Words by Nakita Reed, 2023-2024 BAF President
This year was a whirlwind and marked the 36th anniversary of Baltimore Architecture Foundation with a mission to celebrate design and the built environment.
This year we’ve launched – and relaunched some initiatives to engage the public. Here’s a recap of some of the 2023 highlights:
We started the year with the return of the Groundhog Day Party, which was held in the Switch Room at Baltimore Penn Station.
Throughout the year, we held artists events and exhibits, including the Ghost Signs exhibit that is currently on view at the Center for Architecture and Design.
We raised money for scholarships at the first gathering of AIA Fellows in Baltimore in 4 years. This event was hosted by the AIA Fellows Committee.
Hosted a Chalk Art Contest for the Charles Street Promenade and encouraged teams to draw places that show off Baltimore’s rich architectural history.
Brought back City Sand! Nine design teams spent the day using their skills in the sand to make sculptures that reflected their vision for the future of Harborplace. A special thanks to MCB Real Estate for partnering with us on this event.
Toured M&T Bank (Ravens) Stadium.
Last but not least, we celebrated the 10th Anniversary of Doors Open Baltimore with tours of buildings all around the city!
In addition to these great events, we also gave awards to recognize individuals and organizations that have contributed to Baltimore. At the Design Awards this year, BAF awarded Mark Sissman with the Roger Redden Award for his contributions to Baltimore as President and CEO of the Hippodrome Foundation during its redevelopment and for his time as President of Healthy Neighborhoods. We also awarded Civic Works with the Golden Griffin Award for their job-training based around sustainable construction, equity, healthy communities, and work with youth across the city to teach real-world building skills.
Through our tours, lectures, educational programs, exhibitions, awards, student scholarships, research, and publications, the BAF continued to demonstrate how ideas are manifested in the built environment and urban design of the city.
None of this would have been possible without the amazing staff at the Center or the BAF Board. A big thank you to all the BAF Board members, especially those who are concluding their terms this year: Laura Penza, AIA; Lafaithea Stewart; Sarsfield Williams; and Laura Wheaton, AIA, 2022 AIA Baltimore President ex-officio.
As many of you know, these past few years have been rebuilding years for BAF. To provide stability as BAF is continuing to rebuild I’ve been asked to extend my term for one more year and am honored to do so!
2024 is going to be about growth and connection so we can continue building on all of the work that was done in recent years. We welcome several new board members to bring new energy and enthusiasm to the board, including : Leah Carlson, Diana Emerson, Barbara Gilbert, Griffin Sanderoff, Assoc. AIA, and Martina Reilly, AIA, 2023 AIA Baltimore President ex officio.
We are looking forward to connecting with more allied organizations around the city to get more people excited about the great architecture that exists in Charm City. Tours that are in the works for 2024 include:
- Enoch Pratt
- M&T Bank Stadium
- Under Armour
- And a few we’re not ready to announce just yet.
Last but not least, I am thrilled to announce that the Groundhog Day Party will take place Saturday, February 3, 2024 at the Light Street Pavilion at Harborplace. Save the Date for what is sure to be a memorable evening!
I look forward to leading BAF in 2024 and invite you to share your passion for Baltimore architecture by joining and supporting us. We are always looking for volunteers and future board members so I hope you’ll get involved with some of the amazing programming we have scheduled for the year. Wishing you a holiday season full of joy and excitement.
Nakita Reed, AIA, NOMA, LEED AP BD+C, CPHC
2023-2024 Baltimore Architecture Foundation President
Quinn Evans, Senior Associate