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(rshsdepot) Camden Station, Baltimore, MD
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   Author  Topic: (rshsdepot) Camden Station, Baltimore, MD  (Read 125 times)
Posts: 6138
Baltimore, MD (Camden) (rshsdepot)
« on: Jan 16th, 2003, 11:55am »
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Date: Thu, 16 Jan 2003 05:43:17 -0500
From: Bernie Wagenblast
Subject: (rshsdepot) Camden Station-Baltimore, MD
 Camden Station renovation gets preliminary approval
By Jon Morgan
Baltimore Sun Staff
Originally published January 16, 2003
The long-awaited renovation of Camden Station received a boost this week
when lawmakers gave preliminary approval to an $8.5 million plan to
rehabilitate the historic downtown structure to house commercial offices and
a regional sports museum.
The station, from which the adjacent Camden Yards stadium complex got its
name, was cosmetically repaired when Oriole Park opened in 1992. But various
plans for its reuse came and went with no action while the empty shell
The Legislative Policy Committee, which consists of the top-ranking members
of the General Assembly, on Tuesday approved in concept a proposal by the
Maryland Stadium Authority.
The stadium authority, which owns the building, came up with a financing
plan in consultation with Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.'s transition team that
requires virtually no upfront state money, unlike previous versions. The
plan calls for $8 million to be raised by the sale of bonds, backed by rents
charged to tenants, and $500,000 from a federal program that finances
historic preservations of railroad stations.
"I'm excited to finally get it going," said stadium authority executive
director Richard Slosson.
The legislative committee approved a change of use for the building but
rejected the stadium authority's request for $3 million in lottery funds to
pay for the work and withheld final approval of the all-bond financing plan
pending a review of financial terms. The bond sale also will require
approval by the Board of Public Works.
"It's been a long time and we're very excited this is moving again," said
Michael Gibbons, executive director of the Babe Ruth Birthplace and Museum,
which will build and operate the sports museum inside Camden Station.
He has raised about $4 million in donations for the $6.1 million project,
which will display artifacts from native son Babe Ruth as well as late Colts
great John Unitas and late Sun and News American sportswriter John Steadman.
Gibbons also has contacted the University of Maryland about housing
Terrapins material.
Under the new plan, the museum will occupy 24,000 square feet on the first
floor and basement of the station, while a commercial office tenant will be
sought for the remaining 16,000 square feet. Past proposals called for a
restaurant, something that drew objections from the Orioles and has been
dropped - a change the legislative committee approved Tuesday.
Work could begin this summer and be complete by 2005.
"This is a project that will not only serve as the region's best sports
museum but will also pay homage to the tremendous Civil War history of
Camden Station," Gibbons said.
The station, opened in 1856, was one of the grandest rail facilities in the
nation and a gateway for cargo moving through the Port of Baltimore to a
growing nation.
Abraham Lincoln passed through it at least twice, to get to his inaugural
and on his way to deliver the Gettysburg Address. His funeral car also
stopped there on its way to his burial in Springfield, Ill.
In 1954, the newly minted Orioles made their grand entrance to the city at
the station, returning from a season-opening series in Detroit before their
first home game at Memorial Stadium.
The Babe Ruth Museum will retain its current home, a rowhouse on Emory
Street where Ruth's family lived when he was born in 1895, Gibbons said.
The Railroad Station Historical Society maintains a database of existing
railroad structures at: http://www.rrshs.org


Posts: 814
Re: (rshsdepot) Baltimore, MD (Camden)
« Reply #1 on: Jan 19th, 2003, 9:39am »
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I hope this project restores and preserves the second floor in a form reasonably like the original. This floor once housed the B&O's executive HQ, with the boardroom, president's office, etc., all fitted with fireplaces (which are sealed but in place). Some of the original wall painting still exists in the board room. Later drop ceilings were installed, but they can be easily removed. It could be a glorious Victorian area if done right.

Posts: 6138
Camden Station, Baltimore, MD (rshsdepot)
« Reply #2 on: Sep 16th, 2003, 11:43am »
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Date: Tue, 16 Sep 2003 07:55:33 -0400
From: "Alexander D. Mitchell IV"
Subject: (rshsdepot) Camden Station, Baltimore, MD
Museum on track for Camden Station
Revival: The Maryland Stadium Authority backs a project to create a new home
for Colts, Orioles and Terrapins memorabilia in the historic Baltimore and
Ohio depot.
By Scott Calvert
Sun Staff
Originally published September 16, 2003
Behind Camden Station's polished bricks and beneath its soaring cupolas, the
paint has peeled and beams have turned rotten. The only obvious inhabitants
are the moths flitting about the musty basement.
For more than a decade, the 19th-century train depot has sat largely vacant,
like a Hollywood set prettied up for the fans streaming into Oriole Park at
Camden Yards.
Now, after several false starts, momentum is growing for a $14 million plan
to revive the city landmark that Abraham Lincoln passed through, alive and
dead, and that long served as a jewel of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad.
The Maryland Stadium Authority's board of directors endorsed the idea
yesterday of selling $8.7 million in authority bonds to restore the
station's interior. The renovations would clear the way for a $5 million to
$6 million regional sports museum on the first floor and in the basement,
with the upper two floors leased to commercial tenants.
"I can't imagine a better project" for the site, said Carl A.J. Wright,
chairman of the board.
If the state Board of Public Works gives its blessing, work could begin
around the first of the year. The goal is to open the as-yet unnamed museum
by baseball's Opening Day 2005.
Sports attractions
The museum would be created by the group that runs the Babe Ruth Birthplace
and Museum a few blocks west in Ridgely's Delight. Exhibits on the Baltimore
Orioles and Colts would be moved to the 23,800- square-foot museum space at
Camden Station, and Maryland Terrapins items would be among the additions,
said Michael Gibbons, executive director of the Ruth museum.
Visitors to Camden Station could design a stadium with the aid of a
computer. Children could ride a mechanical horse and spear rings with a
lance, as in the official state sport of jousting. Among the memorabilia
would be the football that legendary quarterback John Unitas threw for his
last Colts touchdown.
"Certainly, location is very important, and we feel we have the best
location for a sports museum in the United States," Gibbons told stadium
authority board members and executives. About $3 million has been raised for
the museum, he said, and a new fund-raising campaign is to begin soon.
Eventually, rent paid by the museum and commercial tenants - none has been
lined up for the 16,000 square feet - should cover bond payments, the
stadium authority says. Alison L. Asti, the general counsel, says the
project is expected to have "positive cash flow" within six years. Until
then, the state would help with the $1.1 million yearly tab.
For at least eight years there has been talk of going beyond the cosmetic
changes made to the station to coincide with the opening of Oriole Park in
1992. One early idea was to put a museum on the upper floors and a crab
house at ground level. But Orioles owner Peter G. Angelos did not want a
seafood restaurant, and the idea was dropped.
A big hurdle to improvement plans has been Camden Station's increasingly
decrepit condition and the high cost of repairs.
"It comes down to one word: financing," said Richard Slosson, the stadium
authority's executive director.
This year, the influential Legislative Policy Committee of the General
Assembly endorsed the current concept, minus a request to use $3 million in
state lottery revenue. Part of the appeal of the latest approach is that it
requires no up-front state money at a time when Maryland has little to
The stadium authority board also approved a $50,000 deal yesterday with
contractor J. Vinton Schafer & Sons Inc. of White Marsh to refine
construction cost estimates. If the authority likes the work, Slosson said,
the company would likely carry out the renovations.
Steeped in history
Camden Station opened in 1856 but was not completed until a decade later. It
was the main terminal of the country's first commercial railroad, the B&O,
and long the city's busiest station. Early on, the station had a 185-foot
clock tower that made it Baltimore's tallest building.
One of the most prominent early passengers was Lincoln. He arrived,
secretly, en route to his inauguration in 1861, cloaked by security agents
who feared that secessionist sympathizers might try to kill him. On April
19, 1861, the first blood of the Civil war was shed along Pratt Street when
a mob attacked Union soldiers heading from the President Street depot to
Camden Station, an incident that became known as the Baltimore Massacre.
Lincoln passed through the station again in 1863 while traveling to
Gettysburg, Pa., to deliver his now-famous address. After he was
assassinated in 1865, his funeral train stopped there as it wended its way
to Springfield, Ill.
A major restoration
The station's exterior has been restored by architects Cho Benn Holback &
Associates to look much as it did in 1867, but the same cannot be said of
the interior.
Just inside blacked-out doors, a sign warns of "poison" in the form of lead
paint flaking and peeling from the walls and ceilings. The floor is gone in
spots, and it is alarmingly easy to see where rot has gnawed at wooden beams
and joists. In places, steel supports were installed years ago to hold up
the structure.
This is not a typical renovation job. In the basement, for example,
70-year-old steam pipes will have to go, and 20 inches of dirt will have to
be scooped out to make enough headroom for museum visitors. And that's just
what planners know about.
"When you do a renovation of an 1850s building, you're going to find
something you didn't quite expect," said project director Gary A. McGuigan.
Some aspects of the station are at least recognizable today. In the
first-floor gentlemen's waiting room (women waited elsewhere in those days),
elements of the fireplace remain, as do vestiges of ornate molding and
That room would be devoted not to sports but to the Civil War. Visitors
would end their tour there, after experiencing exhibits on the city's two
Negro League teams, Terps athletics, Unitas and the Colts, the Orioles story
told in nine "innings," and a Ruthian display done up to recall New York's
Broadway in the Roaring '20s.
If it seems a somber note to end with war, said Gibbons, it is appropriate
given the station's history.
"It's more a reverential thing."
The Railroad Station Historical Society maintains a database of existing
railroad structures at: http://www.rrshs.org

Posts: 6138
Camden Station, Baltimore, MD
« Reply #3 on: Nov 3rd, 2015, 12:29pm »
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Date: Tue, 03 Nov 2015 11:18:23 -0500
From: Alexander D. Mitchell IV  
Subject: Interest expressed in historic Baltimore, Md. Camden Station (rshsdepot)
"The train terminal opened in 1856 and was preserved and restored by the
state as part of the Camden Yards sports complex. It served passengers
using the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad to travel to New York, Chicago and
St. Louis for more than a century. For a period of time, it was
Baltimore's tallest building."
Alexander D. Mitchell IV
The Railroad Station Historical Society maintains a database of existing
railroad structures at: http://www.rrshs.org

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