Over the last one hundred years, the city of Baltimore has gone through immense changes in the real estate industry. Throughout this passage of time, the city has been characterized as encompassing mixed income neighborhoods that hasattempted to make housing available to all. Thus, Baltimore was known for being the home to the richest of the rich and the poorest of the poor. This paper is a directed research towards the transformation of the Upton community in the downtown area of Baltimore. It will also focus on the influences of Joseph Meyerhoff, a prominent real estate developer from Baltimore, whose philanthropy is still apparent today.
Joseph Meyerhoff is considered to be one of the most profound developers in the real estate industry in Baltimore. In addition, Meyerhoff was also a philanthropist and lawyer. He was born on April 8, 1899 in Pereschepina, Russia to a Jewish family which suffered greatly from the tsarist regime. Due to the tsarist regime, the Meyerhoff family immigrated to the United States where they settled in the great city of Baltimore, Maryland. When growing up, Meyerhoff always held a strong passion for music, architecture and the development of buildings. He was a graduate from the Baltimore City College where he primarily focused on the concepts of construction and development. Several years after he graduated, he attended law school at the University of Maryland earning himself a degree in law. At first, Meyerhoff was set on practicing law as a career but with the help of his brother, who convinced him to follow the path of real estate, the two decided to begin a real estate company called Monumental Properties Inc.
[...] Race had become such an overriding consideration in the real estate industry that, study from 2004 proved that high-income African Americans in predominantly black neighborhoods were three times more likely to receive a sub prime home loan than low- income white borrowers.”(p.257)* Urban Renewal Controversy In the 1960s and 70's, controversial urban renewal projects destroyed much of Upton's historic architecture, especially in the southwestern portion of the neighborhood. When looking into the urban renewal projects during the 60s and 70s, we must take a look into the factors the made these projects successful or that caused them to be a failure. [...]
[...] It has a two-fold effect in a sense that, yes; urban renewal would create a higher demand for employment as well as raising commercial growth, but on the other hand it can completely push out small businesses and price low-income families out of homes. The result of these urban renewal projects ultimately only replaced a portion of what was removed, as once the buildings were demolished it was difficult to secure developers to build new construction. Such vacancies had never occurred even through the centuries greatest economical downfall in the 1930's. [...]
[...] Wills Chronicles Thought Provoking Perspectives on News, Politics, and Entertainment July 2010. Web Dec
[...] Because of this economic deficit, caused by the decline of the real estate industry, they have decided to leave the properties in their dilapidated state, thus leaving these properties unusable to others. Upton has had and will continue to have gentrification at its doorsteps but it has yet to enter the neighborhood's boundaries. Gentrification is the restoration and upgrading of deteriorated urban property by middle class or affluent people, often resulting in displacement of lower income people. It's time to make Upton the mixed income, highly diverse and celebrated neighborhood it once was. [...]
[...] Upton Community Baltimore, MD Past and Present Picture taken by Orry Michael While conducting research on Upton and having the opportunity to visit and interact with the community first hand, I found it to be exceptionally interesting how much the community has changed over the last several decades. Upton has gone through major transformations as a neighborhood, which is mainly credited to the decline of the real estate industry. At the turn of the 20th century, Upton was considered to be one of the most affluent African American neighborhoods on the east coast. [...]
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