Category Archives: Uncategorized

Transformation on a West Baltimore Small Street

We’re always scanning the web looking for real signs of positive change in Baltimore’s small streets, and we’re always excited to find something new. The latest finds come from Boyd Street in the Hollins Market neighborhood.

First, a community group called Sowebo Gardeners has taken advantage of the awesome Adopt-A-Lot program run by the Baltimore City government and turned a series of vacant lots into a beautiful community garden of about 1/5 acre. Naturally, they call it the Boyd Alley Community Garden.

Boyd Alley Garden

Community gardens are great in general, but we believe that they can work especially well on small streets because they emulate the traditional urban development pattern seen in the old cities of Europe, where very narrow streets open up to small squares. A garden provides small street residents a focal point and a gathering place for their community. It’s also a vehicle for neighborhood change.

Second, one of Boyd Street’s houses has undergone one of the most remarkable transformations we have ever seen. Witness the before and after. The before photo is taken from Google Street View, and the second from an off market real estate listing where you can find more photos.

1033 Boyd Street

Now that’s inspiring! Just imagine a whole block of beautiful rowhouses like this one.

Restoring an Historic House on a Small Street in Baltimore

Ever wonder what it takes to restore an historic house? How about an historic house on a small street? Even better, right? This video from the Dominion Group, whose motto is “Building a better Baltimore, one house at a time,” explains how they rehabilitated this adorable house on Lemmon Street in the Hollins Market/Union Square neighborhood of West Baltimore. Investors take note—it’s making them money!

note: if you don’t care much for the numbers and just want to see the physical transformation, skip ahead to 4:25.


For those of you unfamiliar with Small Streets, we are a group created to support the preservation and proliferation of small streets, which we define as streets less than 30 feet in width from building to building. Recently we launched our website at, a Facebook page, and a Twitter feed. Now we’re looking to expand on our ideas and reach more people through a Small Streets blog. We hope to add to the ideas put forth by our friends Nathan Lewis and Charlie Gardner, advocating for small streets and the traditional city form in order to improve the quality of life and sustainability of our cities and towns.