"The Lot" at 4500 Harford Road

HISTORY

Hamilton-Lauraville Main Street (HLMS) is transforming 4500 Harford Road, known locally as "The Lot" into a food-tourism destination. Once renovations are complete, the lot will offer heritage and community activities such as farmer's markets, live music, dining pop ups, family activities, and collaborations with local nonprofit organizations. The Lot will include a stage, spaces for the market/vendors, while the kitchen will allow for job development opportunities and hosting business incubators. Future public events will feature local history, artists, musicians, and other “foodie” activities inspired by the area’s farming heritage.

4500 Harford Road, was built as a gas station in the 1950s. But then it was abandoned around 1986 and became a community eyesore that sadly a whole generation of families remember it like that. The city acquired the property in 2004 and removed the underground oil tanks. In 2009, HLMS received permission to put in a farmers market to uphold the area’s heritage. The site itself is not historically significant, but Lauraville is a national registered historic place, and the surrounding neighborhoods were farm villages in the 19th century. Markley’s Market and small family farms provided local produce and home deliveries by horse wagon and later by trucks. Farmers from PA also stopped here to rest and eat on their delivery route to Baltimore City. The farming tradition lives on in backyard gardens and rooftop gardens. Small businesses on Harford Road continue to serve food that the area was famous for like small-batch coffee, bread, brewery, crab cakes, and pickles. There are also shops that preserve traditional crafts such as quilting and handmade musical instruments. Lauraville is historically significant because it was Baltimore’s “suburb” in the early 20th century. Lauraville’s proximity to the city, as well as its picturesque setting, made it an attractive location for new residents to develop roots and offered a variety of eateries for travelers or commuters.

After a new lease was secured with the city in 2016, the capital campaign at 4500 Harford Road officially began. HLMS has raised money from state grants, bonds, and private donations for Phase 1 of the project. In order to reach and complete Phases 2- 3, HLMS will continue to fundraise. With your help, let's transform this into a community town square/gathering place and economic hub!