For more than twenty years, Downtown Partnership of Baltimore has provided both vision and leadership on issues that affect the success and vitality of Downtown. We are supplemental to the services of Baltimore City, not supplant, so often times our capital projects are joint ventures, true examples of public-private partnerships for the betterment of Downtown Baltimore.
Explore current and historic Capital Projects below.
We’re working to provide more engaging and intimate public spaces, enhance the pedestrian experience, support small businesses and artists, and provide areas that serve as a respite to busy streets.Learn More
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A project ten years and 16 blocks in the making, the Pratt Street Redesign was led by DPOB in conjunction with the City of Baltimore. It has reimagined the once pedestrian-unfriendly corridor into to a greener, people-minded urban boulevard. Large earthen hills, called berms, were removed to make way for improved landscaping and street-level retail expansion. The tree canopy was increased and two bio-retention basins or bioswales were installed to filter and contain rainwater. Pedestrian bridges were removed to create better sight-lines and increased street-level foot traffic and additional pedestrian-focused lighting was added at street level. A bus/bike-only lane was installed, a bottleneck cab lane was removed, and programming at the corner of Pratt and Light Streets now brings thousands of employees and residents to this once dormant plaza.
Originally opened in 1982, McKeldin Plaza sits squarely in the middle of Downtown Baltimore, one of the country’s fastest-growing population and employment centers. The multi-phase $4 million renovation created a more welcoming gateway from the south featuring a rolling lawn, terraced seating, a water feature, and new lighting elements. These upgrades made the space more accommodating to pedestrians. It’s also much more flexible for festivals, events, and civic engagement.
Center Plaza is a 1.7-acre park that was part of the historic Charles Center development – one of the country’s first major urban renewal projects two generations ago. Constructed over a sub-terranian garage, the park is a nexus that links Charles Center with the Bromo Tower Arts District to the west. In 2007, we initiated a $7.4 million investment that transformed the large, concrete park surface into a green urban park with mature trees and water features. What was once a desolate haven for pigeons, is now a popular lunchtime gathering spot where we host monthly happy hours, playdates, outdoor movies, and weekly fitness classes.
Built in the 1920s, Preston Gardens is a prominent part of the Charles Street National Scenic Byway. It serves as the northern gateway to the city’s most densely populated office and residential neighborhoods. The park is the front year for Mercy Medical Center and thousands of people who live and work in the area. To make it more desirable spot for reading, lunch, and outdoor events we program the park with tables and chairs, and program monthly events like free exercise classes and pet-friendly happy hours.
Working with public and private stakeholders, we recently finished a major park refurbishment that took more than a decade of fundraising and planning. It began with reactivation of two fountains and culminated in a $6.75 million rehabilitation of the parks center retaining wall, lawns, irrigation, lighting, and upper level. Most notably the project restoring the 100-year-old stone and brick retaining wall, realigned traffic lanes on upper Saint Paul to eliminate the burden that parked and traveling vehicles exerted on the wall and created an expanded park space.
Just in front of Mercy Hospital and Preston Gardens, we transformed a dark, foreboding tunnel beneath the Orleans Street Viaduct with a colorful, energy-efficient LED light display. The light patterns can change for holidays or to support Ravens and Orioles victories. And, the installation inspired LIT City- a party we host annually, that shuts down the street gets hundreds of people dancing under the tunnel lights.
Just to the south of Center Plaza, Hopkins Plaza, located on Charles Street between Lombard and Baltimore Streets. It is also built above an underground garage and surrounded by multiple office and residential buildings. DPOB has undertaken several projects to create a welcoming and visually interesting environment for the many stakeholders who enjoy this plaza. A large-scale sculpture by Wendy Ross, entitled Flora, and decorative fountain lighting were commissioned for the fountain to provide visual interest year-round. The garage beneath the plaza can now be accessed through elevator and modern, light-box stair enclosures that glow at night. In 2019 we installed a bocce court and dog walk for nearby residents. And, as they do in Center Plaza and Preston Gardens, our Park Stewards maintain the area daily, painting and filling planters around the plaza, placing Adirondack chairs and bistro tables each day, and maintaining the trees and plant beds.
Located on the west side of Saint Paul Street between Lexington and Fayette, Courtyard Plaza needed some TLC. DPOB restored the fountain to working condition and added a light feature that adds visual interest to the foundation at night and during the winter months. An old analog clock was meticulously restored to working condition and improvements were made to the trees and tree pits in the plaza, which is now a popular, shaded lunchtime destination.