Lighting up the neighborhood, a block at a time

Written by on June 18, 2014 in Featured - No comments
Carrie Werthein, block ambassador of the 3900 block of E. Pratt St., invited neighbors to enjoy doughnuts and coffee on her stoop. - Photo by Erik Zygmont

Carrie Werthein, block ambassador of the 3900 block of E. Pratt St., invited neighbors to enjoy doughnuts
and coffee on her stoop. – Photo by Erik Zygmont

Jose Hernandez, foreground, and Jose Oviedo install a solar-powered exterior light. - Photo by Erik Zygmont

Jose Hernandez, foreground, and Jose Oviedo install a solar-powered exterior light. – Photo by Erik Zygmont

A little light can make a big difference.

That was the idea behind Highlandtown’s latest block project, in which neighbors on the 3900 block of Pratt St. received front exterior lights to their row homes.

Carrie Werthein, who lives on the block, served as the block ambassador for the project. She said that she got the idea from a resident across the street, George Koester, who helped with an earlier, similar project on Highland Ave.

The 3900 Pratt St. block project began in February, with planning and canvassing. Five homes on the block which already had exterior lights were fitted with dimmer bulbs, which are activated when it gets dark. Twenty-one homes received fully new, solar-powered exterior lights, which use no electricity from the power grid.

Werthein said that the lights were installed for “aesthetics, unity and safety.”

“I think some people with exterior lights don’t even turn them on,” she said. “With the solar power, it’s not an issue.”
Werthein—who has lived there for eight years—notes that her block is an overall pleasant place to live.  Several neighbors are long-time residents; some have lived there close to 30 years.

“It’s quiet,” she said, as a car rattled a steel plate temporarily covering utility work.

“It’s much more quiet when there aren’t plates in the ground.”

The block project was funded by Healthy Neighborhoods and coordinated through the Southeast Community Development Corp.

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