by Ryan Miller
This past Friday I traveled into the heart of Baltimore City to visit the roof garden atop the Convention Center. On the second floor huge floor to ceiling windows frame the roof garden and encourage visitors to take a step out into nature. With benches and tables scattered throughout the garden, you can tell the owner's intent was to bring people outside, not only to look onto the city surrounding them, but to sit down and enjoy the unique natural environment.
The roof garden was completed in 2010. Initially, the Convention Center was only going to receive a new waterproof membrane, but the roofing company, Barrett Company, suggested the owners go above and beyond the traditional upgrade and take part of a growing trend, bringing nature back to our urban areas. I for one am glad the Convention Center owner had the foresight and courage to install a roof garden and did not succumb to the hesitance many property owners do when deciding to go with green roofs.
Throughout the hundreds of Black Eyed Susan’s in the garden you will see numerous bees flying about. No need to worry though, they have too big of a playground to concern themselves with visitors.
During my visit, the national Firemans & EMT convention brought in thousands of visitors to the Convention Center. Many of them took time to eat their lunch and relax in this oasis just two stories up from busy Pratt steet, which you could almost hear none of.
As I visit other cities I’m jealous of the green spaces they have for people to just relax and take in nature. I’m glad I visited this roof garden as I now have a place to show off to visitors and colleagues alike.
I plan on adding this roof to our tour of Baltimore City green roofs on September 13th. Please email me if you are interested in attending this tour, Ryan@hvccb.com.