Hampden, Baltimore

Hampden is a neighborhood located in northern Baltimore, Maryland, United States. Roughly triangular in shape, it is bounded to the east by Wyman Park, to the north by 40th and 41st Street, and to the west by the Jones Falls Expressway. The Homewood campus of the Johns Hopkins University is a short distance to the east.


Hampden was originally settled as a residential community for workers at the mills that sprung up along the Jones Falls; its first residents were in place well before the area was annexed to Baltimore City in 1888. Many of its residents came to the area from the hill country of Kentucky, West Virginia, and western Pennsylvania, looking for work in the mills. This influx cemented the image of the neighborhood for the decades that followed as a white, working-class, socially conservative enclave. However, like most of Baltimore, Hampden declined somewhat during the economic troubles of the 1980s-90s.

In the 1990s the neighborhood, conveniently located vis-a-vis Johns Hopkins and downtown and relatively safe when compared to other, more blighted areas of the city, was discovered by artists and other bohemians, who began the process of gentrification. Many of these artists were attracted by the 1987 creation of an artist studio and office space known as the [http://www.millcentre.com Mill Centre] , located in the southernmost region of Hampden between Falls Road and Mill Road. Over the past decade, housing prices in Hampden have skyrocketed, and the area's commercial center on a four block stretch of West 36th Street known as "The Avenue," has seen trendy boutiques and restaurants occupy storefronts that had become vacant when poor economic conditions forced many of the Avenue's traditional retailers to close. Hampden contains several sub-communities: Wyman Park, along the eastern section of the area, and SoHa, the area below 34th with a concentrated community of artists working and living near the Mill Centre. Hampden is also home to Morton Street Dance Center, Atomic Books, The True Vine, and popular Mobtown Players. The Woodberry station on the Baltimore Light Rail system is just on the other side of the Jones Falls Expressway and is within walking distance of much of the neighborhood.


Baltimore has in recent years embraced certain aspects of Hampden's traditional culture. The neighborhood is home to the annual "Hon Festival" (also called HonFest and named after the term "Hon," a term of endearment used by Hampdenites and Baltimoreans generally), which features attendees who tease their hair into the enormous beehive hairdos of the 1960s. The festival also features a contest to find the best "Bawlmerese," Baltimore's unique accent.

Hampden's 34th Street near the southern end of the neighborhood celebrates the Christmas holiday every year with the "Miracle on 34th Street" where home owners on both sides of the street decorate their houses with thousands of lights and Christmas decorations, attracting visitors from all over the world to see the spectacle.

Hampden received perhaps its most prominent nationwide exposure in 1999, when Baltimore native John Waters filmed his movie "Pecker" there. Starring Hollywood actors like Edward Furlong, Christina Ricci, Martha Plimpton, and Lili Taylor, the film celebrated Hampden's traditional culture.

Housing stock

Most of the housing stock in Hampden consists of modestly sized two-story rowhouses. There are very few areas amenable to further development in the neighborhood, a factor in the rising housing costs in the area. However, a very large mixed use development will begin construction in early 2008 in Hampden, at the site of the Historic Rotunda shopping center. The size and scale of this development has created some controversy for this neighborhood.

Landmarks and schools

Local Hampden landmarks include a branch of the Enoch Pratt Free Library, Burgee Hess Funeral Home, St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church, St. Luke's Lutheran Church, Hampden School #55 and Robert Poole Middle School #56, Baltimore Polytechnic Institute, and Western High School.

ee also

Culture of Baltimore

External links

* [http://www.hampdenmerchants.com/ Hampden Village Merchants Association]
* [http://www.hampdenhappenings.org/index.htm Hampden Community Council]
* [http://baltoco.org/hampden Hampden Community page on the Baltimore Collective]
* [http://www.cafehon.com/honfest.html HonFest]
* [http://www.christmasstreet.com "Miracle on 34th" Christmas Light Display]
* [http://grandrotunda.com The Rotunda Shopping Center]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Hampden — may refer to:PlacesAsia/Pacific* Hampden (township), North Otago, New Zealand * Hampden Cup (cricket tournament), Perth, Western AustraliaCanada* Hampden, Newfoundland and LabradorEurope* Hampden Park (stadium), Glasgow, Scotland * Hampden Park… …   Wikipedia

  • Baltimore's Marching Ravens — at the Hampden Christmas Parade in December 2006 …   Wikipedia

  • Martin Baltimore — Baltimore RAF Martin Baltimore GR.IV/V Role Light bomber Reconnaissance …   Wikipedia

  • List of streets in Baltimore, Maryland — Contents A · B · C · D · E · F · G · H · K · L · M · …   Wikipedia

  • Medfield, Baltimore — Houses along Newport Avenue, August 2011 Medfield is a neighborhood located in north Baltimore, Maryland, United States of America. It is located to the north of the trendy Hampden neighborhood and south of affluent Roland Park neighborhood. Its… …   Wikipedia

  • National Register of Historic Places listings in North and Northwest Baltimore — National Register of Historic Places listings in the city of Baltimore, Maryland Map of all coordinates from Google Map of all coordinates from Bing …   Wikipedia

  • Culture of Baltimore — Some of the more upscale rowhouses in Baltimore, like these brightly painted homes in Charles Village, have complete porches instead of stoops The city of Baltimore, Maryland, has a working class history and, being located in one of the Mid… …   Wikipedia

  • Woodberry, Baltimore — Woodberry Historic District U.S. National Register of Historic Places U.S. Historic district …   Wikipedia

  • John Hampden — (c. 1595 ndash; 1643) was an English politician, the eldest son of William Hampden, of Hampden House, Great Hampden in Buckinghamshire, a descendant of a very ancient family of that county, said to have been established there before the Norman… …   Wikipedia

  • Mount Washington, Baltimore — Mount Washington is an area of northwest Baltimore, Maryland. Contents 1 Description 2 Major Roads in Mount Washington 3 Public transportation 4 Schools …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.