Efforts to revitalize historic downtowns in older American cities have gained traction over the past few decades, and Baltimore is no exception. Baltimore has been a leader in those efforts, largely beginning with the revitalization of the Inner Harbor in the late 1970’s by James Rouse. Harborplace was a pioneering example of a development paradigm that came to be known as the “festival marketplace”. This raises questions about redevelopment of this area – should downtown be a regional tourist destination or retail center? Should it be primarily a residential neighborhood? A set of sub-districts?
This studio examined the Westside district of Baltimore, the City’s historic downtown retail center, and wrestled with these ideas of what definitions and functions best fit with the area’s current market. This framed the challenge of determining the appropriate redevelopment response.