Masonville Cove, Baltimore Maryland, Explanation and Map

Update: There seems to be flurry of activity with people searching for where Masonville Cove is, so out of the goodness of my heart I am giving you a Google Map. Have at it.

View Larger Map

Now back to our regularly scheduled program:

Masonville Cove
It all started so innocently enough. Those pretty yellow city recycle bins were popping up in front of my yuppie neighbors houses like rat feces. I had to have one. So with a little research I found that this organization over in Brooklyn had them for sale. So one day I went over there to purchase my bin and the lady at the center gave me some sort of promotional calender touting the wonders of their organization. Immediately I was skeptical, always distrust anyone you don't know bearing gifts. The calendar outlined some helpful hints on how to effectively "go green", a matter I am sure that is pressing for the crack dealers, meth heads and prostitutes that seem to occupy every corner of Brooklyn Park. I looked closer at the calendar, it was sponsored(i.e., paid for) by the Maryland Port Administration.

Immediately, I smelled trouble.

Why would the Maryland Port Administration be subsidizing free calendars for a nonprofit on the outskirts of Baltimore City? Inquiring minds want to know. It didn't take much to find out why. It's time for the unwashed masses to learn a new word for the day, "dredge" so I can connect the dots for all of you. You see, Maryland has a very big big business called the Port. The port deals with lots of big big ships that bring lots of stuff to the city. The ports is a big distribution point for lots of cheap crap that the US imports from China. In order to get those big big ships into the port the Maryland Port Administration (MPA) have to dig a big trench in the bottom of the bay. When you dig a big trench you end up with lots of mud, silt, sand, clay and stinky stuff, called dredge, that has to be put somewhere. In the past the MPA was putting the dredge in a place called Hart Miller Island up in Baltimore County. Things were going well, the island was getting bigger, lots of birds liked the island. Unfortunately, for Hart Miller Island, the area around it got surrounded by lots of rich people who didn't like to look at all that ugly dredge.

The MPA needed a new place to put their stinky dredge. They didn't want to put the dredge in front of rich people's waterfront homes because they knew the rich people would complain. What the MPA needed was a place where poor people lived, people that didn't vote, people that didn't pay too many taxes, a place where people would not complain about the dredge pile or how big it got or how bad it smelled. The MPA knew just where to go, where there was an unlimited supply of crack dealers, meth heads and prostitutes. Welcome to Brooklyn, Maryland.

But even the people of Brooklyn were hesitant. They tried to complain, tried to raise a ruckus, but the state was loud and powerful. To make it all better for little Brooklyn the state threw Brooklyn a little bone. On top of all the stinking dredge the state is to make a little park and a little environmental center. Oh, goody! Also, they get an unlimited supply of free calendars.

After perusing my new calendar I asked the lady over at the Brooklyn and Curtis Bay Coalition whether it was possible to visit Masonville Cove now. She said, "No, you can't go there."

I didn't think I heard her correctly so I said, "But you are going to build a park eventually, why can't I go there now?"

She replied very loudly, "No, you can't go there."

So I asked again, "Surely, there must be a way to get to Masonville Cove now."

She screamed, "YOU CAN'T GO THERE!"

So naturally I had to go visit Masonville Cove immediately.

Camera, GPS, hiking boots, you know the drill. It wasn't long before I had a track line (not that kind of track line, silly, a GPS track line) and a some pics. The place stinks to high heaven. I feel sorry for the Brooklyn crack-heads, if Masonville Cove stinks in February just imagine what it is going to smell like August. Here is the exciting slide show.

Update #2 October 2010 - I returned to Masonville Cove recently and wrote a new post about the area.


oknups said...

If you look through the arches to the left of the draw tower you will see a HUGE pile of dirt and clay. Site of "Inner Harbor West" soon to be forced upon us by Turner Development, and a willing mayor.
The building to the right side is being torn down, it was a generating (coal fired) facility for bge.
Saturday they had men in white hazmat suits, cleaning up (probably asbestos.)
That pile of dirt gets bigger everyday, I watch it grow while waiting for the light rail.

What ever type of screening they are using for sediment control is ineffective, as the river there turns red after a good rain.

The poor black and white folks are absolutely thrilled about this development, especially the dealers as they think of it as an expansion of their drug market franchise. They can't wait for an upscale client base to move into the hood.

Cham said...

Bill Struever is having a huge competition with Pat Turner. Bill is very jealous that Pat got to build 565 new units in LP, so Bill has upped the ante. He has a proposal in to the city for, I don't know the number, but it is upward of several hundred new condos/apartments, 3 high rise buildings, and a 6 story parking garage.

The real estate market is in the toilet and these folks still think they can make money. One day I will wake up and surely there will be a wrecking ball aimed at my window.

oknups said...

The local bent riders (Drew and others) had a good laugh when I posted this link,

The joke was the fireman don't go into westport without a police escort, this is incorrect. The police do not go into westport without a police escort.

The shop I work in looks to be a park in the near future.

Mr. Drew said...

I have copy of a 20+ year old book about birding sites in the DC area that mentions this cove.

This is right by where they dismantled the USS Coral Sea aircraft carrier a few years ago. This was a big environmental fiasco. They caught the owner of the wrecking company squirting dishwashing detergent into the harbor around the remains of the ship to break up the oil slicks before the EPA inspectors arrived. He may have gone to prison for that.

They just announced condos across the street from me on Race Rd. I can't believe it.

Cham said...

You really ought to get your hands on one of these Calendars, it has a ton of good information regarding the cove. The Brooklyn and Curtis Bay Coalition probably has lots of money for postage, they have a full staff to explain the wonders of Brooklyn Park to the uninitiated. My gut feeling is that somewhere deep in their 501C3 financials you will find a large donation from the Maryland Port Administration. Trust me, I looked, they don't have their books on line.

But let's look at what we do and then what the developers do. We find a great community, maybe it isn't the cleanest, or the neighbors spend too much of their time on the street corner. But we clean up the trash, call the police and before long we have a great little community. Developers don't live in a vacuum, they know that yuppies like to live in great little communities too, one that have already been cleaned up.

So Pat and Bill see a community that has 300 neatly maintained homes on the water or by the river and they want to make lots of money so they build 4000 luxury condomiums and towne homes in the cute little community. And to make it all safe from the local hoodlums they install a big wall and a security guard. The community is no longer great, it is lost in the deep cavern of the big wall of condos and parking garage.

I guess people like us have to take our profit and find a new little community and get back to work. I just think it is funny that Pat had to leave some of those silos in place to get his permit. His luxury condos overlook the railroad which is going to squeak and crack 24/7. Bill's new luxury condos are going to look square on to the boarded up windows of Domino.

Summer said...

I've seen that abandoned ferry in the water and always wondered what happened... don't know why it didn't occur to me it was intentional. It looked sort of catastrophic. The only thing catastrophic though is what's happening around it. I bet it does reek in August.