Chronology of a historic preservation fiasco in the heart of Mt. Vernon
by Mark Reutter
Published September 25 in Baltimore Brew
Excerpt: Last April 21, a citizen complaint was received by the Baltimore Department of Housing and Community Development: “Building in a state of collapse.”
It referred to conditions at 1001 North Charles Street, the former “Grand Central” nightclub in the Mt. Vernon historic district, where a contractor had stripped away the interior of the building, leaving only two skeletal brick walls.
Going to the site, the inspector was met by project manager George Sarkes, who assured him that his employer, JP Porter Construction, “had already addressed the collapse of 1001 North Charles. . . however, they began to experience failures in the shoring/bracing of 4 Eager.”
Sarkes said his builder was “backfilling that area” with dirt, but was “awaiting an engineer’s report before continuing work on 4 Eager.”
Satisfied, the inspector closed out the complaint the same day. He took no further action except to note that “all of the properties are affiliated with the same LLC – Landmark Partners.”
The inspector’s report – disclosing how the city considered and then ignored a complaint about dangerous conditions at the site – is just one of many documents and interviews that The Brew has gathered to reconstruct the timeline of a major historic preservation fiasco.