“What an astounding thing that one person’s knowledge, interest and energy could have such an impact on all of us who today call Fell’s Point home… One passionate soul really can make a difference!!”

   Kathleen Haller, Fells Point resident, commenting on Bob Eney’s passing in 2016 (originally posted at Next Door Historic Fells Point) 

A brief book excerpt introduces Bob Eney as follows: 

“Perhaps there was some greater-than-life force at work. Indeed, the alignment of the cosmos seemed to be on the side of Fells Point’s fledgling Road Warriors, when completely unrelated events brought Bob Eney from New York City to Fells Point in February 1967. Only one week after his arrival, Eney attended the founding meeting of the Society for the Preservation of Federal Hill, Montgomery Street, and Fell’s Point 

To say that Bob Eney “found his calling” when he was thrown into the Road Fight does not do justice to the pivotal role he played. Eney was a one-of-a-kind marvel—dyslexic to the point that he could not write a sentence, but possessed with an unbridled passion for architecture and history, he was the guy that made people look beyond the rundown Formstone-covered houses to see the remarkable-but-hidden potential. He was the guy to fill in the backstory behind those dilapidated facades. Tony Norris, Bob’s friend (and caretaker when Bob was afflicted with Alzheimer’s) described how Bob converted the skeptics, saying, “Bob was so enthusiastic and persuasive, he could turn a slum landlord into a preservationist.” As we will shortly see, his knowledge, his passion, and his persuasiveness were, in all likelihood, the difference-maker for the fate of Fells Point…”

Eney was also quite the story-teller. One of his stories weaves together (former Governor and Vice President) Agnew’s bribery scandals and the Preservation Society’s quest for listing on the National Register of Historic Places. It’s a humdinger, but fact or fiction? No spoilers here.  

Below, Bob Eney expounding on Fells Point history and The Road Fight in an oral history interview:

Photo and video credit: Tonal Vision, Fells Point Out of Time Living History Project