About Mount Vernon

Mount Vernon’s Rich History

 

Early in the 19th century, John Eager Howard and his heirs donated land north of city-center, and this highest point in Baltimore became the site of the first memorial to George Washington. The Washington Monument, located in what has come to be known as Mount Vernon Place, in honor of George Washington’s estate in Virginia, is generally regarded as one of the most beautiful urban sites in the world.

 

Between 1800 and 1900, Mount Vernon was at the center of Baltimore's transformation from an insignificant harbor city to a place of prominence and wealth. This was the time when fortunes were made and great philanthropies bestowed. During the neighborhood's early history, wealthy residents including Henry and William Walters, Robert Garrett, Arunah S. Abell, and Theodore Marburg commissioned well-known architects such as Stanford White, John Russell Pope, Niernsee & Neilson, Dixon & Carson, Baldwin & Pennington, Wilson & Wilson, and Wyatt & Sperry to build the grand buildings and monuments that continue to grace our neighborhood today.

 

In addition to serving as home to prominent Baltimoreans, Mount Vernon was chosen as the site for major cultural institutions. The legacies of influential people such as George Peabody, Henry and William Walters, and Enoch Pratt continue on as the Peabody Conservatory, the Walters Art Museum, and the Enoch Pratt Free Library.

 

Mount Vernon also has the distinction of being home to the first memorial erected in the United States to honor our nation's first President and Commander-in-Chief, George Washington. In 1809, ten years after his death, the citizens of Baltimore petitioned the Maryland General Assembly for the right to raise the money to build the monument. Completed in 1829, this marble monument is one of the architectural glories of Baltimore’s Mount Vernon neighborhood. For more details on the architecture of the monument, please click here.

 

Most of the original Mount Vernon buildings remain today, but their functions have changed. For example, the home of Henry and William Walters at 5 W. Mount Vernon Place now serves as offices for the Walters Art Museum; the Garrett-Jacobs Mansion is now the home of the Engineers Club; and the Jencks-Gladding house now holds the Asian art collection of the Walters Art Museum. The rejuvenation of the many historic and architecturally significant buildings has enabled Mount Vernon to remain not only a diverse residential neighborhood, but also a cultural center and restaurant district.

 

Take a stroll in Mount Vernon, the heart and soul of Baltimore, and discover its rich history! For those interested in taking a tour, click here.



Mt. Vernon Belvedere Association

1 East Chase Street #2

Baltimore, Md 21202

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