Who lives or works in a historical district?

skizzerflake

Ad Honorem
Mar 2010
2,141
Baltimore, Maryland
Who here lives among historic buildings? We talk a lot about history on this forum but it's also interesting to co-exist the artifacts of the past. I've been fortunate that I've spent my adult life working in various locations in Baltimore's best historic district. Whole blocks of Mt Vernon look like not much has changed since 1870 (except the transportation). This large, vibrant, busy area has several thousand buildings that qualify as being historic (at least from the American point of view where 80 is old).

It got detached from further downtown when the 1904 fire leveled the entire waterfront area. After the fire, streets in downtown were widened, wires buried and high rises came to dominate. Mt Vernon, however, remained as it was. Originally the location of Baltimore's super wealthy, the neighborhood went into decline, but because of its cultural resources, never entirely crashed. It's been on the upsurge since the early 80s, but sometimes progress is slow, because of the large number of huge brick and brownstone houses which are very expensive to rehab. Today Mt Vernon probably has Baltimore's most diverse population, from wealthy to poor, all races, languages, gender preferences accounted for. 3 colleges, many bars, restaurants, a major museum, theater, symphony and opera make it a cultural district and a treat for fans of 19th century architecture.

How about where you live? Do you inhabit history?

Mt Vernon Square



The Basilica of the Assumption - oldest cathedral in the US



The library of the Peabody Institute (music college, part of Hopkins)

 
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Zeno

Ad Honoris
Jan 2010
13,691
♪♬ ♫♪♩
Looks like a place I'd like.
Its all about from which angle you look at things, and in what light. Antwerpen surely has a rich history, worth studying from up close, if you're interested in that kind of thing. Most of its esthetic flaws lie in a more recent past.
 
Dec 2011
21
Greece
I think anyone who lives anywhere in Europe lives in an historical district, you can't move without tripping over some aspect of the past. That is what I find amazing about Europe and whilst some appreciate it others don't, mainly because laws protecting anything of historical value make it very difficult and expensive to expand and modernise.

I've heard the acropolis and similar sites described as a pile of old stones by some, yet others understand and value it's significance.
 

Belgarion

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
6,776
Australia
I think anyone who lives anywhere in Europe lives in an historical district, you can't move without tripping over some aspect of the past. That is what I find amazing about Europe and whilst some appreciate it others don't, mainly because laws protecting anything of historical value make it very difficult and expensive to expand and modernise.

I've heard the acropolis and similar sites described as a pile of old stones by some, yet others understand and value it's significance.

Ignoramuses and Philistines. Pay them no attention. :zany:
 

Louise C

Ad Honorem
Jan 2011
7,239
Southeast England
I live in Dover, which is quite historical. We have a castle, a Roman villa, Roman lighthouse, Saxon church and Saxon chapel. And in the museum we have a bronze age boat that is over 3000 years old and was dug up in the town.
 

Ancientgeezer

Ad Honorem
Nov 2011
8,902
The Dustbin, formerly, Garden of England
I have recently returned temporarily to my roots in the UK to the town of Rochester. I grew up in the High Street in a house that in its current form is 270 years old. As that stretch of the High Street is slap bang in the old city there would have been a habitation there at least since Roman times, in fact as a kid we found a couple of Roman coins and quite a few potsherd in the garden while digging a fishpond. We also discovered thousands of broken clay pipes and research showed that a clay pipe factory had been on the site in the 1800s, so we inherited the factory rubbish tip. The House's foundations were the medieval city wall that dates from the eleventh century, itself built on the earlier Roman wall. Just behind the High Street is Rochester Castle, that's the one featured in the film "Ironclad" (although they didn't use the real one in the movie) and the Cathedral both designed by Bishop Gundulf (the real one, not Tolkien's invention) on the orders of William the Conquerer. The Cathedral is built on the site of the second Saxon Christian church in England (the first was Canterbury) built in 604. Back in the High Street, Lloyds bank holds a secret. The building is where Henry VIII met Anne of Cleves and discovered what a dog she was, upstairs and not open to the public, is an excellent panelled tudor room reputed to be the bedroom where nothing happened. A couple of doors along is the building where James II spent his last night in England before fleeing to France.
Because Charles Dickens lived in the area for a short while and used locations as inspirations for his books, half of town centre has a Dickens connection--Miss Haversham's House, Mr Sapsea's house in Edwin Drood, the Bull Hotel from Pickwick Papers and so on.
Adjacent and contiguous to Rochester is Chatham, where the majority of the Royal Navy's wooden ships, including Nelson's Victory were built. The dockyard is now a museum and full of interesting stuff. High above the dockyard is a flat-topped grassy hill called the Great Lines. That's where generations of redcoats drilled including the ones who went off to sort out those cheeky colonists in 1776.
There's a lot more, but of course most of Britain is the same. You cannot take more than a few steps without falling over something with a historical significance.
 

skizzerflake

Ad Honorem
Mar 2010
2,141
Baltimore, Maryland
I envy some of those old European cities. Old buildings are sometimes a pain in the butt to maintain and use, but they are so much more interesting than anything recent. In most parts of the US, growth has been so recent that whatever is standing on the land now is probably the first thing ever to be built there. That's why I like the old cities on the East Coast. At least we have a couple centuries of buildings to enjoy. My city has several neighborhoods that have some age on them and they are the most interesting part of town. Our oldest building is a 12th century Norman castle, but that was moved from it's original site sometime in the late 19th century.

Fells Point, the oldest part of Baltimore

 
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