Ultimate Guide

Statues, Monuments and Murals

When Baltimore’s towering Washington Monument was built around 200 years ago, it’s construction was unprecedented in the newly formed United States and Baltimore earned the nickname “The Monumental City.” The city is now dotted with an impressive number of public works that honor the past, including many statues, memorials and murals.

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Babe’s Dream

Where: 33 W. Camden Street

Outside of Oriole Park at Camden Yards is a statue of Babe Ruth, who was born and raised in Baltimore. Bronze sculptures of six Orioles greats whose uniform numbers were retired by the ball club can be found behind the bullpens in left-center field. The statues are located in an area that is open to the public for free on non-game days.

Billie Holiday

Where: 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue

Billie Holiday was born in Philadelphia but spent her early childhood years in Baltimore City. This bronze statue of Lady Day is less than a block from the historic Royal Theater, the fabled performance hall where she performed with other jazz greats during the roaring ’20s.

Frederick Douglass

Where: South Caroline Street and Philpot Street

A large bust of abolitionist Frederick Douglass sits outside the Frederick Douglass-Isaac Myers Maritime Park. The park is on the site of the first African American-owned shipyard in the United States, where Douglass worked during his early years in Baltimore. Another Douglass monument is located on the campus of Morgan State University.

Edgar Allan Poe

Where: 1415 Maryland Avenue

The centerpiece of the University of Baltimore’s Gordon Plaza is this bronze statue of Edgar Allan Poe. The statue depicts a sitting Poe with his head slightly to the side and his hand raised, as if he is about to speak. Students often decorate this unofficial school mascot, who wears a cap and gown each year for graduation.

Thurgood Marshall

Where: Hopkins Place and West Pratt Street

In the Inner Harbor across from the Baltimore Convention Center and in front of the Maryland Court House is this statue of Thurgood Marshall, the first African American to serve on the Supreme Court. Marshall was a Baltimore native and Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport is named for him.

9/11 Memorial of Maryland

Where: 401 E. Pratt Street

In front of Baltimore’s World Trade Center are three twisted pieces of amalgamated steel, an artifact from the World Trade Center towers in New York City. Additional artifacts from the Twin Towers and the Pentagon, along with items from the Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, are part of the memorial’s accompanying exhibit at the Top of the World Observation Level on the 27th floor of the building.

The Battle Monument

Where: Battle Monument Square (Calvert Street between Fayette and Lexington streets)

This memorial between the two Baltimore City Circuit Courthouses commemorates the Battle of Baltimore and those who died during the month of September 1814 during the War of 1812. The 39-foot-tall monument is unusual because it has an Egyptian Revival centopath base that suggests a tomb. The names of soldiers who died during the battle are carved in a column, and griffins stand at each corner of the base.

Black Soldiers Statue at the War Memorial Plaza

Where: Corner of Holiday and Fayette streets (in front of Baltimore City Hall)

Designed by artist and Morgan State University professor James E. Lewis, this nine-foot bronze statue of a uniformed black soldier holding a wreathed scroll stands as a tribute to African American soldiers from every American military conflict. The scroll has a list of the years of U.S. military engagements in which black soldiers died from 1775 to 1970 (the statue was erected in 1971).

Francis Scott Key Monument

Where: Eutaw Place and W. Lanvale Street

This memorial in the Bolton Hill neighborhood depicts Francis Scott Key, the author of the “Star-Spangled Banner,” in a rowboat manned by another sailor as he hands his anthem to a gilded Lady America. The statue is one of two memorials in Baltimore dedicated to Key—the other is located at Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine.

National Katyn Memorial

Where: Aliceanna and President streets

Baltimore’s Polish-American community was instrumental in bringing this 56-foot monument and fountain to a Harbor East roundabout. It memorializes the 22,000 victims of the 1940 Katyn massacre, a series of mass executions of Polish nationals carried out by the Soviet secret police.

Pride of Baltimore Memorial

Where: Key Highway and South Shore Promenade at Rash Field

This tall ship’s mast on the southern side of the Inner Harbor is a memorial to the Pride of Baltimore, a ship that was lost at sea with four of its 12 crew on May 14, 1986. That ship was an authentic reproduction of a 19th-century Baltimore clipper that was commissioned by the City of Baltimore in 1975 as part of the city’s plan to revitalize the Inner Harbor. It had sailed more than 150,000 nautical miles during its nine years of service and capsized and sank when a windstorm struck just 250 nautical miles north of Puerto Rico.

Pulaski Memorial

Where: S. Linwood Avenue and Eastern Avenue

At the southeast corner of Patterson Park is this imposing, 20-foot rectangular marble and bronze monument that depicts the Polish Revolutionary War hero Casimir Pulaski. Pulaski joined the American War for Independence in 1777 and is considered the “Father of American Cavalry.” Fittingly, he is depicted on a horse shouting back to his soliders.

Washington Monument

Where: 699 Washington Place

The first major monument to honor George Washington is the centerpiece of Mount Vernon Place, a pretty urban park near the Walters Art Museum. After restoration by the Mount Vernon Place Conservancy, visitors can now climb 227 stairs to the top of the monument and take in views of the city. Around the holidays, the monument is draped in strands of lights and an annual lighting ceremony takes place on the first Thursday of December.

Open Walls Baltimore

Where: Station North Arts & Entertainment District

Thanks to local street artists Gaia, the walls in Station North Arts & Entertainment District are now an impressive outdoor gallery. He brought muralists from around the country and world to Baltimore to create 34 murals throughout the district in both 2012 and 2014. Murals range widely in size, type and subject. Get a preview of the murals on this Open Walls virtual photo tour.

Baltimore Love Project

Where: Citywide

Local artist Michael Owen set out on a personal mission to spread love across 20 walls in Baltimore. Each wall features a silhouette of hands spelling out L-O-V-E. All of the murals are identical, although they do range in size and color.

Baltimore Mural Program

Where: Citywide

The most widespread public art program is the Baltimore Mural Program which has been decorating walls across the city since 1975. More than 250 murals have been commissioned as part of the program, which is run by the Baltimore Office of Promotion and The Arts. The Baltimore Sun recently published a list of some highlights of the program, which dates back to 1987.

Graffiti Alley in Station North

Where: Alley near North Avenue and Howard streets

There isn’t a single brick in this L-shaped alley in Station North Arts & Entertainment District that isn’t covered with color. The alley is the only space in the city where street artists can legally create their work. Artists continually draw and tag the alley, so it is always changing.

Wall of Pride

Where: Carey and Cumberland streets

This colorful mural by local artists Pontella Mason celebrates the lives of African American freedom fighters and artists, including Malcolm X, Sojourner Truth, Paul Robeson and Langston Hughes. More than 20 well-known figures are depicted.

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