On February 6, 1968, the city paid $1,850 to buy four vacant, vandalized rowhouses on Emory Street—an unusual birthday celebration for famed Baltimore native Babe Ruth. Exactly seventy-three years earlier, George Herman “Babe” Ruth, Jr. was…

The Seminary Chapel at the St. Mary's Spiritual Center is a historic gem. Completed in 1808, the chapel was designed by Maximilian Godefroy, the architect of many historically important structures in Baltimore including the Battle Monument and First…

The Maryland Penitentiary on Eager Street was completed in 1897, as part of a national prison building boom prompted by reform efforts. The building was designed by architect Jackson C. Gott. Gott served as one of eight founding members of…

Built in 1922, the former Enoch Pratt Free Library Branch No. 19 at 606 South Ann Street was one of a large number of branch libraries that opened in the early twentieth century. Between 1908 and 1920, the Pratt Library opened a new branch every…

The Maryland Institute College of Art was chartered on January 10, 1826 as the Maryland Institute for the Promotion of the Mechanic Arts. Within months, the new school began offering classes and other programs at "The Athenaeum," a lecture hall at…

The Severn Teackle Wallis Statue by French sculptor Laurent-Honoré Marqueste was dedicated on January 9, 1906 in the south square of Mount Vernon Place in front of the new building of the Walters Art Gallery. Today, the statue stands in the east…

The first true brownstone building in Baltimore, today’s Grace & St. Peter’s Church opened its doors in 1852 as Grace Church on Park Avenue in Mount Vernon. Architecturally, it was the first church built of stone in the city and with stained…

Built in 1928-1929, Levering Hall is named in honor of Eugene Levering, a local banker. Levering, who served as a trustee for Johns Hopkins University from 1898 to 1928, donated the funds to build a YMCA on land provided by Johns Hopkins…

The Arena Playhouse at 801 McCulloh Street has been occupied by the Arena Players, an African American theatre troupe, since 1962. Established in 1953 as an outgrowth of the “The Negro Little Theater”, the Arena Players spent a decade performing…

Douglas Memorial Community Church was built is 1857 for the Madison Avenue Methodist Episcopal Church. The building boasts a grand Greek Revival design by architect Thomas Balbirnie with a sanctuary that seats a thousand people and an…

Baltimore activists have a long history of fighting discrimination and segregation in the city’s public establishments. In the years after World War II, the NAACP and their allies worked to end segregated seating at Ford’s Theatre on Fayette…

1621 Bolton Street is the childhood home of Walter Sondheim, Jr.: a local business executive and civic leader who is best known for his role as president of the Baltimore City School Board as the city first sought to put an end to racially segregated…

Just a few blocks away from the Peabody, stretching along Calvert Street between Madison and Monument Streets, stands another massive Italian palace, built for another educational institution. The patron here was the Society of Jesus, a Catholic…

The Southern District Police Station at the corner of East Ostend and Patapsco streets was constructed in 1896. The building was designed by local architect Jackson Coale Gott. Born in 1829, Gott established his own firm in 1863, joined the American…

Built in 1873 by the Maryland Baptist Union Association for black Baptists in south Baltimore, Leadenhall Baptist Church has long been a center of activism and source of strength for African Americans in south Baltimore and the Sharp Leadenhall…

While Baltimore is remembered for the city’s role in fabricating ships and railcars, the companies that made the large machines required to build those ships and railcars have largely been forgotten. The Detrick & Harvey Machine Company buildings…

In the mid-nineteenth century, Catholic residents of Hampden belonged to the St. Mary of the Assumption parish in Govans, a distant walk from the burgeoning neighborhood. Since the industrial mill village had been built by the owners of the mills for…

School 33 Art Center was established in 1979 as a center for contemporary art in South Baltimore. Formerly known as Public School 33, Baltimore City erected the brick and brownstone building in 1890. It operated as an elementary school up until 1975…

A giant carrot, a house made of cheese, and barnyard chickens were among the attractions that greeted visitors to the Baltimore Zoo’s new Children’s Zoo when it opened in Druid Hill Park in 1963. “Most children’s zoos are full of fairy tale…

At the edge of the Disc Golf Course in Druid Hill Park where the greens give way to weeds and woods, you might notice a set of stone steps that lead nowhere. Trace their path downward through the wild overgrowth and you can pick out remnants of a…

Disc golfers playing on Druid Hill Park’s course sometimes toss their Frisbees accidentally over the Maryland Zoo’s perimeter fence. The discs land alongside a flat, understated red-brick building whose bland exterior contrasts with a fascinating…

On August 5, 1948, Mayor Thomas D’Alessandro and other Baltimore City dignitaries came by motorcade to Druid Hill Park for the official opening of the Baltimore Zoo’s new Reptile House. They pulled up in front of a small, yellow-brick building a…

When the first official World’s Fair in the United States – the Centennial Exhibition – closed in Philadelphia in November 1876, the Maryland delegation chose not to abandon their state exhibit hall. Instead, the wooden building (described as…

Visiting any zoo in the world today, you expect to find it surrounded by a fence. It might seem difficult, then, to imagine that for nearly a century there was no fence around the Baltimore Zoo. The zoo was open to anyone who visited Druid Hill Park,…

"Buttercups bloom and children play joyously amid the grasses and sunshine," waxed one Sun reporter poetically of the Mansion House lawn. Since the park's founding in 1860, the grassy hillside attracted thousands upon thousands of visitors for music…

The Warden's House on Monument Street is a remarkable work of architecture and a unique reminder of the history of justice and injustice in Baltimore. The Warden's House was built as part of a larger city jail designed by local architects Thomas and…

The Union Baptist Church was built in 1905 under the leadership of Rev. Dr. Harvey Johnson and financed entirely by African Americans. The congregation was formed in 1852, the fifth oldest African American congregation in Baltimore. In 1892, the…

The classically styled Old Town National Bank building at 221 N. Gay Street was constructed in 1924 as a bank headquarters. Despite many years of vacancy, the primary first stories retained an array of historic details, including a two-story lobby,…