Highlandtown Middle School opened in 1934 as Patterson Park Junior High School and then became Patterson High School. The school operated until 2005 when it closed. The school was designed by architects Wyatt and Nolting and is considered one of the most important historical and architectural buildings in the community. In order to accommodate 3200 students in two shifts, the 258,000 square foot building was designed with seven (7) stories and included an auditorium, gymnasium, and a cafeteria located on the top level. Play areas were provided through two (2) caged rooftop terraces that provide expansive views of Patterson Park, Highlandtown, Downtown, and the Harbor. Original architectural features remain intact, most notably the murals painted through the Works Progress Administration and the Art Deco light fixtures located in the auditorium.
101 Ellwood is located in Baltimore-Linwood, one of Baltimore’s traditional neighborhoods, made famous by the movie and stage production of Hairspray, by its blocks of marble stepped-row homes, and by its significant working class immigrant population. The neighborhood is characterized by its pedestrian-scale, corner stores, proximity to 1950s-style commercial buildings and small-scale industrial buildings. Patterson Park is the centerpiece of the community and is widely used for its recreational opportunities as well as a popular gathering spot for community events. The community is designed as a National Register Historic District.
Efforts to sustain and enhance the Highlandtown community are bolstered on an ongoing basis through the Main Street program and its designation as an Arts District. Main Street is a commercial revitalization program developed by the National Trust for Historic Preservation that emphasizes a four point approach: design, organization, promotion, and economic restructuring. Highlandtown’s 12-block commercial districting along Eastern Avenue is one of eight (8) designated Main Streets in Baltimore City. The area is also an Arts and Entertainment District, which promotes economic development by offering artists and others tax credits, exemptions, and access to funding. The Southeast CDC manages both the Main Street program and the Arts and Entertainment District.