“The Concrete Society”—this is a vintage 1965 WMAR-TV documentary about Baltimore’s highway controversies. Tom Ward, the only City Councilman opposed to the expressway at the time, is extensively featured.
You could make a good argument that Ward’s Road Wars resume is unequaled, even deeper and more consequential than that of Senator Barbara A. Mikulski. In 1965-67 he led the successful fight to eliminate the 8-lane “westside connector” which would have sliced up the (later termed) Mount Royal Cultural District. His delay tactics in that same timeframe held back the condemnation bills, providing a crucial part of what we have termed “the bridge” to get to the post 1966 era when the expressway planners had to contend with new laws and regulations that protected parks and historic areas. Additionally, in 1967 he joined forces with Lu’ Fisher to create the Society for the Preservation of Federal Hill and Fells Point, the eventual victor in the battle to stop the expressway through Fells Point. Lastly, he played a crucial role in the crusade to save Leakin Park—in 1972 he filed two lawsuits, one of which resulted in the injunction that stymied the expressway through the park.
Ward, incidentally, was keenly aware and supremely unhappy that Barbara Mikulski had garnered most of the credit for saving Fells Point. He engaged in a bitter (but completely one-sided) quarrel with the Senator, once accusing her of “lying through her teeth” for exaggerating her role in stopping the highways.
Where does Stop the Road come out in this Ward v. Mikulski war over credit? Sorry, no spoilers.