Enoch Pratt Free Library
In 1882, the merchant Enoch Pratt, wishing to make a gift to his adopted city which would benefit all of her citizens, gave Baltimore $1,058,000 to establish a public library.
The original building fronted on Mulberry Street. Designed by the Baltimore architect Charles Carson, it opened in 1886. By the late 1920's, the patrons and volumes had outgrown the building. The present structure, completed in 1933, represented a major departure from the tradition of building libraries with monumental entrances atop long, intimidating flights of stairs. The building was designed by Clyde and Nelson Friz with consulting architects E.L. Tilton and A.M. Githens under the supervision of the Library Director Joseph Wheeler. Wheeler envisioned the library as a publicly owned "department store business" in which taxpayers invested money and from which they expected a return. To make the library approachable and inviting, the building was designed with a street-level entrance and twelve display windows with exhibits the passing public can see at a glance.
The design of the Pratt has been borrowed extensively in this country and abroad.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Architecture • Charity & Public Work • Education. In addition, it is included in the Maryland, Baltimore City historical markers series list.
Location. This marker has been replaced by another marker nearby. It was located near 39° 17.668′ N, 76° 37.019′ W. Marker was in Downtown in Baltimore, Maryland. Marker was on Cathedral Street just north of West Mulberry Street. Touch for map. Marker was at or near this postal address: 38 W Mulberry St, Baltimore MD 21201, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this location. A different marker also named Enoch Pratt Free Library (here, next to this marker); Creating an American Culture: The Golden Age of Baltimore (within shouting distance of this marker); Basilica of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (within shouting distance of this marker); The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (within shouting distance of this marker); Expanding the American Intellect: Icons and Iconoclasts (within shouting distance of this marker); James Cardinal Gibbons Monument (within shouting distance of this marker); The Latrobe House (within shouting distance of this marker); Pope John Paul II Monument (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Downtown.
Related marker. Click here for another marker that is related to this marker. This marker has been replaced with the linked marker.
Credits. This page was last revised on February 15, 2021. It was originally submitted on February 15, 2021, by Christopher Busta-Peck of Shaker Heights, Ohio. This page has been viewed 33 times since then. Photo 1. submitted on February 20, 2008, by Christopher Busta-Peck of Shaker Heights, Ohio. • Devry Becker Jones was the editor who published this page.
Editor’s want-list for this marker. A wide shot of the original marker in context. • Can you help?