Upton & Pennsylvania Avenue
northwest-baltimore

This neighborhood, which lines the historic Pennsylvania Avenue, was once the epicenter of Baltimore’s African American community and a thriving entertainment scene.

Upton & Pennsylvania Avenue

All That Jazz

During the 1940s, 50s and 60s, Pennsylvania Avenue was the place to go to see the latest singers and musicians perform. Many jazz clubs and performance halls in the area, notably the Royal Theater on Pennsylvania Avenue, were part of the Chitlin’ Circuit where African American entertainers, such as Redd Foxx, Cab Calloway, Ray Charles and James Brown, could perform freely in a segregated America. The Royal Theater has since been torn down, but its spirit lives on in the community and at The Avenue Bakery where its history is recounted through murals and plaques on the walls. Take a guided tour with Baltimore National Heritage Area to learn more about the rich history and culture of this neighborhood.

On A Roll

Opened on historic Pennsylvania Avenue in 2011 by Jim Hamlin, The Avenue Bakery is famous for "Poppay's Rolls," enormous buttery soft bread rolls, as well as a delicious selection of breads, cakes, pies, and pastries. Jim has dedicated the front lobby and the outside garden area of the bakery to telling the African American story in Baltimore. It highlights trailmarkers and photos of the Pennsylvania Avenue Heritage Trail which is a historic walking trail, and there are murals depicting famous African Americans with ties to Baltimore.

Float Like A Butterfly, Sting Like A Bee

The Upton Boxing Center has become a mecca for local amateur boxing by developing state, regional and national champions in youth and young adult age groups. Participants in the nationally recognized Upton boxing program come from all over the region because of the tremendous instruction, mentoring and camaraderie.

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