The house at 2216 Druid Hill Ave. was at the center of a preservation battle that pitted pro-preservation advocates against the local community development corporation and family members against one another. Now, the Baltimore rowhouse house where jazz trailblazer Cab Calloway lived during his teenage years has been demolished.
Peter Brooks, Calloway’s grandson who was on the pro-preservation side, said city didn’t tell him they were planning to tear down the homes Saturday. He said the architect called him this morning to tell him it was going to happen.
He’s also surprised it happened during the pandemic,but he admits there wasn’t a “groundswell of support” from the public to keep the building in place. Although he said the city plans to build a park in Calloway’s honor, he’s worried about the city’s dedication to maintaining the history of its Black artists.
“I knew it was going to be happen but when you lose your foundation, it’s kind of shaky,” he said. “The hope was that this could be an anchor for people in the neighborhood to brag about. The significance of his work is still in play.”