Fell’s Point

About Fells Point, Baltimore City
Fell's Point is a neighborhood in Baltimore, Maryland, and home to a variety of shops, restaurants, coffee bars, music stores, and over 120 pubs. Located on the harbor and famous for its maritime past, it now boasts the greatest concentration of pubs/bars in the city. This waterfront community is a much-visited location in Baltimore, accessible by water taxi, freeway, and several bus lines. 

The neighborhood has also been the home of large Polish, Irish, and Puerto Rican populations throughout its history. In recent years a steadily increasing numbers of middle to upper middle income residents have moved into the area, driving up property values. Fell's Point is one of several areas in and around Baltimore that are listed on the National Register of Historic Districts, and the first from Maryland.

The Fells Point Historic District occupies the area from Gough Street south to the water’s edge, roughly between Caroline and Chester Streets.

Neighborhood Map

Neighborhood Photos

History of Fells Point, Baltimore City
Founded in 1730 by William Fell, who was attracted by its beautiful, deep water and proximity to agriculture and thick forests, Fell's Point became a shipbuilding and commercial center. About 1763, William's son Edward Fell laid out streets and began selling plots for homes. The town grew quickly, and eventually incorporated with Baltimore Town and Jones Town in 1797 to form the City of Baltimore. The area grew wealthy on the tobacco, flour, and coffee trades through the 18th and 19th centuries.

Some of the first vessels commissioned for the US Navy were built in Fell's Point shipyards, including the USS Constellation in 1797. However, the area became best known for producing topsail schooners, sometimes erroneously called Baltimore clippers, renowned for their great speed and handling. They were excellent blockade runners, and were frequently used as armed privateers. The Pride of Baltimore II is based on the Chasseur, built by Thomas Kemp, which was one of the most successful privateers built in Fell's Point.

During the War of 1812, Fell's Point built and supported dozens of privateers who preyed on British shipping vessels. Thus, Baltimore became a principal target of the British during the war, which eventually led to the bombardment of Fort McHenry.

Another growth industry in Fell's Point was immigration, and it became a major point of entry into the United States[5]. Since jobs were plentiful in shipbuilding and in the warehouses and factories, many of the immigrants stayed in Fell's Point. This added to the multicultural fabric of the area, but also caused the more affluent to move into other parts of the city.

Fell's Point remained a shipbuilding center until the Civil War, when it could no longer accommodate larger ship designs. Likewise, the shipping industry slowly moved away to larger facilities, and the area transitioned into a manufacturing center, with innovations in canning and packing. The neighborhood escaped serious damage during the Baltimore Fire of 1904, which destroyed the financial area downtown. Eventually, much of the manufacturing left the city, resulting in urban decay until preservationists organized to save the area's historic buildings. The cobblestone streets of Fell's Point lend to its unique historic character, which attracts many tourists and businesses to the area.

Fells Point WalkScore