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A New Canvas for Baltimore: Public Housing Becomes Park Space

A New Canvas for Baltimore: Public Housing Becomes Park Space

Project C.O.R.E. demolition at Gilmor Homes

Built in 1942, Gilmor Homes, 35-building public housing community in West Baltimore, is home to nearly 900 city residents, including, at one time, Freddie Gray whose death sparked civil unrest throughout the city in 2015. Earlier this year, six of Gilmor’s largest and most dilapidated buildings were demolished to create park space through an initiative created in the wake of that unrest – Project C.O.R.E., or Creating Opportunities for Renewal and Enterprise.

Created by Governor Larry Hogan and managed by the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development, Project C.O.R.E. is a multi-year partnership between the state and the city to demolish or rehabilitate vacant and blighted properties in Baltimore City to create green space for redevelopment. Once green space is created through Project C.O.R.E., additional state funding often supports redevelopment of affordable housing, small businesses, community projects, or park space. 

Through Project C.O.R.E. the State of Maryland awarded $1 million to the Housing Authority of Baltimore City for the demolition of Gilmor Homes’ six, large, walk-up buildings. Despite recent efforts to spur investment in the community and surrounding area, the four-story buildings remained in poor physical condition and were plagued by crime. The buildings could not be seen from the street, and their enclosed exterior stairwells provided concealment for illegal drug sales and other criminal activity. Baltimore City designated the community as a focus area under its Violence Reduction Initiative as part of Project C.O.R.E.’s mission to target blight in high-crime areas.

Project C.O.R.E. demolition at Gilmor Homes

Demolition at Gilmor Homes included the complete deconstruction and disposal of the six, four-story apartment buildings with basements – more than 130 units. Removal of these deteriorated walk-up buildings will improve  safety, and, with plans to develop the new vacant space into park, residents will soon enjoy new opportunities for recreation and relaxation.

Since its launch through Fiscal Year 2019, Project C.O.R.E. has demolished, rehabilitated, or stabilized more than 4,100 units. Through the initiative and supporting revitalization and housing programs, the State of Maryland has invested nearly $472 million in Baltimore City, leveraging more than $1.9 billion in other private, public and philanthropic dollars.

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