Baltimore's Architectural Jewels, Baltimore

Baltimore's Architectural Jewels (Self Guided), Baltimore

There's no better way to witness Baltimore's rich history than by going to see its many wonderful buildings and other architectural sights. This tour includes Mount Vernon Place United and a historic district featuring houses built in the early 19th Century. Don’t miss the opportunity to see these places on your trip to Baltimore.
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Baltimore's Architectural Jewels Map

Guide Name: Baltimore's Architectural Jewels
Guide Location: USA » Baltimore (See other walking tours in Baltimore)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 8
Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.8 Km or 2.4 Miles
Author: rose
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Mt. Vernon Place United Methodist Church
  • Washington Monument and Museum at Mount Vernon Place
  • Basilica of the Assumption
  • Baltimore City Hall
  • Baltimore Trust Company Building
  • Emerson Bromo-Seltzer Tower
  • Westminster Hall and Burying Ground
  • Pascault Row
Mt. Vernon Place United Methodist Church

1) Mt. Vernon Place United Methodist Church

The Mount Vernon Place United was established in 1872. This historic United Methodist church was built in a Norman-Gothic style. It's considered by American Institute of Architects as the most important architectural structure in Baltimore, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. All are welcome for Sunday worship each week at 11am.
Washington Monument and Museum at Mount Vernon Place

2) Washington Monument and Museum at Mount Vernon Place

The Washington Monument and Museum at Mount Vernon Place was built in 1815 by Roberts Mills. It was the first monument ever erected to honor George Washington. At 178 feet or 54 meters tall, it offers wonderful views of Baltimore from its high vantage point.
Basilica of the Assumption

3) Basilica of the Assumption (must see)

The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, also called the Baltimore Basilica, was the first Roman Catholic cathedral built in the United States, and was the first major religious building constructed in the nation after the adoption of the U.S. Constitution. As a co-cathedral, it is one of the seats of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Baltimore in Baltimore. It is considered the masterpiece of Benjamin Henry Latrobe, the "Father of American Architecture".

The Cathedral is a monumental neoclassical-style building designed in conformity to a Latin cross basilica plan — a departure on Latrobe’s part from previous American church architecture, but in keeping with longstanding European traditions of cathedral design. The plan unites two distinct elements: a longitudinal axis and a domed space.

The main facade is a classical Greek portico with Ionic columns arranged in double hexastyle pattern, immediately behind which rise a pair of cylindrical towers. The exterior walls are constructed of silver-gray gneiss quarried near Ellicott City.

The interior is occupied by a massive dome at the crossing of the Latin cross plan, creating a centralizing effect which contrasts the exterior impression of a linear or oblong building. Surrounding the main dome is a sophisticated system of barrel vaults and shallow, saucer-like secondary domes. The light-filled interior designed by Latrobe was striking in contrast to the dark, cavernous recesses of traditional Gothic cathedrals.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.
Baltimore City Hall

4) Baltimore City Hall

Baltimore City Hall is the official seat of government of the City of Baltimore. City Hall houses the offices of the mayor and those of the Baltimore City Council. The building also hosts the city comptroller, some city departments and chambers of the Baltimore City Council.

The six-story structure was designed by the 22-year old architect, George A. Frederick in the Second Empire style, a Baroque revival, with prominent Mansard roofs with richly-framed dormers, and two floors of a repeating Serlian window motif over an urbanely rusticated basement. The building was officially dedicated on October 25, 1875.

The site for the "new" building was selected and some designs were submitted before the American Civil War. The cornerstone for the building, under Frederick's new design, was not laid until 1867. At a cost of more than $2 million, Baltimore City Hall is built largely of brick with the exterior walls faced with white marble. The marble alone, quarried in Baltimore, cost $957,000. The segmented dome capping the building is the work of Baltimore engineer Wendel Bollman, known for his iron railroad bridges. At the time of its construction, the cast iron roof was considered one of the largest structures of its kind.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.
Baltimore Trust Company Building

5) Baltimore Trust Company Building

The Baltimore Trust Company Building is a wonderful 34 story building that was constructed in 1929. It is considered a “cathedral of commerce”, with a modern aesthetic and Gothic architectural forms. This old skyscraper has a rich ornamental design, including a number of animal sculptures located beneath the flagstaffs.
Emerson Bromo-Seltzer Tower

6) Emerson Bromo-Seltzer Tower

Emerson Tower often referenced as Emerson Bromo-Seltzer Tower is a 15-story, 88 m (289 ft) skyscraper erected in 1911 at the corner of Eutaw and Lombard Streets in Baltimore, designed by Joseph Evans Sperry for Bromo-Seltzer inventor "Captain" Isaac E. Emerson.

It was the tallest building in Baltimore from 1911 until 1923. The design of the tower along with the original factory building at its base was inspired by the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence, Italy, which was seen by Emerson during a tour of Europe in 1900.

The building features four clock faces adorning the tower's 15th floor on the North, South, East and West sides. Installed by the Seth Thomas Clock Company at an original cost of US$3,965, they are made of translucent white glass and feature the letters B-R-O-M-O S-E-L-T-Z-E-R, with the Roman numerals being less prominent. The dials, which are illuminated at night with mercury-vapor lamps, are 24 feet (7.3 metres) in diameter, and the minute and hour hands approximately 12 and 10 feet (3.7 and 3.0 metres) in length respectively. Originally driven by weights, the moving parts are now electrically powered.

The tower originally had a 51 ft (16 m) Bromo-Seltzer bottle, glowing blue and rotating. Weighing 20 tons (18.1 tonnes), it was lined with 314 incandescent light bulbs and topped with a crown. The bottle was removed in 1936 because of structural concerns.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.
Westminster Hall and Burying Ground

7) Westminster Hall and Burying Ground

Since its founding in 1761 at the corner of East Fayette Street at North Street (later Guilford Avenue) in a landmark twin-spired Georgian architecture-Federal style architecture structure from 1790-1795, this "burying ground" became the final resting place for many important and influential merchants, politicians, statesmen, and dozens of veterans (officers and soldiers) of the American Revolutionary War and War of 1812 who were citizens of the burgeoning and soon-to-be, the third-largest city in America – Baltimore.

Today, this "who's who" of early Baltimore is overshadowed by the later presence of the promising writer, poet and author Edgar Allan Poe, who was buried here in October 1849, following his sudden and mysterious death after being found on the street near East Lombard Street in a sick and semi-conscious state wearing unfamiliar clothes. Poe was taken to the Church Home and Infirmary on Broadway (between East Fayette and Baltimore Streets on "Washington Hill"), where he died four days later. He was interred in the old Western Burying Grounds of the First Presbyterian Church. Sometime later, a small stone was erected at the plot in the southeastern corner of the cemetery, through the efforts of his relative Neilson Poe.

In July 1852, Westminster Presbyterian Church was erected overtop the graveyard, its brick piers straddling gravestones and burial vaults to create what later Baltimoreans referred to as the "catacombs." For years, it was thought that the Gothic Revival-style Westminster Presbyterian Church was built in response to a new city ordinance prohibiting cemeteries that were not adjacent to a religious structure. Research in the early 1980s by historian Michael Franch found no such ordinance—and revealed a more complex motive: The congregation hoped that the new expansion church would serve Baltimore's growing "West End"—new churches were then springing up in every corner of the city in response to a dramatic increase in population—and provide protection to an aging, old-fashioned, 18th Century-style "burying ground" that few saw as an appropriate resting place for the more up-to-date 19th Century.

The entire site is properly illuminated, and of course, in Poe style, the best time to visit is after dark.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.
Pascault Row

8) Pascault Row

Pascault Row is a national historic district in Baltimore. It consists of a range of eight 3 1⁄2-story dwellings. It is Baltimore’s last remaining example of early-19th-century townhouses, and illustrates the transition between the Federal and the early Greek Revival periods. They are attributed to William F. Small, at that time employed in the architectural office of Benjamin Henry Latrobe.

It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.

Walking Tours in Baltimore, Maryland

Create Your Own Walk in Baltimore

Create Your Own Walk in Baltimore

Creating your own self-guided walk in Baltimore is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Baltimore Historic Landmarks Walking Tour

Baltimore Historic Landmarks Walking Tour

Baltimore has many great landmarks that reflect the city’s interesting and rich history. Many of these monuments are related to war due to Baltimore's key role in the War of 1812. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the U.S.S. Constellation or admire amazing horse sculptures at the War Memorial.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.2 Km or 1.4 Miles
Baltimore Introduction Walking Tour

Baltimore Introduction Walking Tour

Maryland's main city and the birthplace of U.S. national anthem, Baltimore is rich in historic attractions reflecting its interesting and eventful past. As a major seaport, Baltimore is big not also in terms of maritime history (USS Constellation), but also as a home to the National Aquarium, showcasing an impressive collection of marine species.

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.4 Km or 3.4 Miles
Baltimore African American Heritage Walking Tour

Baltimore African American Heritage Walking Tour

This tour is dedicated to the African American Heritage of Baltimore. You'll be impressed by the many fantastic attractions in the city that reflect the many African-Americans who served to add great value to the lives of people in the community. Take this walking tour to learn more about African American Heritage in Baltimore

Tour Duration: 4 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 9.7 Km or 6 Miles
Baltimore's Historical Churches

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Baltimore has many beautiful places of worship, including several buildings listed as National Historic Landmarks. A number of different faiths are represented including Presbyterian, Methodist, Unitarian, Episcopal, Lutheran and Roman Catholic. Take our Places of Worship tour to see the most impressive churches in the city, which come in all different styles including Gothic revival,...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.3 Km or 2.1 Miles