Middle East, Baltimore

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Middle East, Baltimore
Neighborhood of Baltimore
Row homes in Middle East, June 2014.
Row homes in Middle East, June 2014.
Middle East, Baltimore is located in Baltimore
Middle East, Baltimore
Middle East, Baltimore
Coordinates: 39°18′N 76°35′W / 39.300°N 76.583°W / 39.300; -76.583
Country  United States
State Maryland
City Baltimore
ZIP Code 21205
Area code(s) 410, 443, and 667

Middle East is a neighborhood in the heart of East Baltimore, Maryland.

It is the site of a conflict between residents and the city's plans for creating a biotech park to serve nearby Johns Hopkins Medical Center. The neighborhood has suffered from extensive urban decay and housing abandonment, crime, and racial rioting. Its residents are mainly lower income African Americans; the neighborhood was a filming location for the Baltimore-based HBO drama The Wire. Middle East is also noteworthy as being a location for the filming of scenes of the television series Homicide: Life on the Street and the 1991 film Homicide (no relation to the TV series) featuring Joe Mantegna.


The neighborhood formerly had a working-class Czech-American majority and is home to St. Wenceslaus Church, an historically Czech parish that is now majority African-American. The Middle East neighborhood and surrounding areas were then known colloquially as "Little Bohemia."[citation needed]

By 1969, the Czech-American community in what is now the Middle East neighborhood was predominantly composed of ageing homeowners who lived alongside more recently arrived African-American residents. However, many of the older white Czech-Americans harbored racist attitudes towards black people. According to a reporter with 'The Baltimore Sun', "The older people of Bohemian extraction still live in the houses they own...but they share the neighborhood with black people whom they do not seem to appreciate or understand." This was the last generation of Czech-Americans to remain in Little Bohemia in large numbers, with the neighborhood transitioning into a predominantly African-American neighborhood by the 1970s and 1980s.[1]


Middle East is bordered by East Biddle Street to the north, North Broadway to the west, Bradford Street to the east, and East Fayette Street to the south. Clockwise from the northwest, it is bordered by the neighborhoods of Oliver and Broadway East to the north; Biddle Street, Milton-Milford, McElderry Park, and Patterson Place to the east; Butchers Hill and Washington Hill to the south; and Dunbar-Broadway and Gay Street to the west.


As of the census[2] of 2010, there were 5,352 people residing in the neighborhood. The ethnic makeup of Middle East was 87.5% African American, 4.9% White, 0.9% Asian, 5.9% Hispanic or Latino, 0.3% Native American, 0.6% from other ethnicities, and 0.7% from two or more ethnicities. 35.6% of occupied housing units were owner-occupied. 29.6% of housing units were vacant.

35.8% of the population were employed, 11.0% were unemployed, and 53.4% were not in the labor force. The median household income was $15,493. About 43.7% of families and 45.7% of the population were below the poverty line.

Northeast Market[edit]

Northeast market, which was originally built and constructed in 1885, was one of the cornerstone markets in Baltimore. The layout of this market would pave the way for many more markets that would eventually be built into existence. This style would be adopted and used as a traditional style in 1955 and is still used today. The market has been used as a place for the community around it and has been a vital piece to the style and culture that has grown up in that area. Northeast market has hosted a numerous number of workshops, health gatherings and community outreach. Even though over the years it was called dirty, smelly and unwelcoming, the market had received an award from city paper. City Paper[3] acknowledged the market for being one of the best public markets in downtown Baltimore. It still is one of the largest markets in Baltimore that is completely open to the public, and business owners can easily get a jump-start on their career in the open corridors. The market's walls still have a lot of great art done by artists in the area. The market still has occasional music players who come in to showcase their skill in front of an audience in the center courtyard. Northeast market is close to Johns Hopkins[4] and attracts a lot of their hungry interns who usually want some good tasty eats. Northeast market still has some of the best food and grocery markets that you will find in all of Downtown Baltimore. Baltimore which is known for their crabs and unbelievable seafood, can also find some great options here as it is one of the markets best crab and shrimp stand in Baltimore. Northeast market is a one-story complex that is hard to find in Baltimore still and still carries its charm from the 80’s. The market has received two renovations since its original build and construction in 1885. The market in 2013 has received over two million dollars in renovations to keep the market open and up to date as one of Baltimore’s great markets. Northeast market even started focusing on healthy eating as the market not only fixed the exterior, it also added seven new stalls that promote healthy eating and exercising. The market has been able to withstand a lot of battles from the recession of grocery shopping thanks to online shopping. Northeast Market still has the marble and glass face structures originally made from the front entrance and the side entrances. The market has been said to have fortress like openings that to some people may seem as very unfriendly and unwelcoming but the inside still seems to open eyes to the greatness of Baltimore cuisine. Maryland Institute College of Art students even have been able to create morals and pictures to put in this market to bring some of the arts backs to the market. Northeast market has even had a huge upgrade with the renovated parking lot to give the market more spaces that are secure and available to use for guest to come and see the wonders in the market. The artists that have posted and made their creative artwork here have been able to lighten the mood here and make this market a place to see here in Baltimore.[5][6]


  1. ^ "Baltimore's Czech and Slovak Festival is a surprising reflection on heritage". Baltimore City Paper. Retrieved 2017-08-07.
  2. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  3. ^ http://www.citypaper.com
  4. ^ http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org
  5. ^ "The Baltimore Experience Virtual Itineraries Baltimore’s Markets." Baltimore’s Markets, http://explorebaltimore.org/the-baltimore-experience/experience/virtual-itineraries/baltimores-markets. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Nov. 2014.
  6. ^ “Northeast Market,” Explore Baltimore Heritage, accessed November 18, 2014, http://explore.baltimoreheritage.org/items/show/409

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 39°17′56″N 76°35′18″W / 39.29889°N 76.58833°W / 39.29889; -76.58833