History Landmarks in Baltimore

History Landmarks in Baltimore
While it is probably most famous for its crabs and as the home of the Orioles baseball team, Baltimore, Maryland, is one of the oldest cities in America. It is the kind of place where finding a building that pre-dates the U.S. Constitution is actually fairly easy. The city boasts a number of historic landmarks. Many of them lie in and around in the Inner Harbor area of downtown Baltimore and could be stuffed into a one-day trip.

Edgar Allan Poe

Edgar Allan Poe is one of the greatest figures in American literature, and he loved Baltimore. He moved there in 1829, and the city remained his home until his death in 1849. There are two monuments to Poe in Baltimore. The first is his grave. The current monument was dedicated in 1875 and sits in the small graveyard outside Westminster Hall, near the Inner Harbor area in downtown Baltimore.

The other site is Poe House, which is about five blocks away. It is a modest museum, and there are usually scheduled performances by an actor who impersonates Poe and reads from the author's work. Visitors should be aware, however, that the neighborhood around the Poe House has seen better days.

Westminster Hall
519 W. Fayette St.
Baltimore, Maryland 21201
(410) 706-2072

The Poe House
203 N. Amity St.
Baltimore, Maryland 21223
(410) 396-7932

Fort McHenry

This star-shaped artillery fort was built to protect the port of Baltimore, and its moment came in the War of 1812, when it was subjected to a 25-hour bombardment by the Royal Navy on Sept. 13, 1814. Francis Scott Key, who happened to be in Baltimore to negotiate the release of a prisoner being held by the British, witnessed the bombardment and penned "The Star-Spangled Banner," which later became the national anthem. Today, the fort is a historic monument and museum, with a good view of the Inner Harbor area.

Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine
2400 E. Fort Ave.
Baltimore, Maryland 21230-5393
(410) 962-4290

Historic Ships

There are two historic naval displays in Baltimore Inner Harbor. First is the USS Constellation, a sloop of war (light sailing warship) built in 1854. It was the last warship built for the U.S. Navy that was propelled by sails alone, and today the ship serves as a museum, with daily demonstrations of naval seamanship, such as turning the yards or firing the cannon.

The other exhibit is the Baltimore Maritime Museum. Visitors can go aboard a World War II era U.S. submarine, a Coast Guard cutter, a lightship (mobile, ship-based lighthouse) and an actual screw-pile lighthouse that was moved into the Inner Harbor.

The USS Constellation Museum
301 E. Pratt St.
Baltimore, Maryland 21202-3134
(410) 539-1797

Baltimore Maritime Museum
301 East Pratt Street
Baltimore, MD 21202
(410) 396-3453

Fells Point

Across the water from the Inner Harbor is Fells Point. A National Historic District that was founded by William Fell in 1763, the area developed into a ship yard and eventually turned into one of Baltimore's liveliest nightlife districts. The neighborhood's buildings are of predominately late-18th and early-19th century, making it a pleasant place to go for a stroll and then catch a bite to eat or go for a drink. Fans of the NBC television series "Homicide" and the HBO series "The Wire" should note that much of the on-location shooting for both programs took place in Fells Point.

Article Written By Edwin Thomas

Edwin Thomas has been writing since 1997. His work has appeared in various online publications, including The Black Table, Proboxing-Fans and others. A travel blogger, editor and writer, Thomas has traveled from Argentina to Vietnam in pursuit of stories. He holds a Master of Arts in international affairs from American University.

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