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° Upton, 2020
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The excerpts below are from The Baltimore Sun February 27th, 2020 :

“The Afro newspaper to move to former Upton Mansion, revitalize historic West Baltimore building”

By Hallie Miller

“The city tapped the Afro newspaper and its philanthropic arm to revitalize Baltimore's historic Upton Mansion for their new headquarters, officials announced Wednesday.

Restoration of the mansion, perhaps the last surviving Greek Revival country house in Baltimore, is projected to cost more than $7 million and reestablish the property as a community anchor in the Upton neighborhood.

Baltimore's Department of Housing & Community Development selected the Afro's bid for the project following its request last April seeking a developer to rehabilitate the dilapidated landmark.

The project is expected to be funded by a mix of grants, federal and state tax credits, city funds and some equity from the family-owned weekly newspaper, according to a preliminary breakdown provided by Lisa R. Hodges- Hiken, the project's development consultant and a principal with Hodges Development.

The new facility will include offices for The Afro's journalists and executives as wells as space for its archives, classrooms, theaters, a fitness area and exhibition rooms, said Dale Green, the lead architect and a professor of architecture and historic preservation at Morgan State University.”

“Before the mansion was built in 1838 as the "country home" of Baltimore attorney David Stewart, who later served briefly as a U.S. senator, the property served as quarters to enslaved African Americans, Green said. The mansion later became the headquarters for Baltimore's oldest radio station - WCAO, which was licensed in 1922 - and the Baltimore Institute of Musical Arts, an African American musical conservatory.

Wanda Best, the executive director of the Upton Planning Committee, which helped usher in The Afro’s relocation to West Baltimore, said it proved fitting for the newspaper’s headquarters to return to the community.

“Welcome home,” she said.”

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