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New coworking space opens in Charles Village

A new coworking space in Charles Village is offering entrepreneurs and freelancers the chance to work in a shared office.
The Charles Village Exchange, which began operating Oct. 1, has dedicated about 900 square feet for coworking. The practice involves sharing office space in an environment that is more professional than a home or coffee shop, but that is less expensive and less contractually binding than renting an executive suite. The Exchange joins several other coworking spots in Greater Baltimore. 
The space is located at 2526 St. Paul Street on the third floor of the building, where co-owners Doug Austin and Eve Austin’s businesses are housed on other floors.
The Charles Village Exchange includes an enclosed meeting room, a kitchenette, a lounge, a bathroom, soundproof phone booth and seven workspaces that make up the main area.
The cost varies based on how many desks are licensed and the duration of the license but range from $260 a month per desk to the entire floor for $1,600 a month for a year.
Doug Austin says that he and Eve Austin chose the building about a year ago, when his business, UPD Consulting, outgrew its previous location in Ridgely’s Delight and moved to its current Charles Village location.
“This building in particular is a really beautiful building,” Doug Austin says. “It’s in the heart of Baltimore. It’s close to the train station, which was convenient for us. And we just really liked the neighborhood.”
But after realizing that they had extra space on the third floor, he says that coworking was the perfect way to put the space to use.
“It’s actually kind of exciting to have that kind of energy and different types of people and businesses in the same building with us,” Austin says. “There are a lot of budding entrepreneurs in this neighborhood. We don’t want them to move down to D.C. or Philadelphia or something because they don’t have something like this that is enticing to them.”
Charles Village Exchange will hold an open house on Nov. 20. For the first 25 guests at the event, the business will donate a turkey in each visitor’s name to the Margaret Brent School in Charles Village.

Writer: Daryl Hale
Sources: Doug Austin, Holly Burke, Charles Village Exchange

Dooby's Coffee opens in Mount Vernon

After months of anticipation from Mount Vernon residents, Dooby’s Coffee opened Saturday in the building that once housed popular coffee shop Donna's.

Owner Phil Han says the coffee house features his four favorite things.  If “we can excel in coffee, in-house pastries, sandwiches, and craft beers, then we’re perfectly happy."

The cafe serves 12 draft beers and assortment of wines. Dooby's is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Reviewers on Yelp praise the cafe's avocado toast and butter-brown chocolate chip cookies. 

A pop-up version of the coffeehouse had been operating over the last few months in the Hatch, Han's incubator that is located around the corner from Dooby's. Home accessories retailer zestt is moving into the pop-up space. Founded by Jessica Diehl and Benita Goldblattt, zestt sells contemporary textiles, art and accessories. 

Extensive renovation at 800 North Charles St. took place following a five-alarm fire in 2010. The fire forced local favorite restaurants Indigma, Donna’s and My Thai to close. Indigma has since opened across the street at 801 N. Charles St. and My Thai opened next to Heavy Seas Alehouse in the Tack Factory in Little Italy. Donna's is not reopening in the building. It has locations in the Village of Cross Keys and Charles Village. Its Columbia location closed in May.

The 2,500-square-foot location will have seating for 75 inside and an additional 22 seats outside once it gets its permit for outdoor seating. It will feature clean lines and natural colors.

Han says it took more than a year to settle on the perfect name for the coffeehouse. “Dooby” is Han’s childhood nickname and comes from a Korean word. 

Han says many Korean-Americans like himself are in the food service business, but he says a Korean-American owned coffeehouse was an unfilled niche. So, as a gift to the Korean-American community, he decided to jump in.

He first searched for a space in Howard County, home to many Korean-owned businesses. When he couldn’t find what he was looking for, he turned to the city’s Mount Vernon neighborhood.

“It was like a no-brainer spot for me. This is such an awesome place, with colleges, young professionals. The amount of art and creativity that surrounds us is just amazing.”

Han says he believes the neighborhood is looking forward to having a new coffee house in the now-renovated block. Many area residents have taken pictures and asked him when he is opening.
Source: Phil Han, owner, Dooby’s Coffee
Writer: Amy Landsman [email protected] 

Federal Hill bakery launches cupcake food truck and plots second store

The world is looking sweet for Midnite Confection’s Cupcakery, which launched a food truck last month. The venture isn't just icing on the cake for the Federal Hill bakery. The owners hope the the food truck will spread the word about its confections and help them find a good home for a planned second store.

“We want to explore other areas beyond where we are,” says Sandra McNeil, co-owner with her son, Aaron McNeil, of the bakery, at 1051 South Charles St. “We’re looking for possible expansion in storefront operations.”
At a cost of under $100,000, the food truck venture is so new that McNeil hasn't established a set routine. During the weekday, the truck spends two days in Washington, D.C., and two days in Baltimore City. 
The truck is usually in Baltimore on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. but, depending on parking availability, not always in the same place each of those days. Sometimes it can be found on Monument Street by the University of Maryland downtown campus, at Harbor East or at the Johns Hopkins University campus -- all neighborhoods under consideration for a second store.
“We’re trying out what places work best and adjust to customer demand,” says McNeil, referring to the food offering. “We’re newbies.”
For now, the truck only sells cupcakes for now, but may also offer cookies and bars later this summer. While the bakery has more than 40 flavors of cupcakes, the truck carries six flavors, chosen for their likely popularity, including vanilla bean, black velvet and lemon/lime. The cost is $3 per cupcake, $16 per half-dozen and $30 per dozen.
Even though no cooking is done in the food truck, the venture required getting a license from every jurisdiction and from the health department within the jurisdiction to operate. McNeil declined to discuss cost of equipping the food truck or sales so far.
“We’ve had some sell-out days and some days where it brings back items,” she says, pointing to factors like the weather and location.
McNeil opened Midnite Confection’s Cupcakery in 2010 at the Federal Hill store. Besides retail sales, the bakery caters weddings and corporate events. She says sales have grown 35 percent since opening.
Source: Sandra McNeil, Midnite Confection’s Cupcakery
Writer: Barbara Pash

Darker Than Blue owner eyes Rotunda and Charles Village project for new location

The owner of Waverly’s Darker Than Blue Café is talking to the developers of two of Baltimore City’s biggest residential and retail projects near Johns Hopkins University about relocating the popular restaurant to a bigger spot. And he’s cooking up plans for a new eatery at his current home on Greenmount Avenue.

Casey Jenkins says he is working with Artios Retail LLC, a Bel Air leasing and brokerage firm, to assist with the expansion by 2015. The business owner is looking at the Rotunda in Hampden and the lot at 32nd Street and Saint Paul Street in Charles Village as possible locations for the expanded Darker Than Blue.

“Our dream is to move to a large development,” Jenkins says, noting that a larger development will give the restaurant more visibility.

Jenkins opened the 85-seat Darker Than Blue at 3034 Greenmount Ave. seven years ago. The move will hopefully allow him to seat as many as 150 in the expanded location. The new Darker Than Blue will be more polished and upscale and have less of a mom-and-pop feel.

The restaurant will still serve Southern-inspired food, including catfish and grits and chicken and waffles. Jenkins will also continue to feature regular live jazz. A bigger restaurant will allow Jenkins to feature new items, including a rotisserie with ribs, pork and chicken. 

Virginia’s Armada Hoffler and Baltimore’s Beatty Development Group LLC are leading the redevelopment of the lot near Johns Hopkins University. Formerly a condo project called the Olmsted, it is now dubbed the St. Paul Street Project in Charles Village.

New Jersey’s Hekemian & Co. is leading the $70M Rotunda redevelopment in Hampden, slated to include a local grocer, apartments and restaurants when it is completed in summer 2015.

Meanwhile, Jenkins says he will open a new restaurant in the current Darker Than Blue location — most likely West Indian or Latin. Jenkins says he’ll probably open up the space a little more, and that the new place will be a bit more casual than Darker Than Blue. The as-yet unnamed restaurant would seat the same number of people.

Jenkins is in expansion mode. In May, he’s opening Birdland Sports Bar and Grill in Cedmont.
Writer: Amy Landsman
Source: Casey Jenkins, owner of Darker Than Blue and Birdland Sports Bar & Grill

Dishcrawl eyes Hampden, Fells Point and Baltimore County for its next culinary adventure

Maybe you've tried bar-hopping, but what about restaurant-hopping? Dishcrawl, which launches in Baltimore this month, dubs itself as a “gastronomic adventure” and encourages guests to try a variety of foods in selected neighborhoods.

Baltimore’s first Dishcrawl will be held in Canton April 17, taking diners to four “secret” restaurants. Founder Tracy Lee says the company will expand the culinary social experience to Fells Point, Federal Hill, Charles Village and Hampden, though no events have been scheduled yet. If Baltimore City crawls are successful, Lee says she will consider expanding Dishcrawl to Baltimore County.  

Lee launched Dishcrawl in the San Francisco Bay Area in 2010 as a way to share her favorite restaurants. Though it's now up and running in New York, Montreal, Ottawa, San Jose, Toronto, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., it wasn’t an instant success.

“In the beginning, it was really hard to figure out how to get the word out,” Lee says. “I would spend 20 hours promoting to get 20 people to an event.”

Lee turned to social media to help promote the crawls. She and her team, which includes ambassadors in each city, use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media outlets to spread the word.

“I love Baltimore and the diverse food scene,” Lee says. “The community and coming together as a group of foodies is what makes Dishcrawl successful in cities.”

Curious as to which Canton restaurants will be included in the inaugural crawl? Keep an eye on Twitter, where the team will drop hints at @dishcrawlbal. Ticket holders will receive an email with the meeting location 48 hours prior to the crawl.   

The first three restaurants will feature one dish each and the the fourth will serve dessert. Chefs and restaurateurs will share stories, as well. Tickets cost $45, excluding alcohol.

Writer: Renee Libby Beck
Source: Tracy Lee, Dishcrawl 

Peabody Heights Brewery hiring and expanding production

Things are hopping at the Peabody Heights Brewery.

The 50,000-square-foot Charles Village brewery produced its first beer in December, and is building up production, says Stephen Demczuk, one of three co-owners, along with J. Hollis B. Albert III and Patrick Beille.

Peabody is expected to reach its first year projection of 10,000 barrels this year, says Albert, also the brewery’s general manager. The co-owners’ long-range goal is hitting the 35,000-barrel mark. 

Peabody currently employs 6, but may hire additional staff for the warehouse.

“As we ramp up production, of course [hiring] is going to increase,” Demczuk says.  “We have to start slow.”

Peabody is a co-op brewery, which means it brews and distributes beer for local craft brewers. It currently produces three beers: Baltimore-Washington Beer Works’ Raven Beer, Full Tilt Brewing’s Baltimore Pale Ale and Red Center Amber from Public Works Ale. The beers can be found in liquor stores, restaurants and grocery stores in Pennsylvania, Delaware, Washington, D.C., and Virginia. It will soon begin selling in West Virginia, California and New York. It's one of the many breweries and beer-themed restaurants that have been growing in Greater Baltimore. Another one is underway as investors ressurect the former Pabst Brewing Co. building in South Baltimore. 

Peabody Heights Brewery is located in the old Capital Beverage bottle plant at 401 East 30th St., which moved out about three years ago. In April, the owners started the building overhaul. This includes installing an activated charcoal filter to remove chlorine and any impurities beer lovers don’t want in their brew.

“That’s the start of our beer, so our beer, batch to batch, is going to be consistent,” Albert says.

Currently, there is no Peabody Heights beer, but hopefully will be someday, Albert says.

**Correction. An earlier version of this story said that the brewery is hiring up to 80. It was based on incorrect information that was given to BmoreMedia. 

Writer: Amy Landsman
Sources: Stephen Demczuk, owner, Baltimore Washington Beerworks, co-owner Peabody Heights Brewing; J. Hollis B. Albert III, co-owner and general manager, Peabody Heights Brewing

ETC scouts Station North, UMB BioPark for new location

The head of the Emerging Technology Center in Canton says she is eyeing the Station North Arts & Entertainment District and the BioPark at the University of Maryland, Baltimore among possible locations when the incubator's Canton lease is up in October.

Several growing firms have moved out of the ETC's Canton location recently to bigger offices and some where prompted by the fact that the incubator's future in Canton is uncertain.

Deborah Tillett, executive director of the Emerging Technology Centers, says the ETC is in talks with landlords in both locations.

“There’s a lot going on in both of those places,” says Tillett, who described the areas as “exciting and vibrant” with a “lot going on.”

The Station North area is attracting investment from the Maryland Institute College of Art and a number of private developers. Located on the city's west side, the UMB BioPark's tenants include Noxilizer, Gliknik and PathSensors. In conjunction with Advanced Particle Therapy LLC of San Diego, the biopark is building a $200 million proton treatment cancer center.

Tillet says that she isn’t ruling out staying in its current home, the retail and office complex known as the Can Company where the ETC has about 40,000 square feet. Also on the table is moving to the ETC’s other location @ Johns Hopkins Eastern on 33rd Street.

“We’ve taken a look all over the city,” Tillett says. “We’re exploring all kinds of options. I do need to keep my options open.”

Operated by the Baltimore Development Corp., the ETC’s tenants include early-stage tech, biotech, engineering and design companies. Storyfarm New Media LLC, Urban Design Group LLC and Localist recently moved out of the ETC’s Canton location. Groove Commerce is moving to a 10,000-square-foot space in the Fallsway Spring building.

Video production company Storyfarm moved this month to a 1,500-square-foot office at 1909 Thames St. in Fells Point. Storyfarm was lured by the waterfront location and a chance to split an office with architecture firm Urban Design Group, says Storyfarm Partner Dan Gerlach. The company, whose clients include T. Rowe Price Group Inc. and Exxon Mobil, employs seven. It will hire a video editor, cinematographer and office coordinator over the next several months.
Last month, Localist moved to a 1,500-square-foot office in Canton’s the Broom Factory, at 3500 Boston St. The company, which provides a customizable online calendar for universities, needed more space, CEO Mykel Nahorniak says. Localist employs six and is hiring a developer and someone to run customer service. 

Writer: Julekha Dash
Sources: Deborah Tillett, ETC; Dan Gerlach, Storyfarm; Mykel Nahorniak, Localist 

Walgreens Has Big Expansion Plans For Maryland

Pharmacy chain Walgreens is moving into Maryland in a big way. Within the next 12 months, the chain plans to open a dozen stores in Baltimore City and Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Frederick, Montgomery, Prince Georges and Washington counties. First on the list of openings is a new Walgreens that opens in Pikesville, in Baltimore County, April 7.
Maryland currently has 60 Walgreens, but store officials say the state is considered one with the least penetration. The number of stores in Maryland is growing as the pace of Walgreens’ expansion across the country has slowed, according to Andrew Militello, Walgreens district manager, who declined to release financial information for the chain or for individual stores.
Sites for the upcoming stores are Baltimore City near Johns Hopkins University campus, Cockeysville, Federal Hill, Hyattsville, Laurel, Perry Hall, Odenton, Rockville and two in Hagerstown. Existing Walgreens are located throughout the state, in Baltimore City and County, Carroll County, Howard County and the Maryland suburbs around Washington, D.C.
The Pikesville Walgreens is located at 1510 Reisterstown Rd., at the intersection of Reisterstown and Old Court roads, in northwest Baltimore County. This is the second Walgreens in Pikesville, the first being in Quarry Lake, a community in the Smith-Greenspring area of northwest Baltimore County.
While the “soft” opening is April 7, the grand opening will be held April 19, with free giveaways and children’s events.
The Pikesville Walgreens brought 23 new jobs to the area, and more employees may be hired in the future, Militello says.
The store is 15,000 square feet in size, slightly larger than a typical Walgreens. Formerly the home of an office supply store, the building’s interior was renovated and the exterior façade redone in keeping with Walgreens’ brand. Because of its size, the Pikesville Walgreens will carry items that other stores don’t have the space for.
The Pikesville Walgreens was five years in the making as the company scouted for a location and did market surveys of potential customers. Militello says the survey showed the location to be ideal for a number of reasons. The store has a large parking lot and is near the Baltimore Beltway (I-695), and the area has a sizeable senior population. Two multi-unit Harry and Jeanette Weinberg buildings for senior citizens are close by the store.
“This is a tremendous site for us,” says Militello. “It’s a prime spot in Pikesville and easy access from surrounding neighborhoods.”
Source: Andrew Militello, Walgreens’ district manager
Writer: Barbara Pash

New Downtown Baltimore Starbucks to Open this Month

Satisfying your caffeine craving in Baltimore's downtown is about to get a little easier.
While an exact date has not been announced, a company spokesperson says that Starbucks plans to open a location at 100 E. Pratt St. location sometime later this month. The address is also the corporate headquarters of T. Rowe Price Group Inc. and Italian restaurant Brio Tuscan Grille, which opened this month.

It will be the second standalone Starbucks in downtown. There's another Starbucks on the west side at 1 E. Eutaw St. On the other side of the city, there's a Starbucks in Harbor East next to Landmark Theatres and one in Canton's Can Company. 

Starbucks' Ellicott City location on Baltimore National Pike, has just been remodeled and given an expanded cafe menu, says a spokesperson. The renovations include new chairs, floors and coffee counter. 
The expansion is a marked shift for the Seattle coffee giant, which closed 600 stores around the country several years ago during the recession, including two downtown locations on Charles Street and at Harborplace. It also closed a store in Belvedere Square. 
In all, Starbucks currently has more than 50 stores in the Baltimore area including stores in Charles Village and Mount Washington.

Source: Starbucks spokesperson
Writer: Alexandra Wilding

Waverly Library Plotting $3M Renovation

A $3 million renovation is planned for the Waverly Branch of the Enoch Pratt Free Library, though it still needs approval from Baltimore’s Urban Design and Architecture Review panel.
The panel heard renovation plans for the 41-year-old Waverly Library this month from Margaret Martin, chief of design and construction for Baltimore's department of general services, and Stephanie Schaefer, regional manager at Buchart Horn, Inc.
The panel was disappointed by the plans and recommended several changes to the architects including the creation of a grand reading room with lots of natural light.
Martin and Schaefer were asked by the city's design panel to make changes to their renovation plans before returning to the panel.
But despite the panel’s feedback, the Waverly library remains on track for renovations, library spokeswoman Roswell Encina says.
She says the library is reviewing comments from the community and the design panel on its plans and will release more details on the renovation soon.
The library sits at the intersection of 33rd and Barclay Streets in a neighborhood that the city is targeting for urban renewal projects.
The proposed floor plan calls for a multipurpose room, a reading room, and separate adult and child's reading areas. Planned green spaces around the library are intended to encourage the community to plant gardens, Martin say.
"We want to get the community to take ownership of the library like with the Waverly Farmer's Market," he says.
The Waverly library was last renovated in 1986. Other branches of the Enoch Pratt Free Library that have recently been renovated include Edmondson Avenue, Orleans Street, and the Southeast Anchor Library. The Canton branch is the next to be updated, and is currently closed for renovations. 

Writer: Alexandra Wilding
Sources, Roswell Encina, Waverly Library; Margaret Martin, Baltimore City 

Charles Village Brewpub in the Works, But None for Former Haussner's Site

The president of Baltimore-Washington Beer Works is moving ahead with his plans to start a Charles Village brewpub and hopes to start brewing his first barrels in May. Stephen Demczuk says he is also developing a new Edgar Allen Poe series of beers with names such as Pendulum Pilsner, Tell Tale Hearty Ale, and the Cask of Amontillado.

The planned Charm City Brewery will be located in a 50,000-square-foot former bottling company at 401 E. 30th St. in Baltimore's Charles Village neighborhood. The terms of the lease have been agreed upon and lawyers are handling the final details, Charm City Brewery CEO J. Hollis B. Albert III says.

But Demczuk says he has abandoned plans to open a brewpub in the former legendary Haussner's restaurant in Highlandtown because the project would have been too expensive and the building was in poor condition.

Demczuk was working with a local developer to turn the vacant building at Eastern Avenue and Clinton Street into a brewpub for the company known for its "Raven" lager.

For now, Demczuk is focusing on Charm City Brewery, which will be a cooperative of several brewers including Oliver Breweries and a brewer relocating from Chicago called LPB LLC.

While the participating brewers will contribute to the cost of the facility and ingredients, Charm City Brewery will brew beer for the individual brewers using their formulas. This will allow the brewers to focus on marking their products and developing new brands, Demczuk says.

Zoning limits the ability for the brewery to include a restaurant. Instead, the brewery will offer tours and tastings. Additionally, the brewery is considering offering workshops for the public on how to brew, says Albert.

Albert declined to state how much has been invested in the property.

Writer: Alexandra Wilding
Sources: Baltimore-Washington Beer Works president, Stephen Demczuk; J. Hollis B. Albert III,  chief executive officer of Charm City Brewery.

Single Carrot, Software Firm, Seeking New Stage

Single Carrot Theatre has teamed up with a sound design software company to hunt for real estate in the Station North Arts and Entertainment District to accommodate the growing theater troupe.

Teaming up with Figure 53 LLC will enable the two entities to share resources -- from a copy machine to graphic artists, Single Carrot Executive Director Elliott Rauh says.

Single Carrot will make the move as early as July 2012, when its lease at 122 W. North Ave. is up. Figure 53, which would provide the capital to buy a 10,000-square-foot building, could move sooner if it finds the right space, Figure 53's Christopher Ashworth says.

The Baltimore software firm wants a space that holds a lab where it can test new products. One product in development is Tixato, an online ticket sale application for smaller theater troupes like Single Carrot.

Rauh says he is looking for a space that can seat between 75 and 99. Its current space seats 50 and is at 85 percent capacity.

"We're stuck in a glass ceiling if we can't get more earned income," Rauh says.

Single Carrot's long-term vision is to grow its budget from $211,00 to $500,000 and to do so it will need to receive more earned income. And it doesn't want to raise ticket prices, Rauh says.

The upstart theater company was founded by friends from the University of Colorado who chose Baltimore as a home after scouring 50 cities. It currently has five employees, four of whom work part-time.

Figure 53 employs six. "Billy Elliott," "South Pacific," and other Broadway shows have used its software.

Writer: Julekha Dash
Sources: Elliott Rauh, Christopher Ashworth

Hopkins Press Wraps Up $4.2M Renovation

The 114-year-old building that houses the Johns Hopkins University Press has a modern new look after a $4.1 million, two-year renovation.

The changes include new art and book displays, modern glass doors, a public space to hold author events, and infrastructure upgrades. Jack Holmes, director of development for JHU Press, says the building renovation gives the historic building a modern touch.

"It's a mix of old and new. It's just cool to see that."

Many of the office doors were replaced with frameless, frosted glass.

The 27,000-square-foot building, which dates to 1897, is a former church that went through a complete overhaul when the press moved in 1993.

The renovations also include an upgrade to its IT system and HVAC.

"There was a practical need to refresh the office after 15 years," Holmes says.   

Press officials also wanted to use the renovation as an opportunity to better display its work with modern shelves holding books it has published.

Billed as the nation's oldest university press, JHU Press publishes 60 scholarly journals and nearly 200 new books every year. Baltimore's Read & Co. Architects, which has spearheaded more than two-dozen Johns Hopkins projects, designed the renovation. Baltimore's Plano-Coudon LLC served as the general contractor.

Writer:Julekha Dash
Sources: Jack Holmes, JHU Press; Read & Co. Architects

BMA Selects Ziger/Snead for $24M Renovation

The Baltimore Museum of Art has chosen Ziger/Snead to design its biggest capital project in its history, a $24 million renovation to be completed in 2014.

A total of 11 architecture firms competed for the project, of which the BMA selected five for its short list. Those firms were Ayers Saint Gross, Design Collective, Inc,. GWWO Inc./Architects, Ziger/Snead, and RTKL Associates Inc.

The BMA chose Ziger/Snead based on its clarity of vision and design and their success in renovating both historic and contemporary buildings. Its projects include the Maryland Institute College of Art Brown Center and the Frederick Douglas-Isaac Myers Maritime Park and Museum.

The BMA renovation is expected to create 185 construction and other jobs.

The renovation will include upgrades to visitor amenities, infrastructure improvements, and better displays of the museum's 90,000 works of art. Two new roofs and a building automation system to improve care of the museum's art are part of the upgrades.

The project will be funded in part by a $10 million multi-year commitment from the state and $2.5 million in bonds from Baltimore City.

Writer: Julekha Dash
Source: Anne Mannix, BMA

Wanted: Architect for Museum's African and American Collections

The Baltimore Museum of Art is looking for an architect to redesign its African and American art galleries as part of a $24 million, three-year renovation.

The museum issued a request for qualifications for architectural firms who want to be considered for the project. The BMA will select the winning proposal in April.

The selected firm will work with two different architectural styles. The work will include renovating the lobby, built in 1982, and the American wing, designed by John Russell Pope in 1929, BMA spokeswoman Anne Mannix says.

"I think I will be an interesting challenge."

 The renovation will also involve:
• Installing better lighting;
• Upgrading the visitor entrance, BMA shop, welcome desk, and coat check room;
• Revamping the work spaces and improving access to storage areas; and,
• Replacing the building automation system and other infrastructure improvements.

The BMA's $24 million capital renovation will be completed in 2014, the museum's 100th anniversary. It is the largest renovation in the museum's history.

Museum leaders will choose between four to six firms by late January for its shortlist. Technical proposals will be due in late February and interviews with finalists will be conducted in March.

Writer: Julekha Dash
Source: Anne Mannix, Baltimore Museum of Art
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