1 Introduction; REBU!LD

Welcome to the Middle East. East Baltimore, famous for its violence, poverty, and rampant drugs, is also the subject of the nation's largest urban redevelopment. East Baltimore Development Inc's 88-acre "New East Baltimore" will "transform the disinvested neighborhood into a thriving mixed-income community."

The development footprint is located only 1.5 miles from Baltimore's Inner Harbor tourist bubble. Not entirely encompassing East Baltimore, it has no physical boundaries but has become a neighborhood within a neighborhood. From the northeast to its southwest corner, the architectural landscape is a sharp gradient from condemned rowhomes to the tall glass buildings of the world renowned Johns Hopkins’ campus. On weekdays, the echoes of both hammers building and jackhammers demolishing can be heard from within the homes of the few remaining residents. On Sundays, the dissonant sounds from the construction work are replaced by the melodic ringing of church bells and the voices of many relocated residents who have temporarily returned to worship in their home churches. For better or for worse, the project has replaced the neighborhood's rich history with a new one, yet to be determined.