History of Westport
Westport is a small early 20th-century residential neighborhood in south Baltimore defined by its topography and the modes of transportation that extend through it.
Westport, a neighborhood that Baltimore annexed in 1918, is a self-contained industrial village that has survived far-reaching physical and cultural changes over its existence. From its beginning as a late 19th century agricultural area settled by the Maryland-born children of German immigrants, Westport developed to become a working class neighborhood in the 20th century. Well into the mid-20* century Westport was a stable settlement characterized by longtime residents. In addition to this German American core, Westport added new residents from other states and immigrants from other countries as the Carr-Lowrey Glass Works expanded and intensive residential development took place after the 1918 annexation. Westport can claim its share of famous sons, including Baseball Hall of Famer Al Kaline and noted movie theater historian Robert K. Headley.
In the mid-20th century, Route 295, now a six-lane limited access road with interchanges at either end of Westport, irrevocably split the neighborhood and compromised its historic pedestrian scale. Public housing immediately to the west changed the former demographic of homogeneous, long-term residents. By the early 1970s, Westport was a blighted neighborhood. Industries along the waterfront declined and ultimately abandoned their plants. Nevertheless, despite these changes, Westport retains a distinct physical identity.
The Baltimore Black Sox
Just south of Camden Yards are two historic baseball sites,
the exact location of which was unknown until November 2013.
The first was Maryland Baseball Park, located at the intersection of Bush Street and Russell Street, where the Baltimore Black Sox played from 1921 to 1932. The second was Westport Park, located two blocks south of Maryland Baseball Park at the intersection of Clare Street and Annapolis Road. Westport Park is where the Baltimore Black Sox played their home games from 1917-1920.
(Note: there was a second Negro League ballpark in Baltimore known as Westport Stadium, located two miles south on Annapolis Road between the Baltimore-Washington Parkway and Patapsco Avenue, where the Baltimore Elite Giants played in 1950).
Middle Branch Park
South of the Inner Harbor, just across the Hanover Street Bridge, lies one of Baltimore's most pleasant outdoor parks, Middle Branch Park. This beautiful park is located along Baltimore’s “middle branch” of the Patapsco River.
With a hard-working history, the 150-acre Middle Branch Park was created by Baltimore City in 1977 by consolidating existing shoreline parks, at which time the city began restoring the sites. Ten years later, the Baltimore Rowing and Water Resources Center opened, reviving a tradition of rowing competitions.
Located less than a 1/4 mile from the Westport residential space, in previous years, the Middle Branch Park was geographically referenced within the Westport borders. Just a very short walk from Westport Mainstreet...