2980-3000 Falls Road, at the corner of Chestnut Ave. and Falls Road.
Mill No. 1 enjoys an important history along the Jones Falls starting as a cotton mill in 1847 and in 1973 becoming the home of Life Like Properties, a model train and hobbies warehouse. In 1847, David Carroll and Horatio Gambrill converted Laurel Mill to Mount Vernon Mill No. 1 and started Mt. Vernon Company with William Kennedy. The large mill, known as Mt. Vernon Mill No. 1 was built in 1873 following a fire that destroyed the original 1847 building. The small L- shaped building, known as the "Picker Building" dates from 1873 with a later addition in 1879. The "Store House" was a later addition and concrete building, connected to the Mill No. 1 by a pedestrian bridge, was built in 1918. All of these buildings create a unique piece of history along the beautiful setting of the Jones Falls and are well connected to the surrounding mill neighborhoods, including Stone Hill and Brick Hill, built by the Mount Vernon Company for employee housing. In the late 19th Century, the company provided the world's largest supply of cotton duck, supplying cloth for uniforms, knapsacks, tents, and parachutes during the Civil War, WWI and WWII. In 1973, the Mt. Vernon Company sold the buildings to Life-Like, and continues production to this day in North Carolina.
The buildings to be rehabilitated in accordance with historic preservation guidelines include Mt. Vernon Mill No. 1, a concrete warehouse building, the "Picker Building" and the "Store House," which were all part of a former cotton mill manufacturing facility along the Jones Falls. Each building is on the National Register for Historic Places. Plans include restoring the historic architecture and character of the buildings while rebuilding the interior to fit new uses, including apartments, office, restaurant spaces, and parking. The Jones Falls stream and the vegetation along the third-mile stretch will be returned to its natural state.
The project is a naturally "green" endeavor. The primary component is the adaptive reuse of the historic buildings, not requiring the production of new major building materials and their transportation to the site. No new buildings will be built on the site. No additional impervious services will be added to the site. The building will have other green features as well, including recycled building materials, high energy efficient appliances, heating and cooling systems, and windows. A green roof is being considered for the concrete building. The Jones Falls stream and valley will provide a natural cooling effect on the adjacent buildings.
Restaurant spaces will be located in the 3,859 sf boiler room, featuring a clerestory and exposed stone walls and in the 4,405 sf Picker building, featuring vaulted ceilings, exposed stone and brick walls, overlooking of the Jones Falls.
The office spaces contain approximately 42,000 sf with views of the Jones Falls and unique spaces.
The 90 apartments will be a blend of studio, studio lofts, one bedroom and two bedroom spaces averaging 908 sf with market rate rents, situated in the building so as to command views of the river.
Parking to serve the mixed use will be contained primarily within the large mill building, with a few surface spaces.
View Site Plan (pdf)
Mill No. 1 is located in the Jones Falls River Valley in north central Baltimore on 10 acres with four existing historic buildings. The Jones Falls River Valley has a long important history in Baltimore. The Jones Falls carried some goods to port, but it was best known for the nearly 300 feet of fall from its head waters to the Baltimore Harbor which made it ideal for furnishing water-based power to numerous mills and manufacturing concerns located in the Valley. They developed a very large concentration of cotton mills which manufactured cotton duck used for the sails of the famous Clipper ships, with origins in Baltimore, as well as other uses. In the late 19th century, these cotton mills had become the single largest producers of cotton duck in the world. However, with the steady shift of jobs to the southern states in the mid 20th century, all the major manufacturers left the Hampden/Woodberry area where these mills were located. Mill No. 1 was actually used until relatively recently for other manufacturing purposes which have since ceased. And this mill happens to sit on a pristine portion of the Jones Falls river, with its views and scenic slopes left unobstructed by the interstate highway, I-83, that covers much of the Jones Falls valley. The unique setting of this mill distinguishes it from the other mill projects in the Jones Falls Valley.
The historical significance of the Jones Falls Valley and its economic potential in the life of the Baltimore region has been recognized by the City of Baltimore. Under the leadership of the Baltimore Development Corporation, the City's economic development arm, a group of private citizens, business leaders and institutions have developed the Jones Falls Valley Master Plan which addresses economic development, transportation, environmental and recreation issues in the Valley. Under this Plan, major redevelopment of the historic mills has occurred over the last two decades resulting in the creation of hundreds of new jobs, residences and spillover benefit, to the adjoining neighborhoods.
Mill No. 1 is strategically located close to major amenities and to downtown Baltimore. It is immediately adjacent to the Hampden neighborhood just up the hill from the site which has a vibrant main street featuring restaurants, bars, and boutique retailing. It is located just a little over a mile from Amtrak's Pennsylvania Station and close to numerous institutions of higher learning: just 5 minutes from Johns Hopkins University, the Maryland Institute College of Art, and the University of Baltimore and just 10 minutes from Loyola University and College of Notre Dame. Exit ramps to I-83 are located just above and below the site, linking it to Downtown and the northern suburbs. Light rail stops are located about a mile to the north and a mile to the south of the site with connections to BWI Airport and downtown.