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Black Soldiers Statue at War Memorial Plaza

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100 N Holliday Street (Street View)

GPS: 39° 17′ 27.21″ N 76° 36′ 36.05″ W

History

Dedicated on May 30, 1972, this monument to African-American servicemen slain in the protection of their country is by artist James E. Lewis. Paid for by an anonymous donor, it stands on the west end of War Memorial Plaza, facing the magnificent War Memorial Building with its aquatic horse statues. Behind the statue rises Baltimore City Hall. The statue was originally installed on the north side of the Battle Monument, but opponents argued it would detract from the importance of that memorial, and it was moved to it’s current location.

Notes

On January 17, 2009, President-Elect Barack Obama came to War Memorial Plaza to deliver a well-attended speech in which he referenced Baltimore and Maryland’s historic role in the formation of the United States. The Black Soldiers Statue stands on the former site of the Holliday Street Theatre, a famous playhouse where Junius and John Wilkes Booth once performed.

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May 19th, 2009 at 10:52 am

Baltimore City Firefighter’s Memorial

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N Gay Street & E Lexington Street (Street View)

GPS: 39° 17′ 29.05″ N 76° 36′ 33.06″ W

History

This monument dates from 1990 and is by artist Tylden Streett, who taught for a time at the Maryland Institute College of Art and was also responsible for the statue of Capt. John O’Donnell in Canton Square. The monument is dedicated to all members of the Baltimore City Fire Department, past, present and future. Erected by the Baltimore City Firefighter’s Monument Committee, the statue cost some $150,000, much of which was raised by private donations.

Notes

The statue stands at the north-east corner of War Memorial Plaza, outside of the plaza proper. A sister memorial to Baltimore City’s police lies just to the east across the terminus of the highway, within view of the Shot Tower.

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Written by monumentcity

May 19th, 2009 at 10:41 am

Severn Teackle Wallis Monument in Mount Vernon

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Saint Paul Street & E Monument Street (Street View)

GPS: 39° 17′ 51.29″ N 76° 36′ 50.95″ W

History

The Severn Teackle Wallis monument at Mount Vernon Place stands dignified as it looks east down Monument Street. Directly west is George Peabody with Washington and the rest of his monumental friends looming behind the two. Wallis (1816-1894) stands with his right hand on a pedestal covered with some of his papers, and is depicted with his trademark mustache and long sideburns.

One of the premiere lawyers of his generation, Severn Teackle was elected to the Maryland Legislature in 1861, where he proceeded to lead a faction of politicians opposed to the Civil War. The Federal Government, under the direction of Lincoln, swooped in on a September evening that year and imprisoned Mr. Wallis for his apparent transgressions. He was thrown in jail for fourteen months at various Union fortresses, yet he was never informed of the crime he committed. Upon his release he wrote a lengthy correspondence to Senator John Sherman explaining his displeasure with the situation, continuing his crusade for civil liberties.

Wallis was also a writer, penning literature throughout his long and storied life. His Glimpses of Spain and Discourse on the Life and Character of George Peabody are his most famous works and are still in print today. He wrote poetry as well and is highly regarded for his careful use of language and positive sentiment. Two of his most well-known poems are The Last of Hours and The Blessed Hand. Wallis was also an avid collector of literature and owned one of the first editions of Don Quixote in the United States. In 1877, he donated the volume to the Peabody Library. Severn Teackle Wallis is buried in Green Mount Cemetery.

Notes

On the fourth floor of the Clarence M. Mitchell, Jr. Courthouse is another memorial to Mr. Wallis. The memorial consists of a bronze bust, a copy of William Rinehart’s work, atop a marble structure with a young woman reaching upwards with a laurel branch. The pair of Wallis monuments, along with various streets and locations bearing his name, create an important historical reference to one of Maryland’s great men. The Mount Vernon Place monument, dedicated in 1906, is by artist Laurent Honore Marqueste.

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Written by monumentcity

May 18th, 2009 at 1:25 pm

Roger B. Taney Monument in Mount Vernon

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North Mount Vernon Place (Street View)

GPS: 39° 17′ 52.60″ N 76° 36′ 56.62″ W

History

Roger Brooke Taney was the fifth Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States of America, and is most historically noted for authoring the Dred Scott Decision (Dred Scott v. Sanford), which ruled that “…slaves could not win freedom by escaping to a free state and that no black person could be a U.S. citizen,” and which is considered an indirect cause of the Civil War.

Taney was, presumably, operating under a conceptual framework of dual federalism, in which individual states were seen as sovereign and separate from the federal government. Before being appointed to the Supreme Court under Andrew Jackson, Taney also served as Attorney General for his home state of Maryland and was the twelfth Attorney General of the United States.

He also notably kept a home in Frederick, MD where he practiced law with his partner Francis Scott Key, who authored the National Anthem. Taney died during the final months of the Civil War on the same day that Maryland abolished slavery. President Lincoln made no public statement regarding Taney’s death or career.

In 1865, controversy raged over the creation of a memorial bust of Taney to be displayed along with the four other chief justices who preceded him. Congress rejected the proposal and Massachusetts Senator Charles Sumner proposed that a vacant spot be left in Taney’s space.

In 1873 when Taney’s successor, Salmon Chase, died, Congress finally appropriated funds for both busts to be displayed in the Capitol. A statue of Justice Taney resides outside the Maryland State House, and Baltimore’s exquisite monument to this complicated figure is a re-cast of that 1871 sculpture by William Henry Rinehart. It was donated to the city by the Walters family in 1887.

Notes

Taney is situated just north of the Washington Monument proper, in a sunny location. He faces south and to his left you can see the elegantly beautiful spire of Mount Vernon Place Methodist Church, a building “…named by the American Institute of Architects as the most significant in the city of Baltimore.”

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Written by monumentcity

May 15th, 2009 at 1:31 pm

Captain John O’Donnell Monument in Canton

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O’Donnell Street & S Curley Street (Street View)

GPS: 39° 16′ 48.74″ N 76° 34′ 29.60″ W

History

Merchant John O’Donnell settled in Baltimore Town in 1780. Known as “The Father of the Potomac Canal,” O’Donnell eventually purchased a large piece of waterfront land east of Fells Point. Already a successful businessman, the Irish-born Captain established an economic foundation in Canton that sustained through the Great Depression. A captain in the East India Trading Company when he arrived on Maryland’s shores, O’Donnell wore many hats, and his various business interests made him one of the richest men in the country during his lifetime. The monument was created by artist Tylden Streett, a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art, who also sculpted the Firefighter’s Memorial next to Zion Church.

Notes

Inside a fence in Canton Square, the memorial stands in a well-maintained garden. A plaque reads: “Captain John O’Donnell, the founder of the Canton Community was man of great vision and accomplishment. He initiated trade between Canton, China and Baltimore in 1785 operating his own merchant sailing vessels. This public square, once the site of Canton Market, is dedicated in his honor.” The monument was surveyed in 1993 and is in excellent condition.

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Written by monumentcity

April 30th, 2009 at 8:08 pm

Fallsway Fountain Monument

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E Biddle Street & Guilford Avenue (Street View)

GPS: 39° 18′ 12.00″ N 76° 36′ 42.60″ W

History

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.

Notes

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.

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Written by monumentcity

April 22nd, 2009 at 8:17 pm

Isaiah Bowman Bust at Johns Hopkins

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Shriver Hall on Johns Hopkins University’s main campus

GPS: 39° 19′ 36.48″ N 76° 37′ 13.00″ W

History

Isaiah Bowman was born in Canada in 1878. His immense talent for Geography was recognized early in his life by his hometown teachers, and he eventually studied at Harvard and Yale. He taught at Yale for ten years and while there he wrote several scholarly pieces on physical terrain. In 1916 Bowman was named director of the American Geographical Society, serving in that post until 1935, when he became president of Johns Hopkins University. He was an adviser to Presidents Woodrow Wilson and Teddy Roosevelt during his illustrious career, and the true scope of his contributions to the world will likely be unknown until his personal diaries are made public.

Notes

Placed under the facade of Shriver Hall, the Bowman bust is difficult to locate at first glance. The statue is situated to the left of the Hall’s front door, hiding from unsuspecting eyes. Illuminated at night by lights, this tribute to one of the world’s great geographers greets students and concert goers daily. Laura Gardin Fraser, sculptor of the Lee and Jackson monument, created the statue, and it was dedicated in 1957.

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Written by monumentcity

March 18th, 2009 at 11:20 am

Major General Samuel Smith Monument on Federal Hill

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Federal Hill, Key Highway and Covington Street (Street View)

GPS: 39° 16′ 49.00″ N 76° 36′ 30.20″ W

History

Samuel Smith (1752-1839) served as major general of the Maryland militias in the War of 1812 and commanded the city’s defenses in the Battle of Baltimore. Smith served two terms as Mayor of Baltimore from 1835 to 1838 and served in Congress for forty years. His country mansion was located slightly west of the present site of Lake Montebello. This monument was dedicated on July 4, 1918 and is another piece by sculptor Hans Schuler. From 1918 to 1953 the statue was located in Wyman Park at Charles and 29th Streets. It was moved in 1953 to Pratt Street and Light Street and moved again in 1970 to its current location.

Notes

Situated on Federal Hill next to the George Armistead Monument, the historic location offers an excellent view of the Inner Harbor. The Pride Memorial stands at the foot of the hill.

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Written by monumentcity

March 2nd, 2009 at 10:15 am

Mayor Thomas D’Alesandro, Jr. Monument

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N Charles Street and E Lexington Street (Street View)

GPS: 39° 17′ 28.14″ N 76° 36′ 56.47″ W

History

This double statue depicts the father of Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Thomas D’Alesandro, Jr. who served as mayor of Baltimore from 1947 to 1959. He is described as a visionary man who oversaw the revitalization of the downtown area, especially around Charles Center, which his statue overlooks. His son, Thomas D’Alesandro, III also served as mayor between 1967 and 1971 – a tumultuous period of Baltimore history which bore witness to rioting in the wake of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination. Memorial commissioned in 1986. Artist: Lloyd Lillie.

Notes

You’ll find this monument tucked away from the intersection of Charles and Lexington to the west, at the entrance of One North Charles Street, a skyscraper. The monument consists of two statues, one of which stands overlooking the plaza down below, and the second of which is seated in a bench with his arms outstretched.

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Written by monumentcity

February 20th, 2009 at 9:19 am

Cecilius Calvert Statue at the Courthouse

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E Lexington Street and Saint Paul Street (Street View)

GPS: 39° 17′ 26.83″ N 76° 36′ 49.87″ W

History

Depicts Cecilius Calvert, 2nd Lord Baltimore (August 8, 1605 – November 30, 1675). The son of the 1st Lord Baltimore, George Calvert, Cecilius was granted the proprietorship of Maryland shortly after his father’s death in 1632. Due to political pressures he never visited his colony, sending his two younger brothers, Leonard and George, to rule the settlement. Dedicated on November 2, 1908, the statue stands outside the Clarence Mitchell Jr. Courthouse on St. Paul Street downtown. Artist: Albert Weinert.

Notes

The impressive statue stands against the arched entryways of the courthouse. The monument faces a fountain and courtyard across the street. Traffic from the north flows by this bustling location on down to the Inner Harbor.

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Written by monumentcity

February 20th, 2009 at 8:57 am