Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The Panama Canal vs. 97 Feet of the Bolgiano Seed House

Ninety-seven feet of brick wall, in fact, the whole west side of the Bolgiano seed building in 1917, was about to be acquired by eminent domain by the City of Baltimore to clear the way for the new Key Highway project!
Key, as in Francis Scott.

Having to remove the side wall of your business is a real bummer.

The Key Highway was needed to serve the increased movement of goods due to the Panama Canal, when it opened, increasing the shipping to the port of Baltimore.
When oceans embrace, of what consequence is 97 feet of brick?

But, there is a happy ending...

Below is a map showing the old grid of streets before the highway project, and the location of Bolgiano's property (maybe).

More on the canal at the bottom of this post.

Mentioned before but worth a look if you haven't already is http://www.kilduffs.com/Harbor.html

Here is Baltimore's argument for taking the wall...and the compromise.

From Wikipedia: The road was laid out to a width of 160 feet (50 m) from Light Street to Locust Point in the early 1910s, providing better access to the new city-owned piers in preparation for increased trade via the Panama Canal and existing steamship lines to Europe. It was named Key Highway because it was originally planned to extend to Fort McHenry, near where Francis Scott Key wrote "The Star-Spangled Banner." However, the extension of the road to the fort was never built. A rail line ran the length of Key Highway, connecting to the tracks in Pratt Street via Light Street. A two-lane extension of the highway and rail line was built in 1930, branching off the old route east of Ludlow Street and running south under Fort Avenue to McComas Street. The short portion of the old road east of the extension is now East Key Highway; the rail tracks have been removed.

from http://www.czbrats.com/Builders/cucaracha.htm:
The Canal Record - October 9, 1907
Notes of Progress.
The Cucaracha Slide at its Old Tricks.
Owing to the heavy rainfalls of the past few weeks, the Cucaracha slide, which remains quiet during the dry season, has again begun to move.  This slide is on the east side of the Canal about half a mile south of Gold Hill, and first began to move in 1884 or 1885, during the time of the old French company.  It gave this company a good deal of trouble during the entire time that operations were in progress in this vicinity; but its movement ceased soon after the failure of the old company in 1889.  It remained practically quiescent during the entire period of  control by the new French company, the reason being that no operations in the Canal in this vicinity were carried on by that company.  With the resumption of work by the United States in 1905, the slide again began to move, and has continued to give more or less trouble during every wet season since.  The total amount of material in movement is estimated at about 500,000 cubic yards.  The plan pursued heretofore has been to attack the slide during the dry season with steam shovels, cutting as wide a berm as possible in the material outside of the limits of the prism, so that, during the wet season, the moving material would be caught on the berms and would not get into the Canal.   The movement during the present season has been more rapid than usual and the berms have been filled up, permitting a part of the material to get into the Canal prism.  Shovel No. 223 was caught by the moving mass of material on October 4, and was extricated unimpaired on October 6.  Shovel No. 109 was also caught, but was pulled out by the wrecking train on October 5.