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Barclay transforming from ‘gritty Greenmount’ to trendy new haven

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Barclay transforming from ‘gritty Greenmount’ to trendy new haven

On a windy February day in 1999, I toured the Barclay community with leaders who were trying to preserve a neighborhood later described in news coverage as “collapsed.”

There were rubble-strewn blocks and vacant and abandoned houses. The neighborhood’s main thoroughfare was an eyesore, a street other reporters at The Sun called “gritty Greenmount.”

Over the years, dedicated residents maintained their love for the aged neighborhood and nurtured hope that its amazing housing stock could somehow be preserved.

It has taken 18 years, but those hopes are bearing fruit. The neighborhoods along Barclay Street, Greenmount Avenue and the east-west thoroughfares north of 20th Street have been reclaimed and rebuilt. There are several neighborhood groups working here — Greater Greenmount, East Baltimore Midway, Barclay and Old Goucher.