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Branches of Baltimore History

Francis Scott Key Monument in Bolton Hill

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Eutaw Place & W Lanvale Street (Street View)

GPS: 39° 18′ 14.24″ N 76° 37′ 34.15″ W


This multifaceted sculpture is one of two major memorials dedicated to Francis Scott Key, the author of the Star-Spangled Banner, which only became America’s National Anthem officially in 1931. The other is located in Fort McHenry, though there are several markers and smaller memorials dedicated all around Baltimore to the actual song itself. The Bolton Hill piece was commissioned in 1907 by Charles and Theodore Marburg, part of a prominent mercantile family at the time and executed by French sculptor Marius Jean Antonin Mercie.

Dedicated on May 15, 1911. In 1996, residents from the local neighborhood raised money to restore this monument, receiving significant financial boosts in 1997 from the Maryland Military Monuments Commission, and in 1998 from the Save Outdoor Sculpture initiative (funded in large part by Target stores), along with grants from the City of Baltimore. At this location, First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton delivered a speech on the importance of preserving historical markers in 1998. Restoration was completed by the summer of 1999.


Standing amidst a broad park which runs north and south along Eutaw Place, the monument heroically depicts Key as poet in a row boat with another sailor humbly manning the oars. Key is standing, holding a manuscript of his poem up as an offering to the allegorical figure of Columbia. The figure of Columbia is gilded, and stands atop four pillars waving a flag. The Eutaw Place Temple stands across the street from the fountain.



Written by monumentcity

March 31st, 2009 at 3:18 pm