“Preserving Places, Making Spaces” develops research projects, seminars, and public humanities programming for historic but overlooked places in Baltimore. The central theme of the project is that preserving places through interpretation and public programming creates social space—the room for people and perspectives to come together. This theme is connected to the traditional preservation model of rehab and adaptive reuse, as well as the goals of public history to encourage dialogue, discussion, and civil engagement. To preserve places is to recognize their histories and the relationships or attachments people have formed with the built environment over time. A sense of place derives from people giving the physical environment personal meaning. In the most basic sense, to preserve the past stories of places is to create the space for new usages and new stories.
A “Preserving Places, Making Space” project, “Mapping Baybrook” will research the stories of people and places in the historic Baybrook community, a group of industrial neighborhoods in the southern peninsula of Baltimore City. The “Virtual Baybrook” website will serve as a template for a larger online archive for mapping various neighborhoods in Baltimore City. The website will include an interactive map with which the public can experience the drama of American history by viewing the past and the present together.
More to come . . .