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Archive for the ‘Mount Vernon’ Category

Baltimore’s Washington Monument Museum

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Baltimore’s Washington Monument and Museum is located in Mount Vernon Place near the Walters Art Gallery. The museum occupies the base of the structure and includes access to the monument’s spire, its 228 steps leading to a panoramic view of the city’s skyline. The facility displays various exhibits including documents and photographs from the monument’s history. Additional pictures: [1] [2] [3] [4]

A bust of George Washington, located in the museum, was created by Giuseppe Ceracchi sometime between 1791 and 1792. Washington sat several times for Ceracchi during this time period, as did other American founding fathers. The Italian artist later traveled to Paris to work for Napoleon Bonaparte. Ceracchi was executed, in 1801, for his supposed involvement in a plot to kill the legendary French military leader.

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December 16th, 2009 at 9:17 am

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

Barye Lion Statue in Mount Vernon

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Created by sculptor Antoine-Louis Barye, the lion was a gift of art collector William Walters to the city of Baltimore. Seated Lion is a replica, the original being in the Tuileres Gardens in France. Sculpted in 1846, Mount Vernon’s statue is a reproduction dedicated in 1885. Barye also created the four statues surrounding the Washington Monument. The base of the lion has Barye’s birth and death dates. Henri Crenier’s Boy With Turtle sculpture is behind the Barye Lion.

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June 15th, 2009 at 9:40 am

George Washington Bicentennial Marker

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Location: N Charles Street & W Mulberry Street

Erected in 1932, the bicentennial plaque is part of the Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route, a series of markers that follow the trail of Revolutionary War generals George Washington and Count Rochambeau. The 600 mile plot spans nine different states and contains numerous monuments. The goal of the project is to educate Americans about the impact of the French army, and other allies, during our war of independence. Situated in what was once known as “Howard’s Woods,” the former estate of John Eager Howard, the memorial is within the property of the Basilica of the Assumption, America’s first cathedral. The elm tree referred to on the monument is no longer standing.

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June 11th, 2009 at 7:37 am

William Walters Bust in Mount Vernon

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A bronze bust of William Walters sits above the entrance to the historic Walters Art Museum near Baltimore’s Washington Monument. Inside the museum is the original marble bust created by William Rinehart. The bronze reproduction was presumably commissioned by William Walters son Henry.

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June 3rd, 2009 at 3:11 pm

Military Courage Statue in Mount Vernon

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Cathedral Street & W Mount Vernon Place (Street View)

GPS: 39° 17′ 50.82″ N 76° 37′ 1.01″ W

History

A replica of Paul Dubois’ Military Courage statue stands at the west end of Mount Vernon Place, facing Cathedral Street. A gift of William Walters, the famous Baltimore art collector, the cast was installed at the historic park in 1885. Strongly influenced by the Italian Renaissance, Dubois modeled Military Courage after Michaelangelo’s statue at the tomb of Lorenzo de’ Medici in Florence. Three other statues were sculpted along with Courage, entitled Faith, Meditation and Charity, the set serving as pillars for the tomb of General Jucault de Lamoricière in Nantes Cathedral, France.

Notes

Looking south from the statue you’ll find the Garrett House, the former residence of Robert Garrett II, once a prominent President of the B & O Railroad. The forty room mansion spans multiple row-houses and is the work of acclaimed architect Stanford White. Contracted by Garrett and his wife, in 1884, to remodel and combine the homes the couple had recently purchased, White spent the next nine years creating the lavish residence. Since 1961, the Engineer’s Society of Baltimore has owned and maintained the property.

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June 2nd, 2009 at 8:31 pm

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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May 31st, 2009 at 9:31 am

John Eager Howard Monument in Mount Vernon

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Madison Street & Washington Place / N Charles Street (Street View)

GPS: 39° 17′ 54.32″ N 76° 36′ 56.75″ W

History

Dedicated on January 16, 1904, this lively equestrian statue of Maryland’s own John Eager Howard was executed by artist Emmanuel Fremiet. It was a gift of the Municipal Art Society of Baltimore City and stands on land once part of Howard’s estate. Fremiet, a renowned animal sculptor of the time, is also well known for his equestrian statue of Joan of Arc in the Place des Pyramides of Paris. Howard served under George Washington as a Colonel in the Continental Army, hence his placement just north of Washington’s spire in the historic Mount Vernon neighborhood.

Howard distinguished himself militarily at the Battle of Cowpens, where he lead a bayonet charge that turned the tide of battle. That act of valor is commemorated at another monument to Eager nearby on Centre Street. Howard County, Maryland, is named after him, as are Howard & Eager Streets in Baltimore City. Howard sat as a member of the Continental Congress in 1788, served as governor of Maryland for three consecutive one-year terms, was state senator, United States congressman and United States senator and lost the vice-presidential election in 1816. He is buried in Old Saint Paul’s Cemetery.

Notes

On the back of the monument is a replica of the medal granted Howard by Congress for valor at the Battle of Cowpens, along with a panel showing a Continental officer riding down a British soldier.

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May 29th, 2009 at 9:59 am

John Eager Howard Bayonet Monument

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W Centre Street & N Howard Street (Street View)

GPS: 39° 17′ 47.46″ N 76° 37′ 13.49″ W

History

Just west of the Centre Street light rail stop on Howard Street, which was named after him, this 1985 monument is by artist David Gerlach and is one of two monuments to the Revolutionary War hero and statesman John Eager Howard. The other more classical equestrian monument to Howard lies at the north end of the park above the Washington Monument in Mount Vernon. Howard became recognized for his gallantry at the Battle of Cowpens on January 17, 1781 with a bayonet charge which helped secure the American victory. The sculpture was installed as part of the Market Center Redevelopment.

Notes

The park this memorial sits in was once part of Howard’s expansive 260-acre Baltimore estate, which he split up and gifted to various civic causes, religious groups, Lexington Market and even the land for the Mount Vernon Washington Monument. The monument consists of three stylized figures, two of whom are pointing rifles which once had bayonets affixed to them. The figure of Howard points off to the distance, as if ordering the men to charge. At one time his pointing hand held something, presumably a sword or pistol by the way the hand is sculpted. In addition to the missing elements, the figures are also scrawled with graffiti. Howard is buried in Old Saint Paul’s Cemetery, which is not far away.

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May 28th, 2009 at 10:01 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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May 18th, 2009 at 1:25 pm