The Charles North neighborhood is Baltimore’s premier location for an eclectic mix of arts and entertainment venues set in historic buildings and architecturally impressive houses. Located directly north of Penn Station, the area has been transformed into one of the most hip locations in the city with the Station North Arts and Entertainment District drawing artists, music lovers and young professionals into the heart of Baltimore. Adding to Charles North’s central location is the scenic Jones Falls River corridor just to the south. The neighborhood is known throughout the city as the home to the Maryland Institute College of Art and the University of Baltimore. Coupled with the neighborhood’s present success, Charles North continues to experience rapid growth and expansion with an exciting array of residential and commercial development planned in the next 10 to 20 years.
The community of Charles North has developed throughout its history from a haven for upper-middle class residents who imbued it with historic shopping and entertainment locations to the center of Baltimore’s bustling arts communities. In the 1880s and 1890s, the Victorian architecture of the neighborhoods was built up thanks to an influx of middle class and upper middle class socialites. The area transitioned to a transportation hub through the construction of Penn Station in 1911. Charles North experienced a shift after World War II, and over the next several decades evolved into a thriving arts community as other Baltimore neighborhoods began pricing artists out.
In 2008, the Charles North Vision Plan was finalized and formally endorsed by Mayor Sheila Dixon, identifying a 30 year timetable to transform Charles North into “a regional crossroads of culture.”
Today, the Charles North neighborhood is at the center of a resurgent city and is a gateway for millions of people who enter Baltimore via Penn Station or the Jones Falls Expressway. The area is recognized as a hub for artists thanks to its proximity to Maryland Institute College of Arts, as well as a growing community of entrepreneurial businesses that imbue the neighborhood with its professional charm.