Imagining a Model Urban Neighborhood

This digital exhibit highlights 120 images from the Model Urban Neighborhood Demonstration (MUND) program in Baltimore, Maryland from 1968-1971. The images were selected from approximately 5,000 black and white 35 mm film negatives contained in the Model Urban Neighborhood Demonstration Records (MUND), at the University of Baltimore Special Collections & Archives. The exhibit also features selected video footage from the WMAR-TV Collection, also at the UB Special Collections & Archives.

Using funds from the U.S. Office of Economic Opportunity, MUND began in 1967 as a public-private partnership between the Greater Baltimore Committee and the Westinghouse Corporation. After the first two years of the program, local elections created the Neighborhood Development Council, and control was transferred to community residents. Although begun as an earlier demonstration, MUND was related to the Model Cities Program, which provided federal funding to American cities for better coordination of anti-poverty programs, local planning of urban renewal initiatives, and participation by the residents of selected model neighborhoods.

The stated goal of MUND was to focus the resources and expertise of the private sector on a single district within Baltimore City, applying the best practices of business to the challenges of urban renewal. The district selected for the demonstration encompassed portions of neighborhoods now known as East Baltimore-Midway, Barclay, Old Goucher, and Remington. At the end of the three year demonstration, this district was to merge into Baltimore's Model City Areas, spreading the benefits of its intensive planning process, professional consultation, and best business practices to the other districts. This merger never took place, however, and MUND continued independently until both MUND and Model Cities ended in 1974.

The images selected for this exhibit focus on the personal and communal aspects of MUND, highlighting youth, senior citizens, community leaders, and neighborhood activities. Research was conducted to identify as many of the names, dates, and places in the photos as possible.

For more information about the digital items from the MUND Records in this online exhibit, click here to visit the main digital collection page.

This exhibit also features short television news clips from the WMAR-TV Collection that focus on MUND and highlight community events including the MUND Election, Hunter Street groundbreaking and dedication events, the opening of the Sea Host, and a TB Van volunteer event.

WMAR-TV of Baltimore, Maryland was the first television station in Baltimore and the eleventh in the United States. Its first broadcast aired on October 30, 1947. The complete WMAR-TV Collection consists of over six million feet of 16 mm film and videotape created between 1948 and 1987. Through the support of The John Ben Snow Foundation, Inc. and the University's Baltimore Renaissance Seed Scholarship Fund, selected footage has been converted into digital format, and several clips focused on MUND are featured here.

For more information about the digitized items from the WMAR-TV Collection in this online exhibit, click here to visit the main digital collection page.

Credits: Exhibit curated by Aiden Faust in January 2010. It was added to this site by Laura Bell in September 2019.

About the Exhibit