Baltimore County Now
Fronda Cohen, Baltimore County Office of Communications
When we moved to Sudbrook Park in 1988, we had never heard the word “curvilinear.” After many walks through this historic community in Pikesville, we soon learned about the pleasures of curving, winding roads and the history of a neighborhood that in 1889 became an experiment in suburban community design.
Frederick Law Olmsted, Sr., the father of landscape architecture in America, is perhaps best known as co-designer of New York City’s Central Park. His “experiment” in Baltimore County was based on the idea that a suburban village would be an attractive alternative to the densely populated city.
Olmsted designed Sudbrook with a distinct entranceway, a narrow bridge that led to open green spaces for community gatherings, spacious lots for Victorian cottages, and smaller lots for more affordable homes. The setting was green, with mature trees lining winding roads that encouraged walking, enjoying nature, and meeting neighbors along the way.
Olmsted’s gateway bridge at the entrance to Sudbrook Park still spans the rail line, although 125 years later it is the Metro that shares the tracks with the railroad that once took residents downtown to work. On any given day, you’ll find walkers, runners, and bicyclists exploring the curvilinear roads. Victorian homes still grace streets lined with centuries-old oaks. Neat brick colonials built during World War II anchor the smaller lots. Neighbors, kids and dogs in tow, enjoy the annual July 4 and Halloween parades that end with celebrations at the Sudbrook community park.
Sudbrook Park remains a community where design, nature and good neighbors still enjoy what Frederick Law Olmsted called a “respite for the spirit.”
Happy 125th birthday, Sudbrook.
Teri Rising, Historic Preservation Planner
Department of Planning
Did you know that several of the restaurants participating in Baltimore County’s Summer Restaurant Week are also serving up a helping of Baltimore area history? From Reisterstown’s historic Main Street to the country splendor of My Lady’s Manor, these historic restaurants provide a unique dining experience to go along with their special summer menus:
Located within the National Register Historic District of Reisterstown, The Grill at the Harryman House has been a longtime favorite. Situated among the many historic structures that line Main Street, The Grill at the Harryman House is one of the oldest structures in Reisterstown. Built by Samuel Harryman ca. 1800 on land originally owned by John Reister, the Harryman family lived and worked on the property while operating a saddlery, harness shop, and grocery. The building’s many historic details provide a cozy and inviting setting to all that visit.
The scenic countryside of My Lady’s Manor provides a beautiful setting for visitors traveling to the historic Manor Tavern. Now a designated National Register Historic District, My Lady’s Manor was established in 1713 by the third Lord Baltimore as a gift for his bride. The district is home to many historic sites and farms that represent multiple centuries of Baltimore County history. The Manor Tavern, which is located at the prominent crossroads of Monkton Road and Old York Road, had humble beginnings as a stable and has survived to become a well known dining and special event destination.
The Milton Inn - 14833 York Rd, Sparks, MD
Inside this restored stone building, you will find one of Baltimore County’s most unique landmarks. Originally known as the Milton Academy, boys, and later girls, traveled from all over the United States to attend this prestigious school. First appearing on the Baltimore County Tax List in 1823, the building started as a tavern and became a well known boy’s boarding school operated by John Emerson Lamb. One of its most well known former students is John Wilkes Booth, the man who assassinated President Abraham Lincoln. After serving as a school for many years, the building housed several businesses until it finally became a restaurant in 1946.
The Oregon Grille- 1201 Shawan Rd, Cockeysville, MD
Once home to the Oregon Furnace Store, this well known Baltimore County restaurant and landmark sits at the edge of the former Oregon Iron Furnace and company town that is now Oregon Ridge Park. After the furnace operation ended at the close of the 19th century, Thomas Kurtz, the last Oregon Ore foreman, purchased the building and continued to operate a store and post office out of the location. A careful restoration in the 1980s preserved the historic stone and frame building while retaining the wonderful historic architectural details which provide a lovely setting for a special meal.
Baltimore County Department of Planning
While big-box stores and malls are getting ready for Black Friday, some of Baltimore County’s traditional Main Streets are getting ready for something a little smaller—something with a little more charm. On Saturday, November 30, Dundalk and Reisterstown join other traditional commercial districts in the fourth annual Small Business Saturday.
By shopping in locally owned businesses on Small Business Saturday, you discover unique gifts you’ll never find at the big stores, experience the charm and genuine customer service that you only get from small business owners, and enjoy the sights, the sounds and the beautiful chill in the air that can only be found on Main Street.
In Reisterstown, on historic Main Street, “Holiday Cheer Starts Here!” To kick off the holiday season, businesses are offering a donation discount, which allows consumers to not only shop locally but also give locally. On Small Business Saturday, participating merchants are offering a 10% discount to customers who bring in a canned good donation for the Reisterstown United Methodist Church Food Pantry. When you shop at these small businesses, the money you spend here stays here, and the donations you give stay here, too.
Main Street Dundalk, one of 26 designated Main Street Maryland communities across the state, offers a variety of shopping, eating and entertainment during the holiday season. Dundalk Renaissance Corporation and Little Crystal Bijoux are hosting a Holiday Gallery and Gifts Pop-Up Shop at 79 Shipping Place through December 23. The pop-up shop offers original holiday gifts by local artists and craftsman.
Starting Small Business Saturday, Main Street Maryland is offering a coupon for deals at Dundalk’s Holiday Gallery and Gifts Pop-Up Shop. For every $50 spent from November 30 - December 23, you will receive a $10 gift card for your next purchase. You can download the coupon right now.
Baltimore County also offers a great holiday deal: you won’t have to feed the meters anywhere in Baltimore County from Thanksgiving Day through December 1. Just look for the red “Seasons Greetings” bags and enjoy the free parking while you support local shops in your neighborhood.
From Catonsville to Pikesville, Essex to Randallstown, get out this Saturday and support your favorite small business. It’s a great way to find unique gifts for the folks on your holiday list while you support your local neighborhood business owners. Such a deal!