Baltimore History Evenings

Baltimore History Evenings, presented in partnership with the Baltimore City Historical Society, is a monthly series of presentations and discussions on Baltimore.

Baltimore History Evenings run from January to June, and are held on the third Thursday of every month at from 7:00 to 9:00 pm.

Baltimore History Evenings 2017 Schedule

January 19, 2017

Matthew A. Crenson, Prof. Emeritus, Political Science, Johns Hopkins, Author of Baltimore: A Political History (forthcoming).

Baltimore and the B&O: A Cautionary Tale in Economic Development.

 Baltimore’s economic and political elites invested heavily in railroads in the hope that they would be the city’s salvation. The city became a pioneer in rails and steam engines, but well before the end of the 19th century, Baltimoreans recognized the failure of this economic development strategy.

February 16, 2017

Max Pollock, Director, Brick + Board, a social enterprise of the workforce development nonprofit Humanim. A graduate of the London School of Economics, formerly with the Urban Institute, a Washington think tank.

Unbuilding Baltimore or What I Learned While Taking Apart 200 Rowhouses

Nobody knows 19th-century Baltimore rowhouses like Max Pollock, who has taken apart hundreds of them, brick by brick, joist by joist, diverting 95 percent of the material from landfills to productive reuse. Only the builders knew as much about these houses as Pollock and his crews. See his amazing website,

March 16, 2017

Robert Kanigel, Author of Eyes on the Street: The Life of Jane Jacobs; The Man Who Knew Infinity; and six other books.

Jane Jacobs and Baltimore: The Grace Darin Memorial Lecture*

Jacobs visited Baltimore, wrote about the city in her journalism, cited it in The Death and Life of Great American Cities.  In this  revolutionary book, she created an indelible vision of what a “great” city could be, a model of urbanity. How far does Baltimore diverge from it? Is it getting any closer?  Or is her model wrong for Baltimore?

*Grace Darin named “Charles Village” and helped create community in an unappreciated part of Baltimore.  The lecture is free, but contributions welcomed to help support the Village Learning Place.

April 20, 2017

Guy Hollyday, Author of Stone Hill in Baltimore: Stories from a Cotton Mill Village

Stone Hill: Baltimore’s Hidden Mill Village

Guy and his wife moved to Stone Hill in 1982, at just the right moment to interview and photograph neighborhood old-timers and capture their stories. His book 1994 book, and now this enlarged second edition, combines these interviews with extensive research in mill records, the U.S. Census, and other records, to record the life of a still-evolving neighborhood.

May 18, 2017

Willa Banks, Benjamin Banneker Historical Park & Museum and Lord Baltimore Fellow, Maryland Historical Society; formerly Associate Curator for Education at the Frederick Douglass-Isaac Myers Maritime Park & Museum

Sisters of Faith: The Oblate Sisters of Providence

 The Oblate Sisters of Providence, established in Baltimore in 1829, were the first order of African American nuns. which was established in Baltimore in 1829 and has rendered over 180 years of community service. Pioneers in the Catholic education, the order established an exceptional school for girls of color in the early 19th century known today as St. Frances Academy.

June 15, 2017

Aiden Faust, Head of Special Collections, University of Baltimore Langsdale Library. Winner of the Baltimore City Historical Society’s Joseph L. Arnold Prize for Outstanding Writing on Baltimore History, 2015.

Neighborhood Matters: What Baltimore Learned from the War on Poverty

 To what extent did the Great Society lead to changes in Baltimore’s municipal governance? This study makes a case for a Long War on Poverty by tracing the development of Baltimore’s early antipoverty demonstration program in 1967 through the rise and fall of the City’s Urban Services Agency in 1993.