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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

Memorial Stadium Urn at Camden Yards

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S Eutaw Street & W Lee Street (Street View)

GPS: 39° 16′ 55.96″ N 76° 37′ 14.29″ W

History

Memorial Stadium was completed in 1950. The outdoor professional sports arena was a renovation of the old Baltimore (or Municipal) Stadium that was built, in 1922, on 33rd Street in Waverly. The north Baltimore site was primarily the home of the city’s football clubs until 1944 when Orioles Park, an all wood framed structure nearby that housed the baseball team, burned to the ground completely, prompting the Orioles to move into the facility up the street. The larger stadium interested Major League Baseball, with it’s capacity for crowds in excess of 20,000, helping Baltimore finally receive a full charter franchise. Six years later the re-construction was complete and the new park was officially opened as the home of the Orioles and the National Football league’s Colts. In 1976, after the conclusion of a Colts-Steelers football game a single engine plane crashed into the upper deck. The pilot was apparently buzzing the stadium, but his approach was too low. No one was hurt in the incident.

The front facade of the stadium was a memorial to the Veterans of both World Wars. Dedicated in 1954, the edifice was nearly saved during the razing of the structure, but was finally taken down in 2002. The resulting materials from the demolition were used to create an artificial reef in the Chesapeake Bay. The military veterans memorial was moved to the southern side of Oriole Park at Camden Yards. It consists of an urn on pedestal and a large sloped wall displaying the message once inscribed on the old memorial. The urn contains soil from military cemeteries around the world. The monument was rededicated on March 31, 2003, as part of the Orioles opening day ceremonies.

Notes

The old ballpark’s home in Waverly is now the site of Stadium Place, a complex containing multiple apartment buildings for seniors and the states largest YMCA. A memorial Bell Tower has been erected, along with an Egyptian-style pergola, just slightly west of the stadium’s original front gates.

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Written by monumentcity

May 22nd, 2009 at 10:25 am

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

Peace Cross at the Cathedral of the Incarnation

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N Charles Street & University Parkway (Street View)

GPS: 39° 19′ 59.89″ N 76° 37′ 2.64″ W

History

Dedicated on May 18, 1920, this large Celtic-style cross stands on the grounds of the Cathedral of the Incarnation, just north of Hopkins Homewood Campus. The monument, also known as Victory Cross, is dedicated to the memory of lives lost in WWI. Across the street is the Confederate Women of MD Monument.

Notes

The monument is hidden from immediate view by some trees and resides in an area named Clover Hill, according to a Maryland Historical Society plaque found nearby. Around 1714, this region was part of a 210-acre grant by Lord Baltimore to Charles Merryman, whose descendents lived and farmed here until 1869. In 1909, the site was purchased by the Episcopal Church.

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May 18th, 2009 at 11:11 am

Union Soldiers & Sailors Monument in Charles Village

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W 29th Street & N Charles Street (Street View)

GPS: 39° 19′ 25.64″ N 76° 37′ 4.17″ W

History

This work, by Adolph A. Weinman, was dedicated in 1909, and originally sat in Druid Hill Park (depicted in this postcard). It was moved to its current location in 1959 to make way for an expressway. The monument depicts a Union soldier striding forward with the Goddess Victory to his right and the Goddess Bellona (War) to his left. Behind Bellona rises a fig tree. Reliefs on the north and south sides of the base, respectively, depict a land battle and a naval battle. A third relief on the back of the monument’s pedestal shows an eagle perched on a shield between sword and anchor.

Notes

The Union Soldiers & Sailors Monument has the distinction of being the only public Civil War monument in the city to pay homage to the Northern/Union sacrifices made during that conflict. Diagonally north-east across Wyman Park on Art Museum Drive is the double-equestrian Lee and Jackson Memorial. Not far from that is the Confederate Women monument to the north across Hopkins campus.

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Written by monumentcity

April 14th, 2009 at 4:15 pm

Hammann-Costin WWI Medal of Honor Memorial

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N Howard Street & W Preston Street (Street View)

GPS: 39° 18′ 16.45″ N 76° 37′ 15.49″ W

History

This monument is dedicated to two Maryland winners of the Congressional Medal of Honor during service in World War I: Charles Hazeltine Hammann, an ensign in the Air Service of the US Navy, and Henry Gilbert Costin, a private in the Army.

During an aerial engagement off the coast of Italy on the 21st of August in 1918, Ensign Hammann landed his seaplane to rescue a downed pilot, Ensign George M. Ludlow, though his plane was not designed to carry the double load and there was imminent danger of attack by Austrian planes. The pair flew to safety. Two ships were named the USS Hammann in his honor and served during WWII.

Private Costin, a member of Company H, 115th Infantry, was slain in battle during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive near Bois-de-Consenvoye. His platoon was being held up by an enemy machine gun entrenchment. Costin was first to volunteer to storm the nest against heavy artillery, mortar and machine gun fire. He died shortly after the successful attack which resulted in the capture of over 100 enemy soldiers and several machine guns.

Notes

This monument is located in Congressional Medal of Honor Park, located at Preston Street and Park Avenue, where it loops around to intersect with Howard Street. At the top of the memorial is a sculpture of a flame and on either side rests a mortar.

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Written by monumentcity

April 4th, 2009 at 3:36 pm

Spirit of the Confederacy Monument in Bolton Hill

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Mount Royal Terrace between Mosher & Lafayette (Street View)

GPS: 39° 18′ 31.75″ N 76° 37′ 21.03″ W

History

Known as the Spirit of the Confederacy, this monument reads upon the front face of the pedestal, “Gloria Victis,” or “Glory to the Vanquished.” Though this sculpture is by Frederic Wellington Ruckstull and was dedicated in February of 1903, Gloria Victis is also the title of a 1874 sculpture at the National Gallery in Washington, DC by artist Antonin Mercie commemorating France’s loss in the Franco-Prussian War. Mercie is the sculptor responsible for the nearby Francis Scott Key Monument.

Notes

The monument stands between Mt Royal Avenue proper, and Mt Royal Terrace, a parallel access street for residents of the Bolton Hill neighborhood. Nearby stand several buildings of the Maryland Institute, College of Art. The sculpture is composed of two figures: the allegorical figure of Glory with wings outstretched, who holds aloft a laurel wreath in one hand, and in the other supports a soldier whose strength is failing him. His flag is lowered and he seems near defeat.

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April 1st, 2009 at 3:53 pm

Baltimore’s Battle Monument

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Calvert Street, between Fayette & Lexington Streets (Street View)

GPS: 39° 17′ 26.29″ N 76° 36′ 44.59″ W

History

Commemorates the Battle of North Point, a turning point in the War of 1812, and those who died during the month of September 1814. The monument is the first built in America specifically for the common soldier. Placed on the site of Baltimore’s original courthouse, the location was chosen to preserve the land from further urban development. On the base of the structure is two relief sculptures that depict the bombardment of Fort McHenry and the Battle of North Point. The names of the soldiers that died in the historic conflict are spelled out on bands that wrap the towering column. Lady Baltimore holds a victory wreath at the apex of the fifty-two foot memorial. Designed by architect Maximilian Godefroy and built from 1815-1825. Sculpture by Antonio Capellano.

Notes

Situated in an old and high-energy location downtown, the Battle Monument is famously depicted on the flag and seal of Baltimore City. The area has a great deal of foot traffic, with people pausing to sit, look and eat lunch in the pleasant median splitting motor traffic. The United States Court House and Post Office building stand on the east side of the monument, the Post Office serving as the second courthouse today. Many interesting historical plaques adorn the grounds of the monument, including one of the city’s Heritage Walk markers. The female figure atop the pedestal is Lady Baltimore, an embodiment of the spirit of the city.

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Written by monumentcity

February 20th, 2009 at 8:45 am