When I first came to Fells Point in 1975 there were a number of what we would today call Makers who had businesses in Fells Point. Two wood shops doing large scale architectural work (church doors, two story windows, cornices, and cabinetry) Millard Hart and Charlie High (Wroncinski) and two furniture makers: Ollie Olsen and Alan Shapiro. We had Ernie, a sheet metal maker of gutters and standing seam roofs, there was Voight’s stain glass shop at Bond and Fleet, the Brass Works on Thames and Peranio’s Fence and Gate on Aliceanna. That makes 8 makers who were making a living in Fells Point. Whom ever I have missed in this accounting, please let me know. All are gone today except for three: Ollie Olsen on Eastern Avenue and Charley High on Fleet Street. The Brass Works is up for sale.
Today's retail has sold us replacement over craft. Some are starting to believe this is a false economy, that owning things which are devoid of character is a loosing proposition. That is why Makers are coming back into Baltimore, many as passionate as the old guard settling only for self respect as a craftsman.