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Baltimore, Maryland
Independent city
City of Baltimore
Downtown Baltimore, Emerson Bromo-Seltzer Tower, Pennsylvania Station, M&T Bank Stadium, Inner Harbor and the National Aquarium in Baltimore, Baltimore City Hall, Washington Monument
Downtown Baltimore, Emerson Bromo-Seltzer Tower, Pennsylvania Station, M&T Bank Stadium, Inner Harbor and the National Aquarium in Baltimore, Baltimore City Hall, Washington Monument
Flag of Baltimore, Maryland
Flag
Official seal of Baltimore, Maryland
Seal
Nickname(s): Charm City,
Motto: "The Greatest City in America", "Get in on it.", "Believe"
Location in the state of Maryland
Location in the state of Maryland
Country  United States of America
State  Maryland
City Flag of Baltimore, Maryland.svg Baltimore
Historic colony British-Red-Ensign-1707.svg Province of Maryland
County None (Independent city)
Founded 1729
Incorporated 1796–1797
Independent city 1851
Named for Cecil Calvert, 2nd Baron Baltimore, (1605–1675)
Area
 • Independent city 92.1 sq mi (239 km2)
 • Land 80.9 sq mi (210 km2)
 • Water 11.1 sq mi (29 km2)  12.1%
Elevation 0–480 ft (0–150 m)
Population (2010)
 • Independent city 620,961
 • Estimate (2015) 621,849
 • Density 7,671.5/sq mi (2,962.0/km2)
 • Urban 2,203,663 (US: 19th)
 • Metro 2,797,407 (US: 21st)
 • CSA 9,625,360 (US: 4th)
 • Demonym Baltimorean
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP Codes
Area code(s) 410, 443, 667
FIPS code 24-04000
GNIS feature ID 0597040
Website City of Baltimore

Baltimore (/ˈbɔːltˌmɔːr/, locally: IPA: [ˈbɔɫ.mɔɻ]) is the largest city in the U.S. state of Maryland, and the 29th-most populous city in the country. It was established by the Constitution of Maryland and is not part of any county; thus, it is the largest independent city in the United States, with a population of 621,849 as of 2015. As of 2010, the population of the Baltimore Metropolitan Area was 2.7 million, making it the 21st largest in the country.

Founded in 1729, Baltimore is the second largest seaport in the Mid-Atlantic. Baltimore's Inner Harbor was once the second leading port of entry for immigrants to the United States and a major manufacturing center. After a decline in major manufacturing, industrialization and rail transportation, Baltimore shifted to a service-oriented economy, with the Johns Hopkins Hospital (founded 1889), and Johns Hopkins University (founded 1876), now the city's top two employers.

With hundreds of identified districts, Baltimore has been dubbed "a city of neighborhoods". Famous residents have included the writers Edgar Allan Poe, Edith Hamilton, Frederick Douglass, and H.L. Mencken; jazz musician James "Eubie" Blake; singer Billie Holiday; actor and filmmaker John Waters; and baseball player Babe Ruth. In the War of 1812, Francis Scott Key wrote The Star-Spangled Banner, later the American national anthem, in Baltimore. Baltimore has more public monuments per capita than any other city in the country and is home to some of the earliest National Register historic districts in the nation, including Fell's Point (1969), Federal Hill (1970) and Mount Vernon Place (1971). More than 65,000 properties, or roughly one in three buildings in the city, are listed on the National Register, more than any other city in the nation.

History

See also: History of Baltimore and Timeline of Baltimore

The city has 289 properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The historical records of the government of Baltimore are located at the Baltimore City Archives.

Etymology

The city is named after Cecil Calvert, second Lord Baltimore, (1605–1675), of the Irish House of Lords and founding proprietor of the Province of Maryland. Baltimore Manor was the name of the estate in County Longford on which the Calvert family lived in Ireland. Baltimore is an anglicization of the Irish name Baile an Tí Mhóir, meaning "town of the big house."

17th century

In 1608, Captain John Smith traveled 210 miles from Jamestown to the uppermost Chesapeake Bay, leading the first European expedition to the Patapsco River. The name "Patapsco" is derived from pota-psk-ut, which translates to "backwater" or "tide covered with froth" in Algonquian dialect. A quarter century after John Smith's voyage, English colonists began to settle in Maryland. The area constituting the modern City of Baltimore and its metropolitan area was first settled by David Jones in 1661. He claimed the area known today as Harbor East on the east bank of the Jones Falls stream, which flows south into Baltimore's Inner Harbor.

In the early 1600s, the immediate Baltimore vicinity was sparsely populated, if at all, by Native Americans. The Baltimore County area northward was used as hunting grounds by the Susquehannocks living in the lower Susquehanna River valley who "controlled all of the upper tributaries of the Chesapeake" but "refrained from much contact with Powhatan in the Potomac region." Pressured by the Susquehannocks, the Piscataway tribe of Algonquians stayed well south of the Baltimore area and inhabited primarily the north bank of the Potomac River in what is now Charles and southern Prince George's south of the Fall Line. The Baltimore area had been inhabited by Native Americans since at least the 10th millennium BC, when Paleo-Indians first settled in the region. One Paleo-Indian site and several Archaic period and Woodland period archaeological sites have been identified in Baltimore, including four from the Late Woodland period. During the Late Woodland period, the archaeological culture that is called the "Potomac Creek complex" resided in the area from Baltimore to the Rappahannock River in Virginia.

The current Baltimore on the Patapsco River was established in 1729, but an earlier Baltimore existed on the Bush River as early as 1674, The first county seat of Baltimore County is known today as "Old Baltimore". It was located on the Bush River on land that in 1773 became part of Harford County. In 1674, the General Assembly passed "An Act for erecting [sic] a Court-house and Prison in each County within this Province." The site of the court house and jail for Baltimore County was evidently "Old Baltimore" near the Bush River. We know this because in 1683, the General Assembly passed "An Act for Advancement of Trade" to "establish towns, ports, and places of trade, within the province." One of the towns established by the act in Baltimore County was "on Bush River, on Town Land, near the Court-House." The court house on the Bush River referenced in the 1683 Act was in all likelihood the one created by the 1674 Act. "Old Baltimore" was in existence as early as 1674, but we don't know with certainty what if anything happened on the site prior to that year. The exact location of Old Baltimore was lost for years. It was certain that the location was somewhere on the site of the present-day Aberdeen Proving Grounds (APG), a U.S. Army testing facility. APG's Cultural Resource Management Program took up the task of finding Old Baltimore. The firm of R. Christopher Goodwin & Associates (Goodwin) was contracted for the project. After Goodwin first performed historical and archival work, they coordinated their work with existing landscape features to locate the site of Old Baltimore. APG's Explosive Ordnance Disposal personnel went in with Goodwin to defuse any unexploded ordnance. The field team worked from fall 1997 through winter 1998. The team dug 420 test pits, and they uncovered several artifacts...."

18th and 19th centuries

The colonial General Assembly of Maryland created the Port of Baltimore at old Whetstone Point (now Locust Point) in 1706 for the tobacco trade. The Town of Baltimore was founded and laid out shortly thereafter on July 30, 1729, and is named after Lord Baltimore (Cecilius Calvert), who was the first Proprietary Governor of the Province of Maryland. Cecilius Calvert was the oldest son of Sir George Calvert, (1579–1632), who became the First Lord Baltimore of County Longford, Ireland in 1625. Previously, he had been a loyal agent of King Charles I of England (1600–1649) as his Secretary of State until declaring himself a follower of Roman Catholicism. Regardless, the King still gave his heir Cecil the 1632 grant for the Maryland colony. The colony was a followup to his earlier settlement in Newfoundland, known as "Acadia" or "Avalon", (future Canada), which he found too cold and difficult for habitation.

Baltimore in 1752
Baltimore Town in 1752, (at "The Basin")

Baltimore grew swiftly in the 18th Century as a granary for sugar-producing colonies in the Caribbean. The profit from sugar encouraged the cultivation of cane and the importation of food. It was also during this time when Baltimore saw the establishment of its public market system in 1763. Lexington Market, founded in 1782, continues to be known as one of the oldest continuously operating public markets in the United States today. Other firsts include: the first Post Office System in the United States (inaugurated in 1774) and the first water company chartered in the United States (Baltimore Water Company, 1792).

Baltimore played a key part in events leading to and including the American Revolution. City leaders such as Jonathan Plowman Jr. moved the city to join the resistance to British taxes, and merchants signed agreements to not trade with Britain. The Second Continental Congress met in the Henry Fite House from December 1776 to February 1777, effectively making the city the capital of the United States during this period.

After the Revolutionary war, the Town of Baltimore, nearby Jonestown, and an area known as Fells Point were incorporated as the City of Baltimore in 1796–1797. The city remained a part of surrounding Baltimore County, where it had also served as the "county seat" since 1768, until 1851 when it was made an independent city, with the same status in state government as the other 23 counties of Maryland.

The city was the site of the Battle of Baltimore during the War of 1812. After burning Washington, D.C., the British attacked Baltimore outside the eastern outskirts of town on the "Patapsco Neck" on September 12, at the Battle of North Point, then on the night of September 13–14, 1814. United States forces from Fort McHenry successfully defended the city's harbor from the British. Francis Scott Key, (1779–1843), a Maryland lawyer from Georgetown and Frederick, was aboard a British ship where he had been negotiating for the release of an American prisoner, Dr. William Beanes.

Harpers 8 11 1877 6th Regiment Fighting Baltimore
Sixth Regiment fighting railroad strikers, July 20, 1877

Key witnessed the bombardment from this ship and after seeing the huge American flag on the morning of September 14, 1814, he wrote "The Star-Spangled Banner", a poem recounting the attack. Key's poem was set to a 1780 tune by British composer John Stafford Smith, and "The Star-Spangled Banner" became the official national anthem of the United States in 1931.

Balt Battle Monument 1a
The Battle Monument commemorates the Battle of Baltimore. This monument is the official emblem of the City of Baltimore.

Following the Battle of Baltimore, the city's population grew rapidly and was the first American city to illuminate its streets with hydrogen gas in 1816. The construction of the federally funded National Road (which later became part of U.S. Route 40) and the private Baltimore and Ohio Railroad (B. & O.) made Baltimore a major shipping and manufacturing center by linking the city with major markets in the Midwest. A distinctive local culture started to take shape, and a unique skyline peppered with churches and monuments developed. Baltimore acquired its moniker "The Monumental City" after an 1827 visit to Baltimore by President John Quincy Adams. At an evening function Adams gave the following toast: "Baltimore: the Monumental City—May the days of her safety be as prosperous and happy, as the days of her dangers have been trying and triumphant." Baltimore suffered one of the worst riots of the antebellum South in 1835, when bad investments led to the Baltimore bank riot. Soon after the city pioneered in creating the world's first dental college the Baltimore College of Dental Surgery in 1840, and sharing Samuel Morse's invention of the world's first telegraph line between Baltimore and Washington DC in 1844.

Maryland remained part of the Union during the American Civil War despite being a slave state, in addition to popular support for secession in its southern and eastern regions, along with Baltimore, all of which benefited greatly from both the tobacco and slave trades. When Union soldiers from the Sixth Massachusetts state militia and some unarmed Pennsylvania state militia known as the "Washington Brigade" from Philadelphia with their band marched through the city at the start of the war, Confederate sympathizers attacked the troops, which led to the first bloodshed in the Civil War during the Baltimore riot of 1861. Four soldiers and twelve civilians were killed during the riot, which caused Union troops to later occupy Baltimore in May under Gen. Benjamin F. Butler of Massachusetts. Maryland came under direct federal administration—in part, to prevent the state from seceding—until the end of the war in April 1865.

In the midst of the Long Depression, which followed the Panic of 1873, the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad company attempted to lower its workers' wages, leading to strikes and riots in Baltimore, as part of the Great Railroad Strike of 1877. On July 20, 1877, Maryland Governor John Lee Carroll called up the 5th and 6th Regiments of the National Guard to end the strikes, which had disrupted train service at Cumberland in western Maryland. Citizens sympathetic to the railroad workers attacked the National Guard troops as they marched from their armories in Baltimore to Camden Station. Soldiers from the 6th Regiment fired on the crowd, killing 10 and wounding 25. Rioters then damaged B&O trains and burned portions of the rail station. Order was restored in the city on July 21–22 when federal troops arrived to protect railroad property and end the strike.

20th century

Baltimore Fire 1904 - West from Pratt and Gay Streets 3a
The Great Baltimore Fire of 1904, looking west from Pratt and Gay streets

On February 7, 1904, the Great Baltimore Fire destroyed over 1,500 buildings in 30 hours, leaving more than 70 blocks of the downtown area burned to the ground. Damages were estimated at $150 million—in 1904 dollars. As the city rebuilt during the next two years, lessons learned from the fire led to improvements in firefighting equipment standards.

The city grew in area by annexing new suburbs from the surrounding counties, the last being in 1918, when the city acquired portions of Baltimore County and Anne Arundel County. A state constitutional amendment, approved in 1948, required a special vote of the citizens in any proposed annexation area, effectively preventing any future expansion of the city's boundaries.

The relative size of the city's black population grew from 23.8% in 1950 to 46.4% in 1970. The Baltimore riot of 1968 occurred following the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. in Memphis, Tennessee, on April 4, 1968. Coinciding with riots in other cities, public order was not restored until April 12, 1968. The Baltimore riot cost the city of Baltimore an estimated $10 million (US$ 61 million in 2019). A total of 11,000 Maryland National Guard and federal troops were ordered into the city.

Lasting effects of the riot can be seen on the streets of North Avenue, Howard Street, Gay Street, and Pennsylvania Avenue, where long stretches of the streets remain barren. The city experienced challenges again in 1974 when teachers, municipal workers, and police officers conducted strikes.

By the beginning of the 1970s, Baltimore's downtown area known as the Inner Harbor had been neglected and was occupied by a collection of abandoned warehouses. The nickname "Charm City" came from a 1975 meeting of advertisers seeking to improve the city's reputation. Efforts to redevelop the area started with the construction of the Maryland Science Center, which opened in 1976, the Baltimore World Trade Center (1977), and the Baltimore Convention Center (1979). Harborplace, an urban retail and restaurant complex, opened on the waterfront in 1980, followed by the National Aquarium, Maryland's largest tourist destination, and the Baltimore Museum of Industry in 1981. During the epidemic of HIV/AIDS in the United States, Baltimore City Health Department official Robert Mehl persuaded the city's mayor to form a committee to address food problems; the Baltimore-based charity Moveable Feast grew out of this initiative in 1990. By 2010, the organization's region of service had expanded from merely Baltimore to include all of the Eastern Shore of Maryland. In 1992, the Baltimore Orioles baseball team moved from Memorial Stadium to Oriole Park at Camden Yards, located downtown near the harbor. Pope John Paul II held an open-air mass at Camden Yards during his papal visit to the United States in October 1995. Three years later the Baltimore Ravens football team moved into M&T Bank Stadium next to Camden Yards.

21st century

In January 2004, the historic Hippodrome Theatre reopened after significant renovation as part of the France-Merrick Performing Arts Center. The Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture opened in 2005 on the northeast corner of President Street and East Pratt Street, and the National Slavic Museum in Fell's Point was established in 2012. On April 12, 2012, Johns Hopkins held a dedication ceremony to mark the completion of one of the United States' largest medical complexes – the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore – which features the Sheikh Zayed Cardiovascular and Critical Care Tower and The Charlotte R. Bloomberg Children's Center. The event, held at the entrance to the $1.1 billion 1.6 million-square-foot-facility, honored the many donors including Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, first president of the United Arab Emirates, and Michael Bloomberg.

Maryland's Star-Spangled 200 celebration, launched as the "Star-Spangled Sailabration" and crescendo "Star-Spangled Spectacular" festivals, was a three-year commemoration of the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812 and the penning of The Star-Spangled Banner. The Star-Spangled Sailabration festival brought a total of 45 tall ships, naval vessels and others from the US, United Kingdom, Canada, Colombia, Brazil, Ecuador, and Mexico to Baltimore's Harbor. The event, held June 13–19, 2012, was the week encompassing Flag Day and the 200th anniversary of the Declaration of War. The Star-Spangled Spectacular was a 10-day free festival that celebrated the 200th anniversary of the United States National Anthem from September 6–16, 2014. More than 30 naval vessels and tall ships from the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Norway, Germany, Spain and Turkey berthed at the Inner Harbor, Fell's Point and North Locust Point. An air show from the Navy's Flight Demonstration Team, the Blue Angels performed during both festivals. Special guests such as President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus, were in attendance at Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine. During the course of the Star-Spangled 200 celebration the city was showcased on three separate live television broadcasts. Visit Baltimore CEO, Tom Noonan, was quoted in the Baltimore Sun as calling the Spectacular, "the largest tourism event in our city's history." Over a million people visited Baltimore during both festivals.

Following the Death of Freddie Gray in April 2015, the city experienced major protests and international media attention, which resulted in a temporary curfew being enforced, as well as a drastic rise in murders. On September 19, 2016 the Baltimore City Council approved a $660 million bond deal for the $5.5 billion Port Covington redevelopment project championed by Under Armour founder Kevin Plank and his real estate company Sagamore Development. Port Covington surpassed the Harbor Point development as the largest tax-increment financing deal in Baltimore's history and it's among the largest urban redevelopment projects in the country. The waterfront development that includes the new headquarters for Under Armour, as well as shops, housing, offices, and manufacturing spaces is projected to create 26,500 permanent jobs with a $4.3 billion annual economic impact. In an open letter Plank refers to the turbulent history in Baltimore's economic development and civic life as "forks in the road." He concludes by saying "we saw one of those great forks in the road, and chose the best course" with Port Covington. Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake led the signing of three bills that commit the city to the sale of bonds over the next 15 to 20 years to fund the infrastructure for the Port Covington development on September 28, 2016.

Geography

Baltimore is in north-central Maryland on the Patapsco River close to where it empties into the Chesapeake Bay. The city is also located on the fall line between the Piedmont Plateau and the Atlantic Coastal Plain, which divides Baltimore into "lower city" and "upper city". The city's elevation ranges from sea level at the harbor to 480 feet (150 m) in the northwest corner near Pimlico.

According to the 2010 Census, the city has a total area of 92.1 square miles (239 km2), of which 80.9 sq mi (210 km2) is land and 11.1 sq mi (29 km2) is water. The total area is 12.1 percent water.

Baltimore is almost completely surrounded by Baltimore County, but is politically independent of it. It is bordered by Anne Arundel County to the south.

Cityscape

Panoramic view of Baltimore along the Inner and Outer Harbor at dusk, as seen from the HarborView Condominium.

Architecture

Baltimore exhibits examples from each period of architecture over more than two centuries, and work from many famous architects such as Benjamin Latrobe, George A. Frederick, John Russell Pope, Mies van der Rohe and I. M. Pei.

The city is rich in architecturally significant buildings in a variety of styles. The Baltimore Basilica (1806–1821) is a neoclassical design by Benjamin Latrobe, and also the oldest Catholic cathedral in the United States. In 1813 Robert Cary Long, Sr., built for Rembrandt Peale the first substantial structure in the United States designed expressly as a museum. Restored, it is now the Municipal Museum of Baltimore, or popularly the Peale Museum.

The McKim Free School was founded and endowed by John McKim, although the building was erected by his son Isaac in 1822 after a design by William Howard and William Small. It reflects the popular interest in Greece when the nation was securing its independence, as well as a scholarly interest in recently published drawings of Athenian antiquities.

The Phoenix Shot Tower (1828), at 234.25 feet (71.40 m) tall, was the tallest building in the United States until the time of the Civil War. It was constructed without the use of exterior scaffolding. The Sun Iron Building, designed by R.C. Hatfield in 1851, was the city's first iron-front building and was a model for a whole generation of downtown buildings. Brown Memorial Presbyterian Church, built in 1870 in memory of financier George Brown, has stained glass windows by Louis Comfort Tiffany and has been called "one of the most significant buildings in this city, a treasure of art and architecture" by Baltimore Magazine.

The 1845 Greek Revival-style Lloyd Street Synagogue is one of the oldest synagogues in the United States. The Johns Hopkins Hospital, designed by Lt. Col. John S. Billings in 1876, was a considerable achievement for its day in functional arrangement and fireproofing.

I.M. Pei's World Trade Center (1977) is the tallest equilateral pentagonal building in the world at 405 feet (123 m) tall.

The Inner Harbor East area has seen the addition of two new towers which have completed construction: a 24-floor tower that is the new world headquarters of Legg Mason, and a 21-floor Four Seasons Hotel complex.

The streets of Baltimore are organized in a grid pattern, lined with tens of thousands of brick and formstone-faced rowhouses. In The Baltimore Rowhouse, Mary Ellen Hayward and Charles Belfoure considered the rowhouse as the architectural form defining Baltimore as "perhaps no other American city." In the mid-1790s, developers began building entire neighborhoods of the British-style rowhouses, which became the dominant house type of the city early in the 19th century.

Formstone facings, now a common feature on Baltimore rowhouses, were an addition patented in 1937 by Albert Knight. John Waters characterized formstone as "the polyester of brick" in a 30-minute documentary film, Little Castles: A Formstone Phenomenon.

Oriole Park at Camden Yards is considered by many to be the most beautiful baseball park in Major League Baseball, and has inspired many other cities to build their own versions of this retro style ballpark. Camden Yards along with the National Aquarium have helped revive the Inner Harbor from what once was an industrial district full of dilapidated warehouses into a bustling commercial district full of bars, restaurants and retail establishments. Today, the Inner Harbor boasts the highest, most desirable real estate in the Mid-Atlantic.

Baltimore's newly rehabilitated Everyman Theatre was honored by the Baltimore Heritage at the 2013 Preservation Awards Celebration in 2013. Everyman Theatre will receive an Adaptive Reuse and Compatible Design Award as part of Baltimore Heritage's 2013 historic preservation awards ceremony. Baltimore Heritage is Baltimore's nonprofit historic and architectural preservation organization, which works to preserve and promote Baltimore's historic buildings and neighborhoods.

Tallest buildings

Rank Building Height Floors Built
1 Transamerica Tower (formerly the Legg Mason Building, originally built as the U.S. Fidelity and Guarantee Co. Building) 529 feet (161 m) 40 1971–73
2 Bank of America Building (originally built as Baltimore Trust Building, later Sullivan, Mathieson, Md. Nat. Bank, NationsBank Bldgs.) 509 feet (155 m) 37 1924–29
3 William Donald Schaefer Tower (originally built as the Merritt S. & L. Tower) 493 feet (150 m) 37 1992
4 Commerce Place (Alex. Brown & Sons/Deutsche Bank Tower) 454 feet (138 m) 31 1992
5 100 East Pratt Street (originally built as the I.B.M. Building) 418 feet (127 m) 28 1975/1992
6 Baltimore World Trade Center 405 feet (123 m) 28 1977
7 Tremont Plaza Hotel 395 feet (120 m) 37 1967
8 Charles Towers South 385 feet (117 m) 30 1969
9 Blaustein Building 360 feet (110 m) 30 1962
10 250 West Pratt Street 360 feet (110 m) 24 1986

Neighborhoods

See also: List of Baltimore neighborhoods
Baltimore neighborhoods map
A map of Baltimore with the official city-designated Baltimore neighborhoods, by the Baltimore City Dept. of Planning

Baltimore is officially divided into nine geographical regions: North, Northeast, East, Southeast, South, Southwest, West, Northwest, and Central, with each district patrolled by a respective Baltimore Police Department. Interstate 83 and Charles Street down to Hanover Street and Ritchie Highway serve as the east-west dividing line and Eastern Avenue to Route 40 as the north-south dividing line. However, Baltimore Street is north-south dividing line for the U.S. Postal Service. It is not uncommon for locals to divide the city simply by East or West Baltimore, using Charles Street or I-83 as a dividing line or into North and South using Baltimore Street as a dividing line.

Central Baltimore

Central Baltimore, originally called the Middle District, stretches north of the Inner Harbor up to the edge of Druid Hill Park. Downtown Baltimore has mainly served as a commercial district with limited residential opportunities. However, between 2000 and 2010, the downtown population grew 130 percent as old commercial properties have been replaced by residential property. Still the city's main commercial area and business district, it includes Baltimore's sports complexes: Oriole Park at Camden Yards, M&T Bank Stadium, and the Baltimore Arena; and the shops and attractions in the Inner Harbor: Harborplace, the Baltimore Convention Center, the National Aquarium, Maryland Science Center, Pier Six Pavilion, and Power Plant Live.

The University of Maryland, Baltimore, the University of Maryland Medical Center, and Lexington Market are also in the central district, as well as the Hippodrome and many nightclubs, bars, restaurants, shopping centers and various other attractions. The northern portion of Central Baltimore, between downtown and the Druid Hill Park, is home to many of the city's cultural opportunities. Maryland Institute College of Art, the Peabody Institute (music conservatory), George Peabody Library, Enoch Pratt Free Library – Central Library, the Lyric Opera House, the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, the Walters Art Museum, the Maryland Historical Society and its Enoch Pratt Mansion, and several galleries are located in this region.

North Baltimore
1sherwoodgardens08
Sherwood Gardens, Guilford neighborhood, Baltimore

North Baltimore lies directly north of Central Baltimore and is bounded on the east by The Alameda and on the west by Pimlico Road. Loyola University Maryland, Johns Hopkins University Homewood Campus, St. Mary's Seminary and University and Notre Dame of Maryland University are located in this district. Baltimore Polytechnic Institutehigh school for mathematics, science and engineering, and adjacent Western High School, the oldest remaining public girls secondary school in America, share a joint campus at West Cold Spring Lane and Falls Road.

Several historic and notable neighborhoods are in this district: Roland Park (1891), Guilford (1913), Homeland (1924), Hampden, Woodberry, Old Goucher, and Jones Falls. Along the York Road corridor going north are the large neighborhoods of Charles Village, Waverly, and Mount Washington. The Station North Arts and Entertainment District is also located in North Baltimore.

South Baltimore
Federal Hill rowhouses
Rowhouses, Federal Hill neighborhood, Baltimore

South Baltimore, a mixed industrial and residential area, consists of the "Old South Baltimore" peninsula below the Inner Harbor and east of the old B&O Railroad's Camden line tracks and Russell Street downtown. It is a culturally, ethnically, and socioeconomically diverse waterfront area with neighborhoods such as Locust Point and Riverside around a large park of the same name. Just south of the Inner Harbor, the historic Federal Hill neighborhood, is home to many working professionals, pubs and restaurants. At the end of the peninsula is historic Fort McHenry, a National Park since the end of World War I, when the old U.S. Army Hospital surrounding the 1798 star-shaped battlements was torn down.

The area south of the Vietnam Veterans (Hanover Street) Bridge and the Patapsco River was annexed to the city in 1919 from being independent towns in Anne Arundel County.

Northeast Baltimore

Northeast is primarily a residential neighborhood, home to Morgan State University, bounded by the city line of 1919 on its northern and eastern boundaries, Sinclair Lane, Erdman Avenue, and Pulaski Highway to the south and The Alameda on to the west. Also in this wedge of the city on 33rd Street is Baltimore City College high school, third oldest active public secondary school in the United States, founded downtown in 1839. Across Loch Raven Boulevard is the former site of the old Memorial Stadium for the Baltimore Colts and Baltimore Orioles, now replaced by an YMCA athletic and housing complex. Lake Montebello is in Northeast Baltimore.

East Baltimore

Located below Sinclair Lane and Erdman Avenue, above Orleans Street, East Baltimore is mainly made up of residential neighborhoods. This section of East Baltimore is home to Johns Hopkins Hospital and Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine on Broadway. Notable neighborhoods include: Armistead Gardens, Broadway East, Barclay, Ellwood Park, Greenmount, and McElderry Park.

This area was the on-site film location for Homicide: Life on the Street, The Corner and The Wire.

Southeast Baltimore

Southeast Baltimore, located below Fayette Street, bordering the Inner Harbor and the Northwest Branch of the Patapsco River to the west, the city line of 1919 on its eastern boundaries and the Patapsco River to the south, is a mixed industrial and residential area. Patterson Park, the "Best Backyard in Baltimore," as well as the Highlandtown Arts District, and Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center are located in Southeast Baltimore. The Shops at Canton Crossing opened in 2013. The Canton neighborhood, is located along Baltimore's prime waterfront. Other historic neighborhoods include: Fells Point, Patterson Park, Butchers Hill, Highlandtown, Greektown, Harbor East, Little Italy, and Upper Fells Point.

Northwest Baltimore

Northwestern is bounded by the county line to the north and west, Gwynns Falls Parkway on the south and Pimlico Road on the east, is home to Pimlico Race Course and Sinai Hospital. Its neighborhoods are mostly residential and are dissected by Northern Parkway. The area has been the center of Baltimore's Jewish community since after World War II. Notable neighborhoods include: Pimlico, Mount Washington, and Cheswolde, and Park Heights.

West Baltimore

West Baltimore is located west of downtown and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard and is bounded by Gwynns Falls Parkway, Fremont Avenue, and West Baltimore Street. The Old West Baltimore Historic District includes the neighborhoods of Harlem Park, Sandtown-Winchester, Druid Heights, Madison Park, and Upton. Originally a predominantly German neighborhood, by the last half of the 1800s, Old West Baltimore was home to a substantial section of the city's African American population. It became the largest neighborhood for the city's black community and its cultural, political, and economic center. Coppin State University, Mondawmin Mall, and Edmondson Village are located in this district. The area's crime problems have provided subject material for television series, such as The Wire. Local organizations, such as the Sandtown Habitat for Humanity and the Upton Planning Committee, have been steadily transforming parts of formerly blighted areas of West Baltimore into clean, safe communities.

Southwest Baltimore

Southwest Baltimore is bounded by the Baltimore County line to the west, West Baltimore Street to the north, and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Russell Street/Baltimore-Washington Parkway (Maryland Route 295) to the east. Notable neighborhoods in Southwest Baltimore include: Pigtown, Carrolton Ridge, Ridgely's Delight, Leakin Park, Violetville, Lakeland, and Morrell Park.

St. Agnes Hospital on Wilkens and Caton avenues is located in this district with the neighboring Cardinal Gibbons High School, which is the former site of Babe Ruth's alma mater, St. Mary's Industrial School.

Adjacent communities

The City of Baltimore is bordered by the following communities, all unincorporated census-designated places.

Climate

Under the Köppen classification, Baltimore lies within the humid subtropical climate zone (Cfa), with four distinct seasons, and is part of USDA plant hardiness zones 7b and 8a. Winters are chilly but variable, with sporadic snowfall: January has a daily average of 35.8 °F (2.1 °C), though temperatures reach 50 °F (10 °C) rather often and drop below 20 °F (−7 °C) when Arctic air masses affect the area.

The average seasonal snowfall is 20.1 inches (51 cm), but it varies greatly depending on the winter, with some seasons seeing minimal snow while others see several major Nor'easters. Due to lessened urban heat island (UHI) as compared to the city proper and distance from the moderating Chesapeake Bay, the outlying and inland parts of the Baltimore metro area are usually cooler, especially at night, than the city proper and the coastal towns. Thus, in the northern and western suburbs, winter snowfall is more significant, and some areas average more than 30 in (76 cm) of snow per winter. It is by no means uncommon for the rain-snow line to set up in the metro area. Freezing rain and sleet occurs a few times each winter in the area, as warm air overrides cold air at the low to mid-levels of the atmosphere. When the wind blows from the east, the cold air gets dammed against the mountains to the west and the result is freezing rain or sleet.

Spring and autumn are warm, with spring being the wettest season in terms of the number of precipitation days. Summers are hot and humid with a daily average in July of 80.7 °F (27.1 °C), and the combination of heat and humidity leads to rather frequent thunderstorms. A southeasterly bay breeze off the Chesapeake often occurs on summer afternoons when hot air rises over inland areas; prevailing winds from the southwest interacting with this breeze as well as the city proper's UHI can seriously exacerbate air quality. In late summer and early autumn the track of hurricanes or their remnants may cause flooding in downtown Baltimore, despite the city being far removed from the typical coastal storm surge areas.

Baltimore Weather
Humidity can produce dramatic lightning storms over the Baltimore area.

Extreme temperatures range from −7 °F (−22 °C) on February 9, 1934, and February 10, 1899, up to 108 °F (42 °C) on July 22, 2011. On average, 100 °F (38 °C)+ temperatures occur on 0.9 days annually, 90 °F (32 °C)+ on 37 days, and there are 10 days where the high fails to breach the freezing mark.



Demographics

Population

Historical population
Census Pop.
1790 13,503
1800 26,514 96.4%
1810 46,555 75.6%
1820 62,738 34.8%
1830 80,620 28.5%
1840 102,313 26.9%
1850 169,054 65.2%
1860 212,418 25.7%
1870 267,354 25.9%
1880 332,313 24.3%
1890 434,439 30.7%
1900 508,957 17.2%
1910 558,485 9.7%
1920 733,826 31.4%
1930 804,874 9.7%
1940 859,100 6.7%
1950 949,708 10.5%
1960 939,024 −1.1%
1970 905,787 −3.5%
1980 786,741 −13.1%
1990 736,014 −6.4%
2000 651,154 −11.5%
2010 620,961 −4.6%
Est. 2015 621,849 0.1%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790–1960 1900–1990
1990–2000 2010–2015

According to the 2010 Census, there were 620,961 people living in Baltimore City in 242,268 households. The population decreased by 4.6% since the 2000 Census. Among school-age children between 5–17 years old, there was a 23% decline. Baltimore's population has declined at each census since its peak in 1950.

In 2011, then-Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said her main goal was to increase the city's population by improving city services to reduce the number of people leaving the city and by passing legislation protecting immigrants' rights to stimulate growth. For the first time in decades, in July 2012, the U.S. Census Bureau's census estimate showed the population grew by 1,100 residents, a 0.2% increase from the previous year.

Gentrification has also increased since the 2000 census, primarily in East Baltimore, downtown, and Central Baltimore. Downtown Baltimore and its surrounding neighborhoods are seeing a resurgence of young professionals and immigrants, mirroring major cities across the country.

After New York City, Baltimore was the second city in the United States to reach a population of 100,000. From the 1830 through 1850 U.S. censuses, Baltimore was the second most-populous city, before being surpassed by Philadelphia in 1860. It was among the top 10 cities in population in the United States in every census up to the 1980 census, and after World War II had a population of nearly a million.

Characteristics

Further information: Ethnic groups in Baltimore
Race and ethnicity 2010- Baltimore (5559896701)
Map of racial distribution in Baltimore, 2010 U.S. Census. Each dot is 25 people: White, Black, Asian Hispanic, or Other (yellow)
Population by Race in Baltimore Maryland (2010)
Race Population  % of Total
Total 620,961 100
African American 395,781 63
White 183,830 29
Asian 14,548 2
Two or More Races 12,955 2
Other 11,303 1
American Indian 2,270 < 1%
Three or more races 1,402 < 1%
Native Hawaiian Pacific Islander 274 < 1%
Source: 2010 Census via Maryland Department of Planning

According to the 2010 Census, Baltimore's population is 63.7% Black, 29.6% White, 2.3% Asian, and 0.4%, American Indian and Alaska Native. Across races, 4.2% of the population are of Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin. Females made up 53.4% of the population. The median age was 35 years old, with 22.4% under 18 years old, 65.8% from 18 to 64 years old, and 11.8% 65 or older.

In 2005, approximately 30,778 people (6.5%) identified as gay, lesbian, or bisexual. In 2012, same-sex marriage in Maryland was legalized, going into effect January 1, 2013.

Income and housing

In 2009, the median household income was $42,241 and the median income per capita was $25,707, compared to the national median income of $53,889 per household and $28,930 per capita. In Baltimore, 23.7% of the population lived below the poverty line, compared to 13.5% nationwide.

Housing in Baltimore is relatively inexpensive for large, coastal cities of its size. The median sale price for homes in Baltimore in 2012 was $95,000. Despite the housing collapse, and along with the national trends, Baltimore residents still face slowly increasing rent (up 3% in the summer of 2010).

The homeless population in Baltimore is steadily increasing; it exceeded 4,000 people in 2011. The increase in the number of young homeless people was particularly severe.

Religion

Baltimore Basilica, Baltimore, Maryland
Baltimore Basilica, the first cathedral built in the U.S.

A little under half (47%) of people in Baltimore report affiliating with a religion. Catholicism is the largest religious affiliation, comprising 12% percent of the population, followed by the Baptist Church (7%), then Judaism (4.3%). Around 11.4% identify with other Christian denominations.

Languages

As of 2010, 91% (526,705) of Baltimore residents five years old and older spoke only English at home. Close to 4% (21,661) spoke Spanish. Other languages, such as African languages, French, and Chinese are spoken by less than 1% of the population.

Culture

See also: List of people from Baltimore, Music of Baltimore, and List of museums in Baltimore
Converted
The Washington Monument

Historically a working-class port town, Baltimore has sometimes been dubbed a "city of neighborhoods", with 72 designated historic districts traditionally occupied by distinct ethnic groups. Most notable today are three downtown areas along the port: the Inner Harbor, frequented by tourists due to its hotels, shops, and museums; Fells Point, once a favorite entertainment spot for sailors but now refurbished and gentrified (and featured in the movie Sleepless in Seattle); and Little Italy, located between the other two, where Baltimore's Italian-American community is based – and where former U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi grew up. Further inland, Mount Vernon is the traditional center of cultural and artistic life of the city; it is home to a distinctive Washington Monument, set atop a hill in a 19th-century urban square, that predates the more well-known monument in Washington, D.C. by several decades. Baltimore also has a significant German American population, and was the second largest port of immigration to the United States, behind Ellis Island in New York and New Jersey. Between 1820 and 1989, almost 2 million who were German, Polish, English, Irish, Russian, Lithuanian, French, Ukrainian, Czech, Greek and Italian came to Baltimore, most between the years 1861 to 1930. By 1913, when Baltimore was averaging forty thousand immigrants per year, World War I closed off the flow of immigrants. By 1970, Baltimore's heyday as an immigration center was a distant memory. There also was a Chinatown dating back to at least the 1880s which consisted of no more than 400 Chinese residents. A local Chinese-American association remains based there, but only one Chinese restaurant as of 2009.

BromoSeltzertowerBaltimore
Emerson Bromo-Seltzer Tower, built in 1911. The 15 stories of the Bromo Seltzer Tower have been transformed into studio spaces for visual and literary artists

Baltimore has quite a history when it comes to making beer, an art that thrived in Baltimore from the 1800s to the 1950s with over 100 old breweries in the city's past. The best remaining example of that history is the old American Brewery Building on North Gay Street and the National Brewing Company building in the Brewer's Hill neighborhood. In the 1940s the National Brewing Company introduced the nation's first six-pack. National's two most prominent brands, were National Bohemian Beer colloquially "Natty Boh" and Colt 45. Listed on the Pabst website as a "Fun Fact", Colt 45 was named after running back #45 Jerry Hill of the 1963 Baltimore Colts and not the .45 caliber handgun ammunition round. Both brands are still made today and served all around the Baltimore area at bars, Oriole and Ravens games. The Natty Boh logo appears on all cans, bottles, and packaging; and merchandise featuring him can still easily be found in shops in Maryland, including several in Fells Point.

Each year the Artscape takes place in the city in the Bolton Hill neighborhood, due to its proximity to Maryland Institute College of Art. Artscape styles itself as the "largest free arts festival in America". Each May, the Maryland Film Festival takes place in Baltimore, using all five screens of the historic Charles Theatre as its anchor venue. Many movies and television shows have been filmed in Baltimore. The Wire was set and filmed in Baltimore. House of Cards is set in Washington, D.C. but filmed in Baltimore.

Baltimore has cultural museums in many areas of study. The Baltimore Museum of Art, and the Walters Art Museum are internationally renowned for its collection of art. The Baltimore Museum of Art has the largest holding of works by Henri Matisse in the world. The National Great Blacks in Wax Museum is the first African American wax museum in the country, featuring more than 150 life-size and lifelike wax figures.

Cuisine

Baltimore is known for its Maryland blue crabs, crab cake, Old Bay Seasoning, pit beef, and the "chicken box." The city has many restaurants in or around the Inner Harbor. The most known and acclaimed are the Charleston, Woodberry Kitchen, and the Charm City Cakes bakery featured on the Food Network's Ace of Cakes. The Little Italy neighborhood's biggest draw is the food. Fells Point also is a foodie neighborhood for tourists and locals and is where the oldest continuously running tavern in the country, "The Horse You Came In On Saloon," is located. Many of the city's upscale restaurants can be found in Harbor East. Five public markets are located across the city. The Baltimore Public Market System is the oldest continuously operating public market system in the United States. Lexington Market is one of the longest-running markets in the world and longest running in the country, having been around since 1782. The market continues to stand at its original site. Baltimore is the last place in America where one can still find arabbers, vendors who sell fresh fruits and vegetables from a horse-drawn cart that goes up and down neighborhood streets. Food- and drink-rating site Zagat ranked Baltimore second in a list of the 17 best food cities in the country in 2015.

Local dialect

One thing visitors quickly notice is that some locals refer to their city as "Balmer", dropping the "t". The traditional local accent, particular to some working-class areas of the city, has long been noted and celebrated as "Baltimorese" or "Bawlmorese". While in other parts of the city, locals refer to their city as "Baldamore". Baltimore's dialect is a member of the Atlantic midland English dialect group, and shares many characteristics with Philadelphia's, such as the addition of an "eh" sound before a long "o". Its influence distinguishes Baltimore, especially with words containing "oi" flattened into an "aw" sound. The Baltimore accent, however is noted for sounding more southern than Philadelphia's. Glide deletion in the accent is present, with the long "i" sound being flattened to "ah" among certain speakers before voiced, liquid and nasal consonants. Due to its combination of rhoticity and glide deletion, the word "iron" is pronounced somewhat like "arn" and the word "fire" like "far".

Baltimore native John Waters parodies the city and its dialect extensively in his films. Most of them are filmed and/or set in Baltimore, including the 1972 cult classic Pink Flamingos, as well as Hairspray and its Broadway musical remake.

See also: List of films shot in Baltimore

Performing arts

Hippodrome Baltimore
Hippodrome Baltimore

Baltimore has three state-designated arts and entertainment (A & E) districts. The Station North Arts and Entertainment District, Highlandtown Arts District, and the Bromo Arts & Entertainment District. The Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts, a non-profit organization, produces events and arts programs as well as manages several facilities. It is the official Baltimore City Arts Council. BOPA coordinates Baltimore's major events including New Year's Eve and July 4 celebrations at the Inner Harbor, Artscape which is America's largest free arts festival, Baltimore Book Festival, Baltimore Farmers' Market & Bazaar, School 33 Art Center's Open Studio Tour and the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Parade.

The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra is an internationally renowned orchestra, founded in 1916 as a publicly funded municipal organization. The current Music Director is Marin Alsop, a protégé of Leonard Bernstein. Centerstage is the premier theater company in the city and a regionally well-respected group. The Lyric Opera House is the home of Lyric Opera Baltimore, which operates there as part of the Patricia and Arthur Modell Performing Arts Center. The Baltimore Consort has been a leading early music ensemble for over twenty-five years. The France-Merrick Performing Arts Center, home of the restored Thomas W. Lamb-designed Hippodrome Theatre, has afforded Baltimore the opportunity to become a major regional player in the area of touring Broadway and other performing arts presentations. Renovating Baltimore's historic theatres have become widespread throughout the city such as the Everyman, Centre, Senator and most recent Parkway theatre. Other buildings have been reused such as the former Mercantile Deposit and Trust Company bank building. It is now the Chesapeake Shakespeare Company Theater.

Baltimore also boasts a wide array of professional (non-touring) and community theater groups. Aside from Center Stage, resident troupes in the city include Everyman Theatre, Single Carrot Theatre, and Baltimore Theatre Festival. Community theaters in the city include Fells Point Community Theatre and the Arena Players Inc., which is the nation's oldest continuously operating African American community theater. In 2009, the Baltimore Rock Opera Society, an all-volunteer theatrical company, launched its first production.

Baltimore is home to the Pride of Baltimore Chorus, a three-time international silver medalist women's chorus, affiliated with Sweet Adelines International. The Maryland State Boychoir is located in the northeastern Baltimore neighborhood of Mayfield.

Baltimore is the home of non-profit chamber music organization Vivre Musicale. VM won a 2011–2012 award for Adventurous Programming from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers and Chamber Music America.

The Peabody Institute, located in the Mount Vernon neighborhood, is the oldest conservatory of music in the United States. Established in 1857, it is one of the most prestigious in the world, along with Juilliard, Eastman, and the Curtis Institute. The Morgan State University Choir is also one of the nation's most prestigious university choral ensembles. The city is home to the Baltimore School for the Arts, a public high school in the Mount Vernon neighborhood of Baltimore. The institution is nationally recognized for its success in preparation for students entering music (vocal/instrumental), theatre (acting/theater production), dance, and visual arts.

Parks and recreation

The City of Baltimore boasts over 4,900 acres (1,983 ha) of parkland. The Baltimore City Department of Recreation and Parks manages the majority of parks and recreational facilities in the city including Patterson Park, Federal Hill Park, and Druid Hill Park. The city is also home to Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine, a coastal star-shaped fort best known for its role in the War of 1812. As of 2015, The Trust for Public Land, a national land conservation organization, ranks Baltimore 40th among the 75 largest U.S. cities.

Transportation

Roads and highways

BaltimoreLightRail
The Baltimore Light Rail provides service to Baltimore–Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport and the Baltimore area. Here, a train stops at Convention Center (Baltimore Light Rail station), just west of the Baltimore Convention Center on Pratt Street.

The Interstate highways serving Baltimore are I-70, I-83 (the Jones Falls Expressway), I-95 (the John F. Kennedy Memorial Highway north of the city), I-395, I-695 (the Baltimore Beltway), I-795 (the Northwest Expressway), I-895 (the Harbor Tunnel Thruway), and I-97. The city's mainline Interstate highways—I-95, I-83, and I-70—do not directly connect to each other, and in the case of I-70 end at a park and ride lot just inside the city limits, because of freeway revolts in Baltimore. These revolts were led primarily by Barbara Mikulski, a former United States senator for Maryland, which resulted in the abandonment of the original plan. There are two tunnels traversing Baltimore Harbor within the city limits: the four-bore Fort McHenry Tunnel (serving I-95) and the two-bore Harbor Tunnel (serving I-895). The Baltimore Beltway crosses south of Baltimore Harbor over the Francis Scott Key Bridge.

The only U.S. Highways in the city are US 1, which bypasses downtown, and US 40, which crosses downtown from east to west. Both run along major surface streets; however, US 40 utilizes a small section of a freeway cancelled in the 1970s in the west side of the city originally intended for Interstate 170. State routes in the city also travel along surface streets, with the exception of Maryland Route 295, which carries the Baltimore–Washington Parkway.

The Baltimore City Department of Transportation (BCDOT) is responsible for several functions of the road transportation system in Baltimore, including repairing roads, sidewalks, and alleys; road signs; street lights; and managing the flow of transportation systems. In addition, the agency is in charge of vehicle towing and traffic cameras. BCDOT maintains all streets within the city of Baltimore. These include all streets that are marked as state and U.S. highways as well as the portions of I-83 and I-70 within the city limits. The only highways within the city that are not maintained by BCDOT are I-95, I-395, I-695, and I-895; those four highways are maintained by the Maryland Transportation Authority.

Transit systems

Public transit

Charm City Circulator Vanhool 1101
Charm City Circulator Van Hool A330 #1101 on the Orange Line

Public transit in Baltimore is mostly provided by the Maryland Transit Administration (abbreviated "MTA Maryland") and Charm City Circulator. MTA Maryland operates a comprehensive bus network, including many local, express, and commuter buses, a light rail network connecting Hunt Valley in the north to BWI Airport and Cromwell (Glen Burnie) in the south, and a subway line between Owings Mills and Johns Hopkins Hospital. A proposed rail line, known as the Red Line, which would link the Social Security Administration to Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center and perhaps the Canton and Dundalk communities, was cancelled as of June 2015 by Governor Larry Hogan; a proposal to extend Baltimore's existing subway line to Morgan State University, known as the Green Line, is in the planning stages.

The Charm City Circulator (CCC), a shuttle bus service operated by Veolia Transportation for the Baltimore Department of Transportation, began operating in the downtown area in January 2010. Funded partly by a 16 percent increase in the city's parking fees, the circulator provides free bus service seven days a week, picking up passengers every 15 minutes at designated stops during service hours.

The CCC's first bus line, the Orange route, travels between Hollins Market and Harbor East. Its Purple route, launched June 7, 2010, operates between Penn Station and Federal Hill. The Green route runs between Johns Hopkins and City Hall. The Charm City Circulator operates a fleet of diesel and hybrid vehicles built by DesignLine, Orion, and Van Hool.

Baltimore also has a water taxi service, operated by Baltimore Water Taxi. The water taxi's six routes provide service throughout the city's harbor, and was purchased by Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank's Sagamore Ventures in 2016.

Intercity rail

Baltimore Pennsylvania Station corrected
Baltimore Pennsylvania Station

Baltimore is a top destination for Amtrak along the Northeast Corridor. Baltimore's Penn Station is one of the busiest in the country. In FY 2014, Penn Station was ranked the seventh-busiest rail station in the United States by number of passengers served each year. The building sits on a raised "island" of sorts between two open trenches, one for the Jones Falls Expressway and the other for the tracks of the Northeast Corridor (NEC). The NEC approaches from the south through the two-track, 7,660-foot Baltimore and Potomac Tunnel, which opened in 1873 and whose 30 mph limit, sharp curves, and steep grades make it one of the NEC's worst bottlenecks. The NEC's northern approach is the 1873 Union Tunnel, which has one single-track bore and one double-track bore.

Just outside the city, Baltimore/Washington International (BWI) Thurgood Marshall Airport Rail Station is another popular stop. Amtrak's Acela Express, Palmetto, Carolinian, Silver Star, Silver Meteor, Vermonter, Crescent, and Northeast Regional trains are the scheduled passenger train services that stop in the city. Additionally, MARC commuter rail service connects the city's two main intercity rail stations, Camden Station and Penn Station, with Washington, D.C.'s Union Station as well as stops in between. The MARC consists of 3 lines; the Brunswick, Camden and Penn. On December 7, 2013 the Penn Line began weekend service.

Airports

Kbwi
The interior of Baltimore–Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, Baltimore's major commercial airport

Baltimore is served by two airports, both operated by the Maryland Aviation Administration, which is part of the Maryland Department of Transportation. Baltimore–Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, generally known as "BWI," lies about 10 miles (16 km) to the south of Baltimore in neighboring Anne Arundel County. The airport is named after Thurgood Marshall, a Baltimore native who was the first African American to serve on the Supreme Court of the United States. In terms of passenger traffic, BWI is the 22nd busiest airport in the United States. As of calendar year 2014, BWI is the largest, by passenger count, of three major airports serving the Baltimore–Washington Metropolitan Area. It is accessible by I-95 and the Baltimore–Washington Parkway via Interstate 195, the Baltimore Light Rail, and Amtrak and MARC Train at BWI Rail Station.

Baltimore is also served by Martin State Airport, a general aviation facility, to the northeast in Baltimore County. Martin State Airport is linked to downtown Baltimore by Maryland Route 150 (Eastern Avenue) and by MARC Train at its own station.

Pedestrians and bicycles

Baltimore has a comprehensive system of bicycle routes in the city. These routes are not numbered, but are typically denoted with green signs sporting a silhouette of a bicycle upon an outline of the city's border, and denote the distance to destinations, much like bicycle routes in the rest of the state. The roads carrying bicycle routes are also labelled with either bike lanes, sharrows, or Share the Road signs. Many of these routes pass through the downtown area. The network of bicycle lanes in the city continues to expand, with over 140 miles added between 2006 and 2014. Alongside bike lanes, Baltimore has also built bike boulevards, starting with Guilford Avenue in 2012.

Baltimore currently has three major trail systems within the city. The Gwynns Falls Trail runs from the Inner Harbor to the I-70 Park and Ride, passing through Gwynns Falls Park and possessing numerous branches. There are also many pedestrian hiking trails traversing the park. The Jones Falls Trail currently runs from the Inner Harbor to the Cylburn Arboretum; however, it is currently undergoing expansion. Long term plans call for it to extend to the Mount Washington Light Rail Stop, and possibly as far north as the Falls Road stop to connect to the Robert E. Lee boardwalk north of the city. It will also incorporate a spur alongside Western Run. The two aforementioned trails carry sections of the East Coast Greenway through the city. There is also the Herring Run Trail, which runs from Harford Road east to its end beyond Sinclair Lane, utilizing Herring Run Park; long term plans also call for its extension to Morgan State University and north to points beyond. Other major bicycle projects include a protected cycle track installed on both Maryland Avenue and Mount Royal Avenue, expected to become the backbone of a downtown bicycle network. Installation for the cycletracks is expected in 2014 and 2016, respectively.

In addition to the bicycle trails and cycletracks, Baltimore has the Stony Run Trail, a walking path that will eventually connect from the Jones Falls north to Northern Parkway, utilizing much of the old Ma and Pa Railroad corridor inside the city. In 2011, the city undertook a campaign to reconstruct many sidewalk ramps in the city, coinciding with mass resurfacing of the city's streets. A 2011 study by Walk Score ranked Baltimore the 14th most walkable of fifty largest U.S. cities.

Port of Baltimore

Baltimoreharborview
Eastward view Baltimore's Inner Harbor
Washington Monument, 1849, from Federal Hill 1a
Baltimore harbor in 1849 with the prominent Washington Monument in the background north of the city
The Francis Scott Key Bridge (Baltimore)
Francis Scott Key Bridge over the Baltimore harbor.

The port was founded in 1706, preceding the founding of Baltimore. The Maryland colonial legislature made the area near Locust Point as the port of entry for the tobacco trade with England. Fells Point, the deepest point in the natural harbor, soon became the colony's main ship building center, later on becoming leader in the construction of clipper ships.

After Baltimore's founding, mills were built behind the wharves. The California Gold Rush led to many orders for fast vessels; many overland pioneers also relied upon canned goods from Baltimore. After the Civil War, a coffee ship was designed here for trade with Brazil. At the end of the nineteenth century, European ship lines had terminals for immigrants. The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad made the port a major transshipment point. Currently the port has major roll-on/roll-off facilities, as well as bulk facilities, especially steel handling.

Water taxis also operate in the Inner Harbor. Governor Ehrlich participated in naming the port after Helen Delich Bentley during the 300th anniversary of the port.

In 2007, Duke Realty Corporation began a new development near the Port of Baltimore, named the Chesapeake Commerce Center. This new industrial park is located on the site of a former General Motors plant. The total project comprises 184 acres (0.74 km2) in eastern Baltimore City, and the site will yield 2,800,000 square feet (260,000 m2) of warehouse/distribution and office space. Chesapeake Commerce Center has direct access to two major Interstate highways (I-95 and I-895) and is located adjacent to two of the major Port of Baltimore terminals. The Port of Baltimore is one of two seaports on the U.S. East Coast with a 50-foot (15 m) dredge to accommodate the largest shipping vessels.

Along with cargo terminals, the port also has a passenger cruise terminal, which offers year-round trips on several lines, including Royal Caribbean's Grandeur of the Seas and Carnival's Pride. Overall five cruise lines have operated out of the port to the Bahamas and the Caribbean, while some ships traveled to New England and Canada. The terminal has become a popular embarkation point where passengers have the rare opportunity to park and board next to the ship visible from Interstate 95. Passengers from Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey make up a third of the volume, with travelers from Maryland, Virginia, the District and even Ohio and the Carolinas making up the rest.

Sister cities

Images for kids


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