Author: Justin Fair

Black Burial Grounds Mapping in Baltimore

I’m assisting Dr. Kami Fletcher in her upcoming book exploring Baltimore’s Mount Auburn Cemetery‘s history and significance. Chiefly, she’s shared with me many maps and descriptors for where burial grounds were located prior to the cemetery’s move to Westport in 1871 (and subsequent expansion in 1903). Here’s my latest geo-referencing map-work. So excited to help her document this hidden history. (Here’s where the “African Burying Ground” aka “Spring Garden” is located…where the M&T Bank Field / Orioles Stadium is now.)
African Burying Ground (1807-1839) – It was located in a section of southwestern Baltimore called Spring Garden. However, in 1807 Spring Gardens was located in Baltimore County because the city expanded in 1817, 1894 and 1918. Its all in the attached file here (“Suburban Growth and Municipal Annexation in Baltimore”. In 1868, the burial ground was located on Cross Street (in 1807 this was Hague Street) and Chestnut Alley. Also referred to as the “Spring Garden Burying Ground for Colored People”. It was located in Southwest Baltimore in 1868. – Dr. Fletcher


Georeferenced Maps overlaid
1807 streetnames:
2019 streetnames:

“Tangerine” Review


Tangerine by Christine Mangan

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Obsession and patience are required to fall down the rabbit hole that is Tangerine. Where I wanted Lucy to get her comeuppance, instead, a mélange of the Twilight Zone proves Lucy’s ferver and needs will eclipse even her own expectations. The author delivers a juicy yet bitter fruit in Tangerine; you become entangled in the minds of Lucy and Alice, and begin to wonder where one begins and the other ends. I wanted the story to end differently, but I suppose, then again, so did each of the characters. The winding path that their lives took was hard to put down once I began to read in between the lines, and by then, I became just as lost as they each did: Thinking I knew where I was going, when all along, something was dragging me along, an itch, a knocking at the door.

Mangan’s writing is exceptional and relatable. I look forward to more from this author.

View all my reviews

Middle Branch Park Planning

Middle Branch Park Planning

Did you see the three finalist presentations on developing the actual waterfront? They are AWESOME. Real world, y’all.

Also, I just wanted to update you from the hell that was Studio II.
This summer, I’ll be a fellow with the Westport Community Economic Development Corporation, learning more about land trusts while offering my web design services and non-profit services helping them with their visioning and whatnot. (Lisa Hodges-Hiken is their Exec. Director; she taught my real estate development class!)

This Fall for my second independent study, I’ll be digging into the GIS project with Westport’s Mount Auburn Cemetery, creating a geodatabase and assembling an online archive for a ‘digital museum’ website, to boost it into a proper memorial park with ecological restoration at the forefront (As a followup to our Fall 2018 Studio II work). 

During our last studio, we encouraged the cemetery leadership to adapt the grounds maintenance plans to a wider strategic goal to allow the cemetery to be open to the public (in moderation, over time) to better orient with pedestrian and vehicle connectivity to the Middle Branch and the Gwynns Falls. 

This Fall, I’ll be better crafting the how-to element as we are aware of the upcoming Middle Branch Waterfront work, the Green Network Plan, the Rails to Trails goal of a full City loop, and the Port Covington-Westport Waterfront work.

Hope you’re having an excellent summer.

Clyburn Arboretum

Clyburn Arboretum, Park Heights, Baltimore, MD

19 new photos added to shared album

via Instagram

White on green

via Instagram

A plane passes by, “Stonach keep Preakness in Baltimore.” Somebody paid money for that.

via Instagram

Stained glass window. More photos at

via Instagram

Stained glass window. More photos at @ Cylburn Arboretum Association

— Justin Fair (@Soulstrong) May 18, 2019

The gray lady sits, lost in thought as she looks at her garden.

via Instagram

Pattern Inspiration

Pattern Inspiration

Pinned: Erwin Hauer 3-D screens — Justin Fair (@Soulstrong) May 18, 2019
Pinned: Vainqueur du concours annuel Flatiron Public Plaza Holiday Design Competition, LOT, studio de design et d’architecture basé à New York et en Grèce a créé cette installation publique lumineuse et ludique. Située à côté du Madison Square Park, Fla… — Justin Fair (@Soulstrong) May 18, 2019
Pinned: PolygonModelingErwinHauerV — Justin Fair (@Soulstrong) May 18, 2019

Middle Branch Bike Lanes

Some quick screenshots from the 2015 master bike plan… food for thought; and some screenshots from my Studio class project connecting the Mt Auburn Cemetery to a wider trail network.

Studio II Project (I’m actually working on the Cemetery stuff this Fall):
Paths + Trails, envisioning with cemetery in red:

With Bus stops:

With cemetery components fleshed out:

On Waterview Ave, an Open Air Greeting Plaza (concept rendering schematic credit Justin Fair; found photograph):

With Bike Lanes illustrated: