E Biddle Street & Guilford Avenue (Street View)
GPS: 39° 18′ 12.00″ N 76° 36′ 42.60″ W
The Jones Falls Expressway is a mostly above ground thoroughfare connecting the northern suburbs of Baltimore to downtown. Created around 1960, the motorway is the city’s main north-south artery. The highway project started where the old Fallsway system ended. The Fallsway was a massive public works project that took place between 1911-1916, consisting of elevated downtown roads that passed over the Jones Falls waterway. The stream, impounded at Lake Roland in north Baltimore, eventually empties into the Inner Harbor.
The Fallsway ended dangerous overflows onto city streets, making travel in downtown safer and more efficient. Parallel to the creation of this roadway, a new sewage and water system was built. Before the government opened the works, they arranged a tour of the operations by automobiles, impressing the local media. James Harry Preston, who served as Mayor from 1911-1919, spearheaded the effort. A monument, sculpted by Hans Schuler, was erected to commemorate the Fallsway.
Installed at Eager Street and the Fallsway, in 1915, the fountain was re-located by Mayor Theodore McKeldin in 1967. After comparing postcards from the early 20th century, it appears that the monument was only moved a few blocks north during the expressway’s creation.
The statue is of a woman holding a shield in one arm and a vase, that once poured water, in the other. She is sitting atop a pedestal inscribed with the names of commission members involved in the Fallsway’s development and completion. The pool at the structure’s front is now filled with dirt, the fountain long since operational. Theodore Wells Pietsch served as architect.