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‘To the Glory of Maryland’ Monument

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219 29th Division Street (Street View)

GPS: 39° 18′ 13.33″ N 76° 37′ 19.24″ W

History

Dedicated in 1925 to the soldiers of Maryland’s Fifth Regiment that lost their lives in World War One, To the Glory of Maryland graces the front of Baltimore’s historic armory building. Created by local sculptor Hans Schuler, the relief hangs above the main entrance of the Wyatt and Nolting designed structure. The armory itself was completed in 1901 and provided Baltimore with a suitable military institution. The massive castle-like building took two-and-a-half years to build and included an elaborate tunnel system underneath. The underground arteries reached the Baltimore Port and were used to safely transfer arms and troops undetected on the surface. After a 12 alarm fire in 1932 a pillared basement was installed, eliminating the hidden passageways.

At one point in time the armory was the largest convention center in Maryland, hosting events ranging from the circus to presidential conventions. John F. Kennedy even spoke here during his brief political career. The building still houses numerous government agencies and is only accessible by permission.

Notes

When I arrived to photograph the sculpture I was initially denied access to the grounds. The guard, an ex-Baltimore City police officer, after hearing my intentions, escorted me to the front door and allowed me to take a few pictures of the Schuler sculpture. The detail and care that went into the project is incredible. The ominous representation of courage and sacrifice reminds me of Patterson Park’s General Pulaski Monument (also sculpted by Schuler).

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Written by monumentcity

April 18th, 2011 at 10:35 am

William Donald Schaefer Statue at the Inner Harbor

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Light Street & E Conway Street, Inner Harbor (Street View)

GPS: 39° 17′ 3.69″ N 76° 36′ 43.70″ W

History

Mayor of Baltimore from 1971 to 1987, William Donald Schaefer was central to the redevelopment of our city. The Inner Harbor, Oriole Park at Camden Yards and countless historical preservation projects dominate his political legacy. After nearly two decades as mayor, Schaefer became Governor of Maryland, serving the maximum two terms. In 1998 he became Comptroller of Maryland, a post he held until January of 2007. The often controversial Schaefer was never far from criticism, and his numerous remarks on immigration and women constantly sparked sharp responses from press and political rivals. However, his intense passion for Baltimore (and Maryland) have cast a positive light on the man, his work outliving his words.

Notes

The William Donald Schaefer statue stands in Bicentennial Plaza, next to the Visitor’s Center, serenely surveying the Inner Harbor. The left hand is raised and waving while the right hand holds a “Mayor’s Action Memorandum.” Dedicated on Schaefer’s 88th birthday, the bronze likeness actually depicts the politician in 1980, midway through his term as Baltimore’s chief administrator. With Schaefer’s declining health making posing difficult, sculptor Rodney Carroll used old photographs, video and borrowed family items to create the ideal monument. The result is a powerful representation of one of Charm City’s most important (and unique) public servants. The statue was unveiled on November 2, 2009, with Willy Don attending the ceremony.

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Written by monumentcity

March 11th, 2010 at 8:21 pm

Baltimore City Hall

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Baltimore City Hall was dedicated on October 25, 1875. It replaced the Peale Museum, the forty-six year temporary home for city employees, and was an important step in Baltimore’s development as a prominent American city. Located at 100 North Holliday Street, the French Revival style structure was designed by the twenty-one year old George A. Frederick. Frederick also designed the Druid Hill’s Moorish Tower, Saint Thomas Aquinas Church and Cylburn Mansion during his long and successful career. The Wendell Bollman designed iron dome was fabricated by the Bartlett-Hayward Company of Baltimore.

At the behest of then Mayor William Donald Schaefer, the building’s interior was remodeled in 1976 after signs of dangerous deterioration were noticed. Baltimore’s City Hall is the only building of its kind in America that was renovated to continue as a city hall. In 2009 city government voted to restore and clean the exterior marble of the structure. A half a million dollars was allocated for the project.

On the second floor several statues are on display. Two Hans Schuler pieces, the Centennial Eagle and William Pinkney Whyte statue, along with Edward Berge’s likeness of Thomas Gordon Hayes, dominate the bronze exhibits.

Written by monumentcity

December 26th, 2009 at 9:35 am

Baltimore’s U.S. Custom House

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Completed in 1907, construction of Baltimore’s U.S. Custom House was severely setback by the Great Fire of 1904. Several of the building’s granite blocks were split in the intense heat generated by the inferno. An excellent American example of Beaux-Arts architecture, it was conceived by the Washington DC team of John Rush Marshall and Joseph C. Hornblower. The structure served as the city’s custom house until 1953 when the U.S. government’s Selective Service System moved in. The facility replaced the Benjamin Henry Latrobe-Maximilian Godefroy designed Merchant’s Exchange.

Francis David Millet created the massive mural work inside the Custom House’s elaborate Call Room. The room was the former waiting area for merchants arriving at the Port of Baltimore and is now a museum. Millet’s Evolution of Navigation adorns the high ceiling, depicting the development of sea travel from 1000 B.C. to 1905. Assembled in his studio and applied to the ornate room, the mural is an national treasure. A member of the American Renaissance movement with the likes of Mark Twain and John LaFarge, Millet was a writer and sculptor as well as a painter, his work characterized by sympathetic detail and austere confidence. He died aboard the Titanic. Tours of the Call Room can apparently be arranged through the museum network in Washington. Additional pictures: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]

Written by monumentcity

December 20th, 2009 at 7:51 am

Fraternal Order of Police Memorial at Shot Tower Park

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E Baltimore Street & S President Street (Street View)

GPS: 39° 17′ 25.51″ N 76° 36′ 20.80″ W

History

In 1972, Mayor William Donald Schaefer presented the Women’s Civic League, a local community service organization, with the idea of renovating the former residence of Baltimore’s second mayor, Thorowgood Smith. The house, built around 1794, is located next to the historic Phoenix Shot Tower directly behind the Police memorial. Now known as Shot Tower Park, the small tract of land across the street from Police Headquarters contains one of the largest installations in honor of fallen officers in the United States. The memorial contains three statues, a large panel of inscribed names and various dedication plaques. Unveiled in 1978, the monuments face City Hall and War Memorial Plaza, adding to the dignified appearance of the downtown location.

Notes

Donald Pomerleau was Police Commissioner during the memorial’s construction. Pomerleau was hired by the International Association of Chiefs of Police in 1965, and sent to Baltimore to examine the city’s law enforcement system during the peek of the civil rights movement. He found the police force to be as corrupt and antiquated as any in the country. He spent the next fifteen years integrating officers and correcting the mistakes of his predecessors. Pomerleau retired from the force in 1981, three years after the memorial’s completion.

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June 23rd, 2009 at 8:28 pm

Northeast District Memorial to Fallen Officers

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Location: Harford Road & Parkside Drive

This police memorial is situated at the west end of Herring Run Park next to the monumental Columbus Obelisk.  The small plaza displays five police badges of fallen officers from the northeast district. The west entrance of Herring Run Park is across the street.

Written by monumentcity

June 19th, 2009 at 12:40 pm

Posted in All Posts,Government

Baltimore’s George Washington Monument

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Mount Vernon Place & Washington Place (Street View)

GPS: 39° 17′ 50.80″ N 76° 36′ 56.40″ W

History

Begun in 1815, Baltimore’s Washington Monument was the first monument planned to our nation’s first president. However, it was not the first completed. The stonework monument in Washington County, MD at Washington Monument State Park was finished in 1827, two years before Baltimore’s elegant spire. The cornerstone was laid on July 4, 1815 and the statue by artist Enrico Causici was dedicated November 11, 1829.

Legend holds that a prodigy or omen was observed upon the raising of the statue to the top of the 178 foot doric column, “…a shooting star dashed across the sky and an eagle lit on the head of the settling general.” The Baltimore monument was designed by architect Robert Mills, who also designed the Washington Monument in Washington, DC. The original statue design featured Washington dressed in Roman military garb riding a chariot. As project finances tightened, the statue theme was modified to that of Washington resigning his commission as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army in Annapolis.

The original site for this massive monument was down by the old Court House, on Calvert between Lexington and Fayette, by the Battle Monument. Area residents, however, feared that the monument would either topple on their homes or attract lightning. Colonel John Eager Howard, who served under Washington, donated a portion of his estate, Howard’s Woods, to the project. The hill upon which this monument stands was, at the time, well north of the city proper. $100,000 was raised by lottery for the monument’s construction through the authorized sale of 35,000 tickets. The monument actually ended up costing $200,000. The statue and monument are made of marble from Cockeysville, just north of the city.

Notes

Over the coming decades after the monument’s completion, the parks running north and south (in the shape of a Greek cross) became filled with other outdoor sculptures, including monuments to Taney, Lafayette, John Eager Howard, Severn Teackle Wallis and George Peabody, along with the Sea Urchin statue, several ornate fountains, a proud regal lion by Barye, Military Courage and four corner pieces around the great circle of the Washington Monument depicting allegorically the figures of War, Peace, Order and Force.

As the Washington Monument project wore on, the original design for the column was simplified – some of the details of which were later re-invested into the ornate fencing surrounding the base of the column. During the warmer months, visitors to the Washington Monument can enter through the base (which contains a small museum) and pay a dollar to climb 228 stairs all the way to the top, which affords an excellent vantage point of the city.

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Written by monumentcity

May 31st, 2009 at 9:31 am

Baltimore’s War Memorial Building

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N Gay Street & E Fayette Street (Street View)

GPS: 39° 17′ 26.85″ N 76° 36′ 31.96″ W

History

Construction on the War Memorial Building at 101 North Gay Street began in 1921, and was completed four years later. The massive monument to Maryland’s soldiers that died in World War I is the work of Laurence Hall Fowler, a local architect who’s design won a competition held by officials for the commission. Directly across from Baltimore’s City Hall, the lot was chosen as part of the 1910 Olmstead plan to focus the city’s more important buildings into a civic plaza.

Flanking the Neoclassical edifice are two aquatic war horse sculptures created by by Edmond R. Amateis that are said to depict “the might of America crossing the sea to come to the aid of the Allies.” Made of Indiana limestone, the horses, when viewed up-close, display fossils of marine organisms. Along the sides and back of the building are German cannon confiscated during WWI. In 1977, the memorial was rededicated to honor the state’s lost from both World Wars, the Korean and Vietnam Wars.

Notes

Inside the building is an impressive banquet hall occupying the top floor. With high ceilings and room for hundreds of people, the vast open space is used for various events. Usually occupied by veteran’s groups and city or state politicians (the memorial is owned jointly between Baltimore and Maryland), the location has recently been used for fashion shows and movie sets. A large mural depicting the “sacrifice to patriotism,” painted by Charm City artist R. McGill Mackall, covers the back wall. Throughout the auditorium are the names of the 1752 Maryland fatalities of WWI.

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Written by monumentcity

May 30th, 2009 at 9:54 am

Mayor Ferdinand Claiborne Latrobe Monument

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N Broadway & E Baltimore Street (Street View)

GPS: 39° 17′ 30.13″ N 76° 35′ 37.96″ W

History

Dedicated on June 1, 1914 and rededicated on June 11, 1997, this monument to Ferdinand Claiborne Latrobe is by artists Edward Berge and J. Maxwell Miller. Baltimore-born Ferdinand Latrobe (1833-1911) served seven non-consecutive terms as mayor of Baltimore, between 1875-1877, 1878-1881, 1883-1885, 1887-1889, and finally again in 1891-1895. Along with Thomas D’Alesandro, Sam Smith and William Donald Schaefer, Latrobe is one of four Baltimore mayors who have been immortalized in outdoor monumental form. Clayton Colman Hall writes in his book, Baltimore, “To write a personal history of General Ferdinand Claiborne Latrobe is in effect to write the history of the most important events concerning the growth and improvement of the city of Baltimore for more than half a century.” Responsible for a slew of civic works and improvement projects, Colman explains that “It is not flattery to say that he was acknowledged to be the most prominent and popular citizen of Baltimore, and in his private as well as in his official capacity did more for the advancement and improvement of the city of Baltimore than any other one man.” Latrobe also was responsible for the re-organization of the Maryland militia under the Act of 1868, which he authored. Ferdinand Latrobe was the son of John H. B. Latrobe and grandson of Benjamin Henry Latrobe, figures of no small import in Baltimore, as well as national, history. Latrobe is quoted as having said, in 1894, about the first incarnation of the Baltimore Orioles baseball team, “We have always had the most beautiful women and the finest oysters in the world, and now we have the best baseball club.” Latrobe is also known to have been an avid breeder of Chesapeake Bay Retrievers. He is buried in Green Mount Cemetery.

Notes

Latrobe’s memorial stands at the southern-most end of a row of monuments which stretches north along Broadway, next in line being Thomas Wildey, and Jose Marti. A few short blocks to the east is the western entrance of Patterson Park, in which resides several other city monuments.

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Written by monumentcity

May 25th, 2009 at 10:11 am

Frederick Douglass Statue on Morgan State’s Campus

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Hillen Road & E Cold Spring Lane on Morgan State’s campus

GPS: 39° 20′ 49.27″ N 76° 35′ 2.91″ W

History

The idea to erect a Frederick Douglass statue on the campus of Morgan State University was conceived in 1943. The notion was presented to and carried out by the Maryland Educational Association. Artist James E. Lewis was chosen to design the monument, an associate professor at the university, Lewis was the obvious choice for the project. By 1956 the memorial was completed and unveiled in front of the school’s Holmes Hall, a building named for Morgan’s former president Dwight O. W. Holmes.

Notes

The eight-foot tall bronze cast stands in a high traffic area of campus directly north of the school’s stadium. Douglass is shown in a dignified stance with a cane in his right hand (the cane given to him by Abraham Lincoln’s widow, Mary Todd). A second monument to the great orator can be found at the Frederick Douglass-Isaac Myers Maritime Park at Harbor East.

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May 20th, 2009 at 10:31 am