I loved how the change.org promoters gives all pros yet no cons.

I guess whoever set up the petion with change.org didn't learn the pitfalls from Steamtown.....

The government will NOT do a better job than what the museum has done do far. What's with the petition anyway? I's the museum in trouble of being insolvent?

member:Golden Spike Club Charter Member

This petition was started by a Michael H. From Gainesville, NY? Gainesville, NY is close to Buffalo so why does this dude set up a petition about the B&O museum in Baltimore? Is he an Expert on running museums or just a "foamer" gone ary cause he don't like da hood?

Is the B&O museum in trouble of closing?

member:Golden Spike Club Charter Member

Wow. What a ridiculous joke. The reason the museum is there is that it is the site of the first train station and a pre civil war full roundhouse. This is clearly more Politically motivated “Baltimore is a scary place” clap trap from people who are afraid of their own reflection in a mirror.

 Also a 100 signature petition with only 4 on it will not persuade ANYBODY. I would think that a full 100 signature petition would be a considerable factor in getting a speed bump placed on a suburban road. 

W/o doubt a solution looking for a problem.....that's not there.

The B&O Museum is already a US National Historic Landmark and probably better off than most.


There are many mysteries in this universe, big and small. Like, why do clowns make us laugh? Why do we love puppy dogs? And why, why do little blue midgets hit me with fish?

Personally I think it's a terrible idea. We here in St. Louis, Mo were lucky enough to get St. Louis County Government to disassociate itself from our Transportation Museum. From what the volunteers I know who work there told me, donations have started to flow back. While SLCG was involved, non of the money donated ever went for what it was ear marked for. Imagine on a Federal level. 

This discussion reminds me of an experience I had at Scranton's Steamtown at Railfest some years ago. 

Although my friends and I had a great time all day, we finally got over to the big Union Pacific locomotive and got in line to see the cab.  The park service lady cut my small group of 4 in half and said thats it, we close in 5 mins.  Her tone was nasty and although it was just 2 more people to go up, she refused.  4pm!!! Really??? We drove from Ohio to go there.  Still annoys me.

There are a lot of people who aren't happy with how the B&O Museum has been and is being managed. If you think the problem is management I can guarantee you with almost 100 percent certainty the government would manage it more terribly. The solution to this problem IS NOT the federal government taking over. 

N&W ~ J 611

OGR Forum Member since June 2001 

Baltimore is a very good experience for everyone.  In addition to the railroad museum, there is probably one of the best aquariums  east of the Mississippi.  There is also the inner harbor development area.   The community/extended community does a couple of bike rides each year, that I found exciting.   

Change.org is a weird thing, people write these impassioned pleas for things, and honestly I doubt very much they influence much of anything. I know the B&O Museum has had some rough sledding, when the roof collapsed several years ago, and they are also facing the perception that Baltimore is this scary place where you go there you will get shot; it is true Baltimore has problems with violent crimes, including homicide, but that doesn't mean someone visiting the museum or the city would be in much risk. NYC had a murder rate of 2500 in the late 80's, yet most of that was concentrated in areas few people would be likely to go to. I think any museum can use help from various government entities, better street lighting, repaving the roads around it, maybe grants for historic preservation (and for all I know these things already have happened with this museum), but takeover? Given the state of the national park service, that despite being very popular (they are getting record crowds) their budgets have been slashed and fees that were supposed to be used towards making the parks better have been diverted (the RV community is really angry about that one),so they likely wouldn't help.

I hear complains about Steamtown, but my answer to that is if the National Park Service hadn't created that, what would be in its place? I don't think the government is the answer to everything or they necessarily are the best people to run things, but at least with Steamtown there is something there to go visit that wouldn't be if they hadn't of done that. Personally, I would rather spend federal money on Steamtown and the National Parks service than on a lot of what it is in fact being spent on these days, but that is getting outside the realm of this discussion. 

The person who dies with the best toys dies a happy person

Whoever did this petition has no clue how museums work, how they are funded, nor how they have to schedule maintenance and restoration on the exhibits/rolling stock.

Beyond that, he's probably only been to one actual city before in his life, and that's probably Baltimore.  He has no clue about cities and how all of them have rough looking areas.  I've dealt with people like this before that live outside Philadelphia and have never gone into the city, because being in a city frightens them.

One more reason to reinforce he's clueless: one of his Pros - "A tourist attraction that will help place Baltimore on the map."  Um, let's see:

Fort McHenry, Inner Harbor, Aquarium, Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Fell's Point, along with some nice museums including the B&O Museum.  I think Baltimore is already on the map with some tourist attractions.

"Maybe someday, you'll be an Engineer for the Santa Fe!" - in a note to me sent with a P.R. package from the Santa Fe railroad.

When l visited B&O Museum, l approached from south, to avoid "urban experience", and still there were people in the street at lights wanting to "wash  your windshield".   Is the Chamber of Commerce aware?  I have gotten dumped in "wrong" neighborhoods in a list of cities.  Think CofC's should put out maps showing "safe" areas and access routes.

??Another one of THOSE!!??  What you want to sell is not what I want to buy!

colorado hirailer posted:

When l visited B&O Museum, l approached from south, to avoid "urban experience", and still there were people in the street at lights wanting to "wash  your windshield".   Is the Chamber of Commerce aware?  I have gotten dumped in "wrong" neighborhoods in a list of cities.  Think CofC's should put out maps showing "safe" areas and access routes.

But, the statistics show that you should be concerned about driving / riding in a car as part of your normal activities near your home.  THAT is much more dangerous (chances of injuries / death are much higher) than being a victim of a random act of violence.

Not sure when you visited,  but while the neighborhood has a long way to go, gentrification is slowly creeping in, mostly from the east.   Along Pratt street, just 1-3 blocks from the museum you can see row homes were bars have been removed from the windows, potted plants in windows, etc, and nice cars in the street.  Yet, a block away, the liquor store appears to doing brisk business...   

Generally seems it's moving in about a block or so a year.  I'll predict this is a double edge sword for the museum.  Once the area is more gentrified, some are going to start to ask about those old rusty trains out front and even complain about the horns from the first mile train ride.

Bob

 

It was years ago, before snow roof collapse.  Did not inspire a return visit, which is my point.  But l am well aware of positive and negative changing neighborhood situations.  They had a flood there, too, which may have impacted the station?   Hope not.

??Another one of THOSE!!??  What you want to sell is not what I want to buy!

colorado hirailer posted:

It was years ago, before snow roof collapse.  Did not inspire a return visit, which is my point.  But l am well aware of positive and negative changing neighborhood situations.  They had a flood there, too, which may have impacted the station?   Hope not.

The flood you are referring to was in Ellicott City, Md., 13 miles by train from the B&O Museum in Baltimore.   The Ellicott City railroad station, which was for many years part of the B&O Museum still stands, however, is no longer part of the B&O Museum.  I believe it was taken over by the local county government and still operates as a museum. 

Cheers and Happy Railroading,

Patrick W  

CEO - The Free State Junction Railway 

" Where the music is sweet and the trains always run on time"

Home Office - Patsburg, Maryland 

colorado hirailer posted:

When l visited B&O Museum, l approached from south, to avoid "urban experience", and still there were people in the street at lights wanting to "wash  your windshield".   Is the Chamber of Commerce aware?  I have gotten dumped in "wrong" neighborhoods in a list of cities.  Think CofC's should put out maps showing "safe" areas and access routes.

Every city and town world wide has its' good neighborhoods and its' bad ones.  It's a shame that when you were here in Baltimore you didn't explore the magnificent culture of our city.  I've lived here for 75 years and absolutely love Baltimore.

Wild Mary (AKA Nick) Retired & "Riding The Wild Mary"

 

 

Forum Member Since 24 Sept. 2004

 

Eddie Marra posted:

Whoever did this petition has no clue how museums work, how they are funded, nor how they have to schedule maintenance and restoration on the exhibits/rolling stock.

Beyond that, he's probably only been to one actual city before in his life, and that's probably Baltimore.  He has no clue about cities and how all of them have rough looking areas.  I've dealt with people like this before that live outside Philadelphia and have never gone into the city, because being in a city frightens them.

One more reason to reinforce he's clueless: one of his Pros - "A tourist attraction that will help place Baltimore on the map."  Um, let's see:

Fort McHenry, Inner Harbor, Aquarium, Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Fell's Point, along with some nice museums including the B&O Museum.  I think Baltimore is already on the map with some tourist attractions.

Eddie - well stated!  I agree!  

I work in Baltimore City teaching at a public high school which is nationally ranked.  98 percent of our students go on to college after graduation ... a stunning statistic for any high school anywhere in this country let alone an inner city school. 

I really don't think the B&O Museum needs the help of the National Park Service.  Although I'm a fan of the National Park Service and their work, calling them in to take over operation of the B&O Museum is just a ridiculous idea!  Don't try to fix what's not broken.   I'm a member of the B&O Museum and it seems to be doing just fine on its own.  As far as the neighborhood surrounding the museum is concerned, renewal is working it's way westward, as another poster stated, about a block a year.  I never fear for my safety as I approach the B&O Museum ... never have. (  Heck, when I'm at school, I cut through alleys whenever I go to lunch and never fear for my safety ... been doing it for over 12 years.)  Baltimore has lots of railroad history, wonderful old train stations ( some repurposed )  .. Camden, Pennsylvania, old Pennsylvania Station, and Mount Royal Station ( now part of the Maryland Institute College of Art " MICA" )  located in the Mt. Royal neighborhood, the old Ma & Pa round house and the Baltimore Street Car Museum.  There's also the light rail system, and the Canton Railroad.   The B&O Museum is one of the several fine assortment of museums in Baltimore.  

Baltimore offers many music venues including the Meyerhoff Symphony Hall and the world class Baltimore Symphony, a thriving jazz scene,  and venues for all musical tastes.  The historic Hippodrome Theatre, Center Stage, and Lyric Opera House present world class plays, operas,  and touring broadway shows.  Educational institutions such as Johns Hopkins University, Loyola College, Notre Dame College of Maryland, University of Baltimore, Morgan State University, Peabody Conservatory of Music, and Maryland Institute College of Art, University of Maryland Baltimore,  have superb reputations and offer programs to the general public.  It's also the birthplace of Edgar Allan Poe.  His grave is visited by many folks each year.  

I will add to what you have already stated;  Inner Harbor, Ft. McHenry, the National Aquarium,Camden Yards, Fells Point ( I was there a few weekend ago and it was bustling with people ),  Canton area, Mt. Washington neighborhood, plus all I have mentioned in the above paragraphs put and keep Baltimore on the map.  

Like any city, Baltimore has its share of problems, however, there are so many great things about this city that folks not from around Baltimore  are aware of.   I think the press gives Baltimore a bad wrap.... negativity always sells and boosts ratings over positivity.  My personal experience with Baltimore, as someone who experiences this city regularly,  is not at all the same as what I hear on cable or network news.  

I have friends who visit from Germany, New York City, Montreal, Kentucky, and the Carolinas and they have found Baltimore to be culturally interesting & lively.  Most prefer Baltimore over DC ( I live equal distance from both cities ) whenever there's a choice for just casually hanging out in one city or the other.

Come visit the B&O Museum, the birthplace of American railroading ... you'll love it!     

   

 

 

Cheers and Happy Railroading,

Patrick W  

CEO - The Free State Junction Railway 

" Where the music is sweet and the trains always run on time"

Home Office - Patsburg, Maryland 

You forgot a world class hospital, Johns Hopkins.   St. Francis hospital not far from the Railroad Museum is also an excellent hospital. 

At one time, a cruise ship destination, but as the ships have grown in size, only a few of the remaining smaller ships, can enter/exit the harbor under the different bridges.  We've done a Mexico tour from Baltimore, and one to Canada, Nova Scotia.  

trumptrain posted:
colorado hirailer posted:

It was years ago, before snow roof collapse.  Did not inspire a return visit, which is my point.  But l am well aware of positive and negative changing neighborhood situations.  They had a flood there, too, which may have impacted the station?   Hope not.

The flood you are referring to was in Ellicott City, Md., 13 miles by train from the B&O Museum in Baltimore.   The Ellicott City railroad station, which was for many years part of the B&O Museum still stands, however, is no longer part of the B&O Museum.  I believe it was taken over by the local county government and still operates as a museum. 

Ellicott City, has done an engineering study related to excessive water run-off and existing structures that have been consistently damaged by flooding.  There is no easy fix, though Howard County, continues to assess the problem.   Often, at this point, old mill/railroad towns and related infrastructure are abandoned/razed in extreme flood zones.  A sad note, as the frequency of the flooding, has ramped-up, recent history.     ??Climate change??    Urban/suburban development, up stream, and all the related asphalt/concrete, contribute to the area problems.    Some of the historic buildings severely impede the existing water flow, which includes the train station and visitor parking lot. 

 

colorado hirailer posted:

When l visited B&O Museum, l approached from south, to avoid "urban experience", and still there were people in the street at lights wanting to "wash  your windshield".   Is the Chamber of Commerce aware?  I have gotten dumped in "wrong" neighborhoods in a list of cities.  Think CofC's should put out maps showing "safe" areas and access routes.

Baltimore's Chamber of Commerce concerning themselves with such issues? That's cute. 

N&W ~ J 611

OGR Forum Member since June 2001 

The problem is people see the issues a city like Baltimore has and they filter it through their own views/fears. Baltimore does have problems with crime, with violent crime, that other cities deal with or have dealt with. I lived in NYC when the murder rate was 2500 a year at the height of the crack epidemic, I lived in the Bronx and commuted to lower manhattan working second shift, so I was coming back on the 5 train through the South Bronx (then a really bad area, now actually starting to gentrify to my surprise) at like 1am, yet I lived to tell the tale.  Crime tends to be centered in certain areas and even in those neighborhoods if you are a visitor you are not all that likely to have problems; doesn't mean I recommend hanging out in these kinds of places, and you have to be smart, but there are places I have seen in more rural areas I wouldn't recommend hanging out in, especially these days with the opiod crisis *shrug*.  Go to other areas of Baltimore and you would see a very different picture, it is how cities operate (heck, in small town America, anyone ever hear the term "coming from the other side of the tracks", usually indicated an area not exactly a garden spot...so that charming genteel town with the cute town square also likely had its gritty side, too). 

Sounds to me like the person complaining about the B and O museum is someone who went in thinking Baltimore was this crap hole , not surprising giving some of the tsimmis on social media about it between politicians, surprised he didn't say they should deploy special forces there *sigh*. I haven't gotten the chance to check out the B and O museum but I did drive in the area, and I didn't get the sense it was anything more than an area that needed some TLC, it was gritty. Sounds like the folks running the museum are doing a good job, and to be honest while I don't share the negative attitude about the government or national park service (a lot of wonderful treasures would not be around today, would have seen the wrecking ball, like Edison's lab in West Orange, NJ, if it wasn't for the NPS), it still is better that it be run by people dedicated to it (though my experience with NPS people is they often are quite passionate, the folks who run the Gettysburg battlefield are amazingly passionate and knowledgeable, to say the least). 

 

 

The person who dies with the best toys dies a happy person

Nick Chillianis posted:

The nine most terrifying words in the English language are "I'm from the government, and I'm here to help." - Ronald Wilson Reagan

Funny...NOT.  Decades ago I worked for a government owned/run museum.  In connection with other hobbies I regularly visit government owned/run museums.  They can be just as well run and well maintained as independent museums.

It isn't a question of whether government owned/run museums in general are good.  It is a question of whether the B&O Museum in particular would be better off if it was part of the national park service.  On this I come down on the "No" side.  There are things which the B&O Museum could do to improve the experience for existing fans and to broaden its appeal, but there is no reason to believe rolling it into the NPS would cause those things to happen. 

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