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Welcome to Reservoir Hill Improvement Council
People Powered Change !


The historic community of Reservoir Hill can trace its roots back to 1680. In fact, Reservoir Hill Improvement Council is today housed in the Birckhead mansion built around 1792. The stone mansion sits on a wooded hill at the corner of Park Avenue and Reservoir Street. In the late 19th century, Reservoir Hill grew to become a premier, turn of the century neighborhood, with a wide range of architectural styles.

Reservoir Hill and its surrounding neighborhoods is home to artists, educators, and city leaders; contains historic churches and synagogues; boasts one of the most diverse, intact collections of late 19th and early 20th century urban architecture in Baltimore City; and borders the second largest urban park in the country, Druid Hill Park. The community is an important part of the Jewish and African-American history of Baltimore.

While Reservoir Hill has a deep history that can still be seen in its architecture, it is also a very vibrant, modern community with an urban farm that sells its produce right in the community, two community gardens, a neighborhood school moving toward Green School status, one of Baltimore's earliest charter schools, and one of Baltimore's highlight community events - the Annual Garden & Home Tour. Reservoir Hill is also one of the original Healthy Neighborhoods, Inc. communities. You will find that Reservoir Hill is a lively place with strong sense of community and a high level of civic engagement.

Like many urban communities, Reservoir Hill suffered from the flight of population to the suburbs and experienced decline and poverty from decades of lack of investment.

Reservoir Hill Improvement Council (RHIC) is an umbrella association whose roots date from the late 1970's. We partner with government agencies, commercial enterprises, non-profit organizations, and public institutions to develop and implement programs and public policies that furthers the equitable revitalization of Reservoir Hill and the communities south of Druid Hill Park in northwest Baltimore City.

We envision Reservoir Hill as a model of a vibrant urban community with excellent schools, safe streets, abundant green space and outdoor recreation areas, multiple opportunities for residents to interact, housing that meets the needs of growing families and a broad range of incomes, and a revitalization that benefits everyone.

Today the spotlight of revitalization is on Reservoir Hill and a historic opportunity exists to forge a model of equitable, community-based revitalization.

Join us in this exciting enterprise!

RHIIC Office
Views from the Hill Blog


Options for Redesign of John Eager Howard School
Options for Redesign of John Eager Howard School - Scheme A
Options for Redesign of John Eager Howard School - A
Options for Redesign of John Eager Howard School - Scheme B
Options for Redesign of John Eager Howard School - B
Options for Redesign of John Eager Howard School - Scheme C
Options for Redesign of John Eager Howard School - C
For questions and to make comments, please write to Erin Bowman at ebowman@reservoirhill.net, or Jennifer McDowell at jmcdowell@childfirstauthority.org


Powerful Ideas

There is a lot of wonderful work going in Reservoir Hill and a lot of wonderful thinking going on about building community.

Below are three sites featuring stimulating ideas and projects coming out of the extraordinary community of Reservoir Hill.

And don’t forget to check the RHIC Green blog for information on all the urban environmental projects and other happenings, and the School & Recreation blog for information for youth and families.


Whitelock Community Farm


Whitelock Community FarmThe Whitelock Community Farm is “An Urban Farm in Baltimore’s Hippest Hood.” Yes, you can buy produce right on Whitelock Street grown right on Whitelock Street.







The Urban Rabbi


The Urban RabbiThe Urban RabbiRabbi Daniel Cotzin-Burg is the rabbi of Beth Am Synagogue in Reservoir Hill. His blog contains his reflections on the work of an urban rabbi. As a Reservoir Hill resident he roots his thoughts on community building and building urban Jewish community right here in our neighborhood.






New Lens

New Lens

Born “Kids on the Hill,” New Lens is a dynamic youth driven social justice organization that makes art and media about issues where a youth perspective can inspire change.







2001 Park Ave. Baltimore, Maryland 21217 . 410-225-7547 . Fax 410-225-7455

Reservoir Hill Improvement Council is grateful to the photographers who donated their work
for use on this website: Howard P. Fink, Vivian Lee, and Russ Moss.