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Back in July 2016 I wrote about the renewed interest in doing something with the Lake Clifton Gate House. A farmers market, a cafe, a historical showcase for the water department, etc. The other day I received an email to attend a meeting on another proposal, submitted by Civic Works and their vision for the Valve House (Note: Valve House and Gate House are interchangeable when talking about this structure – Pump House is not – it never had pumps in it). Attached to the proposal was this photograph:

I thought to myself, how the heck did I miss this driving back and forth to City Lights?? Well, this didn’t happen. It is a piece of art. “This is an animation of a specific artist’s winning proposal to mount this public art installation. BOPA is hoping that the installation will be able to move forward under the watchful eye of Civic Works.”

Here is an excerpt from John, at Civic Works, on their proposal for the Gate House:

When the Valve House is renovated and attractively landscaped, it will attract people who pause for pastry, coffee, ultra-local freshly harvested foods and flowers, art and stories of Baltimore. Stories from our past, presented here, will be outshined by news of the structured opportunities, offered “next door” for careers in the expanding green business sectors.

As the renovations to the Valve House are fully realized, the adjacent Lake Clifton campus will become the operational base for Baltimore Center for Green Careers, Civic Works Food and Farm programs and other pathways to prosperity. In the coming decades, these two work in harmony – the information packed social hub and the sustainable-jobs work preparation center.

I personally think this is a great idea! And I really hope it happens.

Here is a 1927 aerial of Lake Clifton and its relation to Lake Montebello. Clifton being the one at the bottom. Water flowed from the dam at the Gunpowder Falls, via a 7 mile tunnel to Montebello, then by conduit to Clifton, at which point it was dispersed to the city.

From the 1970s showing the interior of the Gate House with the water chambers covered over with wood.

The reverse of the above photo, from the Sunpaper files showing that back in 1970 there was an interest in restoring the Gate House.

Another 1970s Sunpaper photo showing the stained glass windows nearly intact. Most have since been broken out. (Note:Photos from my personal collection)