FHNA History

FHNA was founded in 1983 by James Craig (216 East Montgomery), Albert Strubinger (102 East Montgomery) and Jack Burke (104 East Montgomery) with James Craig serving as the first president. The organization was started to provide a voice to the residents of Federal Hill and to make sure 395 did not end up going down Montgomery Street.

At the time, the houses in the unit block were slated for demolition. Additionally, the houses on the 100 block of Key Highway were being vandalized (people taking bricks) and were a health and fire hazard. Ultimately, FHNA was successful in having these structures razed and replaced with the park that is in the present location.

Craig and other members of the community purchased properties in the unit block in an effort to save these structures and move the planned alignment for 395 slated to come down the unit block of East Montgomery. In this effort, Craig submitted a proposal to the Maryland Historic Trust and the National Park Service to have #9 designated as a Federally Designated Historic Site which was granted. In addition, an artist’s view showing what the unit block would look like if restored was presented to Mayor William Donald Schaffer suggesting a historic entry to the City from Charles Street down the unit block and making a left onto Light Street into the rapidly developing Inner Harbor. Schaffer liked the idea of community support for saving these properties and putting them back on the City tax base while adding a scenic entry to his pet project” the Inner Harbor. This ultimately nixed the plans for bringing 395 down the unit block and moved it to its present location. This also saved the firehouse on the corner of Montgomery and Light Streets which would have been razed to accommodate 395.

FHNA then proceeded to focus on absentee landlords, cleaning up the neighborhood, requesting brick sidewalks, and trying to turn the schools in the area around to avoid new residents moving as they began families and sought private schools.

FHNA also enjoyed many festive social events and added lots of dedicated supporters to the Association. Several members of the Association also served on the Design Review Committee to guide new owners in the renovation and /or restoration of the homes in this area.