The Washington Monument
The Historic Charles Street Association’s mission is to support and promote the business, cultural attractions, entertainment venues, restaurants and retail establishments along the Charles Street corridor. We serve as a problem solving and information resource for our members, as well as provide a forum for networking, communications and collaboration.
Charles Street History
Charles Street, one of the oldest thoroughfares in America, has roots that predate Baltimore itself. Before Europeans settled around the Chesapeake Bay, it is speculated that a Susquehannock Indian trail ran along what is now part of Charles Street. When Baltimore Town was laid out by Maryland’s colonial legislature in 1729, the then-unnamed street passed by the existing farm home of John Fleming, near the present-day Charles and Lombard intersection. Briefly known as Forest (or Forrest), the road was being referred to as Charles Street by at least 1761.
The first house in Baltimore Town was owned by John Fleming and stood at what is now the northeast corner of Charles and Lombard Street, long before Baltimore was a town. In fact, the act of Legislature authorizing the founding of the city to be stated that it should lie “around and about the house occupied by John Fleming.”
Charles Street has always played an important part in the life of the city, but about 200 years ago, an event occurred that stamped its character not only on Baltimore but also on the country and the world. At the time, it was proposed to build the Washington Monument, the first monument erected in memory of the first President of the United States, at Fayette and Calvert Streets. The residents of that area protested vigorously, fearing that the object might be struck by lightning or blown down in a storm and crush their homes. As a result, it was built on its present site on land given by John Eager Howard. Work began in 1815 and the monument was completed in 1824.
Thirty years later, some of the men who had originally opposed the construction of the monument at Calvert Street and their children began to move their homes to Charles Street, and it became the exclusive residential section of Baltimore. The first families of Baltimore have always lived on Charles Street.
For more than 200 years, Charles Street has been changing and growing. Because they love Charles Street, residents, business owners, property owners and merchants of the area have banded together in the Historic Charles Street Association to serve the street. We ensure that it develops along progressive lines and that its character is maintained.
Our Board of Directors
Jeff La Noue
Jeff La Noue is a Project and Sustainability Planner for the University of Baltimore (UB). Jeff advises the University on real estate and local economic development matters as well as coordinates the implementation of UB’s Climate Action Plan. In addition, Jeff helps to lead the UB Living program that promotes students residing in UB Midtown and engaging in local cultural, educational, volunteer, shopping, recreational, transportation, and civic offerings.
La Noue holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from St. Mary’s College of Maryland and a Master’s in Community Planning from the University of Maryland-College Park. Jeff and family live in Baltimore’s Clipper Mill neighborhood. He serves on the Board for the Historic Charles Street Association and is a member of the Gwynns Falls Trail Council, Bike Maryland, Baltimore Heritage, and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.
Michael V. Mistretta is Commercial Branch Manager for M&T Bank in Baltimore. Mistretta is based at M&T’s flagship branch at 25 South Charles Street. He leads a team of specialists that offers businesses a full range of financial services, including: deposits, investments, insurance and commercial credit. Mistretta is responsible for business development in the Greater Baltimore area and oversees the commercial and retail operations of the Charles Street branch.
He has been with M&T Bank since 2000 and has more than 23 years of financial
Mistretta holds a Bachelor’s degree from Le Moyne College and a Master’s
degree from Clarkson University. He and his family moved to Baltimore from Syracuse, New York, where he was a Commercial Branch Manager for M&T Bank. Mistretta and his family currently reside in Cockeysville, Maryland. He serves on the North Baltimore County Community Advisory Board for the YMCA of Central Maryland, the Board for Baltimore Health Care Access, and the Board for The Historic Charles Street Association.
Jason Vaughan is the director of historic preservation and interpretation initiatives for the Baltimore National Heritage Area. Under this role, he serves as the byway manager of the Charles Street National Scenic Byway. The byway, designated by the U.S. Congress in 2009, is one of four national scenic byways primarily located within an urban setting. Before joining the heritage area staff, Jason worked with the National Park Service’s Chesapeake Bay Office and Heritage Education Services program on a wide array of projects, including the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail and National Register of Historic Places Travel Itineraries. He holds a Master of Historic Preservation from the University of Maryland and a Bachelor of Political Science from American University in Washington, D.C.