Archive for the ‘Inner Harbor’ Category
This War of 1812 Bomb and Rack is positioned on Redwood Street between South Street and S. Calvert Street. The central downtown location is across from the Joseph Evans Sperry and J. B. Noel Wyatt designed Mercantile Trust and Deposit Company building. Fired from a British warship during the Battle of Baltimore, the bomb was found inside Fort McHenry after the historic engagement. An officer retained possession of the artifact, eventually gifting it to iron merchant Michael Keyser who, in turn, gifted it to the city. The monument was dedicated in 1863, was knocked over during the Great Fire of 1904, and rededicated in 1906. According to a 1905 map of Baltimore City, the Bomb and Rack mark the spot of the Keyser Building.
The Rack, where the bomb sits, was used to bend iron bars so they could fit inside Conestoga wagons. Used extensively during the 18th and 19th Centuries, the horse, mule or oxen drawn carriages could carry up to eight tons and were the American military’s primary cargo vehicle until the the arrival of the railroad. The Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs Inventory of state monuments lists the War of 1812 Bomb and Rack under their Baltimore City category.
The Star-Spangled Banner Flag pwas conceived and primarily sewn at Baltimore’s Flag House. The historic building and museum was once occupied by Mary Young Pickersgill and her successful flag making business. In 1813 Colonel George Armistead, then commander of Fort McHenry, expressed interest in two oversized banners for the star-shaped stronghold. General John Stricker (who is buried in Westminster Burying Ground) promptly placed an order with the Pickersgill company for the giant pennants. $574.44 of federal money exchanged hands and Pickersgill, her daughter, two of her nieces and an indentured servant began fulfilling the contract.
The Great Garrison Flag measured 30 feet by 42 feet, while the Storm Flag was smaller (17 feet by 25 feet) and more suitable for inclement weather. The Great Garrison Flag was so large it had to be sewn in sections and taken to a nearby brewery for final assembly. Claggett’s Brewery (as it eventually became known) was owned by Mayor Edward Johnson and was one block from the Pickersgill house. The women worked by candlelight during evening hours, unknowingly creating an American icon. The brewery building is no longer standing.
Light Street & E Conway Street, Inner Harbor (Street View)
GPS: 39° 17′ 3.69″ N 76° 36′ 43.70″ W
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.
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.
The Centre Market was established in 1787 as one of three public bazaars (including Fell’s Point and Lexington) aiming to provide food and goods to Baltimore’s growing population. With little or no public transportation available, these markets were essential to city life at the time.
Above one of the market’s original structureswas the Maryland Institute College of Art. The two story school was built on top of the building which covered an entire city block. It was destroyed during the Great Fire of 1904, was rebuilt and existed until 1959, when it was torn down to make way for the Jones Falls Expressway. Charm City’s first public bathroom was built on the property in 1907.
Centre Market, built after the fire of February, 1904, on the site of Marsh Market, which was destroyed, is a splendid modern structure. It cost $500,650 and extends from Baltimore to Pratt street, three blocks. There are two great halls over the northern (Baltimore street) end, which are used by the night classes of the Maryland Institute. Twelve hundred pupils may be comfortably accommodated here. There is also another large hall above the produce section, which will seat 2500 persons. The wholesale and retail fish market, connected with the Centre, has been pronounced the most complete in the world.
This marker is placed on the west outside wall of the old Fish Market building, and is near the Great Fire of 1904 Marker and Booth fountain. Port Discovery, an interactive museum for kids, occupies the building today.
At 10:48 am on February 7, 1904, Baltimore’s great fire started with an explosion at the Hurst company building on the western side of the city. Just over twenty-four hours later the flames were under control, but most of downtown was destroyed with few structures surviving the intense heat. The conditions were so extreme that entire city blocks were gutted, while others were spared as the fires swept over them. Remarkably, City Hall, the Courthouse and the Old Post Office were left untouched. Charm City rebuilt rapidly, using the opportunity to improve the town’s design. The Great Fire of 1904 marker is attached to the west side of the Port Discovery building. The Centre Market Tablet and General Booth Fountain are nearby.
I’ve been tracing the cause and path of Baltimore’s Great Fire of 1904 and was thinking of mapping the area of the blaze, comparing pictures from then and now. This great website has already done all of this and much more, plotting the stages of the fire as it rolled north, east, and south through downtown. The event was apparently caused by an explosion at the Hurst Company building, the blast occurring at 10:48 am on an otherwise peaceful Sunday morning. Due to extreme winds and very narrow streets the flames were able to jump entire city blocks, leaving some areas untouched amidst the devastation.
Several buildings survived the fire including the Union Trust Company (or Jefferson Building) at the corner of Charles and Fayette Streets. The structure’s windows had been blown out by nearby attempted preventative dynamiting, leaving the building vulnerable. The inside burned completely out but the steel frame survived and the building is still in use today. This picture shows the grand old post office, city hall and the courthouse just at the edge of the fire’s devastation zone. A last and sudden change in the direction of the wind towards the south saved the historic buildings from destruction.
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.
This fountain is located at Port Discovery in downtown Charm City. The fountain was donated in 1906 by General Alfred E. Booth, one of Baltimore’s prominent businessmen during the 19th century. It resembles the SPCA drinking fountain that once stood in Monument Square next to the Battle Monument. There are two markers placed nearby that are identical in style but commemorate different events. One memorializes the commission of Centre Market and the other summarizes the Great Fire of 1904.
E Lombard Street & S Gay Street (Street View)
GPS: 39° 17′ 16.74″ N 76° 36′ 30.01″ W
One of the more ominous spots in the city, the Holocaust Memorial sits just a few blocks north of the Aquarium and takes up an entire city block. In the 1970s a ninth grade Baltimore Hebrew class told their teacher, Alvin Fisher, they didn’t believe the Holocaust occurred. Mr. Fisher promptly took a proposal for a memorial to Charm City’s Jewish Counsel, hoping to erase the unfortunate misconception. They granted his wish and the site was chosen, an area downtown owned by the Baltimore City Community College. The memorial consists of a monolith resembling a train with a steel gate symbolizing the internment of Jews in concentration camps. On the ground leading up to the large structure is a series of railroad tracks, tall grass growing from between the rails. At the southern end of the park a statue was erected, in 1988, that has since become the center-piece of the memorial. Two Baltimore businessmen and philanthropists, Melvin Berger and Jack Luskin, donated funds for the monumental flame. Dedicated in memory of the Night of Broken Glass, the 1938 destruction of Jewish homes, communities and synagogues by the Nazis, the sculpture is the creation of artist Joseph Sheppard and displays the bodies of victims engulfed in fire. Sheppard also sculpted the Pope John Paul II statue near the Basilica of the Assumption.
Baltimore’s Holocaust Memorial has seen many changes over the years. It was constructed in 1980 at a cost of $300,000 and consisted of a grassy mound and two 80 foot blocks of concrete. The stark scene became a haven for the city’s homeless and a plan to re-design the area was presented in 1995. Architect Jonathan Fishman was commissioned to create the empty rail yard that exists today. A plaque, it’s inscription written by author Deborah Lipstadt, was dedicated in 1997 upon completion of the project. Several Holocaust survivors attended the ceremony.
Key Highway and S Shore Promenade at Rash Field (Street View)
GPS: 39° 16′ 53.62″ N 76° 36′ 30.08″ W
The Pride of Baltimore was a reproduction of a Baltimore clipper topsail schooner named The Chausseur which fought in the War of 1812 under privateer Thomas Boyle. The Pride was lost at sea in a micro-burst squall with her captain and three others in May of 1986. She had been commissioned in 1975, was built alongside the Science Center, and was launched by Barbara Mikulski in 1977. A Pride of Baltimore II was launched in 1988. Monument dedicated in 1992.
Located at the east end of Rash Field, which lies on the south side of the Inner Harbor. The Rusty Scupper restaurant is nearby and the mound of Federal Hill looms immediately to the south. Currently occupying Rash Field to the west is the Trapeze School of Baltimore and sand volleyball courts. The Pride Memorial itself is composed of a central wooden mast held in place by guide wires, a set of inscribed plaques, and an etching of the ship.
Hopkins Place and West Pratt Street (Street View)
GPS: 39° 17′ 11.61″ N 76° 37′ 3.03″ W
Depicts Thurgood Marshall (1908-1993), the great-grandson of a slave and Baltimore native who rose to become the first African-American to serve on the Supreme Court. He was nominated in 1967 by President Lyndon Johnson. Stands outside the Garmatz Federal Courthouse, Pratt Street entrance. Artist: Reuben Kramer. Dedicated on May 16, 1980. BWI Airport was also dedicated to Marshall in October of 2005.
This monument is just off the path from the shops and bustle of the Inner Harbor proper. Across Pratt street is the Baltimore Convention Center and the old Bromo-Seltzer Tower stares down from above. Arrayed behind the monument are many concrete pyramids, presumably to prevent cars from driving up too close to the courthouse.