When you think of an ideal place for a mini-golf course, you might think of an expanse of greenery with those iconic plastic windmills, waterfalls, may even a miniature castle—not the bustling sidewalks of Charles and St. Paul streets.
But this putt-putt course promises its share of artsy Baltimore spin. Its eight holes are being designed by students from the Baltimore Lab School, Baltimore Design School, and Baltimore Montessori Public Charter School, who will be paired with local artists and coaches from the program FutureMakers to help envision their creations.
The idea came about after a community survey revealed that residents felt activities for young people were missing in the neighborhood, and suggested adding some sort of recreational activity.
“There’s all these events that happen in Station North that revolve around bars or drinking,” said Amelia Rambissoon, development and office manager for the Station North Arts & Entertainment, Inc.. “This is something that will engage the local youth who get passed over.”
Rambissoon envisions the course will begin at Penn Station, where prospective golfers can pick up clubs from a kiosk and play the first two holes. The next stop would be the parking lot across from the Charles Theater, then The Ynot lot on North Avenue, and lastly, the park at Lafayette Avenue and St. Paul Street. The holes themselves are expected to be somewhat portable so they can be packed up and stowed during the fall and winter.
The cost to play the course is expected to stay low, hovering around $5, Rambissoon says, or perhaps free for local school kids. Station North, in partnership with the Maryland Institute College of Art, received a $35,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to design the course, which is expected to open in April 2017.
“There aren’t any other mini-golf courses in the city,” Rambissoon says, “so this will be pretty unique.”