Philip Diamond

Document Type

Working Paper

Publication Date



environmental history, industrialization, pollution, public health, environmental justice


The paper is based on the collective research of the faculty and students who participated in the fall 1997 Building Baltimore Seminar at the University of Maryland School of Law.


This paper traces the history of the Fairfield/Wagner Point peninsula from the beginning of the European settlement to the present, observing the ambitions and dreams of developers and industrial entrepeneurs, the significant contribution the area made to our nation's wartime production in World War II, the rise and fall of the tight-knit workers' communities, the struggles of outside activists and community leaders to better the living conditions of these neighborhoods, and the environmental devastation of the area followed by the attempt to redevelop the area with “green" industry. A 'central strand in this complex and contradictory story will be the City's century-and-a-half use of the area as a dumping ground of various sorts, a perhaps indispensable wasteland making possible the amenities enjoyed by other Baltimoreans and their county neighbors, while at the same time two neighborhoods grew up and for a time even flourished in the midst of a district zoned for heavy industry.


Legal History | Public Health | Urban Studies and Planning