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Archive for the ‘Marker’ Category

Centre Market Commission Marker

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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.

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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 fountainPort Discovery, an interactive museum for kids, occupies the building today.

Written by monumentcity

December 24th, 2009 at 8:44 am

Baltimore’s Great Fire of 1904 Marker

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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.

Written by monumentcity

December 23rd, 2009 at 2:18 pm

The Grave of John Wilkes Booth

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John Wilkes Booth was born in Harford County, MD and made his stage debut at Baltimore’s Charles Street Theatre. The Booth family gravesite is located in Baltimore’s Green Mount Cemetery where John Wilkes rests under an unmarked stone. Small and unassuming, the marker sits at the corner of the family plot, dwarfed by the memorial obelisk at it’s center.

Buried here in February of 1869, four years after his death, John’s body went through a series of circumstances before ending up in Green Mount. Originally inhumed at the Old Penitentiary on the Washington Arsenal grounds, the body was placed in an Army blanket and lowered into a hole that was subsequently covered with a stone slab. Two years later it was exhumed and placed in a wooden box in a locked storeroom at the prison. The government was finally persuaded to release the remains to the Booth family in 1869 where it was viewed in Washington and then Baltimore, before finally being placed in Dogwood Plot #9.

Written by monumentcity

December 18th, 2009 at 11:58 am

Baltimore’s Edgar Allan Poe House

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My friend and I traveled to the Edgar Allan Poe House and Museum to see a replica of the author’s body lying in state. For twelve hours on a cool Wednesday in October, ‘Poe’ was available for viewing as part of a week long celebration marking the 200th anniversary of his birth, the ceremonies culminating in a Sunday service at Westminster Burying Ground presided over by actor John Astin.

As we biked our way to the West Baltimore neighborhood the number of vacant rowhouses gradually increased as we neared the historic site. We asked a few strategically placed police officers where the house was and they responded that it was right in front of us. They even told us they’d watch our bikes while we were inside. Five dollars later we were touring the house Poe lived in during his lean years in Charm City.

The place was fairly packed and we promptly made our way to the body. Once inside the tiny room we encountered some giggling girls, took a quick look and moved on the rest of the house. It’s quite strange taking a pilgrimage to see a mannequin. The rest of the minuscule abode contains rare memorabilia and merchandise. The museum’s greatest attribute is its severity of size, providing a glimpse into Poe’s life and American culture of the 1830s.

Written by monumentcity

December 7th, 2009 at 12:08 pm

General Alfred E. Booth Fountain

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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.

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November 7th, 2009 at 3:48 pm

Fell Family Cemetery

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The Fell Family Cemetery is found in Fells Point on the slight Shakespeare Street. Set between two narrow rowhouses, the memorial honors the founder of Fells Point, William Fell and his family. In 1730, impressed by the port’s proximity to lush forests, Fell settled the waterfront property. By the 1760’s William’s son Edward began plotting roads and selling lots as the area’s ship-building industry flourished. The growing business district incorporated with Jones Town and Baltimore Town in 1797, creating Baltimore City.

The sarcophagus marks where four members of the Fell family, (brothers William and Edward and their two sons) are buried. The graveyard is a frequent stop for local ghost tours as a well-dressed apparition is said to haunt the unique Fells Point location. Once known as Bond Cemetery, the historic landmark is now referred to as the Fell Family Cemetery.

Written by monumentcity

November 7th, 2009 at 3:35 pm

Holliday Street Theatre Tablet at War Memorial Plaza

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The Holliday Street Theatre used to be located directly across from Baltimore’s City Hall, at the present site of War Memorial Plaza. Junius Brutus Booth, the father of John Wilkes Booth, made his first American appearance in the historic playhouse, as did Francis Key’s Star-Spangled Banner. Aside from Philadelphia’s Walnut Street Theatre, the Holliday was the oldest playhouse in the country.

Constructed 1794 by Thomas Wignell and Alexander Reinagle, the wood-framed building was given the nickname “Old Drury” by locals. Robert Cary Long rebuilt the theater between 1811 and 1813 after a devastating fire. Long’s building lasted until 1873 when another fire wiped out the historic structure. Rebuilt again in 1874, the Holliday Street Theatre was eventually razed in the 1920s to make way for War Memorial Plaza. This tablet, located at the base of War Memorial Plaza’s southern flagstaff, marks the original spot of the building.

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October 14th, 2009 at 2:16 pm

The Severn Building in Mount Vernon

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The Severn Building was constructed in 1895. Designed by Charles E. Cassell, the Renaissance Revival style apartment building is located on the corner of Cathedral Street and West Mount Vernon Place. Cassell also designed the Stafford Hotel on the north side of the Washington Monument. The Severn was purchased by the Caplan family in 1976 and underwent a full rehabilitation in 2007. The Military Courage statue is directly in front the historic structure.

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July 17th, 2009 at 9:25 am

James Cardinal Gibbons Birthplace Marker

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The James Cardinal Gibbons birthplace marker resides at the east side of War Memorial Plaza in downtown Baltimore. Gibbons was born in Charm City at this location in 1834, the tablet commemorating the occasion. Archdiocese of the Baltimore Catholic Church from 1877 until his death, the Cardinal was famous for fighting for worker’s rights, defending the vast numbers of Catholic laborers during the industrial period of America at the centuries turn. His book, The Faith of Our Fathers is an enduring success, and continues to be his hallmark statement. A statue of Gibbons sits outside of America’s first Cathedral, the Basilica of the Assumption.

Nearby Monuments:

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July 12th, 2009 at 6:28 am

Old Baltimore Town Boundary Lines Marker

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Location: N Gay Street & E Lexington Street

On the Fire Department Headquarters building at War Memorial Plaza is a plaque erected in 1929 commemorating the 200 year anniversary of Baltimore Town. In 1729, a group of citizens petitioned the British for the rights to establish a town near the Jones Falls. The commission was authorized to buy 60 acres of land north of the Patapsco River, a tract of earth known then as Cole’s Harbour. The town was to be divided into 60 lots, available first to the inhabitants of Baltimore County. In 1732, Jonas Town (later Jones Town) was established east of Baltimore Town and, in 1745, the two were combined to form the heart of Baltimore. The tablet was designed by R. Foxhall Nolley.

Written by monumentcity

July 10th, 2009 at 1:12 pm