Harbor West Collaborative (HWC), South Baltimore 7 Coalition (SB7), South Baltimore Gateway Partnership (SBGP)
Associations (browse board members in new window):
Westport CEDC, Westport Neighborhood Association
Neighborhood History (source: South Baltimore Gateway Master Plan)
Westport is a self-contained community on the northern shore of the Middle Branch. In the 1800s, it was the site of an iron works, but it didn’t develop into a large settlement until Maryland-born children of German immigrants arrived and it became a working- class industrial neighborhood at the turn of the 20th Century. The Carr-Lowrey Glass Company built a glass manufacturing plant on the shores of the Middle Branch in 1889, followed by construction of the Baltimore Novelty Steam Boiler Works and the Westport Power Plant.
Westport was a stable settlement characterized by longtime residents well into the mid-20th Century. In addition to the German-American core, Westport gained new residents from other states and immigrants from other countries as the Carr-Lowrey Glass Works expanded and intensive residential development took place. The community was one of the most racially diverse neighborhoods in South Baltimore, with the residential area centered on Annapolis Road and adjoining the Mount Winans community.
Westport is home to the oldest African American cemeteries in Baltimore, Mount Auburn Cemetery, established in 1872 as the “City of the Dead for Colored People” by the Reverend James Peck, pastor of Sharp Street African Methodist Episcopal Church. Westport has long served as a convenient transportation crossroads. The Annapolis Short Line Railway and the Washington, Baltimore, and Annapolis Electric Railway ran through the community, and the Western Maryland Railroad constructed a line through Westport and across the Middle Branch to Port Covington. In the mid-20th Century, the six-lane MD 295 was constructed through Westport, destroying a large swath of the neighborhood and splitting it in two. Public housing projects constructed in the 1950s also altered the community. Industries along the waterfront declined and ultimately abandoned their plants. While Westport’s economic vitality declined over several decades, it today retains a distinct community identity.