This morning, we learned that the Francis Scott Key Monument at Eutaw Place was splashed with red paint over night and the stone pedestal at the center of the monument was spray painted with the words “Racist Anthem.” The monument by French sculptor Marius Jean Antonin Mercié shows Key standing in a marble rowboat next to a seated bronze sailor. The statue was dedicated on May 15, 1911, and restored in 1999 after a major fundraising campaign by local residents. You can see more photographs of the Key Monument and the graffiti in our Flickr album.
The spray painted graffiti on the east side of the stone curb surrounding the monument fountain included “Blood on his hands,” “Racist Anthem,” “Fuck FSK,” and “Hater U Just Mad.” On the pavement in front of the monument was written “Slave Owner” and one of the lesser-known stanzas that make up Key’s Star-Spangled Banner:
“No refuge could save, Hireling or slave,
From terror of flight, Or gloom of grave”
The Baltimore City Department of Recreation and Parks was notified about the condition of the monument early this morning and reached out to the Baltimore City Police Department, the Commission for Historical and Architectural Preservation, and other city agencies to file a police report and consider next steps. We have also reached out to the Bolton Hill Architectural Review Committee to alert neighbors to the situation and to help monitor the monument. CHAP and city agencies are working to have the paint and graffiti removed by an art conservator as quickly as possible.
Thank you to everyone who came out and joined our tour of Baltimore’s Confederate Monuments at Wyman Park Dell this past weekend. As I explained in my testimony before the Special Commission reviewing the city’s Confederate monuments on October 29, Baltimore Heritage supports the review process and is working educate the public about the history of the monuments. Our organization has not made any formal recommendation for what we think the commission should do about the monument. We think it is important for everyone with an interest in this issue to learn more and to add their voice to the ongoing discussion. To support this goal, we have put together a set of educational resources to help you prepare your comments or testimony.
We have also put together a map showing the four monuments selected for review and the broader collection of monuments, statues and historic sites related to the theme of Civil War memory and the Lost Cause.
What do the monuments look like?
The staff of the Commission has shared their extensive photo documentation of all four monuments and we have uploaded these photographs to an album on Flickr so anyone can get a close look at the monuments from the general surroundings to the smallest details.
How do I send comments?
There are three ways to share your comments: send a letter by mail, send an email, or attend the public hearing on December 15. Please note that your comments become part of the public record and may be shared by the Commission as part of the process.
To submit comments by email contact email@example.com or use the online contact form.
To submit comments by mail, send a letter to the Commission to Review Baltimore’s Public Confederate Monuments c/o Eric Holcomb, 417 E. Fayette St. 8th floor, Baltimore, MD 21202.
To testify at the public hearing on December 15, you should prepare your testimony in advance, sign-up before the meeting, and bring a printed copy of your testimony for the Commission. Find additional details about the public hearing on our calendar.
How do I prepare effective testimony?
For anyone interested in testifying at the meeting on December 15, we have six quick tips for making the most of your testimony:
Thanks to Margaret De Arcangelis, Education & Outreach Director with Preservation Maryland for sharing the story of her historic Bolton Hill rowhouse and the adventure of starting an exciting restoration project.
I came across a tweet the other day and could not help but smile: “It’s funny what makes you happy as a home owner. I have baseboards. Yeah!!! J”
As someone who has always enjoyed visiting old houses and loves learning about architecture, I always thought baseboards were great. It was not until this summer, however, when my husband and I bought our first house, that I truly appreciated the value of a well-placed baseboard. This appreciation is largely due to the fact that some of our baseboards, plaster, banisters and light fixtures are missing and I can only dream of the day when they will all be back in place.
Christopher and I did not buy a move-in ready starter house like many people do. Instead Chris has lovingly followed me into what may be my most hare-brained (but wonderful!) idea yet. We bought a true fixer-upper – an 1886 brownstone in Bolton Hill that needs more repair work than I have space to list in this short post. Like so many of the houses in that neighborhood, a prior owner subdivided the house into apartments leaving vestiges of long abandoned kitchens and bathrooms on each floor. Numerous walls were damaged when temporary walls were built and later torn down. Unlike many others rowhouses in Bolton Hill, however, our house remained in the hands of just one family from the 1880s to the 1950s (thank you MD Land Records for providing that fun fact!) and much of the original detail remains intact down to the stylish patterned parquet floors. Much of wood work including our 45 wood windows is covered by only one or two coats of paint and, despite a few missing pieces, the original stained glass transoms are in place and can be repaired.
After searching for the right house for ten months, I knew this was the perfect house for us the first time I saw it. There are so many beautiful details throughout the house that would be impossible or at least cost prohibitive for us to have in any other house. Some days the house does present challenges. The first few times it rained we found a new leak each time. We discovered that the duct tape on one of the sewer lines in the basement was not covering up a small crack in the pipe, but instead was put there to cover the ten inch by two-inch gouge in the pipe. We learned that sometimes the scope of a project changes midway through due to unforeseen circumstances, which may mean you need to remove a 100-year-old piece of Lincrusta from the wall so the plumbers can run new water lines. No matter what the new issue is with our house, all of those feelings of frustration go away each time I go to unlock the front door and am reminded how lucky I am to own such a beautiful old house.
We’re looking for more “old house stories” along with resources, tips and tricks you can share with other old house owners in Baltimore. Join the conversation on Facebook with Baltimore’s New Old House Forum or get in touch with Eli Pousson at firstname.lastname@example.org
In their recent book “Monuments to Heaven,” historians and authors Sally Johnston and Lois Zanow describe the architecture, art and history of many historic houses of worship in Baltimore. Please join us on a tour with Ms. Johnston and Ms. Zanow to learn about the stained glass windows, lovely mosaic tile work, and great history of two of the city’s most impressive churches: Corpus Christi-Jenkins Memorial Church and Brown Memorial Presbyterian Church. The churches are a short walk apart in the Bolton Hill neighborhood.
Behind the Scenes Tour of Corpus Christi and Brown Memorial Churches
Wednesday, May 15, 2013 from 5:30 to 6:30 pm
Meet at Corpus Christi Church: 110 W. Lafayette Ave., Baltimore 21217 RSVP today. $10 members | $20 non-members
Corpus Christi Memorial Church was built in 1891 in memory of Thomas and Louisa Jenkins by their children. Their goal was to build the most exquisite church in Baltimore. Patrick Keeley, the foremost architect of Catholic churches in his day, designed the building. The interior, designed by John Hardman & Company of London, glitters and glows with colorful mosaics accented with gold tessera, stained glass windows and a high vaulted ceiling with clerestory windows. Famous for its large Florentine style mosaics adorning the chancel, Corpus Christi also has smaller mosaic Stations of the Cross as well as a charming mosaic depicting the founding of Maryland. There are four chapels and a baptistery which boast gold mosaic ceilings, marble walls, statues of saints and stained glass windows.
Just one block from Corpus Christi is Brown Memorial Presbyterian Church, built in memory of George Brown in 1870 by his wife Isabella Brown. The church was designed by Nathaniel Hutton and John Murdoch, and the stunning interior has 17 stained glass windows including 12 Tiffany windows, making it one of the world’s largest and finest collections of stained glass. The two largest windows measure 16″ by 32″ and are the largest windows the Tiffany Studios ever made. The chancel has a five part window in the medieval style by the Wilbur Burnham Studios. Without interior columns, there is an unobstructed view of these glorious windows.
I hope you can join us to learn about these wonderful churches and their artwork.
Join in our annual celebration as Baltimore Heritage celebrates the year’s best in preservation, adaptive reuse, and community leadership from neighborhoods across the city! This year we are in historic Bolton Hill with five unique open houses followed by good food, wine, beer, and an awards presentation at the Maryland Institute College of Art Meyerhoff House. Our open houses this year are a few of the neighborhood’s best — can’t miss landmarks from a 1848 country cottage on Lanvale Street to the former home of the Bolton Street Synagogue which was converted to a private residence in 2005.
Find more details or purchase a ticket today!
Tickets are $65 for members and $75 for non-members. Special thanks to our lead sponsor PNC Bank and all of our generous sponsors and supporters who make this celebration possible!