by Karl Merton Ferron)