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Hampden Apartments for Rent

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No Maryland neighborhood says Baltimore quite like Hampden, a 19th century blue-collar mill town that has become one of the city’s hippest communities. Singles and young families enjoy the neighborhood’s small-town atmosphere and proximity to downtown, and have made it one of the most desirable of Baltimore’s neighborhoods.

Developer Henry Mankin named the town after John Hampden, a key figure in the English revolution of the 17th century. Hampden, a Member of Parliament, was also a member of a growing capitalist class and viewed as a hero and champion of the people.

The center of the neighborhood is 36th Street, known simply as “the Avenue.” Although Hampden is an authentic, hard working Baltimore neighborhood, it’s also a fun place to live, with the Avenue offering a wide variety of shops, cafes, boutiques, funky stores and eclectic restaurants.

Hampden was built in 1802 for workers in the newly-erected flour and cotton mills along the Jones Falls Stream Valley. Hampden was part of a number of grain-milling operations located along the streams surrounding Baltimore City. The mills spurred the growth of the city’s port, which exported these milled grains around the world.

By the 1830s most of the Hampden flour mills had been converted to cotton mills. By the 1870s the mill workforce had increased from 616 to 2,931, making the cotton duck used to make sails for ships. By the 1890s, Hampden was one of the biggest mill sites in the country, and at the turn of the 20th century the workers of Hampden made up one of the largest workforces in the nation.

In the 1920s workers held strikes for pay increases and better working hours; the mill owners moved operations to the rural South to avoid these higher costs, and by the 1960s the mills were closed.

Today, enterprising developers have renovated the mills; they now house artist studios, health clubs and even high-tech companies within a “creative business center.” The old manor home and the only surviving horse stable are now a loft home and party facility.

One of Hampden’s events is Honfest, the annual spring street festival dedicated to the beehive, cat’s-eye glasses and dedicated to the Hampden residents who call everybody “hon.”

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