This monument is the first US Heroic and Civil Monument to be built in honor of George Washington in the country and you can go inside and climb 228 steps to see a wonderful view of downtown in the 178 foot tower.
Open Wednesday thru Sunday 10 til 4.
In 1810 citizens of Baltimore wanted to build a monument dedicated to George Washington. So they held a lottery to help raise the funds needed and picked Robert Mills, a native of Charleston, South Carolina was awarded the commission for the Monument in 1815. Mr. Mills had a very designed of huge columns. The residents that were next to the first proposed site feared it would eventually fall down and attract lightening no less. So Colonel John Eager Howard donated another site Howards Woods far from any other structures to relieve fears. Construction lasted 15 years, but with soaring cost the enormous monument that was planned was scaled down to what the existing monument you see today. Maybe it is not as elaborated as the one that was planned, but this monument is beautifully down and would make George proud I think.
Yet during construction they still needed a sculpture to design the figure of George Washington on the top of the tower. So Enrico Causici of Verona, Italy, was selected since he had sculpted several panels of the Rotunda of the United States Capitol. Causici created the statue of Washington out of three blocks of marble weighing about seven tons each and once again due to budget restraints he created a more simple design to grace the top of the tower. The sculpture depicts Washington resigning his commission as Commander-in-Chief of the Continental armies.
It was completed when the sculpture (approximately 16 feet high) sat on top of the 160 foot high column proudly on November 25, 1829.
America's first monument to their first president was built right here in the HISTORIC MOUNT VERNON CULTURAL DISTRICT, one of the city's oldest neighbourhoods. The Gilded Age Society of the late 19th century built their mansions in Mount Vernon and many of these once grand homes house restaurants and museums today. This district comprises 12 cultural and historic destinations, including Walters Art Museum, Garrett Jacobs Mansion, the Mount Vernon Place United Methodist Church, the Peabody Library and the Washington Monument and Museum.
I must say that I was pretty impressed with this section. It was also within walking distance from the Tremont. The only drawback was the overcast weather on Saturday which made everything look dreary.
This is the place I go when I really want to feel of another place and time, and not be more than a few miles from my home.
The museum is one of the largest originally private collections of art found in the U.S. It's scope is huge, ranging from the "ancient" world, to late 19th Century art. I don't think the collection is highly unusual, compared to say larger museums, like the Metropolitian in NYC, or the National Gallery in Washington, DC, what what makes it stand out is the almost intimate feel of the galleries...with their dark walls, and low lightings. And, it's usually fairly quiet here.
For some reason that I've never quite figured out, I always need to go to The Knights Hall and view the Islamic armour.
Another standout is the large Asian art collection in the Hackerman House, which is connected through a "link" to the main buildiing. Not only is the art enchanting, the house itself, a stately Mt. Vernon Square mansion, is incredible.
An added bonus are the great views of the square from the "link" and the Hackeman house itself.
The Peabody Institute is one of the top conservatory music schools in the U.S. While it is lovely, and one is able to take advantage of various concerts, a great draw when you're in the area is a visit to the incredible Peabody Library.
This incredible library was built in the 1850s, and consists of five tiers of ornamental cast-iron balconies. It's lit by an atrium and small, round lights placed around the shelves.
Anyone is welcome in, to take a look at this great structure, and to browse.
The library also recently added a gallery to highlight its collection. It's located right before you enter the library.
Ok. I've never been in here, churches are not quite my thing...but I see it all the time because I go to the library across the street.
The Basicila was the first Roman Catholic Cathedral in the U.S. It's fitting that it's in Baltimore, since Maryland is often to thought to be founded as a Catholic colony. (It wasn't; but there was a great deal of Catholic leadership in the colonial days....)
Anyway, the Basicila is not just historically interesting, it has been described as "North America's most beautiful church." It was designed by Latrobe, who later became the architect of the U.S. Capitol.
It's currently going under renovation...with federal money, no less. So much for the separation of church and state....but I digress....
And, a word about the library across the street. It's somewhat notable that it was the first library to break with the older tradition of having the library at the end of a long flight of stairs, with a grand entranceway....
The Washington Monument, the first large-scale monument in the nation to be dedicated to George Washington, was built in 1815 and is in the center of Mount Vernon Historical District and is surrounded by stately homes that were built in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Located at the back of the monument is the WASHINGTON MONUMENT MUSEUM which is open Wednesday thru Sunday 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Even before it's completion in 1829, Baltimore's Washington Monument was recognized as the preeminent symbol of the city. Nationally, it ranked as the country's first major architectural monument and the first civic memorial to George Washington. Yet few people today are aware of it's historical importance and the profound meaning it held for 19th century Americans.
Baltimore's 178 foot monument was designed by Robert Mills who called himself the first architect professionally trained in America. Most people are probably more familiear with another of Mills' tributes to Washington; the Washington Monument in our Nation's capital. Begun in 1848, the sister monument was finally dedicated in 1884.
An artsy district about 10 blocks North of the Inner Harbor, centered along N. Charles Street.
Here's you'll find the original Washington Monument, built before the big one in Washington DC.
Plenty of eclectic and upscale restaurants and bars in this area. Most of them are ethnic: Afganistan, Indian, Nepalese, Japanese and such...... See my restaurant tips.
My hotel was just a short walk away from heart of the Mount Vernon neighborhood so I spent the first part of Friday morning strolling through it. I had already been to the excellent Walters Museum, make sure you include a stop here and try to allot several hours, 2 hours wasn't nearly enough.
My first stop was the Peabody Library to check out the architecture, a real gem. Be sure to stop at the front desk and ask what there is to see.
You can't miss the Washington Monument, the country's first monument to, George Washington, it's first President. It differs from the Washington Monument in Washington DC in that it has a statue of him at the top, the one in DC is an Obelisk. You can walk 228 steps up to the top of it for a view over Baltimore but I passed.
Baltimore has lots of monuments. They built the first monument to George Washington - 19 years before the one was built in Washington DC. It was completed on July 4, 1829.
The square base is constructed of marble donated by Gen. Charles Ridgely of Hampton, and is inscribed with Washington's Revolutionary War victories. The monument is surrounded by an ornate circular iron fence, and topped by a 30-ton statue of Washington.
It was built way out in the country on a vacant field donated by Col. John Eager Howard, so if it fell over, it wouldn't hurt anyone. (The city has since surrounded it) The money to build the Doric column memorial was raised by popular subscription, lottery proceeds, and by a final appropriation from the State of Maryland.
There is a small fee to climb the 228 steps to the top. The top has bars on the windows. A son of a friend of my parents once climbed the monument on the outside.
The ground-floor museum offers information about the construction of the monument (begun in 1815 and finished in 1829), as well as about the life and times of George Washington and early America.
Every winter, Baltimore's Washington Monument is host to "A Monumental Occasion," when the monument is decorated with lights to celebrate the holiday season
Hours: Wed-Sun 10:00AM-4:00PM
This picture was taken looking down Charles Street. Charles street is the main city street (named after Charles Carroll the signer of the Declaration of Independence) which divides the west side of Baltimore from the east side.
The only time you ever see Charles street completely empty of traffic like this is just about dawn - that's when this picture was taken. My mom had picked us up from the airport after we flew back from California, and I asked her to stop for the picture.
Probably one of the most beautiful squares in the U.S., at least the most beautiful one that I've seen.
The Washington Monument stands right in the center. See John Water's movie "Pecker," if you want to see just how suggestive the monument really is. But, seriously, this was the first Washington monument, predating the one more famous one about 40 miles south in Washington, DC.
Mt. Vernon is the cultural hub of the city. The square also includes the Peabody Institute, the famous music school, with its library filled with wrought iron balconies.
Also on the square, is the Walters Art Museum, with its fine collection of Asian art, and antiquities.
There are also numerous galleries and restaurants in the area. (Some of which are mentioned in the restaurant section.)
One of Baltimore's landmarks, something every visitor should see, is the George Washington Monument in the Mt Vernon Cultural District. Plainly visible from anywhere on North Charles St, it's the city's grandest monument.
Begun in 1815, it was designed by Charleston architect Robert Mills. Mills also designed a number of historic buildings in Washington and Charleston, including the Washington Monument.
There is a more famous, taller and bolder Washington Monument located in the Nation's Capitol 50 miles south of Baltimore, but it is not the first Washington Monument. That distinction belongs to the column situated in the middle of North Charles Street. Baltimore's Washington Monument was built in 1799, the year of the Revolutionary War general and first president's death.
Baltimore's Washington Monument, on Charles St. in Mt. Vernon, can claim to be the first ever monument honoring George Washington, America's first president. While I was in Baltimore, I didn't walk all the way to the base of the monument, though I viewed it from a distance.
The black and green stones of the Mount Vernon United Methodist Church provide an elegant backdrop for the Washington Monument. The church was built on the site of the Charles Howard mansion where Mr. Howard's father-in-law, Francis Scott Key died. Key, for those of you who might not know, wrote the national anthem of the United States right here in Baltimore. The church is on the register of Nationally Historic Places.