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Vision of rebirth flows from old Clifton Park Valve House

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Vision of rebirth flows from old Clifton Park Valve House

I stepped inside the long-abandoned Clifton Park Valve House and cursed myself for waiting so long to visit one of Baltimore’s familiar, yet off-limits treasures.

The light shot though its broken tile roof and a steady breeze whistled though its substantial granite walls. The experience was a revelation.

This little castle on Saint Lo Drive in the middle of Clifton Park has been closed and abandoned for nearly 50 years. And while it’s not a total ruin, one of its stone walls is beginning to separate from the roof. For more than four decades, preservationists have lamented its deplorable condition.

John Ciekot, special projects director for Civic Works, the community service nonprofit that trains young people in building skills, guided me on a tour of the structure, which once safeguarded machinery that controlled the water flow to the old Lake Clifton reservoir.