Baltimore City County  



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B028 Baltimore, MD
Baltimore is situated in the north central part of Maryland, on the Patapsco River, not far from the Chesapeake Bay. Baltimore is an independent city with a population of about 630,000 (2005), which makes it the largest city in Maryland. The city is a major part of the Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan Area and a major U.S. seaport.

During the 17th century, various towns called "Baltimore" were founded as commercial ports at various locations on the upper Chesapeake Bay. The present city dates from 1729 and is named after Cæcilius Calvert, 2nd Baron Baltimore who was the first Proprietary Governor of the Province of Maryland. Baltimore grew swiftly in the mid-late 18th century as the granary for sugar producing colonies in the Caribbean. During the War of 1812 Fort McHenry came under attack by British forces near the harbour. It was this event which inspired Francis Scott Key to write the poem, "The Star-Spangled Banner," the lyrics to the United States national anthem.

Baltimore became an independent city in 1851, being detached from Baltimore County at that time. During the Civil War, Maryland was officially part of the Union but kept slavery legal. Many people in Baltimore at the time were sympathetic to the Confederacy. Pro-Southern sentiment led to the Baltimore riot of 1861 when Union soldiers marched through the city. After the riot, Union troops occupied Baltimore and Maryland came under direct federal administration—in part, to prevent the state from seceding—until the end of the war in April 1865.

The Great Baltimore Fire on February 7, 1904 destroyed over 1,500 buildings in 30 hours. Baltimore's population peaked at 949,708 in the 1950 census, which ranked it as the sixth-largest city in the country, behind Detroit and ahead of Cleveland. For the next five decades, the city's population declined while its suburbs grew dramatically. In recent years, efforts to redevelop the downtown area have led to a revitalization of the Inner Harbor.



The Washington Monument [right: background centre] of Baltimore is the first architectural monument honouring George Washington. The 160 foot (49 m) doric column was erected in 1815–1829. It was designed by Robert Mills, who later also designed the Washington Monument in Washington, DC. The statue of George Washington on top of the column adds further 16-foot (5 m) to the monument's height. the sculptor Enrico Causici of Verona, Italy, created the statue out of three blocks of marble weighing about seven tons each.

Further monuments to the 1st President of the United States depicted on items from this collection are the Washington Monument in Washington, DC, and the Equestrian Statue of George Washington in Boston, MA.

The Peabody Institute [right: background left] is a conservatory and preparatory school. Founded in 1857 by philanthropist George Peabody, it was the first academy of music to be established in the United States. Since 1977, the Institute has operated as a division of The Johns Hopkins University.


B028 Baltimore, MD: Washington Monument and Peabody Institute
B028 Baltimore, MD: Post Office and Battle Monument  

The Old Post Office [left] in North Calvert Street was built in 1883–1889 in Romanesque Revival style by the architect James Green Hill. boasted eight purely decorative four-story towers, two to a façade, and a ninth equally functionless six-story spire over the front (Calvert Street) door, but only four usable floors of space, counting the basement. Considered enormous when it opened, it was quickly outgrown, and many Baltimoreans are said to have been disappointed that it was spared by the 1904 Baltimore Fire.

In 1930–1932 it was eventually replaced by a new, purely functional building of twice the size of the old structure. In 1972 the post office finally moved out of this new building which today is used by Baltimore city courts as their "Courthouse East".

The Battle Monument [far left, foreground, barely visible] was built in 1815–1825 to celebrate the sacrifice of the soldiers who died defending Baltimore against the British during the War of 1812. The monument was designed by Maximilien Godefroy.

The Battle Monument, together with the Washington Monument prompted John Quincy Adams to name Baltimore "the Monumental City".



The City Hall [right] was built in 1867–1875 by the architect George A. Frederick. It was the first assignment of the 22-year-old architect. The building was designed in the 2nd Empire style, a Baroque revival, a rare example for American government buildings. The segmented dome capping the building is the work of Baltimore engineer, Wendell Bollman, known for his iron railroad bridges. The cost of the building was $2.3 million, which was $200,000 less than originally estimated. The cost of the renovation in 1974 was $10.5 million and was solidly supported by the people of Baltimore.


B028 Baltimore, MD: City Hall


[Texts adapted from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baltimore,_Maryland, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peabody_Institute, http://www.mdhs.org/library/baltarch/Page15.htm, http://www.ce.jhu.edu/baltimorestructures/Battle%20Monument/battle_monument.htm, http://www.ce.jhu.edu/baltimorestructures/City%20Hall/city_hall.htm, http://www.ce.jhu.edu/mdcive/cityhall.htm, http://www.wam.umd.edu/~jlehnert/history.htm]

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