BALTIMORE (WJZ) — One of Baltimore’s most dedicated visionaries has passed away. Baltimore businessman and developer John Paterakis died Sunday at age 87.
Pat Warren has a look at some of the many contributions Paterakis, known as the Bread Man, made to the city in his lifetime.
He put H&S Bakery on the map and mapped out a future for Habor East.
While you won’t see his name anywhere in the neighborhood, Baltimore’s showpiece Harbor East has John Paterakis written all over it, the vision of a Baltimore native who never stopped believing in the city and sank everything he had into it.
“I’m just a little greek baker that got lucky,” he said.
In June, Paterakis was named a Baltimore Sun Business and Civic Hall of Fame Honoree, a recognition among many including the 2010 Urban Land Institute’s Lifetime Achievement Award that featured a slideshow of his life, beginning with the rowhome basement bakery he built into one of the largest on the east coast.
“Like my mother used to say ‘Everything in life we do it for our children,'” he said.
“The city was basically all a part of my father. He loved it and he did what he could to put as much of his time into the city to build it up to what it was today.” said John Paterakis, Jr. “So he’s leaving us the legacy to have that continued,” he said.
“God broke the mold after he made Mr. Paterakis,” said Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.
Mayor Rawlings-Blake remembers voting as a councilmember against the Paterakis proposal for a Harbor East Hotel.
“And I say all the time that time has proven me wrong and I’m glad – because he was a visionary,” she said.
Paterakis was indicted in 2009 on alleged campaign finance violations. He pleaded guilty to two misdeamenor charges, was fined and sentenced to two years probation, which ended in 2012.
Son John tells WJZ his father’s power and influence are not all that will be remembered.
“He was very humble in his offerings that he provided back to the city. None of us want to do something too big – we go little by little – and we’ve accomplished that,” he said.
A viewing for Mr. Paterakis will be held Wednesday at the Masonic Temple in Hunt Valley. His funeral Thursday will be private.