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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Baltimore, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Moving Up To Cathedral Hill: Three Centuries of Change

Mount Vernon Cultural Walk

 
 
Moving Up To Cathedral Hill: Three Centuries of Change Marker-Front side image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, May 21, 2017
1. Moving Up To Cathedral Hill: Three Centuries of Change Marker-Front side
Inscription. Saratoga Street marks your arrival at Cathedral Hill, a neighborhood packed with three centuries of architecture. In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, Baltimoreans built some of their finest mansions and churches on Cathedral Hill. Todayís St. Paul Episcopal Church, located across Charles Street, was the fourth church structure built on the congregationís original site. St. Paulís Rectory, located a block west on Saratoga Street, served St. Paulís clergy form 1791 to 1990. The town homes of Johns Hopkins (1795-1873), founder of Johns Hopkins University, and A.S. Abell (1806-1888), founder of the Baltimore Sun, flanked St. Paulís Rectory in the 1850s, making this block one of the most prestigious addresses in Baltimore.

During the late 19th century, social and fraternal organizations moved into the area. The Masonic Temple, directly south of St. Paulís Church, was constructed in 1869 and remodeled in 1890, 1908, and 2005 as the Tremont Grand. Directly north of this sign, the YMCA building was built in 1872-1873, remodeled into offices in 1920, and converted into loft-style apartments in 2001. In 1892, the Odd Fellows built their Ďclubhouseí directly west of St. Paulís Rectory, a building now renovated into offices.

On Cathedral Hill, Charles Street narrows, marking the northern edge of the 1904 fire. Many businesses,

Moving Up To Cathedral Hill: Three Centuries of Change Marker-Reverse side image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, May 21, 2017
2. Moving Up To Cathedral Hill: Three Centuries of Change Marker-Reverse side
looking to reopen after the fire, relocated to Cathedral Hill and renovated old mansions or built new buildings. Charles Street became a posh retail street that was dubbed the “Fifth Avenue of the South.” Specialty retailers, along with religious and cultural institutions, fraternal organizations, professional offices, clubs, and a rich architectural setting, made Charles Street a favorite spot for Baltimoreans to parade, socialize, and be seen.

(Inscription under the image at the top left)
An 1801 image of the rectory of St. Paulís Episcopal Church (on the left) and St. Peterís Roman Catholic Church (on the right). St. Peterís, built in 1770, was the first Catholic Church in Baltimore and stood on the site until 1841.

(Inscriptions below the images on the right)
(Image 1) The town home of A.S. Abell, once located directly west of St. Paulís Rectory, was built around 1825 and demolished in 1883 when Cathedral Street was extended from Saratoga to Mulberry Street.

(Image 2) Johns Hopkins bought this 1830s-era house in 1851. When Hopkins died in the house in 1873, he bequeathed seven million dollars to create a university and hospital.

(Image 3) Once located directly across Saratoga Street from St. Paulís Rectory, the Rennert Hotel was built in 1885 and demolished in 1941. H.L. Mencken (1886-1956) ate oysters and drank beer in the hotelís

Moving Up To Cathedral Hill: Three Centuries of Change Marker-Background image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, May 21, 2017
3. Moving Up To Cathedral Hill: Three Centuries of Change Marker-Background
The old YMCA building is in the background and a 7-11 store is on the first floor.
restaurant and bar, and political boss John J. (Sonny) Mahon (1849-1928) gave orders to his lieutenants from a plush couch in the hotelís lobby. Baltimoreís own hard-boiled detective novelist Dashiell Hammett (1894-1961 used the hotel for a scene of battle between political bosses in his 1931 novel The Glass Key.

(Image 4) At the north corner of Charles and Saratoga Streets, the still standing YMCA building is depicted with its Victorian-era towers in this 1890 illustration. The towers were removed in the early 20th century. Baltimoreans had built the nationí first YMCA in 1859, several blocks west of this site.

(Image 5) Mid-1930s image of North Charles Street just north of Saratoga Street. Robert Grier Cooke, president of the Fifth Avenue Association of New York, said that “Charles Street is not only a source of pride of the whole city, but of the world at large
 
Location. 39° 17.536′ N, 76° 36.935′ W. Marker is in Baltimore, Maryland. Marker is at the intersection of Saratoga Street and North Charles Street on Saratoga Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Baltimore MD 21201, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Downtown (a few steps from this marker); Old St. Paul's (within shouting distance

Moving Up To Cathedral Hill: Three Centuries of Change Marker-Background image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, May 21, 2017
4. Moving Up To Cathedral Hill: Three Centuries of Change Marker-Background
of this marker); Brownís Arcade (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Rectory of Old St. Paulís Parish (about 400 feet away); Charles Center & One Charles Center (about 500 feet away); Mayor Thomas D'Alesandro, Jr. (about 500 feet away); Women's Industrial Exchange (about 500 feet away); To Commemorate the Inauguration of a Chemical Industry in America (about 600 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Baltimore.
 
Categories. Industry & Commerce
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on May 31, 2017. This page originally submitted on May 29, 2017, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. This page has been viewed 50 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on May 29, 2017, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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