Did you know that there are hundreds of lions peering down on unsuspecting pedestrians on Calvert Street, that a piece of the Berlin Wall is now embedded in a downtown church, and that an unexploded bomb from the War of 1812 is perched along the sidewalk on Redwood Street? There are even a pair of 15th century squirrels gathering nuts on a doorway that is an exact copy of a door at the Basilica di Sant’ Andrea in Mantua, Italy by 15th Century Renaissance father Leon Alberti.
Whether its every day for work or occasionally for jury duty, most of us walk the streets of downtown Baltimore without realizing the wealth of grotesques, carvings, and statuary that abounds throughout the core of downtown. With help from Baltimore historians Fred Shoken, Wayne Schaumburg, and Matthew Mosca, we’ve put together a tour to explore the architecture, serious and whimsical, and the wonderful history in our city center. From noble lions and hellish fiends, from neo-Egyptian sphinxes and squirrels of Renaissance Italy, we bet you’ll be as amazed as we were to learn about the veritable menagerie of wildlife downtown.
Please join us this Sunday as we host the first in our new Looking Up Downtown tour series. If you can’t join us this Sunday, we’ll be offering the tour on the first and third Sunday of each month from August through November. So grab your shopping bag for the Farmers’ Market and your walking shoes for the tour and get ready to be surprised at how much is going on downtown above our very heads.
Looking Up Downtown Walking Tour
Sunday, July 29, 9:30 am – 10:30 am
Baltimore Farmers’ Market – Meet at the southeast corner of the market (Gay Street and Saratoga Street) Tours ongoing every first and third Sunday from August through September.
$5 for adults. Children under 16 are free! RSVP online today!
Come out to Artscape this month and join us for a free walking tour on the history of the theaters, schools, factories and more that made North Avenue one of Baltimore’s most vibrant and creative neighborhoods decades before it ever became an arts district. We’re offering five identical tours from Friday through Sunday during the festival. Don’t forget to bring a bottle of water to beat the summer heat!
Today, Station North has a growing reputation as a hub for art, performance and design but it also boasts a long history of creativity in industry, arts & entertainment. In the first few decades of the 20th century, the inventor of the modern bottle cap built his factory on Guilford Avenue, entrepreneurs on Charles Street pushed the theater business in new directions, and the stately Polytechnic High School on North Avenue trained thousands of young engineers, draftsman and designers who helped to shape Baltimore’s industrial growth. Today, architects, entrepreneurs and educators are adapting these old buildings to new uses from artist studios to the city’s new Design High School. Join us as we explore stories from the past and present of the Station North Arts District on a one-hour walking tour past local landmarks and lesser known gems from the Parkway Theater to Penn Station!
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!
Beginning Memorial Day weekend, we are launching a brand-new series of Baltimore by Bike tours to highlight historic places in Baltimore. We are especially pleased that Dr. Ralph Brown, pediatrician, history lover, and founder of Monumental Bike Tours, has come out of tour retirement to lead many of our rolling sojourns this year. Our first tour – The Monuments of Baltimore – is this Sunday, May 27 for an affordable $10 or check out our free tour of West Baltimore Parks on National Trails Day, Saturday, June 2.
The Monuments of Baltimore
Sunday, May 27, 9:00 am to 12:00 pm RSVP today!$10 per person.
Meet in front of the Lee-Jackson statute across the street from the main entrance to the Baltimore Museum of Art. The tour will return before noon.
What better way to get into the spirit of Memorial Day than by learning about Baltimore’s great historic monuments? Peddle between major and minor landmarks with a full dose of history along the way from Dr. Ralph Brown.
Explore West Baltimore Parks
Saturday, June 2, 10:00 am to 12:00 pm RSVP today!Free!
Meet at the Francis Scott Key Monument – Eutaw Place and Lanvale Street.
West Baltimore’s unique landscape of parks and gardens feature everything from a monument to Francis Scott Key to innovative bioswales for sustainable stormwater management. The best way to get to know these local treasures? Hop on your bike and join us for a free National Trails Day ride through West Baltimore parks! Together with our partner Bikemore (a new citywide bike advocacy group), we’ll take an easy two-hour ride visiting over 10 small parks and gardens across west and southwest Baltimore.
Find more upcoming bike tours, including East Baltimore Bakeries by Bike on Saturday June 16 and West Baltimore Murals by Bike on Sunday, September 16 on our new Baltimore by Bike page!
Baltimore Heritage is teaming up with Read That City — a new book club for The City That Reads dedicated to reading non-fiction, novels and more about Baltimore and by Baltimoreans — to organize our latest Young Preservationist Happy Hour! Join us next Friday evening in Mt. Vernon to celebrate a few of the new books (and local authors) that will be featured at the CityLit Festival on Saturday, April 14.
Pick up a copy of Wicked Baltimore: Charm City and Scandal to peek into the darker corners of Baltimore’s past or check out From Animal House to Our House: A Love Story for a story of the challenges and rewards of a DIY rowhouse rehab. We’ll be joined by both authors of these two new Baltimore books — Lauren Silberman and Ron Tanner — for a informal opportunity to drink and chat about books, buildings and history with fellow Baltimore preservationists (and book lovers)!
The Brewers Art is located in a classy historic building in the heart of Mt. Vernon right on the Charm City Circulator Purple Route. With their affordable happy hour specials and a great selection of house beers, Brewer’s Art gets very crowded early in the evening so please come out early. Don’t forget to RSVP and have a chance to win free Behind the Scenes tour tickets next Friday!