Brooklyn/Curtis Bay is just one example of how small town America has knitted its way into the fabric of Baltimore City. Built to house workers from the Fairfield Shipping yards on the Middle Branch, the water is much deeper than that of the Inner Harbor. Industry flocked to the area in droves in the late 1800s. They included Southern Baltimore Wheel Company, an Oyster packing plant (whose owner developed housing in the area too), Davison Brothers Chemical Company moved to Curtis Bay as did the Maitheson Chemical Company. Bethlehem Steel built a shipping yard here during World War I. This caused railroad service to begin constructing lines that reached Brooklyn/Curtis Bay. This connected Brooklyn/Curtis Bay to Baltimore, which it still wasn't a part of. The official annexation wasn't until 1919. The residences grew with the industry. my guess is that there were a lot of different builders because the style of houses is different on every block. You can't say it's predominantly row homes or single family homes because it's an even split. It's a checkerboard all across the two neighborhoods between row homes and single family homes. In Brooklyn retail began to grow along Patapsco Avenue and in Curtis Bay, the Pennington Avenue and Curtis Avenue couplet.Industry continued to flourish even through the great depression since most of the businesses could cater to World War II. All good things must come to an end however. I'm not saying World War II was a good thing I'm saying that the success of businesses in Brooklyn/Curtis Bay. The decentralization of jobs and the post World War II industrial slowdown sent Brooklyn/Curtis Bay into a slow decline. This is most prevalent along the communities' Main Streets and Fairfield, which is the designated name for the industrial area. The residential and retail component have been demolished.
Today the Main Streets of Brooklyn/Curtis Bay consist of vacant storefronts and businesses that give the neighborhood a poor run down image. The neighborhoods of Brooklyn/Curtis Bay have experienced decline and a rise in crime but I think their retail can be a improved upon to give the residents the oppurtunity to shop in their neighborhood and boost the perception of the neighborhood. After all a neighborhood is only as good its retail.
There is a large vacant industrial building that spans a generous portion of Curtis Avenue that will be perfect for loft apartments.
It's safe to say that after this Brooklyn/Curtis Bay will return to its Main Street America roots. Baltimore, being a city of neighborhoods has a lot of former "Small Town America" towns within its boundaries that were built before city annexation, lets see if you can spot them.