Hampden, a trendy and hip neighborhood of Baltimore, is a place where artists gather, where pink flamingoes decorate the shops and where beehive hairdos are the bees’ knees.
Hampden, located in northwestern Baltimore, Maryland, has experienced tremendous increases in home valuation. The former mill town along the Jones Falls has become a home for artists, entrepreneur boutique owners, and residents who want to live near their work at Johns Hopkins and downtown Baltimore.
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The average detached single-family home in Hampden is valued at $334,699, more than $30,000 higher than a single family home in Baltimore. The estimated value of a Hampden townhouse was $208,580, more than $25,000 greater than similar townhouses in Baltimore. Today, the population of Hampden is 5,786, according to 2010 U.S. Census data.
Hampden’s boundaries are Wyman Park to the east, Roland Park to the north, Remington to the south, and Jones Falls Expressway to the west. The streets are lined with two-story brick row houses once home to flour and cotton mill workers. The larger stone and brick homes were once housed by upper level mill staff and mill managers. New residents and new businesses have energized a neighborhood with cool character.
The median income for a Hampden household was $53,057, according to city officials.
A four-block stretch of trendy boutiques, art galleries and restaurants along West 36th Street is called simply “The Avenue.” According to city officials, The Avenue features some of Baltimore’s more trendy spots, including an upscale wine bar. A new high-end, mixed use property called the Clipper Mill has attracted residents and spurred even more economic development. The Hampden business district is not only a local favorite place to shop but also attracts visitors to Baltimore as well. The businesses in Hampden have an advocate for growth in the Hampden Village Merchants Association.
The Hampden neighborhood is home to the Hon Festival. It is an irreverent way to pay homage to old Hampden’s traditions. In the old neighborhood, “Hon” was used short for “Honey,” a term of endearment. During the HonFest, residents and visitors tease their hair or a wig into the biggest beehive hair style possible. During the festival, there is a contest to see who can speak “Bawlmer-ese” with the accent and dialect. See the musical “Hairspray” for lingo tips.
Hampden is also home to “Miracle on 34th Street,” where and homeowners on both sides of the street decorate their homes with thousands of Christmas lights and decorations. Think Griswold Christmas Vacation on steroids. Then travel on over to Roland, just off The Avenue and see the “Nightmare Before Christmas,” a decorated house with synchronized lights and music.
Baltimore has hundreds of unique neighborhoods, but Hampden is “the” upwardly mobile, trendy and hip place to live. It is close to Johns Hopkins University, Loyola College, the Maryland Institute College of Art and the University of Baltimore. Hampden is served by commuter trains – the Light Rail -into Baltimore. Hampden has access to Interstate 83 and is only 10 minutes from downtown Baltimore or minutes from the suburbs.
Hampden is central to Baltimore’s cultural amenities, including the Baltimore Museum of Art, Walters Art Museum, and the Baltimore Zoo.
Hampden residents enjoy the area’s green spaces of Jones Falls, Roosevelt Park and Wyman Park.
The Hampden-area schools are among the most desired, including Western High School, the oldest public all-girls school in the nation. Western, a part of the Baltimore City School District, was recognized as a National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence and as “Silver Medal High School” by U.S. News and World Report. Hampden is also home to Baltimore Polytechnic Institute, locally called “Poly-Tech High.” This is a public school founded in 1883 which emphasizes engineering, math and science. It features a 53-acre campus on Falls Road and is recognized as a Blue Ribbon School of Excellence.
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