NDC Project #2388
Empire Homes of Maryland develops, owns, and manages affordable housing for low-income people with disabilities and/or a history of homelessness. Empire Homes’ Lisa Strachura requested Neighborhood Design Center design assistance with exterior, façade, and entryway improvements to their facility at 2100-2102 Maryland Avenue, which currently houses 16 units of affordable housing and a transitional housing program.
NDC volunteers James Leonard and Daniel Cartagena worked with Empire Homes in 2015 to create a conceptual façade and front-yard plan. The corner, multi-section building stretches along 21st Street in the Old Goucher/Charles Village area of Baltimore, with its primary face on Maryland Ave. The proposed façade unifies the many building sections with common materials and highlights the existing architectural features, while adding new planting areas and trees to soften the surrounding streetscape. You can view the entire conceptual design here.
Together, James and Daniel contributed 60 service hours to the initiative that would have had an estimated market value of $5,100. Empire Homes used the NDC plans to apply for implementation funding grants including the PNC Transformative Arts grant, Homewood Community Partners Initiative “Spruce Up” grant, and Parks and People Foundation greening grant.
NDC Project #2115
NDC volunteers Scott Huot, Robyn Edwards, Wendy Legerton, and Michelle Geiss created conceptual plans for a durable and attractive community sign in partnership with the Glen Neighborhood Improvement Association and CHAI. The new brick and metal sign replaces a weathered one located at the corner of Northern Parkway and Park Heights Avenue. It marks the gateway to the Glen Neighborhood, which is poised to attract new homeowners at a time when the Social Security Administration is opening a new office nearby with 1200-1400 employees. The team contributed 97 service hours to the conceptual design through NDC’s Community Design Works program, representing an in-kind donation of approximately $9,402.85, excluding NDC staff time.
After the conclusion of conceptual design in 2014, NDC program manager Laura Wheaton remained involved to facilitate a pilot implementation partnership with the Maryland Department of Public Safety. Utilizing grant funding from Healthy Neighborhoods, CHAI and GNIA hired inmate masons to construct the sign in late 2015 using bricks reclaimed through a separate DPS program. This partnership offered real-world experience for the inmate masons (who were nearing release), and allowed the community to build a more permanent sign.