Charles Village Brighter with Its ‘Painted Ladies

by Wendy Shaia
     WINNERS of the first of three “Painted Ladies of Charles Village” contests were announced on December 6.
     The contests, funded by The Annie E. Casey Foundation, has inspired property owners and people who rent to illuminate the community with creatively designed and painted facades. More than one pedestrian has been spied stopping to more closely examine one of these “ladies.”
     The term “painted ladies” is coined from the famous multi-colored Victorian houses that transformed communities in San Francisco, St. Louis, and other cities.
     The Charles Village competition involves residents not only as beautifiers of property, but as committee members and judges.
     Winner of the $3,000 first prize for Porch Front Facade was shared by Felice Shore and Greg Nass of 3230 Abell Avenue and Jenny and Mark Harbold of 3228 Abell Avenue. The two families, in the spirit of the contest, chose colors that were coordinated and complementary, allowing each house to stand on its own but enhance the other. Shades of indigo and teal were used, as well as pale yellow and touches of rose. A gold metallic paint highlights architectural details on both homes.
     The $2,000 award for Flush Front Facade went to Craig and Nancy Charlow, of 2932 St. Paul Street. They chose peach as their main color, highlighted by turquoise and cream accents. Still feeling like they needed more color, the couple added peach awnings to complete the look.
     The $500 prize for Best Door was awarded to Graphic Imaging at 107 East 25th Street. A new location for the firm, which has operated in Charles Village for 11 years, the firm saw the contest as a way to move into its new offices with pride. Employees and friends helped create a magnificent door that boasts four colors: red, hunter green, and two shades of gold on the archway and woodwork surrounding woodwork. The door itself was brought back to life with colored stain and a clear coat to protect it from the weather.
     Honorable mention went to Beverly and John Fink at 3023 Guilford Avenue. They chose a combination of teal, poppy flower, spring meadow, and sun yellow. They painted the bricks in the background a neutral cream that allows the brighter colors to stand out.
     Entries for the second round are due on May 1. Contest winners are selected on the basis of ingenuity, creativity, originality, and harmony in color usage. Contestants must use at least three colors in their paint schemes. Applications must be submitted with photographs and a written summary of the project.
     For more information or an application, call Steven Rivelis at (410)243-7979, ext. 11.

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This story was published on Jan. 6, 1999.