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Series Information
(Department of Housing and Community Development)

Series Description

To provide its citizens with the opportunity for decent housing in an attractive environment has been a goal of the municipal government since 1937. That year marked the creation of the Housing Authority of Baltimore City (HABC) which was concerned with providing adequate shelter for low-income residents. The city's role has continually expanded until the creation of the Baltimore City Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) in 1968. The work of HCD combines a comprehensive approach to housing which is based on the belief that a healthy economic and social environment is a prerequisite for decent housing.

In the wake of the severe economic depression of the 1930s the U.S. Housing Act of 1937 was passed to assist localities with providing adequate housing for its citizens. The Maryland law enabling its cities and counties to take advantage of these federal funds was passed the same year, and the municipality created its housing authority on December 13, 1937. HABC was the first and continues to be an integral part of the city's housing policy. It is currently part of HCD and while its state charter gives it a unique character, the functions of the HABC are overseen by the commissioner of HCD.

Throughout the 1930s and early 1940s the national housing policy emphasized publicly funded housing, although new theories emerged. Planners were beginning to see that public housing would not solve housing problems if the growth of slums and blighted areas continued. The first solution to arresting slums was to redevelop the area, and the first step in redevelopment was large scale slum clearance projects. In Baltimore slum clearance was begun by the Baltimore Redevelopment Commission which formulated eight redevelopment areas for slum clearance.

These areas (1 Waverly, 3 Broadway, 4 Shot Tower, 7 Camden, and 9, 11, 12 Mount Royal-Fremont) were the beginnings of urban renewal in Baltimore, and work in these areas was continued by HCD.

By the early 1950s it was believed that slum clearance and public housing were not comprehensive enough to regenerate the cities and make them economically viable and habitable, too much emphasis being placed on the physical aspects of housing while the urban environment was neglected. In Baltimore this dichotomy was being addressed by a coordinating committee organized in 1954 of representatives of the redevelopment commission, department of public works, the health department's housing bureau, HABC, and the departments of education and recreation and parks. By bringing all these agencies together Baltimore planners were recognizing that attention had to be paid to streets, traffic patterns, zoning, schools, and parks as well as housing in order to create a habitable city. The first area in which all these agencies' activities were coordinated was Harlem Park.

In the meantime the National Housing Act of l954 formalized the process begun in Baltimore and other cities of coordinating a variety of city services to provide for urban renewal. The emphasis was broadened from redeveloping cities to economically, sociallly, and physically renewing them. This period marks the beginning of the use of the term "urban renewal" to encompass a broad range of city activities.

In 1956 Mayor McKeldin appointed an urban renewal study board composed of national experts to study Baltimore's urban renewal thus far. The board's report appeared in September 1956, recommending the grouping of all urban renewal activities into one agency. This was quickly done with the the creation of the Baltimore Urban Renewal and Housing Agency (BURHA) on December 31, 1956. BURHA was formed of the redevelopment commission, the housing authority, the housing bureau of the health department, the area project office of the welfare department, and the neighborhood planning section of the planning department. The basic activities of BURHA were to continue slum clearance and building and supervising public housing, but it was also responsible for developinq urban renewal plans, coordinating community involvement in these plans, and enforcing the housing code in the renewal areas. A new emphasis was placed on developing non-housing uses for the areas acquired through slum clearance. The three areas of concentration in the 1950s and 1960s were the Shot Tower Industrial Park (renewal area 4), Camden Industrial Park (renewal area 7), and the major commercial development, Charles Center.

During the 1950s and early 1960s urban renewal activities in Baltimore centered on slum clearance and new construction. However, a new philosophy of conservation and rehabilitation was beginning to take hold by the mid-1960s. With most of the major clearance work done, city officials began to look for ways to conserve and rehabilitate the basically sound buildings that remained. This type of work required buildinq permits and zoning changes, activities of the bureau of building inspection (BBI) of the department of public works. To expedite all aspects of housing policy, and also to rectify some of the abuses in the BBI, the Mayor's Committee on the Administration of Code Enforcement recommended the formation of a comprehensive housing department. This department combined BURHA and BBI thus incorporating the functions of urban renewal, public housing, building inspection and code enforcement in one agency. The creation of a department of housing and community development on July 1, 1968, was the first time any city in the United States had combined all its housing functions within one department.

For more details on the organization and activities of the various components of BURHA and HCD see the following series descriptions. Also for the period 1957-68 summaries of the divisions' work appeared with the annual budget; copies of these are in the "History" box filed before series 1. The "History" box also contains materials used in preparing this introduction, including a legislative history prepared by HCD in 1972. Of interest to the history of BURHA is a summary of the Urban Renewal Study Board Report of 1956 (series 2, box 9) , and BURHA's "Program Dimensions" prepared in 1958 (series 2, box 6). For information on the Baltimore Redevelopment Commission see series 2 of this record group and RG 33. For Legislative Landmarks see Laws of Maryland, ch. 517 (1937); res. 6 (1937); Laws of Maryland, ch. 1012 (1945); res. 10 (1945); res. 14, 18 (1946); res. 859-64, 867, 873 (1947); ord. 692 (1956); res. 7 (1967); and ord. 152 (1968). An excellent study that puts the development of HCD in national perspective is Mark I. Gelfand, A Nation of Cities: The Federal Government and Urban America, 1933-1965 (New York: Oxford University SS, 1975).

The administrative structure of this agency is, at best, complex. For its current arrangement a chart has been provided (see fig. 5). The series descriptions below are grouped according to the department's administrative structure in the following manner: series l, HABC; series 2, BURHA; series 3-7, commissioner and deputy commissioners; series 8-12D, neighborhood development division; series 13-14C, public housing management division; series 15-17, social work services division; series 18-20, homeownership developnent division; series 21-23D, administration division; series 24-32, planning division; series 33-36, program management division; series 37-37F, relocation division; series 30-41, land development division; series 42-43, commercial revitalization division; series 44-65, construction and buildings inspection division; and series 66-77, information services division. This somewhat different arrangement and description format results from the lengthy and intensive records survey of this municipal department.

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DateSeries NameLegacy Accession NoDescriptionMSA Citation
  Details1939-1990Minutes, Commission of the Housing Authority of BaltimoreRG 48 S1

Official typescript minutes of the Commission of the Housing Authority of Baltimore City (HABC) and the Baltimore Urban Renewal and Housing Agency (BURHA). Included among these are also BURHA executive session and public meeting minutes, HABC executive session records, and minutes of HABC staff meetings (1948-51). The earliest materials available consist of the commission's bylaws and incoming correspondence (1937-38) and records of telephone conversations with officials in Washington, D.C. (1943-44).

This is a preliminary description pending microfilming of the minute books. The original minutes are located at the offices of the HCD.

  Details1945-1968Administrative Files, Development Department, BURHARG 48 S2

The development department of BURHA (earlier known as the redevelopment department) was responsible for clearing sites designated for urban renewal and transferring the land to public or private agencies for development. This was accomplished by appraising, acquiring and contracting to clear the land, installing site improvements, selling cleared land, supervising construction, and settling relocation claims in connection with urban renewal and public housing projects. The files in this series record this work throughout the existence of BURHA (1957-68), although there are some files concerning the development department's predecessor, the Baltimore Redevelopment Commission, and part of its successor the land development division of HCD. (For the records of the land development division see series 38).

There are two main files - general and urban renewal. The genera] files are those created by the head of the development department, Francis Kuchta. They include general correspondence about redevelopment in Baltimore and throughout the United States and correspondence with potential developers. There are minutes of interdepartmental meetings, which trace the development of BURHA's goals and various reports. Especially represented is material from two of Kuchta's subordinates, Ottavio Grande (head of the construction-demolition division) and Tom Considine (head of engineering).

The other type of records, Kuchta's urban renewal files, are arranged by area (Camden Industrial Park, Charles Center, Harlem Park, Madison-Park North and South, Mt. Royal Plaza, Mt. Royal-Fremont, Shot Tower Industrial Park, and the University of Maryland). Included in these files are correspondence, contracts, and plats relating to the acquisition, disposition, and demolition of individual properties in the renewal areas.

Two other varieties of records (lesser in quantity) also are included in this series. These include the grant applications and budgets, project correspondence, and reports of the Community Renewal Program, a project to develop a fifteen year urban renewal plan (1965-80), and the records of the construction and management of housing projects (Armistead, Cherry Hill Homes, Westport Homes, Claremont, Lafayette Courts, Flag House Courts, George B. Murphy Homes, and Lexington Terrace).

There is a complete container listing for this series at the Baltimore City Archives.

  Details1972-1973Commissioner's Board of Estimates FilesRG 48 S3Correspondence, plats, financial statements, and other supporting documentation, directed to the board of estimates requesting approval for various HCD activities. Subjects include contractor bids and formal agreements, policy agreements between HABC and the municipal government, urban renewal plans, property acquisitions, personnel, and minor privilege permits.BRG48-3
  Details1969-1982Commissioner's Signed MailRG 48 S4

Central correspondence files (incoming and outgoing) of the HCD Commissioner, Robert C. Embry, Jr. and Deputy Commissioner M.J. Brodie. Items cover general administration of the agency, business with local, state and federal officials, and communication with private firms as well as public and news media. Some of the more important topics discussed include: housing for the elderly, public housing, urban-renewal programs, and other area-development projects.

Deputy Commissioner Brodie's files begin in January 1970 and end in May 1977, when he succeeded Robert Embry, Jr. as HCD Commissioner.

  Details1959-1979Subject Files, Deputy Commissioner IRG 48 S5

Primary files of Deputy Commissioner John McCauley (1972- present), although some material related to his predecessors Robert S. Moyer (1968-70), Marck K. Joseph (1970-71), and Robert Hubbard (1971-72). Other HCD administrators such as Francis Kuchta and M.J. Brodies also appear. Subjects include budgets, program development, court suits, grant proposals, general agency administration, community relations, and reports to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Most of the material is in the form of memos, many of which are duplicates of items sent between various HCD personnel.

A complete file folder listing is available at the Baltimore City Archives.

  Details1977-1978Subject Files, Deputy Commissioner IIRG 48 S6

Files of Deputy Commissioner David Hrysko covering his areas of responsibility within HCD. Much of the material concerns applications for and administration of various federal grants, including categorical program settlement (urgent needs), community development block grants, and urban development action grants. Other subjects discussed are community relations and interaction, budgets, program development, and general administration.

A complete file folder listing is available at the Baltimore City Archives.

 Details1972Subject Files, Deputy Commissioner IIIRG 48 S7

Files of Deputy Commissioner Mark Sissman covering the divisions and functions of HCD for which he is responsible. Major topics include program development, administrative policies, sale of city- and housing authority-owned properties, and grants.

This is a preliminary description pending transfer of the records.

  Details1966-1978Administrative Files, Neighborhood Development DivisionRG 48 S8

These files cover all aspects of this division's work which mainly concerns neighborhoods, both the structures and residents, in urban renewal areas. The division is composed of housing inspection, zoning, and rehabilitation services sections (the physical aspects of neighborhoods) and a community organization section (the residents). The files in this series concentrate on the physical aspects, especially the inspection and rehabilitation of the structures. The work of the community organization section is more fully covered in series 11.

The files were kept by subject classification and this arrangement has been retained. The subjects are administration, community organization, cost and finance departments, general operation and procedures, general subject files, housing standards and inspection, information services, legislation and legal data, regulations and controls, and rehabilitation services.

A file folder listing is available at the Baltimore City Archives.

 Details1969General Subject Files, Neighborhood Development DivisionRG 48 S9

Correspondence, reports, memos, brochures, copies of urban renewal plans and proposals, and other miscellaneous records relating to the various responsibilities and functions of the division. Major topics include housing inspection, community programs, the Inner Harbor, and special divisional programs such as rat eradication.

This is a preliminary description pending transfer of the records.

 Details1967Housing Standards and Inspection Files, Neighborhood Development DivisionRG 48 S10

Memos, correspondence, rules and regulations, committee reports and minutes, position papers, quarterly summaries, and other related records concerning'the legal aspects of housing maintenance and inspection.

This is a preliminary description pending transfer of the records.

  Details1962-1978Community Files, Neighborhood Development DivisionRG 48 S11, RG 48 S11AContains Community Organization files and Hardship Program Case Files, Neighborhood DevelopmentBRG48-11
  Details1961-1972Neighborhood DevelopmentRG 48 S12, RG 48 S12A, RG 48 S12B, RG 48 S12C, RG 48 S12DContains Neighborhood Development Workable Programs files, correspondence and general subject files, Rehabilitation Services, existing land use maps, zoning summary cards, photograph files and slide files.BRG48-12
  Details1942Public Housing Management DivisionRG 48 S13, RG 48 S13AContains general files, Public Housing Management and general files, Section 8 Program, Public Housing Management.BRG48-13
  Details1946Public HousingRG 48 S14, RG 48 S14A, RG 48 S14B, RG 48 S14C, RG 48 S14DContains housing project files, Public Housing Management; monthly reports, Housing Application Office, Public Housing Management; memos, directives, bulletins, and operating orders; management records, public housing projects, and scrapbooks.BRG48-14
  Details1959-1976Subject Files, Social Work Services DivisionRG 48 S15

This division administered tenant social services under BURHA and for the first few years of HCD. In 1972, a separate resident family services division assumed these responsibilities. After an administrative reorganization in 1977, a social work services division continued the work.

Correspondence, primarily memos, constitutes the bulk of this series. All areas of HCD activities on behalf of public housing residents are discussed, as are internal administrative concerns. Reflected are the semi-autonomous workings of five sub-divisions: counseling services, child development, youth services, elderly day care, and community home care. The current arrangement respresents a blending of several separate but interrelated files.

A file folder listing is available at the Baltimore City Archives. See series 16 for related material.

  Details1972-1976Chronological Files, Social Work Services DivisionRG 48 S16

Mostly outgoing letters and memos from Helena Hicks, Director of the division. Emphasis of the material is upon internal administration although most aspects of its activities on behalf of public housing residents are reflected as well. This series consists of two separate files ("H-99," 1972-76 and "D-27," 1974-75) similar in content but maintained individually by the division.

See series 15 for related material and the administrative history of the division.

 Details1971Old Program Files, Social Work Services DivisionRG 48 S17

Copies of programs and proposals, program manuals, memos, reports, and working papers concerning past programs administered by this division.

This is a preliminary description pending transfer of the records.

  Details1977-1980Chronological FIles, Director's Office, Homeownership Development DivisionRG 48 S18Reading files of correspondence and memos with supporting documents and attachments generated by the division director and other administrators such as homestead project coordinators and housing counselors.BRG48-18
  Details1972-1983Subject Files, Director's Office, Homeownership Development DivisionRG 48 S19Correspondence, memos, brochures and publications, newspaper clippings, copies of legislation, rules and regulations, and budgetary materials. These records were maintained as a special information series by the division director.BRG48-19
 Details1975General Files, Otterbein and Barr Circle Homestead Projects, Homeownership Development DivisionRG 48 S20

Correspondence, memos, drawings, records from the architectural review committee, and newspaper clippings relating to the implementation of homesteading projects in the Otterbein and Barre Circle areas of the city.

This is a preliminary description pending transfer of the records.

  Details1951Administration DivisionRG 48 S21, RG 48 S21A, RG 48 S21BContains closed out urban renewal project files, correspondence files from the director's office, and studies and analyses from Administrative Planning and Services.BRG48-21
  Details1971Budgets UnitRG 48 S22, RG 48 S22AContains chronological files from the Budget Unit and personnel and salary listings from the Budget Unit.BRG48-22
  Details1945Housing Authority of Baltimore CityRG 48 S23, RG 48 S23A, RG 48 S23B, RG 48 S23C, RG 48 S23DContains Parcel Folders for the George B. Murphy Homes from Finance and Accounting, Comptroller's subject files, Housing Authority of Baltimore City Policy and Procedure files, and Comptroller's project files.BRG48-23
  Details1957-1973General Files, PlanningRG 48 S24

This series contains a wide variety of materials including correspondence, memos, reprints, reports, minutes, agendas, pamphlets, brochures, maps, agreements, contracts, budgets, flyers, newspaper clippings, inserts, proposals, bulletins, finance schedules, feasibility studies, flow charts, organization charts, and blank forms.

These records have been arranged according to their original order. The records illustrate the physical and social consequences of urban planning in the Baltimore metropolitan area, covering such topics as neighborhood structure, the relocation of families and the elderly, low-income housing, small business redevelopment, the inner-city riots of 1968, community relations with the municipal government, neighborhood park and recreation facilities, residential segregation, social desegregation, and Baltimore's system of neighborhood markets.

A file folder listing is available at the Baltimore City Archives.

  Details1957-1967Structural SurveysRG 48 S25

Building surveys conducted by BURHA to determine the feasibility of renovating slum dwellings in selected urban renewal areas. For each structure within the blocks covered, there is information relating to the number of stories and dwelling units, rental income, needed repairs or alterations, market value, mortgage payments, and cost for BURHA purchase is provided. Block maps displaying present and planned building uses are occasionally available. See also series 26 and 27 for additional block surveys.

This series also contains a group of administrative records relating to BURHA structural surveys. Included are land use and environmental block surveys (covering roughly blocks 308-556 and 3410-63), maps, cost estimates, and correspondence. Material exists for the Camden Industrial Park, Charles Center, Gay Street I, Harlem Park II, Madison Park South, Mount Vernon, Mt. Royal-Fremont, Oldtown, and Shot Tower Industrial Park urban renewal areas.

A complete list of block numbers surveyed is available at the Baltimore City Archives. See series 26 and 27 for related material.

  Details1966-1971Building Condition SurveysRG 48 S26

Detailed building surveys conducted by BURHA to determine the feasibility of renovating slum dwellings in selected urban renewal areas. For each structure within the blocks covered, there is information relating to type of construction, building use, occupancy, defects, exterior and interior conditions, and a general condition rating. Forms used and information gathered does vary from block to block. Maps displaying present find future building use are occasionally available. See also series 25 and 27 for additional surveys.

Some of the blocks surveyed were for the following projects: Community Mental Health Center, Gay Street I, Historic Park, and Washington Hill.

A complete list of block numbers surveyed is available at the Baltimore City Archives.

  Details1962-1965Harbor Study FilesRG 48 S27

Detailed building survey conducted by BURHA to determine the feasibility of renovating slum dwellings in the Inner Harbor urban renewal area. For most structures within the blocks covered, there is information relating to building use, number of stories, rentals, specific deficiencies, classification as standard or substandard, and estimated cost of rehabilitation. Forms used and information gathered does vary from block to block. Maps displaying present and future building use are occasionally available. See also series 25 and 26 for additional surveys.

A complete list of block numbers surveyed is available at the Baltimore City Archives.

 Details1948General Files, Research and Analysis Unit, PlanningRG 48 S28

Correspondence, memos, reports, background data for studies, maps, drawings, newspaper clippings, budgetary materials, BURHA council minutes, and working papers showing the unit's functions and responsibilities.

This is a preliminary description pending transfer of the records.

 Details1950Maps, Research and Analysis Unit, PlanningRG 48 S29

Maps prepared by this unit and collected for reference purposes. These maps depict a variety of statistics including black occupancy, percentage change in dwelling units, low-rent housing projects, and urban renewal housing projects and areas.

Permanent in department.

  Details1959Studies, Research and Analysis Unit, Planning DivisionRG 48 S30Studies prepared on various topics relating to public housing and urban renewal activities in Baltimore. Includes a number of publications and a grouping of data used in compiling a study of the Mount Royal-Fremont area.BRG48-30
  Details1951-1980PlanningRG 48 S31, RG 48 S31A, RG 48 S31B, RG 48 S31CContains working papers for major or long term studies, chronological files, urban renewal plans files, and development programs from Public Housing Planning.BRG48-31
  Details1978-1982Chronological Files These files date from the department's inception in March 1978 and contain copies of correspondence, memos, reports, and financial records. The major activities of this department were overseeing the Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) and Urban Development Action Grants (UDAG). Other activities included Local Public Authority housing rehabilitation and creating parks. A major function of program management was to act as liaison between HCD and the communities in which CDBGs, UDAGs, and housing rehabilitation were taking place. This was done through the Project Area Committees (PACs). For more detail on PACs see series 36. Communities discussed in these files are Butchers Hill, Coldspring, Coldstream-Homestead-Montebello, Fells Point, Jonestown, Montgomery (Federal Hill, Otterbein), Mt. Winans, Old Town, Park Heights, Poppleton, Reservoir Hill, Ridgely's Delight, Sharp-Leadenhall, Washington Hill, and Upton.BRG48-32
  Details1978-1980Budget Control Committee Records This (a part of HCD's program management division) was created to review "significant adjustments to our programs and budgets, particularly the addition of activities which are not included in any budget." The records consist of the agendas on the activities needing funds and the recommendations of the committee. The projects were usually for the acquisition and disposition of vacant housing or for capital improvements. The sources of funds were mainly the 26(h) housing program and Community Development Block Grants.BRG48-33
  Details1978Project Area Files 

Files of program management's involvement in the various program areas in the city. Included are copies of urban renewal plans and program profiles, contract records, property disposition programs and plans, inspection reports, and copies of permit applications. There is also a separate file on board of municipal and zoning appeal decisions applicable to each area.

A file folder listing is available at the Baltimore City Archives.

  Details1978Community Development Block Grant Files 

The Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) funded a variety of community programs in urban renewal areas. The grants were administered by the program management division and these records include copies of the grants, reports on the grants' usage and expenditures, minutes from CDBG program performance hearings, lists of activities, and performance reports.

A file folder listing is available at the Baltimore City Archives.

  Details1977-1978Project Area Committee (PAC) Files 

In order to determine how federal funds were to be spent in renewal areas the federal government funded (through Community Development Block Grants) community organizations known as Project Area Committees (PACs). Working with HCD staff the PACs helped determine what community projects to fund. The program management division of HCD was responsible for overseeing the PACs and these are the administrative files (for more detail on PAC activities see series 34). These files contain reports on PAC activities, bills from the PAC auditors, minutes from the PAC coalition meetings, and other general reports.

A file folder listing is available at the Baltimore City Archives.

  Details1952Relocation Division 

This division exists to relocate families, individuals, and businesses displaced as a result of projects undertaken by urban renewal and public housing activities and the state roads commission's implementation of federal roads programs within Baltimore City. Relocation services included assistance in finding acceptable accomodations in areas compatible with the family's needs and means, aid to the displaced family in meeting its rental obligations, assistance in selecting a moving company, and reimbursement for moving costs incurred.

  Details1956-1972Land Development Division, General Files 

This division succeeded the development division of BURHA and was responsible for acquiring and disposing of land and also interpreting and executing governmental policies and legislation pertaining to HCD's real estate work. Because this department took over the work of BURHA's development department there are some BURHA files in this series. Other BURHA development department files are in series 2. Other land development records are in series 41, the design advisory panel records.

The majority of these records concern the land acquisition phase of the department's work. The land acquisition chron files (boxes 1-3) concern properties in the following renewal projects: Broadway-Orleans, McCulloh Homes, Gay Street, Oldtown, Upton, Madison-Park North and South, Mount Winans, the Used House Public Housing Program (Vacant House), Mt. Vernon, Rosedale Farms, and the Neighborhood Development Program sites of Oliver, Orchard-Biddle, and Chapel. There is material relating to the capital improvement program, and city, state, and federal legislation pertaining to urban renewal.

A file folder listing is available at the Baltimore City Archives.

  Details1937-1957Land Development Division, Settlement Folders 

The majority of this material relates to surveys done by HABC during 1939-41 prior to the construction of public housing projects. The purpose of the survey was to determine the value of land and structures laying within the boundaries of the project areas. For each address surveyed, the records provide information concerning zoning, number of buildings, use, appraisal, rental income, number of rooms, condition, age, heat, plumbing, and general condition. Photographs of the structure and forms indicating the price paid by HABC for the property are provided as well.

Separate groups of administrative records including correspondence, maps, and property appraisals, are also available. These records concern 1939-41 Slum Clearance Areas B (McCulloh Homes), F (Perkins Homes), H (Poe Homes) (Gilmor Homes), K (Somerset and Douglass Homes), along with 1950-57 Housing Projects Md 2-11, 12, and 17 (Cherry Hill Homes), Md 2-13 (Westport Homes), MD 2-14 (Claremont Homes), MD 2-15 (Lafayette Courts), and MD 2-16 (Flag House Courts).

A complete list of street addresses surveyed is available at the Baltimore City Archives.

  Details1969-1975Land Development Division, Vacant House Program Real Estate Files 

Land Development - Land Acquisition Real Estate Files (Rosemont Area). This program was one in which city-owned vacant properties were rehabilitated. The units were then released to the HABC for use as public housing or in some cases, such as the Rosemont area, subsidized mortgage money was made available and the properties sold to individuals. The program began in 1969 but these files date primarily from October 1971 when it was consolidated in the division of construction and buildings inspection.

The real estate files (1969-75) of the program concern largely the acquisition of properties to be used in the program. This entailed much legal work since the vacant properties were purchases, if not already owned, by the city. The files are arranged alphabetically.

The Rosemont vacant house program (1970-75) was somewhat different from other areas rehabilitated under this program since the finished houses were sold to individuals who qualified for FHA subsidized mortgages. The Rosemont files contain information on the sales program. These files also are arranged alphabetically.

A file folder listing is available at the Baltimore City Archives.

  Details1963-1975Land Development Division, Design Advisory Panel 

Organized in 1964, this panel was composed of seven architects (chosen from out-of-town candidates to avoid conflict of interest) who reviewed the development plans for all public urban renewal projects in the city except for Charles Center and the Inner Harbor. These latter two projects were overseen by the Architectural Review Board after which this advisory panel was modeled. The panel members acted as consultants advising on the aesthetic aspects of urban renewal project designs. Urban Renewal Areas covered in these records are Broadway, Coldspring, Madison Park-North and South, Mount Vernon, Mount Winans, Oldtown, Oliver, Orchard-Biddle, the Social Security Administration Complex, Upton, West 28th Street Park Plan, and Windsor Gardens.

A file folder listing is available at the Baltimore City Archives.

  Details1976Chronological Files, Commerical Revitalization Reading files of correspondence, agreements, minutes, and reports generated by the division with supporting documents and attachments. Also included in these files are copies of correspondence and memos prepared for the signature of the commissioner of HCD and of correspondence and memos prepared by other divisions on topics related to the work of the commercial revitalization division.BRG48-42
  Details1973-1982General Files, Commerical Revitalization 

Correspondence, grant applications, regulations and legislation, copies of judicial decisions, program proposals, land use and and urban renewal plans, newspaper clippings, progress and other reports, minutes from commercial loan committee and merchant association meetings, and working papers. These records document the topics, projects, functions, and activities of this division.

A file folder listing is available at the Baltimore City Archives.

  Details1968-1981Correspondence Files, Construction and Building Inspection Separate groupings of correspondence, primarily orders to investigate complaints or answer questions about procedures and regulations, sent to the division. Included are letters from the mayor (1972-74, 1977) and the HCD commissioner (1972-74, 1977). Also present are memos from the HCD commissioner's office (1968-74, 1977), filed sequentially by item number.BRG48-44
  Details1969-1978Chronological Files, Construction and Building Inspection 

Central office files relating primarily to division activities in urban renewal areas. Subjects include demolition and construction, contractor bids and agreements, budgets, construction specifications and design, rehabilitation and modernization of structures, and construction change authorizations. Files are grouped according to the division official (often identified only by first name) responsible for specific subjects. Personnel include Rudolf Janssen, Albert Schindler, Robert Kuchta, Richard Aiken, Willard Scott, Edward Avollone, Norbert Beggerow, Richard Murphy, and division directors Ottavio Grande and Vito J. Mangano.

See series 60 for related materials.

  Details1964-1974Subject Files, Construction and Buildings Inspection 

Correspondence, reports, and forms concerning all aspects of division activities. Subjects include contractor licensing, building code adjustment and enforcement, building materials selection, civil defense, buildings damaged by riots, urban renewal demolition, personnel, administration of federal and state grants, permit application procedures, and vandalism.

A file folder listing is available at the Baltimore City Archives.

  Details1960-1982Property Files, Vacant House ProgramRG 48 S47

The goal of this program is to provide housing for low and moderate income families and to return abandoned structures to the municipal tax rolls. The program began in 1966 as the Used House Public Housing project (MD2-24, 1966-69) which rehabilitated houses in the Harlem Park Urban renewal area.

The used house grant expired in July 1969 and was replaced by this program, MD2-35, MD2-40, MD2-58, MD2-59, MD2-63, MD2-76. The city-owned vacant houses were sold to a developer who rehabilitated the houses and then sold them to the HABC to be used as rental public housing. In one project area, Rosemont, the houses were rehabilitated and then sold to individuals qualifying for FHA subsidized mortgages.

The files for the programs are similar. There is one file for each property, covering the rehabilitation process. The Rosemont files also include information on the sale of each property. In addition, there are files containing insurance information for contractors used in these projects.

A file folder listing is available at the Baltimore City Archives.

  Details1959-1977Engineering Correspondence Files, Construction and Building InspectionRG 48 S48

Central office files relating to land clearance, demolition, installation of utilities, and construction supervision at various urban renewal and public housing projects. The development department of BURHA handled these functions prior to the creation of this division under HCD in 1968. Subjects covered for each project vary, but generally include lot, block, and area files, correspondence, contracts and agreements, general files, demolition areas, budgets, department of public works liasions, and razed structures.

A file folder listing is available at the Baltimore City Archives.

  Details1895-1960Structural Drawings of City Owned Buildings 

Plans and blueprints of municipal buildings kept by the construction and buildings inspection division and its predecessors. Information includes electrical circuits, heating systems, floor plans and plumbing layouts.

A list of buildings is available at the Baltimore City Archives. See series 50 for similar material.

  Details1940-1952Structural Drawings 

Selected plans maintained by the bureau of building inspection of buildings constructed within the city. Information includes electrical circuits, heating systems, floor plans, and plumbing layouts.

See separate building index at the Baltimore City Archives. See series 49 for similar material.

  Details1878Registers of Public Franchises and Minor Priviledges 

Master list of all minor privileges granted. Entries contain the minor privilege number, location, type of privilege granted (such as for sign, steps, brick veneer), name of person to whom the privilege was granted, first year's charge, annual charge, flat charge if any, pertinent remarks, and an indication of whether the privilege is temporary or permanent.

This is a preliminary description pending microfilming of the registers.  See also RG65 Series 2 for registers convering the period 1917-1951.

  Details19311931 Building Survey 

Building use survey conducted by the police department, probably for use by the bureau of buildings (a predecessor of the construction and buildings inspection division). Information for each lot includes number of buildings and apartments, use of building, and type of commercial activity.

A separate listing of streets covered by the survey is also available at the Baltimore City Archives.

  Details1924-1961Master Index Cards, Building Permits Cards used to record applications received and permits issued lining to construction, alteration, and uses of structures. Information includes address; owner's name; division, section, block and lot numbers; date application was received; purpose of application; permit number and date; construction cost; date of completion; and any pertinent remarks. All work for an individual address is included on one card. BRG48-53
  Details1920-1961Building Permits Record of permits for building construction and renovation i maintained by the construction and buildings inspection division and its predecessors. These records also may be found as part of the file maintained in acetate jackets on each city address with which the division has worked. This series should be consulted in the division's inspection operations office. Information includes date of permit, type of project, project cost, date of completion, and general remarks.BRG48-54
  Details1962-1980Building Permits, Numerical Files 

Permits issued for construction and alteration of buildings. These records are filmed daily in order of issuance.

There is no access by address to this series. This is only available in the large series of records concerning individual structures kept in acetate jackets in the offices of the construction and buildings division.

  Details1900-1917Minor Privilege Index Cards Record of permission for private individuals to use city space kept, by the bureau of minor, privileges and its successor, the construction and buildings inspection division. Information includes permit number, property owner's name, description of work to be done, and dates during which the permit was valid. Most entries relate to placement of signs, windows, and doors.BRG48-56
  Details1900-1976Minor Privilege Applications Requests by property owners to the construction and buildings inspection division and its predecessor, the bureau of minor privileges, For permission to use city space. Information covers type of work, location, size, contractor, and materials to be used. Business owners requesting windows and signs constitute the largest number of entries.BRG48-57
  Details1917-1972Minor Privilege Account Revision Record of changes made in original grants of permission by the construction and buildings inspection division and its predecessor, the bureau of minor privileges, for use of city space. Changes noted include previous mistakes on permit, partial completion of the work, cancellation of permit, and transfer of ownership or property. Other information includes date, holder of permit, and address where work is to be done.BRG48-58
  Details1924-1961Block File (General File) 

Permits, applications for permits and alterations, records of inspections, violation notices, decisions of board of zoning appeals and the board of municipal and zoning appeals, zoning decisions, and correspondence. These records show the bureau of building inspection's work with city structures.

These records should only be consulted if the ward, section, block, and lot numbers are known. Ready access to this information and all such records, post-1961, is provided by the series of records concerning individual addresses maintained in acetate jackets by the construction and buildings inspection division of HCD.

These records are available on microfilm only (BCA 1433-1587).  Researchers should examine listing of contents for all reels since filming appears to have been done in three sections and a particular piece of property may appear in several places.

Arranged by ward, section, block and lot numbers.

  Details1963Razing Permits Copies of razing or moving of buildings applications, copies of permits issued, demolition plans, and memos concerning awarding of demolition contracts. These records document destruction of all buildings in Baltimore City from the early 1960s to the present.  Material up to 5 years from present has been filmed and at the Archives. (5 years to present @ HCD.)BRG48-60
  Details1930Drawings and Plans, Public Housing Projects 

Final approved drawings and plans for all public housing projects. Included are mechanical, electrical, and structural drawings, architect's conceptions, site and landscape plans, plumbing and heating diagrams, property line maps, and drawings for various improvements Installed in the projects (such as fencing, playgrounds, handrails, and security system).

There is a file folder listing available at the Baltimore City Archives.

  Details1975Condemnation Files, Building Inspection 

Notices of condemnation to owners of property, photocopies of condemnation posters, photographs of properties, and related correspondence. These files serve as a formal record of the proper notification of owners that their property has been condemned.

This is a preliminary description pending transfer of the records.

  Details1980Property Files, Design Unit, Construction and Buildings Inspection 

Cost estimates, plats, correspondence, memos and notes and working papers relating to design projects of an unusual nature involving individual properties.

This is a preliminary description pending transfer of the records.

  Details1970Demolition Contractor Files, Permits and Applications Permits and applications, newspaper clippings, correspondence, razing contractors' address list, bonds, insurance certificates, notices of bonds, and memos. These materials serve as a record of the transactions involved in obtaining a permit to perform demolition work in Baltimore City.BRG48-64
  Details1963-1977Building Inspection Contains chronological files from Construction and Building Inspection and Multiple Family Dwelling License files.BRG48-65
  Details1966Divisions Files, Information Services 

Correspondence, memos, copies of urban renewal plans, project summaries, minutes from meetings, summaries of Community Development Block Grant applications, press releases and reports, publications generated by the divisions, vacant land surveys, and the division's annual reports. These are primarily working files of information the division maintains concerning HCD activities and public housing projects.

Permanent in department.

  Details1973Urban Renewal Areas and Project Files, Information Services 

Correspondence, memos, reports, press releases, newspaper clippings, drawings, urban renewal plans, project summaries, and publications for the various urban renewal areas or projects in which HCD has been or is involved.

Permanent in department.

  Details1978Urban Development Action Grant (UDAG) and Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Files, Information Services 

Copies of grant applications, legislation and regulations, minutes from grant performance hearings, graphs, reports on grant use, detailed lists of activities, correspondence, memos, and other notes and working papers. These files show the various federal grants which HCD has received or in which it has participated.

Permanent in department.

  Details1971Organizations Files, Information Services 

Information concerning the establishment and purposes of the various local and national non-government organizations with which HCD works such as the Legal Aid, Johns Hopkins University, and the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials. The files contain primarily publications, press releases, and studies prepared by these organizations.

Permanent in department.

  Details1970Press Releases 

Files of all press releases issued through information services, files of the mayor's press releases that were prepared by information services or pertain to HCD, and files of the mayor's memos and remarks which are pertinent to HCD. These materials constitute a valuable record of official statements and clearly represent the trends in opinion and function of the agency.

Permanent in department.

  Details1970City, State, and Federal Government Files, Information Services 

Memos, correspondence, publications, reports, planning summaries, and notes and working papers concerning various government agencies such as the department of recreation and parks, civil service commission, police department, Regional Planning Council, and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and their links with HCD.

Permanent in department.

  Details1964-1974Chronological Files, Information Services The chronological files contain general letters from citizens and other municipalities on urban renewal and housing as well as letters concerning exhibits, publications, public programs, and dedications sponsored by HCD. The files begin in 1970. There is a separate file on various city bond issues (1964-60), especially the promotion of the 1967 bond issue for the Upton, Mt. Winans, and Oldtown areas.BRG48-72
  Details1955Photograph Files, Information Services 

Black and white and color photographs used by information services for various purposes. Sample categories used to arrange the collection include: Inner Harbor, neighborhoods, ceremonies and awards, recreation, personnel, and public housing developments.

Permanent in department.

  Details1950Slides, Information Services 

Color and black and white slides of urban renewal areas and projects in which HCD, HABC, or BURHA has been or is involved. Projects such as Mt. Royal, Charles Center, and Steuart Hill are represented as well as such general topics as public housing and neighborhoods.

Permanent in department.

  Details1965-1974Newspaper Clipping Files, Information Services 

These files consist of clippings that pertain to all facets of BURHA and HCD work. Newspapers represented include the Sunpapers, Afro-American, News American, New York Times, Washington Post, Washington Star, and Christian Science Monitor.

After June 1969 the clippings are arranged topically (see container list). From 1965 through May 1969 the clippings are divided either into a file on BURHA (HCD) activities or urban issues. The majority of the clippings concern BURHA-HCD work or with related urban problems in Baltimore. There is a sizeable representation of articles on national urban problems and on programs in New York City and Washington, D.C.

  Details1973-1986Art Project Files, Information Services 

Memos, correspondence, lists of persons to be invited to dedication ceremonies, press releases, newspaper clippings, publications, photographs, drawings, copies of contracts, and notes and working papers concerning paintings and sculpture placed at various locations in the City. These records concern mainly sculpture in the Inner Harbor area, but also cover murals and the "1% for Art" program.

File folder listing available.

  Details1970General Files, Information Services 

Correspondence, memos, biographical material on top agency officials, budgetary information, copies of speeches and articles prepared by the information officer and the commissioner of housing and community development, statistical information, materials relating to publications on radio and television, mailing lists, newspaper clippings, information regarding talks or tours sponsored by or participated in by HCD, personnel materials, City annual reports, and information regarding the Weiss and Sondheia Awards and their yearly recipients. These files serve to document the operation of information services and the topics with which it is concerned.

This is a preliminary description pending transfer of the records.

  Details1976-1981Mayor's Office of Manpower Resources Deputy Director's Files 

Records of the administration of Manpower programs and projects. These files include: fiscal and organizational information; evaluations; contracts; correspondence and memos; as well as personnel and office files. The files were used to evaluate, organize, and aministrate the programs and projects of the Mayor's Office of Manpower Resources.

There is a file folder listing available at the Baltimore City Archives.

  Details Demolition Files 

Demolition and Construction

  Details Code Enforcement 

Code Enforcement of the housing code of Baltimore City

  Details Land Resources 

The Land Resources division of the Department of Housing and Community Development. Contains Acquisition files, Disposition files, Relocation files, and Legal files.

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