HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
            “Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
  Home  — My Markers  — Add A Marker  — Marker Series  — Links & Books  — Forum  — About Us
Baltimore, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Infusing Style and Sophistication:
The Influence of Maximilian Godefroy
 
Infusing Style and Sophistication: Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Christopher Busta-Peck, March 26, 2008
1. Infusing Style and Sophistication: Marker
 
Inscription. For its first 25 years, the burying ground remained a simple place characterized by plain grave markers. After 1810, tastes changed and First Presbyterian Church's leading public figures demanded the ornate.

The most dramatic change was a new entrance and imposing brick wall on Greene Street, completed by September 1815 at the enormous cost of more than $5000. The gates and flanking piers were designed in the Egyptian revival style by French emigre Maximilian Godefroy (1765-c.1840). The new entrance created a pronounced east-west corridor that was soon lined with impressive burial vaults.

For more information, see Robert L. Alexander's Architecture of Maximilian Godefroy (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1974).

[illustration]
Egyptian and Classical Motifs The symbols on Godefroy's gates "mourn the brevity of life and celebrate the eternity of the spirit" (Robert L. Alexander, 1974). The large flanking piers are carved sandstone, a soft sedimentary stone that is prone to damage as evidenced by its present condition.
Cavetto Cornice - Hollow or concave molding
Lekythoi - Greek, or lachmyral, urns, denoting grief
Inverted Torch - Inverted or extinguished torch symbolizing death
Winged Hour Glass - Symbols of time's swift flight

Entrance
 
Marker location Photo, Click for full size
By Christopher Busta-Peck, March 26, 2008
2. Marker location
 
to Westminster Cemetery Green [sic] Street
by Edward J. Wunder
From Maryland Institute...Announcement Schools of Art and Design 1914-1915
First & Franklin Street Presbyterian Church Archives

[painting]
Charming and Headstrong Maximilian Godefroy spent 15 productive years in Baltimore beginning in 1805. Godefroy, along with the British-born Benjamin H. Latrobe, designer of the Roman Catholic Cathedral, introduced a sophisticated classically inspired architecture to early Baltimore.

Maximilian Godefroy by Rembrandt Peale, oil on canvas, ca. 1815
Courtesy of the Maryland Commission on Artistic Property of the Maryland State Archives

[photograph]
Designer Vaults Several wealthy merchants hired Godefroy to design stylish burial vaults. His vaults for John O'Donnell, Cumberland Dugan and Robert and William Smith share similarities among their columns, doors, and details. Notice, too, Godefroy's use of slits in the masonry which allowed for air circulation, a system he also used in powder magazines at Fort McHenry.

Vaults (left-right): Dugan-Hollins, Robert and William Smith, O'Donnell
Photographs by Jennifer White, June 2006

An Indelible Stamp Godefroy produced a number of outstanding buildings that infused taste and sophistication into early Baltimore. They include
 
The Dugan-Hollins Vault Photo, Click for full size
By Christopher Busta-Peck
3. The Dugan-Hollins Vault
This vault, pictured on the marker, was designed by Godefroy.
 
St. Mary's Chapel (located nearby, off Greene Street), Battle Monument (Calvert and Fayette Sts.) and First Unitarian Church (Charles and Franklin Sts.)
 
Location. 39° 17.393′ N, 76° 37.413′ W. Marker is in Baltimore, Maryland. Marker can be reached from the intersection of West Fayette Street and North Greene Street. Click for map. Marker is on the grounds of Westminster Hall and Burying Ground. Marker is at or near this postal address: 519 West Fayette Street, Baltimore MD 21201, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 26 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Gilmors (here, next to this marker); The Carriage Gates of Westminster Burying Ground (here, next to this marker); Believe it or Not (a few steps from this marker); “…a truly affectionate wife” (a few steps from this marker); An 18th-Century Burying Ground (a few steps from this marker); James McHenry (a few steps from this marker); Bernard von Kapff (within shouting distance of this marker); Local Hero, National Leader (within shouting distance of this marker); James McHenry, M.D. (within shouting distance of this marker); Dugan-Hollins
 
The Greene Street gate, designed by Godefroy Photo, Click for full size
By Christopher Busta-Peck
4. The Greene Street gate, designed by Godefroy
 
Family Vault
(within shouting distance of this marker); A Swashbuckling Merchant (within shouting distance of this marker); Fame, Fortune and Financial Scandal (within shouting distance of this marker); A Monument to the Memory of Edgar Allan Poe (within shouting distance of this marker); A La Memorie D’Edgar Allan Poe (within shouting distance of this marker); Westminster Hall & Burying Ground: (within shouting distance of this marker); Poe's Baltimore (within shouting distance of this marker); John McDonogh (within shouting distance of this marker); The McDonoghs of Baltimore (within shouting distance of this marker); Westminster Church and Cemetery (within shouting distance of this marker); A Mother’s Grief (within shouting distance of this marker); Among Family: Poe’s Original Burial Place (within shouting distance of this marker); Original Burial Place of Edgar Allan Poe (within shouting distance of this marker); Monumental Lives (within shouting distance of this marker); A Beloved General (within shouting distance of this marker); The Sleep of Young Innocents (within shouting distance of this marker); Building Atop the Burying Ground (within shouting distance of this marker). Click for a list of all markers in Baltimore.
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on March 26, 2008, by Christopher Busta-Peck of Shaker Heights, Ohio. This page has been viewed 1,354 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on March 27, 2008, by Christopher Busta-Peck of Shaker Heights, Ohio.   4. submitted on March 30, 2008, by Christopher Busta-Peck of Shaker Heights, Ohio.
 
Recommend or Share This Page.  
Share on Tumblr


•••
More Search Options
 
Markers
Near You

 
Categories

 
States & Provinces

 
Counties
Click to List


 
Countries

Page composed
in 133 ms.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
To search within this page, hold down the Ctrl key and press F.
On an Apple computer,
hold down the Apple key and press F.