There was no shortage of groans and eye rolls yesterday when the Baltimore Sun ran a story on the city’s Inner Harbor Master Plan. People are fed up with good reason. Not only has the city ignored all good sense and pressed forward with the Harbor Point TIF, now they want to build a ‘world class’ urban beach with ‘pizazz.’ (We assume pizazz is a polite term for chromium in the water.) Meanwhile we’ve got large scale retail developments within easy walking distance of the inner harbor that look like this and this.
One of those disaffected by these grandiose visions of a Potemkin village for the luxury condo set happens to be a confidential source inside the planning department at city hall. This source has reached out to the Baltimore Chop and intimated to us that the plan outlined in the Sun as ‘Inner Harbor 2.0’ is described as ‘preliminary’ and ‘provisional’ and is little more than a bait and switch to boost public support for Thomas Stosur’s and SRB’s real vision for the harbor.
Our source is not just talking out of school. ‘Inner Harbor 3.0’ plan will do away with Brutalist landmarks like the Mechanic and McKeldin Fountain entirely and replace them with a grand vision in the Googie style. Below are some of Stosur’s true renderings of his plan for the harbor, seeing the light of day for the first time exclusively here.
Design of Light St, Pratt St merger looking east.
Floor plan for potential luxury condos.
Luxury condos will rise high into the air, yet no one’s water views will be obstructed.
Artist’s Rendering of plans for the updated Light Street pavilion.
Harbor East will remain as the city’s premiere retail destination.
The pedestrian bridge from Pier 6 to Rash Field will actually be a two-tiered moving walkway. One level for tourists, one for bougie joggers.
Television studios are planned to accommodate productions like Veep and House of Cards.
Boring national chain restaurants will be replaced with exciting new dining concepts for an out-of-this-world culinary experience.
Modern individualized all-weather dog parks will appeal to the pampered pooches of Canton and Fed Hill.
Casino gambling will help to re-brand Pigtown as Inner Harbor West.
Downtown Gambling will be perfectly safe and the casinos will bustle with activity 24 hours a day.
Pigtown will also be home to a World Class concert venue, the Hammerjacks of the future!
But the local scene won’t be ignored. Instead of sending in the cops to bust DIY spaces, the city will transform Arts district clubs into classy, upscale lounges.
It wasn’t enough for Southern High School to become Digital Harbor. Under new plans it will become Digital Social Entrepreneur Founder Tech Startup High School.
Plans also include blue collar jobs (far from the inner harbor, near the Amazon Warehouse site). Not pictured: the 40 minute red line ride to work.
Despite the CCC, Red Line, etc, car ownership and traffic will remain an integral part of the Inner Harbor’s future.
After all, we depend on county people to finance much of these plans with sneaky parking taxes.
City dwellers will finance the balance of the plan through continued use of speed cameras. Tickets will be issued in real time.
Enjoy your new urban beach, Baltimore!
“If you will it, it is no dream.”
“If you build it, they will come.
-A weird voice in a corn field
“For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple and wrong.”
-H. L. Mencken
Image credits: first, second. All others courtesy Hanna-Barbera.