Federal Hill overlooks the Inner Harbor of Baltimore from the South. Due to this prime location it is one of the most bustling neighborhoods in the city. It was one of the first neighborhoods in Baltimore to experience the benefits of urban renewal. As such, most of the houses have been restored over the last 20 to 15 years spearhead by programs like the dollar house lottery and tax incentives. Redevelopment and community initiatives continue to this day keeping the community of Federal Hill strong.
The community is anchored by several landmarks, most notably Federal Hill Park and the Cross Street Market. The park has been maintained since the end of the Civil War, when its Union Army controlled cannons were aimed at the city to "keep it in line." It offers the best views of the city, a great workout for motivated runners and step climbers, and a pleasant way to spend the afternoon. A few blocks to the Southwest lies the Cross Street Market where locals come to get fresh produce and flowers, businessmen grab a quick bite for lunch, and revelers go to celebrate the end of the work week.
Federal Hill's name dates back to 1788 when Baltimore residents marched to the top of the hill to celebrate the MD state legislature's ratification of the US Constitution. Throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries it was a vibrant residential neighborhood. However it had become rundown by the 1960's and the local government began planning for its demolition in favor of I-95. Community activists rallied around the threat of losing one of the city's treasured landmarks and successfully lobbied for an alternate route of the interstate. Once the area was safe from destruction, renewal began in earnest in parallel with the redevelopment of the Inner Harbor.
Today's Federal Hill is an attraction in its own right. The corridor between Charles and Light streets house some of the most popular restaurants in Baltimore. Bars, nightclubs, art galleries, boutique shops, hair salons, and other businesses concentrate in this area alongside of the restaurants. Federal Hill also holds some very popular annual festivals where live music, great food, beer gardens, and vendors fill the streets with people from all over the city.