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Branches of Baltimore History

Calvert Street Bridge Lions

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Opened in 1880, the Calvert Street Bridge was a magnificent iron structure that spanned the Jones Falls in Midtown, Baltimore. One of two main northbound arteries, the other being nearby Charles Street, Calvert Street was a heavily trafficked thoroughfare in the days before the expressway was constructed. Countless Baltimoreans passed the noble lions on their way home from work, running errands or traveling to the countryside. The Gilded Age bridge was a monument to post-Reconstruction Era America.

After falling out of public favor, the lions were removed in 1957. For ten years the sculptures toiled away in a Druid Hill Park Storage facility. Eventually three lions ended up in a small park in Bolton Hill adjacent to the Francis Scott Key Monument. The statues have one paw raised, but curiously they are without object. This historic postcard shows the lion paw resting atop a shield with the Battle Monument on its front. The shields and the fourth lion have not been located by this author.

The neighboring southbound Saint Paul Street Bridge was similar in design and possessed four Lady Baltimore statues at each of its corners. The ladies were removed during the span’s 1960 renovation. One resides in Mount Royal Terrace Park, two are on the grounds of Cylburn Arboretum and the fourth was given to County Longford, Ireland, land once owned by George Calvert, 1st Baron of Baltimore.


Written by monumentcity

April 19th, 2011 at 1:24 pm