My Wednesday column in The Sun is about a depressing series of break-ins of establishments in the 1700 block of North Charles Street, in Baltimore’s Station North, but it could have been about graffiti. Graffiti and grime in the blocks north and south of North Avenue, along Charles Street and Maryland Avenue, are particularly disturbing. “I’ve never seen graffiti as out of control as it is now in the decades I’ve lived here,” a reader wrote last night. I have to agree. In snapping the photo with this post, my eye was taken with the great afternoon light hitting one of the wonderful old buildings in Station North. But look closer and you’ll see just a small slice of the graffiti that demeans the city’s arts and entertainment district. Imagine what a visitor to the city thinks, coming out of Penn Station and driving north to Hopkins through that scene. Station North has Graffiti Alley but apparently the “artists” can’t content themselves to that; another friend speculates that, once they emerge from the Alley, they empty their spray paint on the facades of other buildings in the area. My question: What, if anything, is being done about this? Has City Hall even noticed? It’s truly appalling, gives a sense of lawlessness and chaos and suggests that the civil authorities of Baltimore, from the Mayor’s office to the local police, have just given up.

Exterior wall of Patisserie Poupon on Baltimore Street.

3 thoughts on “An epidemic of grafitti in Baltimore

  1. The broken window theory is real. Crime will follow disinvestment and it will thrive there. Quality of life crimes not only make you feel unsafe it opens the door for more crime. I have seen this in action in Oliver. When people see the city fixing the small things, they feel like someone cares enough to notice which makes residents care enough to notice the big and the small and play a role in fixing it. Everyone wants to feel and know that the city has its back.

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  2. We paint the wall across from the guest/client entrance to the Franciscan Center on Mace Street between 22nd and 23rd Sts. the morning after it gets tagged. Activity has dropped off a *lot* as a result. Not practical for everyone, I guess, but has made a difference for us.

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