AN HISTORICAL PROPERTY
In Northeast Baltimore
Walther Gardens has been a go-to destination since 1922 when the first and oldest snowball stand opened for business. The property, with its long history, agricultural roots and original buildings is a Baltimore City gem to be enjoyed by all.
We're proud to continue to maintain the property's historical significance within the City of Baltimore. Our intent is to make and keep the property something that the neighborhood can enjoy and be proud of. A place for neighbors to gather and socialize, receive plant and local information, and shop for artisan gifts and goods.
Beginning in the mid-1800’s the Sinsz family farmed the property Walther Gardens is now located on. At that time their farm was located within Baltimore County and was part of a major crop production area for Baltimore City.
Apples were their crop of choice until the early 1900’s when the family began selling off lots for homes for an ever-expanding Baltimore City. Due to the decrease in usable land for growing, the farm also shifted from focusing on tree fruit to cut flowers and greenhouse and nursery production.
During this same time (1922), the family opened a small shack on the property where they made and sold sweet flavored ice treats for additional family income. Once they opened the snowball stand, the Sinsz’s farm quickly became Baltimore's go-to destination!
As Told By Matthew
In late summer 2013, I was on a mission to find and rent a small garage/barn for storage within Baltimore City. After searching the internet and finding potential options, the first property on my list lead me to an area of the city I’d never been before – even after living in Baltimore for 10 years. I was immediately smitten with the Moravia-Walther neighborhood located in Northeast Baltimore City. The quaintness of the area with its meticulously maintained stone homes along Walther Avenue was impressive – what a nice place to live!
Upon crossing Southern Avenue, I caught a glimpse of what looked like an “old” greenhouse/nursery operation. I was so intrigued I made a quick u-turn and found myself directly in front of the property. I noticed a gentleman sitting on an old iron bench under a grand old sycamore tree enjoying the warm summer day in the shade. Upon introducing myself I was pleasantly surprised to find out that he was the owner of the property, Mr. Phillip Sinsz. We talked for hours that day, sharing our stories.
Upon leaving the old nursery that first afternoon, I was hooked – what an interesting place with ties to my personal history and interests. After growing up in western New York gardening with my mother, having my own wooden greenhouse, aquiring my first greenhouse/farm job at age 13, and working for over two decades with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) – I was beside myself to see such an agricultural and historical gem within Baltimore City.
For the next few months I would visit, walk the property, and continue my conversations with Phil, which included his family’s history. Phil was also extremely knowledgeable of local history, especially concerning agriculture.
On one of my many visits – by a twist of fate and a bit of good luck – Phil asked if I would consider purchasing the property. I was overwhelmed, but one thing about me is I’m a serious dreamer and planner and had already imagined a thousand different scenarios regarding the “what-ifs” concerning Walther Gardens – including contemplating the amount of work that would need to be done to make it a working nursery once again. So seemingly without hesitation, I said “YES!”
I purchased the entire property located at 3501 Southern Avenue on September 12, 2014. The labor of love began the day after the closing and is still underway. I immediately invited my big sister to make a bold life change and join me in Baltimore. With her strong work ethic and many talents – thank goodness she said “YES!”