Look! Painted Ladies Row Houses

Baltimore

(Welcome to Kimber — a new weekly blogger from Baltimore!)

When you mention "Painted Ladies" houses, most people assume you're talking about the Victorian houses in San Francisco. So who knew you didn't have to travel 3000 miles away, but could just as easily stumble into them in Baltimore?

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Charles Village, an eclectic community in North Baltimore, began this tradition ten years ago as part of a contest to encourage residents to spruce up their neighborhood. There were three categories and prize money was awarded to the winner of each category, which would help offset the cost.

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The idea seems simple enough, but represents more than just a few coats of bright paint. Beautifying your surroundings can help ward off crime, a concept that emphasizes the need for civic activism. The contest no longer exists, but the colorful facades and communal pride still stand.

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Pastel Row - How it all began.

What are your thoughts? Has your neighborhood made a collective transformation you'd like to share?

(Images: Kimberly Watson)

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