St. Mary’s Park, located in Seton Hill had an auspicious beginning. The land on which St. Mary’s Park sits was the original location of St. Mary’s Seminary. The Seminary was founded in 1791 by the Priests of the Society of St. Sulpice. St. Mary’s Seminary has the distinction of being the first Roman Catholic seminary in the United States. St. Mary’s was also the country’s first Roman Catholic institution to receive the status of a pontifical university in 1822.
The original campus was located on Pennsylvania Avenue near Paca Street in what is now the Seton Hill neighborhood of Baltimore City. The former One Mile Tavern housed the seminary for the first 87 years of its history. A larger and grander building was dedicated in 1878. The campus became known as Paca Street at this time because of the new building’s location. In 1929 the seminary opened a second campus in the Roland Park section of the city that housed the School of Theology. Paca Street served as the Philosophy House until 1969 when the decision was made to close the campus. Five years later, the seminary building and much of the surrounding property were transferred to the city of Baltimore and developed into a park.
St. Mary’s Park is located in the heart of the Seton Hill Historic District in Baltimore. It features the largest open green space in downtown Baltimore. The huge grassy areas and mature shade trees, and lovely nineteenth century row houses in the background make a beautiful back drop for any event. Located within the park is Mother Seton House, a spiritual landmark and former home of the first U.S.-born canonized saint of the Catholic Church.
St. Mary’s Park has become the home to the monthly BALTIMORE BIKE PARTY! The last Friday of the month join thousands of Baltimore “Bikers” who meet at the park, 6:30 pm, for a themed ride around Baltimore.
- Beautiful open green space
- Historical grounds