Learning from Lexington


Public Markets and the Development of Downtown Baltimore


AMST 480 is a project-based course where the students collaborate with the professor, Baltimore Traces Fellows (UMBC alumni), and community partners (Lexington Market & Baltimore Heritage) on creating public humanities programming.

During the 2017 fall semester, students learned about the history of the west side of downtown Baltimore and the city’s historic public markets, with a focus on the Lexington Market. Students researched the history and culture of the Market and its surrounding neighborhoods, produced a public history zine from student research, and made a podcast from interviews with people who use the market. Students analyzed past redevelopment projects in the area, the growing influence of tourism, the potential gentrification of downtown Baltimore, and how the Market has been witness to all of these trends.

The course is part of the Baltimore Traces: Communities in Transition project, which explores how places change over time in complex ways. Baltimore Traces Fellows, alumni of past Traces courses at UMBC, will work with current students on producing the project’s media. The goal of the course is a public presentation of student research at the Lexington Market at the end of the semester.