Federal Hill is a neighborhood in Baltimore, Maryland, United States that lies just to the south of the city’s central business district. Many of the structures are included in the Federal Hill Historic District, listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1970. Other structures are included in the Federal Hill South Historic District, listed in 2003. The neighborhood is named for the prominent hill that is easily viewed from the Inner Harbor area, to which the neighborhood forms the physical south boundary. The hillside is a lush green and serves as a community park. The neighborhood occupies the northwestern part of a peninsula that extends along two branches of the Patapsco River—the Northwest Branch (ending at the Inner Harbor) and the Middle Branch.
In the 20th century, Federal Hill was a working-class neighborhood, and by the late 1970s was yet another struggling Baltimore inner city neighborhood, with increasing crime, racial tension, depressed property values, and an aging and decaying housing stock. Many of the industrial jobs, particularly in the shipyards and factories along the south shore of the Patapsco River, which had long provided the main source of employment for neighborhood residents were in the process of disappearing.
The primary business district is bounded by Montgomery, Ostend, Light, Charles and Hanover Streets, and is home to a large number of restaurants of a wide range of taste, quality, and price, and many small shops as well as a few larger, more practical stores. The neighborhood is a popular destination for tavern goers and music lovers, with street festivals several times a year. Federal Hill is also home to many popular retail, dining, and entertainment options all within walking distance for most neighborhood residents. With most daily needs covered by businesses within a few blocks of the community center, Federal Hill has emerged as a premier neighborhood for the increasing number of people choosing an urban lifestyle.