Walter Sondheim, Jr. Papers
Scope and Contents
This Walter Sondheim, Jr. Papers document the civic work and life of Walter Sondheim Jr. (b. July 25, 1908 – d. February 15, 2007) in Baltimore, Maryland. The collection includes materials related to the many civic positions, appointments, board memberships, and leadership positions Sondheim held with numerous Baltimore area organizations, offices, and non-profits. The collection also includes materials related to speeches given by Sondheim. The Charles Center/Inner Harbor series documents Sondheim’s role with Charles Center-Inner Harbor Management, Inc. This collection is mainly textual and includes correspondence, reports, publications, and newspaper clippings. The collection also includes awards and photographs.
- Sondheim, Walter, Jr., 1908-2007 (Person)
Language of Materials
Materials are in English.
Conditions Governing Access
This collection is open for research use. The prior access restriction expired January 1, 2017.
Walter Sondheim Jr. (b. July 25, 1908 – d. February 15, 2007) was a lifelong resident of Baltimore and civic leader who was known for his roles in the redevelopment of downtown Baltimore City and the desegregation of Baltimore City schools.
Sondheim was born in Baltimore, Maryland in 1908 and graduated from Park School in 1925. He graduated from Haverford College in Pennsylvania with a B.S. in 1929 and he served in the U.S. Navy during World War II in 1944-1946. Sondheim worked at Hochschild Kohn & Company, a local Baltimore department store, between 1929 and 1970 and retired as a senior vice president of the store. Sondheim was engaged in civic life throughout his career and held many positions as director, chairman, board member, etc. with local organizations and businesses. He was well known for his role as president of the Baltimore Board of School Commissioners in 1954-1957 during the desegregation of the city’s schools after the Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision. He was also known for his early involvement in urban renewal and the redevelopment of downtown Baltimore as Chairman of the Baltimore Urban Renewal and Housing Commission and Housing Authority of Baltimore City (BURHA) between 1956-1963, and for his role developing the Inner Harbor as Chairman of Charles Center-Inner Harbor Management in the 1970s and 1980s. After leaving his position with Charles Center-Inner Harbor, he held a position with the Greater Baltimore Committee and continued to be involved in numerous civic roles. Sondheim died in 2007.
[Information for this Biographical Note was collected from materials in the collection and from magazine articles, newspaper articles and obituaries found in “The Baltimore Sun,” “Baltimore Magazine,” and “The New York Times.”]
July 25, 1908 - February 15, 2007
Married Janet E. Blum, February 15, 1934. They later had two children: John W. Sondheim and Ellen S. Dankert.
Park School, Baltimore, Maryland - Graduated 1925
Haverford College, Haverford, Pennsylvania - B.S. 1929
1929-1970: Hochschild Kohn & Company
1944-1946: U.S. Navy
1972-1984: Chairman, Charles Center - Inner Harbor
1982-1984: Chairman, Market Center Development Corporation
1984: Executive Assistant to the Mayor of Baltimore
1984: President, Charles Street Management Corp.
1985: Management, Inc.
SELECTED CIVIC ACTIVITIES:
Maryland State Chairman, Crusade for Freedom, 1954-55
President, Board of School Commissioners, Baltimore, 1954-57
Chairman, Baltimore Urban Renewal and Housing Commission and Housing Authority of Baltimore City, 1956-1963
Chairman, Advisory Committee, Baltimore City Health Department
Chairman, Board of Trustees Goucher College
President, Board of Directors Sinai Hospital of Baltimore
President, Board of Directors Jewish Family and Children’s Bureau
Executive Committee, Greater Baltimore Committee, Inc.
Director, Associated Jewish Charities of Baltimore
Director, Baltimore Chapter, American Jewish Committee
Director, Baltimore Jewish Council
Director, Baltimore Goodwill Industries
Director, Baltimore Urban Coalition
Director, Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Baltimore, Inc.
Director, Citizens Planning and Housing Association
Director, Council for Equal Business Opportunity
Director, Mercy Hospital, Inc.
Director, Provident Hospital
11.7 Linear Feet
Walter Sondheim, Jr. Papers document the work of Walter Sondheim Jr. (b.1908 – d. 2007) who was a Baltimore civic leader known for his roles in the redevelopment of downtown Baltimore City and the desegregation of Baltimore City schools.
This collection is arranged in six series:
- Correspondence, 1950-1993
- Remarks, Speeches, and Talks
- Appointments, Boards, and Commissions
- Charles Center/ Inner Harbor
The collection was donated to the University of Baltimore by John Sondheim and Ellen S. Dankert in April 2007.
Accessing Digital Copies
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- Central business districts
- City planning
- Civic leaders
- Greater Baltimore Committee, Inc.
- Hochschild, Kohn & Co.
- Housing Authority of Baltimore City
- Maryland--Baltimore--Charles Center
- Maryland--Baltimore--Inner Harbor
- Personal papers
- Public housing
- Race discrimination
- Urban renewal
- clippings files
- Finding aid for the Walter Sondheim, Jr. Papers
- Finding aid created by Special Collections and Archives staff. Revised by Aiden Faust (2011). Revised by Laura Bell (2020).
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Box: S10-B11 (Mixed Materials)
- Box: Unprocessed 1 (Mixed Materials)
- Box: Unprocessed 2 (Mixed Materials)
- Box: Unprocessed 3 (Mixed Materials)
- Box: Unprocessed 4 (Mixed Materials)
- Box: Unprocessed 5 (Mixed Materials)
- Box: Unprocessed 6 (Mixed Materials)
- Box: Unprocessed 7 (Mixed Materials)
- Box: Unprocessed 8 (Mixed Materials)
- Box: Unprocessed 9 (Mixed Materials)
- Box: Unprocessed 10 (Mixed Materials)
- Box: Unprocessed 11 (Mixed Materials)
- Box: 90 (Mixed Materials)