From Baltimore Magazine - April 25, 2016
Hidden Gem ‘Hoods
We go in search of the unsung neighborhoods of the Baltimore Area
By Ken Iglehart and Amy Mulvihill
Research assistance by Jacqui Neber | Illustrations by Alli Arnold
HUNTING RIDGE. Tucked just inside the city’s western border, Hunting Ridge was platted in the 1920s with the majority of its development occurring during the ’20s and ’30s. As such, it boasts homes in a variety of historic styles, ranging from bungalows and center-hall Colonials to foursquares and Tudor-revival cottages. Most homes sit on generous, well-landscaped lots, and towering shade trees stand sentry over wide, winding streets that slope down to the 1,200-acre expanse of Gwynns Falls/Leakin Park, where residents hike, bike, and walk their dogs year-round.In the center - both literally and figuratively - of the family-friendly community is Thomas Jefferson Elementary-Middle School, a public school with a good reputation thanks to its International Baccalaureate elementary curriculum, Spanish language instruction beginning in pre-kindergarten, and Arts Every Day program, which provides students with cultural education through museum visits and in-class activities. This quaint cosmopolitanism is mirrored in the community at large, which is racially and ethnically diverse and full of professionals who take advantage of Hunting Ridge’s proximity to UMBC (12 minutes), BWI (17 minutes), downtown Baltimore (19 minutes), Columbia (21 minutes), and D.C. a little over an hour). “It’s our little piece of Mayberry,” says Nancy Smith, a longtime resident who heads the neighborhood’s community association. “My husband and I moved from Kansas City, MO, and we came across this neighborhood that was easy access to the beltway, close to the airport, had beautiful trees, and all the houses were architecturally different—plus it was adjacent to a park.” So Smith and her husband, Bud, a retired VP of an architectural woodworking company, bought their 1927 fieldstone Jefferson Colonial and never looked back. “We have the best neighbors in the world,” says Smith, 62, the senior director of government relations and principal gifts for the Maryland Food Bank. “We can go away and they’ll feed our cat. We can have an early-morning flight and they’ll drop us off at the airport. The city has been good to us.”
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