RETS (Property 3) and Diggs-Johnson School (Property 5) (18BC83)

Site 18BC83 is comprised of two properties—RETS (also known as Property 3) and the Diggs-Johnson School (also known as Property 5). Originally, this area was bounded by Barre and Lee Streets and Warner Street, which formed the eastern boundary. Welcome Alley bisected this block between Lee and Barre Streets. Today, the site is covered by Camden Yards, the stadium for the Baltimore Orioles.

Prior to the 1850s, Property 5 was largely undeveloped, but owned by George Warner, brickmaker, and later Anthony Miltenberger, cigar maker. By the late 1850s, rowhouses had been built along both major streets. In 1870, Primary School #2 was built on the southwest corner of Barre and Warner Streets, where it remained into the 1940s. While the neighborhood remained largely residential, several stores appeared. The Diggs-Johnson School was built in the early 1950s. By the 1960s, the residential population of the neighborhood had declined, as evidenced by the appearance of warehouses and industrial facilities.

This site was examined as part of the larger Camden Yards project conducted by R. Christopher Goodwin and Associates between October 1989 and March of 1990. A series of 5 trenches were machine excavated in Property 3; only one feature (50A01), a shallow brick foundation, was recorded on this property. The soil profiles on Property 3 reflected shallow disturbance associated with the construction and later demolition of rowhouses that had formerly stood there. None of the rowhouses appeared to have had cellars. Ten machine trenches were excavated on Property 5 and the soil profiles were similar. As result of the machine trenching on both lots, a total of three features were recorded—two brick foundations associated with now demolished rowhouses (50A01, 4701) and one deposit of organic soils (4501), from which 233 artifacts were recovered.

The final report states that 18BC83 did not retain the potential to contribute greatly to our knowledge or understanding of domestic or commercial activities in the Camden Yards area in the late nineteenth or early twentieth centuries (Kuranda et al. 1992:107).

(Written by Patricia Samford)

References

  • Kuranda, Kathryn, Elizabeth Pena, Suzanne Sanders, Martha R. Williams, David Landon, and Justine Woodard
  • 1992. Archeological and Architectural Investigations at Camden Yards, Baltimore, Maryland 2 vols. R. Christopher Goodwin and Associates, Inc.

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