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Showing posts from August, 2010

The Edgar Allan Poe House in Baltimore

Those of you who have been around the blog for awhile probably remember this picture from last October when Amanda, her friend Darci, and I went down to Baltimore for Edgar Allan Poe's funeral and the chance for Amanda to meet Gris Grimly, illustrator extraordinaire and one of the speakers at Poe's funeral.

This was as close to seeing the Baltimore Poe House & Museum as we got on that trip which was a darn sight closer than we got the first time we went down to Baltimore in August for our Pilgrimage to Poe and couldn't even find the place, never mind stand outside of it to get our picture taken!  To say that the house is tricky to find is a bit of an understatement.

Well, as they say, 'third time's charm' so on this latest journey to Charm City I was bound and determined to actually tour the house even though I was going to have to do so by myself being that Amanda was up to her eyeballs in Hanna's Not a Boy's Name over at Otakon and I was enterta…

The Hotel Brexton - One of Baltimore's Best!

Before you start reading about one of the best boutique hotels that Baltimore has to offer let's play a little game. Take a look at the picture below and guess what it is.


Chances are good that you didn't have to trip back to the 60's to figure out that it was a spiral staircase that had been somewhat modified! Below is the original picture of the spiral staircase that is located in the north turret of the Hotel Brexton - the recently renovated and reopened boutique hotel in the Mount Vernon district of Baltimore where Amanda and I stayed for the weekend of Otakon.

As awesome as it is, though, that spiral staircase isn't the only cool thing about the Hotel Brexton which opened in February of 2009 after a multi-million dollar restoration.

The history of the Hotel Brexton dates way back to 1868 when the Baltimore City Council decided to extend Park Avenue north of what was then Richmond Street (now Read Street north to Biddle Street); this decision created some very oddl…

The Parks of Mount Vernon Place

Now that I've covered the Washington Monument, the architecture of the buildings in the vicinity, and the Mount Vernon Place United Methodist Church it's finally time to move on to the park squares that surround the monument in the shape of a Greek cross. I thought perhaps an aerial view might give you a better understanding of what I'm talking about but not having had access to an aerial balloon which would have been the best method to get a good picture, I used one from Google Maps.

This picture was taken from the direction of downtown Baltimore and the Inner Harbor heading north; the Mount Vernon UMC, which sits on the northeast corner, can be easily spotted and serves as a good indicator of direction.  Truth be told, were I a smarter woman, I would have looked at this aerial map before I went to Baltimore but live and learn I guess!

Anyhow all lamenting aside, as previously noted, Colonel John Eager Howard died in 1827, two years before the completion of the Washington…

Mount Vernon Place United Methodist Church

In Saturday's post about the architecture of Mount Vernon Place, I briefly mentioned the Mount Vernon Place United Methodist Church which sits just northeast of the Washington Monument at 2-10 East Mount Vernon Place. The church is a prime example of Norman-Gothic style architecture and is only one of three Gothic buildings in all of Baltimore.  Alas, I still need to figure out where the other two are!

The church was built on the outskirts of the city on land that originally was the site of the mansion of Charles Howard, son of Colonel John Eager Howard, who had erected the first residence on the square circa 1830. Charles Howard married Elizabeth Phoebe Kay whose father was Francis Scott Key - author of our national anthem "The Star-Spangled Banner". On January 11th, 1843, while visiting his daughter at her house, her father died of pleurisy and was later interred in the Howard family vault (though his body has since been moved to his family plot in Frederick, Marylan…