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More Waterfront Attractions Could Come To Baltimore City

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BALTIMORE (AP) — More than three decades ago, Harborplace transformed Baltimore’s waterfront. Now a local group is working to modernize the area with new parks and attractions.

The Daily Record of Baltimore reports that a study expected could include recommendations for space for concessions, picnics and public access to the water.

Recommendations from the $120,000 study, Inner Harbor 2.0, should be unveiled in September, according to Laurie Schwartz , president of the Waterfront Partnership of Baltimore.

“The Inner Harbor promenade is 40 years old,” Schwartz said. “Just like any public space that receives that much use, it’s tired and at a minimum needs a face-lift and at most needs rejuvenation.”

Schwartz traveled to New York last month with city representatives and local architects to visit waterfront parks for inspiration.

“We saw the mix of large open spaces available for just concerts or events or picnicking, Frisbee throwing,” she said of the 5-year-old Brooklyn Bridge Park on New York’s East River waterfront. “We saw a lot of stormwater management practices that were very insightful and inspiring. We saw a number of ways that they incorporated the park and water access for kayaks and canoes, so people could actually get on the water easily for their own recreation, and a lot of recreation on the piers, including soccer fields, baseball fields and other kinds of fields that could be programmed for other sports.”

The upgrades include but aren’t limited to Rash Field, McKeldin Square and Fells Point. The first phase of upgrades will focus on the area from Inner Harbor east to Fells Point, but they will eventually stretch from Locust Point to Canton.
City planning Director Thomas Stosur says cost estimates for upgrades have not been finalized, but funding will come from public and private sources.

GBC President Donald Fry said last week the project’s goals are pressing.

“The Inner Harbor has been Baltimore’s calling card for 30 years,” he said. “It’s certainly been the jewel of the city, but every so often we need to go through shining up that jewel. This is the appropriate time as we see expansion across the waterfront, to fix up (and) enhance the experience for visitors as well as the residents of Baltimore.”

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(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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