Patterson Park to Highlandtown Professional Review and Guide
"Patterson Park is an urban oasis of 137 acres and is known as “Baltimore’s Best Backyard.” Its birth as a park almost 200 years ago (1827) was already a little late in coming: the earliest colonial residents had begun setting down roots there in 1669. And in between, it served an integral role in the defense of the nation. During the War of 1812, as the British were burning the Capitol and bombarding Fort McHenry, some 20,000 troops and 100 cannons arrayed on Patterson Park’s Hampstead Hill repelled advancing British soldiers who took one look at the impressive martial display and retreated to their ships in the harbor, thus halting further inland incursions. Even after its founding as a park, Patterson Park served as a fortification yet again, during the Civil War. After more tough times in the 1980s and early 1990s—earning a reputation as a center of drug activity—Patterson Park has blossomed once again into the true recreation center it was designed to be in the early 19th century. Today, it’s all swimming, fishing, soccer, festivals, dog walkers, baby strollers, and myriad ethnicities enjoying this promised green space. This walk begins in Patterson Park and takes in neighboring Highlandtown, a neighborhood that has always been—and continues to be—a first stop for waves of immigrants to the United States. Plus, it has Frank Zappa; more on that later."