Tag: Central Baltimore

Station North by Foot: Art, Music & Architecture at Artscape

Join Baltimore Heritage for Station North by Foot: a free one-hour tour through a rich history of art, music and architecture within blocks of Artscape!

Free tours for all three days of Artscape!

Friday, July 18, 2014, 6:00pm
Saturday, July 19,  2014, 3:00pm
Saturday, July 19,  2014, 6:00pm
Sunday, July 20,  2014, 1:00 pm

Meet at the Station North Arts District offices at North Avenue and Charles Street.

Sign up today!

Art and music has always had a place on North Avenue everywhere from the Parkway’s vaudeville stage to the Famous Ballroom on Charles Street where the Left Bank Jazz Society played. Our informal one-hour walking tour explores the history and architecture of local landmarks from the North Avenue Market (now home to the Wind-Up Space and Liam’s Ale House) to the factory complex of the Crown Cork & Seal Company (better known as the Copycat Building and Baltimore Design School).

Can’t join us for a guided tour? Take our self-guided tour of Arts and Industry in Station North with our Explore Baltimore Heritage smartphone app!

Photos: “We didn’t paint them beige” Rowhouses on Barclay by Foot

Thanks to Steve Earley for sharing these great photographs of our Barclay by Foot tour led by Jenny Hope from the Telesis Corporation! Enjoy his whole set on Flickr and get inspired to join us for another upcoming Baltimore by Foot walking tours this spring.

Historic Clubs & Cocktails! Join us for a walking tour and happy hour at the Hamilton Street Club on May 31

Hamilton Street Club, 1936

Established in 1925, the Hamilton Street Club occupies a pre-1820 townhouse in a row designed by early Baltimore architect Robert Carey Long, Sr. – also the architect for the Peale Museum and Davidge Hall. Among Baltimore’s private social clubs, Hamilton Street has a reputation for both intellectual conversation and irreverence. It is a place where, as Francis F. Beirne recounted in The Amiable Baltimoreans, “anybody could say what he pleased and talk as long as he pleased but nobody was required to listen.”

The club’s popularity among by local writers, as well as journalists and editors from the Baltimore Sun, led long-time club president and owner of the Victor G. Bloede Chemical Co. William W. Woollcott to remark, “Here I am, the only businessman in the club, surrounded by parasites.” Join us at the club on May 31 for food, drinks and great conversation with fellow preservationists, including a chance to meet a few of the club’s long-time members.

Bonus! Walking Tour of Mt. Vernon’s Historic Clubs

Work up a thirst before the happy hour with a quick stroll through the history of private social clubs in Mt. Vernon. On a short walk from Mt. Vernon Place to the happy hour, we’ll share stories of Confederate sympathizers, tireless social reformers, and the most serious of university scholars from the neighborhood’s private social clubs from past and present. The tour begins at 6:00pm in the north park of Mt. Vernon Place by Charles and Madison Streets.

New self-guided tour highlights the history of Baltimore’s Clarence Mitchell, Jr. Courthouse

Thanks to William M. Dunn, Master in Chancery of the Circuit Court for Baltimore City for contributing a guest post on the history of Baltimore’s Clarence Mitchell, Jr. Courthouse. William Dunn and a generous group of volunteers welcome visitors to the Courthouse most weekdays from noon to 1:00pm at the Museum of Baltimore Legal History. Stop in and pick up the museum’s new self-guided walking tour brochure (also available to check out on Facebook or at the Baltimore Bar Library) by Master Dunn and his colleague James Schneider, Judge for the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Maryland. Small group tours may be available on request – contact William Dunn at 410.396.3304 or william.dunn@mdcourts.gov for more information.

419295_382626811836418_781478833_nIn 1885, Baltimore City set out to build the most beautiful Courthouse in the country. Fifteen years, and $2.2 million later ($56 million adjusted for inflation), that goal was realized. On January 6, 1900, the Baltimore Sun reported that the City of Baltimore had built a “temple of justice, second to no other in the world.” The building, which is a magnificent exemplification of Renaissance Revival architecture, continues to stand as a monument to the progress of the great city of Baltimore, and to the importance of the rule of law.

Today, this main building in the Baltimore City Circuit Court complex is referred to as the Clarence M. Mitchell, Jr. Courthouse in honor of the local lawyer and nationally respected civil rights leader. Most of the original splendor of this massive building can still be enjoyed, including the granite foundation, marble facades, huge brass doors, mosaic tiled floors, mahogany paneling, two of the world’s most beautiful courtrooms, domed art skylights, gigantic marble columns, and beautifully painted murals. In addition, the Courthouse is home to one of the oldest private law libraries in the country, and to the Museum of Baltimore Legal History.

Library of Congress, LC-D4-16517
Library of Congress, LC-D4-16517

The exterior foundation of the Clarence M. Mitchell, Jr. Courthouse was built from granite quarried in Howard County, while the exterior walls are crafted from white marble quarried in Baltimore County. The Calvert Street exterior façade is especially outstanding, as it displays eight of the largest monolithic columns in the world, each weighing over 35 tons and measuring over 35 feet in height. The interior of the building is even more impressive. Among the many historic spaces, the Supreme Bench Courtroom is one of the finest. The circular courtroom is like no other in the world. It is surmounted by a coffered dome resting upon sixteen columns of Sienna marble from the Vatican Quarry in Rome. Inscribed upon the frieze around the base of the dome are the names of Maryland’s early legal legends.

Other fascinating rooms include the Old Orphans Courtroom (which houses the Museum of Baltimore Legal History); the Ceremonial Courtroom, and the Bar Library (described as one of the most elegant interior spaces in Baltimore, with its paneled English oak walls and barrel-vault ceiling punctuated by forty art glass skylights).

MSA SC 5590
Washington Surrenders His Commission, MSA SC 5590

Also noteworthy for its artistic beauty are the two domed stained-glass skylights above the stairs in Kaplan Court which depict the goddesses of Justice, Mercy, Religion, Truth, Courage, Literature, Logic and Peace. In addition, the courthouse has six original murals from world renowned artists depicting various civic and religious scenes. Those murals include: Calvert’s Treaty with the Indians; The Burning of the Peggy Stewart; Washington Surrenders His Commission; Religious Toleration; The Ancient Lawgivers; and The British Surrender at Yorktown.