Our Mission

Welcome to the official website of the Mount Vernon Cultural District! We are a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization whose mission is to support and promote the cultural institutions in the Mount Vernon Neighborhood of Baltimore, Maryland.

‘Went to church in Baltimore and saw that it was good’

October, 2014 Volume 2, Issue 10

Dear Reader,

Grace and St. Peter's
Grace & St. Peter’s Church

Along the quiet corridors of West Monument Street less than a block from Mount Vernon Place Park, you’ll find Grace & St. Peter’s, an Episcopal parish offering the Anglican and Western Catholic traditions of liturgy, music, and teaching.

This brownstone church was constructed in 1852 and was the first church built of stone in the city — interestingly, the stone was set backwards, and so the exterior has weathered in a beautifully haphazard fashion over the last century and a half.

According to The Baltimore Sun, Grace & St. Peter’s has been at the center of Baltimore’s architectural and religious history since its very beginning. The church was founded as Grace Church in 1850 and was merged with St. Peters about 60 years later.

Traveling even further back in time, below is a painting of the site of the present-day Grace & St. Peter’s Parish, as it looked during the Mexican American War in the 1840s. How strange it is to see Army tents in Mount Vernon!

Dulin House
‘Dulin House,’ unknown painter, c.1846,
MdHS, 1932-15-1

In the same leafy neighborhood that A. S. Abell, Robert Garrett, Enoch Pratt, and William and Henry Walters would build fashionable residences, in 1850, Bishop Whittingham decided that an Episcopal church should be built there since he knew Mount Vernon would be a prominent part of the city. So he helped find a new rector, Arthur Cleveland Coxe, for the church, who happened to be Union-minded, while the congregation had Confederate sympathies. There was a lot of tension. Rector Coxe strongly supported the Union side during the Civil War. He traveled to Antietam, following the battle, and his account of the horrors at Antietam provided his first-hand account for The Baltimore Sun.

History is indeed alive and well at Grace & St. Peters – Two brothers were prominent parishioners, William and Augustus Albert. The former was the founder of the Union Club in Baltimore; the latter, a Confederate sympathizer. A descendent of Augustus Albert is a current parishioner and sits in the same pew as did his ancestor.

The Chinatown Connection

Chinese New Year
A Chinese New Year Celebration
at Grace & St. Peter’s.

In the early 20th Century, the 300 block of Park Ave. in Baltimore was known as Chinatown. Grace & St. Peter’s established a mission to serve Chinese immigrants, most notably, by offering English language classes in addition to providing other support to help Chinese immigrants make the transition to their new country.

Grace & St. Peters welcomed immigrants into the parish and about 1/3 of parishioners are of Chinese descent. Chinese traditions play a big role in church activities today: You can see Chinese emblems in several places throughout the church. It’s also why Grace & St. Peters celebrates Chinese New Year.

Chinese New Year
A Chinese frontal adorns the high altar.

Regardless of class and ethnic heritage, the church’s mission is to glorify and worship God through Anglo-Catholic worship, preaching, teaching, and music.

Especially music.

A Fan From Minnesota

In 2007, while on a weekend trip to Baltimore, Prairie Home Companion host Garrison Keillor visited Grace & St. Peter’s and had this to say about his experience:

The distinctive doors at Grace & St. Peter's
The distinctive doors at Grace & St. Peters.
In Baltimore with friends Sunday morning, a splendid fall day under blue skies, we marched off to the nearest church and found ourselves in an old brownstone temple of 1852, wooden box pews, stained glass on all sides, old tiled floor, for a High Anglican-Catholic Mass, a troop of choristers in white, altar boys, bearded priests in medieval vestments, holy water and puffs of smoke and bells and chanting of Scripture, precision bowing and genuflecting, all rather exotic for an old fundamentalist like me but deeply moving, and it made me think about my father, whose birthday was Oct. 12, and brought me to tears.

Keillor went on to say that “The singing was O my God just heartbreakingly good.” You can read his complete article, titled ‘Went to church in Baltimore and saw that it was good’ by clicking here.

You can hear Grace & St. Peter’s renowned mixed-voice choir for yourself as its 2014-2015 season commences with the Feast of the Dedication of the Church on Sunday, October 5th High Mass at 10 o’clock.

Led by Choirmaster, David Lawrie, the choir performs a setting of the ordinary, plainsong propers and anthems every Sunday from October through June. Its repertoire ranges from the fourteenth to twenty-first centuries.

Grace and St. Peter’s is located at 707 Park Avenue at Monument Street in Mount Vernon, Baltimore. Like them on Facebook and visit their website for more information.

And for more information about the Asian American community in Maryland, the Maryland Historical Society has a collection of papers and materials donated by Katherine M. Chin, including a translation of the article “I Love Baltimore” by the Baltimore Asian Trade Council. See the Maryland Historical Society’s Special Collections Department for more information and to access the documents.


A New Center for Technology at the
Baltimore School for the Arts!


Center for Collaborative Arts and Technology


Ribbon Cutting
Lisa Akchin, Stephanie Rawlings-Black, Makeba Woods and Chris Ford cut the ribbon to the new Center for Collaborative Arts and Technology.

Last month, when the Baltimore School for the Arts (BSA) opened the doors for its 2014-2015 school year, it also unveiled a new Center for Collaborative Arts and Technology.

The new space is modeled on modern business incubators and features 16 work stations equipped with advanced software programs that will allow students to compose music, edit film and design graphic arts materials.

“This unique place to work and study will bring the most current thinking and resources about creative environments to BSA’s students and faculty,” says BSA Director Chris Ford.

Students Working
Students at work in the Center for Collaborative Arts & Technology.

Students can work on programs such as Finale, which bring together different arts niches, such as dance, visual arts and music. “Playwrights looking for a score will be able to reach out to other schools in the city,” says Under Armour executive Scott Plank, who, together with his wife, Dana, were instrumental in helping the BSA to open this innovative new Center.

The Center will be open until 7 p.m. each evening and is staffed with an arts technologist tasked with facilitating student and faculty work.

As you can see, the Baltimore School for the Arts is excited for another year of excellent student arts! Download their performance schedule here and visit their website for more information. The Baltimore School for the Arts is located at 712 Cathedral Street in Mount Vernon, Baltimore.


From Rye to Raphael: The Walters Story,
Opening October 26 at
The Walters Art Museum


Installing Specs
The exhibitions team installs two Barbedienne urns from a foundry in France. An example of a spec drawing that is created for each case. The entire installation process takes about 5 months.

As curators put the final touches on The Walters Art Museum’s newest exhibition, “From Rye to Raphael: The Walters Story,” a free installation in honor of the Walters Art Museum’s 80th anniversary, a select few were invited to watch the precise, and sometimes hair-raising installation process of the art that will be on display.

Pictured above, the exhibitions team installs two Barbedienne urns from a foundry in France. The urns, which were made of enameled and electroplated brass, were purchased by The Walters in 1989.

As the urns were painstakingly measured and then lowered into place, Curator Dr. Jo Briggs remarked how “These objects show how the museum has expanded since the Walters’ time.” For instance, the Walters recently acquired paintings by African-American artist Robert Seldon Duncanson, who painted the American countryside in a luminous setting. “By doing so,” Briggs continued, “the Walters can build on its existing collection in an informed way.”

We learned how the exhibitions team built vitrines and custom cases to support an object from below and above, and the minute, scientific calculations that occur to make sure humidity is kept at bay.

Tiffany and Company, Iris Corsage Ornament, 1900, (57.939), An example of a ‘small, shiny thing’ favored by Henry Walters

“We use our collection to tell the story of art,” Briggs continued, “But it’s also a story of two men, William and Henry Walters, and what they were doing at the time. You get to know the taste of the times through their purchases. William liked big, serious French paintings that teach you something. Henry liked small, shiny things.”

Henry Walters, in particular, competed with other collectors of the time, such as New York financier J. Pierpont Morgan.

In total, 200 works from different cultures around the world were selected for inclusion in the “From Rye to Raphael: The Walters Story” exhibition.

Highlights include:

    • A 19th century salon-style gallery with paintings hung floor-to-ceiling to re-create selections of the Picture Gallery adjacent to the family home at 5 West Mt. Vernon Place


    • A gallery of early 20th century jewelry by Tiffany and Lalique acquired by Henry Walters at International Exhibitions and World’s Fairs


    • A gallery of French works by contemporary artists of William Walters’ time including Delacroix, Rousseau, and Gérôme alongside works by the same artists collected by Henry after his father’s death


    • Family photographs from the Walters’ archives

A story wall that gives a glimpse of 19th century life, in Baltimore and beyond and invites visitors to imagine the museum’s future.

“From Rye to Raphael: The Walters Story” brings together many of our most famous works of art with lesser-known works in order to explore the intriguing stories of our founders” says Julia Marciari-Alexander, executive director of the Walters Art Museum. “Visitors will discover more about these two entrepreneurs, collectors, philanthropists and the incredible legacy they left to Baltimore.”

A unique, mobile site will serve as an interactive educational component. Visitors can use their smartphones to select an object on display, which will show them similar items in the collection along with information about the object’s provenance.

“From Rye to Raphael: The Walters Story” opens on October 26 and will run through April 17, 2016 at the Walters Art Museum, located at 600 N. Charles Street in Mount Vernon. The museum is completely free and open to the public. For more information, call 410-547-9000 or visit their website.


A New Member Welcome


The sleek interior of Homeslyce, our newest member.

I’d like to take a moment and welcome the newest members of our Mount Vernon Cultural District!

  • Byrnes & Associates
  • Cazbar
  • Day Capital, Inc.
  • Homeslyce

You’ll hear more about our new members in upcoming issues of the Mount Vernon newsletter. As always, we thank you for supporting our Mount Vernon Community!


October Events In Mount Vernon
Presented in Chronological Order


Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
1212 Cathedral Street | 410-783-8000 | Website


Jack Everly

Broadway Standing Ovations
Jack Everly, conductor
Fri, Oct 10, 2014 8 PM
Sat, Oct 11, 2014 8 PM
Sun, Oct 12, 2014 3 PM
All events held at the Meyerhoff

Jack Everly brings you a Wicked good evening of Broadway showstoppers when Ben Crawford, Christina Bianco and Broadway’s “Phantom,” Ted Keegan, join the BSO SuperPops to perform selections from The Phantom of the Opera, Once, Les Miserables, Wicked and more!

Tickets start at $40 and are available through the BSO Ticket Office at 410.783.8000 or BSOmusic.org.

Baltimore Basilica
409 Cathedral Street | 410-727-3565 | Website


Baltimore Basilica


Center Stage
700 North Calvert Street | 410-332-0033 | Website


Next to Normal

Next to Normal
Music by Tom Kitt
Book and Lyrics by Brian Yorkey
Directed by David Schweizer
Oct 8 – Nov 16

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, Next to Normal dives boldly into one family’s search for love in the face of loss. Set to an electric score and filled with equal parts humor and empathy, this “brave, breathtaking musical” (The New York Times) gets right to the heart of what it means to truly miss someone.

Tickets start at $19. Click here to purchase.

And don’t forget: Amadeus runs at Center Stage only until October 12! Tickets are going fast. Click here for more information.

Enoch Pratt Free Library
400 Cathedral Street | 410-396-5430 | Website


Where the Wild Things Are

Maurice Sendak: The Memorial Exhibition – 50 Years, Works, Reasons
Saturday, October 18
(more dates through January 4, 2015)

Celebrating the 50th anniversary of Where the Wild Things Are (2013), Maurice Sendak: The Memorial Exhibition is a retrospective of original works by the late, great Maurice Sendak. The artwork is presented with heartfelt words from 50 extraordinary people, whose lives were all touched by this beloved author and illustrator.

Location: Central Library, 400 Cathedral Street, Baltimore, MD 21201

Click here for a complete list of October events at the Enoch Pratt Library.

The Garrett Jacobs Mansion
and Engineers’ Club
11 West Mt. Vernon Place | 410-539-6914 | Website


Mask of Zorro

2013-14 Silent Movie Series
Featuring James Harp, organist

Mask of Zorro
Tuesday, October 8

Movie begins at 7 PM at the Garrett-Jacobs Mansion.

Tickets: $10/Adults; $5/Children 11 and under.

Maryland Historical Society
201 W. Monument Street | 410-685-3750 | Website


Pipes & Port: A Young Defenders Party
Hosted by the Young Defenders of the MDHS
October 4, 2014

Pipes and Port
Wharf from Pratt Street, Spears, ca. 1875, MdHS, CC2851.

Join us for a rowdy celebration of Baltimore’s historic waterways, watermen, and the goods that kept them going: Pipes & Ports!

Straddling the line between high society enclave and gritty seaport, historic Baltimore had a knack for entertaining rowdy sailors and genteel merchants alike. In honor of the city’s rich maritime heritage, we’re celebrating that special libation held in regard by privateer and banker alike: port!

Port is fortified wine traditionally produced in Portugal. With climates less hospitable to the cultivation of grapes, England and its colonies traded with Mediterranean countries for wines, and during the 18th and 19th centuries, England increasingly relied on Portugal. Sailors too valued port for another reason. “Fortification,” the addition of distilled spirits to the wine, made a hardier product more likely to survive trans-Atlantic voyages for trade at landing… and perhaps for consumption en route, as sailors’ enjoyed its significant “kick.” Trade goes both ways, and ships headed back to the Old World were full of that American staple: tobacco. Always close to vice, there is nary an image of a sailor without his corn-cob pipe.

On October 4th we’ll be providing several ports and tobacco blends, along with basic pipes, but feel free to BYOP (bring your own pipe) too! We’re celebrating our inner drinking, smoking seafarer, so feel free to come in your best maritime apparel.

Pricing: $35/MdHS Members; $45/New Friends. Tickets are all inclusive.

Beverages: In addition to led port tastings and the provision of premier pipe tobacco, an open bar will include wine and local beer from Union Craft Brewery.

Food: Light hors d’oeuvres (including cheeses, chocolates and cured meats to complement the wines)

Tours: Guests can learn about one of the conflicts that made port America’s go-to wine in our exhibition “In Full Glory Reflected: Maryland During the War of 1812.”

To register click here. Check out our Facebook page for more information and event updates.

The Maryland Humanities Council
108 West Centre Street | 410-685-0095 | Website


MHC October Events

Book Discussions of this year’s One Maryland One Book, The Distance Between Us by Reyna Grande, take place throughout the city in October at Enoch Pratt Free Library branches. Visit the MHC online calendar to find one near you. On October 4 at 1pm the Reginald F. Lewis Museum hosts MHC Speakers Bureau scholar and author Vince Leggett in his living history portrayal of Charles Ball, an escaped slave from Calvert County who fought in the War of 1812 in Commodore Joshua Barney’s Chesapeake Flotilla. The Jewish Museum of Maryland will present a living history performance of the unique Jewish Marylander who is the centerpiece of their new exhibition, “The aMAZE-ing Mendes Cohen” on October 5 at 5pm. The character was developed with MHC grant support. Several other grant recipients host events in Baltimore City this month.

Clifton Mansion

On October 11th from 10am-3pm Civic Works offers “After the Battle: A Day at Clifton,” a free family-friendly commemoration of Clifton Mansion’s founder and War of 1812 hero, Captain Henry Thompson, along with the unveiling of the extensive renovations of the beautiful Mansion itself, horse artillery drills, food, lectures, costumed presentations, and more.


On October 20-22, Loyola University of Maryland offers a three day free symposium titled “Conversations with Oedipus” which explores the contemporary value of ancient theatre, including free public lectures, workshops and a free performance of Sophocles’ Oedipus the King performed as authentically as possible to its original rendering (RSVP to djjacobson@loyola.edu).

Lastly, don’t miss the MHC grant supported exhibition at the Baltimore Museum of Industry, closing October 18th “Making Music: The Banjo in Baltimore and Beyond,” exploring the instrument’s role in local business and why Baltimore was the epicenter of one of America’s first popular music crazes. Visit our website to find information about these and other humanities events statewide.

Mount Vernon Place Conservancy
817 St. Paul Street | 410-752-1225 | Website


Halloween Spooktacular

Halloween Spooktacular
For ages 10 and under
Costumes are welcome! It’s all FREE!
Saturday, October 25*
1 PM – 4 PM

The Mount Vernon Place East Square will be all decked out for Halloween… don’t miss it! Great photo-ops with your child! We’ll have pumpkins for the kids to decorate and take home, and other fun activities as well as yummy munchies and drinks! All children must be accompanied by an adult.

Location: East Mount Vernon Place Square, 699 Washington Place, Baltimore 21201

Art Beyond the Museum
Walking Tour

Mount Vernon Place:
Art Beyond the Museum
Saturday, October 11, 2014
9:30 AM – 11:45 AM

While visitors and locals alike love the Walters Art Museum for its amazing collection of art from around the world, Mount Vernon Place itself offers a stunning collection of statues and monuments that tell stories of art and artists in Baltimore.

Our fall Mount Vernon Place tour series is organized in partnership with Baltimore Heritage.

Pricing: $10 admission.

Location: Meet at the Lafayette Sculpture in the South Mount Vernon Place Square, 699 Washington Place, Baltimore, MD 21201

Ready for some fall gardening!
Saturday, October 18th
9 AM to Noon

Help us plant 4,000 flower bulbs that will bloom in the spring! Mount Vernon Place will be popping with color! We’ll have everything you need!

Volunteers Needed! Please register here!

Volunteers Needed!
Every Saturday, 8:30 AM to 9:30 AM
The Belvedere Ballroom on the First Floor

Bring your own Yoga mat and a bottle of water! Appropriate for all levels!

Location: Meet in the West Mount Vernon Place Square near the Turtleboy fountain
699 Washington Place, Baltimore, MD 21201

Thank you to Belvedere & Co. for sponsoring our community yoga class.

Peabody Institute
1 East Mount Vernon Place | 410-234-4500 | Website


Alex Pope Norris

Peabody Improvisation & Multimedia Ensemble
October 10, 7:30 PM
Alex Pope Norris, Director

“I’ll Remember April”
Music by Gene de Paul / Arranged by Kevin Clark and Alex Norris

Music by Sam Rivers / Arranged by Kevin Clark and Alex Norris

Music by Paul Bollenback / Arranged by Alex Norris

“Todo Modo”
Music by Charles Mingus / Arranged by Sly Johnson / Adapted for PIME by Alex Norris

“Jean De Fleur”
Music by Grant Green / Arranged by Alex Norris

Additional selections TBA

Tickets: Free! For tickets, please visit FreeFall Baltimore or call 410-234-4800.

Location: Joe Byrd Hall, 17 East Mount Vernon Place, Baltimore, MD 21202

Spotlighters Theatre
817 St. Paul Street | Phone: 410-752-1225 | Website



Fall After-School Academy
Late Sept – Mid Nov

Check out the exciting classes offered for the Fall Semester of the After-School Academy!

Classes for students in grades K – 4; 5-8 and 6-8!

Fees for the classes will range from $125 to $175.

Click here for more information and class listings/descriptions.

Love Letters

AR Gurney’s Love Letters
Featuring Elisa Dugan & Anthony Scimonelli
Thursday October 2, 2014 – 7:30 PM

Tickets: $10 donation online or at the Door. Supports local Suicide Awareness & Prevention Services.

Rocky Horror Picture Show!
I see you shiver with antici-pa…
Book, Music & Lyrics by Richard O’Brien
Greg Bell, director
Michael Tan, musical director

Performances: Oct 17, 18; Oct 24, 25; Oct 30, 31; Nov 1; Nov 7, 8
Friday & Saturday at 8 PM – No Sunday matinees
Late Night Show – 11 PM performances on Saturday evenings at 11 PM
HALLOWEEN LATE NIGHT SHOW – Fri, Oct 31, 2014 at 11pm!

Rocky Horror

That sweet transvestite and his motley crew time warp into Spotlighters. A humorous tribute to the science fiction and horror B movies of the late 1940s through early 1970s. Brad & Janet get caught in a storm and seek shelter at the home of Dr. Frank N Furter, a mad scientist, ready to unveil his new creation, a muscle man named Rocky Horror…

…But what about Eddie?

Presented by arrangement with Samuel French, Ltd.

Tickets: Adults/ $20; Seniors (60+)/ $18; Students & Military/$16
ALL TICKETS JUST $10: Ten Spot Thursday! Thursday, Oct 30, 2014 at 8 PM. No other discounts apply. Visit our website for details and to purchase tickets.

Trivia Time!
Congratulations abound to everyone who correctly answered last month’s question!

According to The Baltimore Sun, the Old Rennert Hotel once hosted luminaries such as Mrs. Woodrow Wilson, Flo Ziegfeld, and President William Taft. Today, it hosts a 7/11 — and we’re glad to have it in our neighborhood!

View from the Top
The view from the top! Courtesy Mount Vernon Place

This month:In lieu of a trivia question, I invite you to step away from your computer screens, and check out the progress made on the restoration of our beautiful Washington Monument!

According to our friends at Mount Vernon Place, restoration work on the statue of George Washington and the column have been completed. Now, the Monument scaffolding will start coming down — as soon as next week! Work will continue through early spring. If you haven’t seen it yet, stop by to check it out! And be sure to ‘Like’ Mount Vernon Place on Facebook for updates.

Until next month,


Laura Rodini
Executive Director, The Mount Vernon Cultural District

The Mount Vernon Cultural District Is
A Proud Partner of Downtown Partnership of Baltimore and Visit Baltimore

A ‘Spectacular’ September


September, 2014 Volume 2, Issue 9

Dear Reader,

Baltimore is celebrating the 200th anniversary of our National Anthem with a week-long event of epic proportions. It’s called Star-Spangled Spectacular, and it will take place from September 10-September 16.

courtesy Steve TAtti
Lady Baltimore, atop Baltimore’s Battle Monument, courtesy Steven Tatti

But when you think of Baltimore as the birthplace of the Star-Spangled Banner, the Star Fort at Fort McHenry may come to mind. Or, the enormous flag Mary Pickersgill sewed — her home is now the Star-Spangled Banner Flag House. Or perhaps, the Inner Harbor’s deep waters, and our speedy Clipper Ships, which wrought havoc on the British. But did you know that Mount Vernon played a pivotal role in Baltimore’s War of 1812 history, too?

It was in Mount Vernon that the first monument commemorating the War of 1812 was constructed: The Battle Monument. The Monument paid tribute to all thirty-nine Baltimoreans who died in the Battle of Baltimore. It is the official emblem of the City of Baltimore, and the image of the Battle Monument is seen everywhere, on City buildings, signs and printed materials, park benches and even police badges.

Back in 1812-era Baltimore, Mount Vernon was part of Revolutionary War hero John Eager Howard’s vast “Belvidere” estate. It was an untamed land, known as “Howard’s Woods.” But it was in this area that the country’s first monument to George Washington was built. Together with the Battle Monument, the Washington Monument helped earn Baltimore the nickname, “The Monumental City.”

Francis Scott Key, who penned the immortal words to our National Anthem, actually died in 1843 in a home across the street from Mount Vernon Place. Today it’s the site of the Mount Vernon Place United Methodist Church.

So to celebrate Mount Vernon’s place during this momentous time period, we’ve compiled a list of Star-Spangled Spectacular events – right here in our neighborhood!


Star-Spangled Spectacular Events
In Mount Vernon
Presented in Chronological Order


Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
1212 Cathedral Street | Phone: 410-783-8000 | Website



2014 BSO Celebration Gala
Marin Alsop, conductor
Kwame Kwei-Armah, narrator
Morgan State University Choir

On the heels of the 200th birthday of our national anthem, join us for a special Gala concert showcasing quintessential American music, artists and Maryland’s musical roots. Copland’s Lincoln Portrait and Old American Songs are brought to life through narration by Center Stage’s visionary Artistic Director Kwame Kwei-Armah and the soaring harmonies of the Morgan State University Choir, Grofe’s Ode to the Star-Spangled Banner will be brought back to the stage for the first performance in 80 years. The evening wouldn’t be complete without a performance of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue and a special appearance by the BSO OrchKids and the Baltimore Symphony Youth Orchestra!

Tickets purchased on bsomusic.org are for the concert only and do not include the full gala package. For more information on purchasing the full gala package, click here.

Tickets start at $29. Click here to purchase.


Enoch Pratt Free Library
400 Cathedral Street | 410-396-5430 | Website



What So Proudly We Hailed: Francis Scott Key, A Life
Marc Leepson
Thursday, September 11 at 6:30 PM
Central Library, Poe Room 400 Cathedral Street, Baltimore, MD 21201

As part of the Star-Spangled 200 celebration, the Pratt Library invites you to meet and hear historian Marc Leepson talk about his new book, What So Proudly We Hailed.

In the first full-length biography of Francis Scott Key in more than 75 years, Leepson explores the life and legacy of Key and reveals unexplored details of the life of this American patriot: how the young Washington lawyer found himself in Baltimore Harbor on the night of September 13-14, 1814; how the poem he wrote morphed into the National Anthem; and his role as a confidant of President Andrew Jackson.

Former staff writer for Congressional Quarterly, Marc Leepson is the author of eight books, including Lafayette, Desperate Engagement, Saving Monticello, and Flag.

Click here for more information.


Maryland Historical Society
201 W. Monument Street | Phone 410-685-3750 | Website


This Month: The Star-Spangled Spectacular!

Defence [sic] of Fort M’Henry. First printed version of The Star-Spangled Banner, 1814, MdHS, Broadsides, Special Collections Department

The original Manuscript of Francis Scott Key’s “Star-Spangled Banner” will be on view at Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine from September 6-14, while here at the Maryland Historical Society, you can see one of the earliest printed broadsides (a one-sided single sheet of paper) of the “Defence of Fort McHenry.”

Early sheet music of the Star-Spangled Banner, complete with a typo, is also on view, as are the personal belongings of Commodore Joshua Barney – including his commission to Captain in the Flotilla Service of the United States, signed by President James Madison, a leather wallet, traveling trunk and pistol and telescope. All are on generous loan from descendants of Barney himself. These items will broaden scholarly understanding of Barney’s activities between 1812 and 1814 as well as his relationship with his family.

Vivid paintings by Battle of Baltimore veteran Thomas Ruckle and the iconic “Bombardment of Ft. McHenry” by Alfred Jacob Miller are also featured in our In Full Glory Reflected exhibit. The humble “Etting Cup” bears the etched signatures of several of the 1812 Defenders. The cup was a treasured part of 1812 veterans’ reunions for many decades in the 19th century.

Other new items on view include two period 1812 dresses: A day dress or a textured white cotton and the other of an ivory silk satin. Both are remarkable survivals from the period.

Everything in this exhibition tells a compelling story. The paintings by a Ruckle, an immigrant house painter, captured the Battle of North Point as no one else could. Then there’s the story of the private at Ft. McHenry who had a bomb land at his feet. He took the unexploded bomb home, and it’s now its here. We even have a 100 year musket that saw service in the Revolutionary War, War of 1812 and Civil War. If you have yet to see our In Full Glory Reflected exhibit, make a point to stop by The Maryland Historical Society during the Star-Spangled Spectacular celebration!


The Maryland Humanities Council
108 West Centre Street | Phone: 410-685-0095 | Website


MHC War of 1812-related programs in September

Vince Leggit

On September 14 at the Patterson Park, Hampstead Hill 1814 Celebration, The Maryland Humanities Council grant-supported living history performance, presented by the Jewish Museum of Maryland in conjunction with their new exhibition, brings to life Mendes Cohen, a Baltimore Jew who lived an extraordinary life, including having fought in the War of 1812. On September 13 at Rash Field, during the Star-Spangled Spectacular Festival, MHC Speakers Bureau Scholar Vincent Leggett performs in a living history portrayal of Charles Ball, an escaped slave from Calvert County who fought in the War of 1812 in Commodore Joshua Barney’s Chesapeake Flotilla.

Click here for more information.


Old Saint Paul’s
233 N. Charles Street | Phone: 410-685-3404 | Website


Singing On Key

Free Concert: Singing on Key
Celebrating the 200th Anniversary of our National Anthem
Sunday, September 14, 2014 at 5 PM

Featuring Francis Scott Key’s “The Star Spangled Banner” and other music of the era.

Artists include: David & Ginger Hildebrand of the Colonial Music Institute, The Choir of Baltimore Choral Arts led by Tom Hall, and The Brass Quintet Monumental Brass

Old St. Paul’s Episcopal Church is at the corner of North Charles and Saratoga Streets in downtown Baltimore.

For more information, call 510-685-3404 or click here.


The Walters Art Museum
600 N. Charles Street | Phone: 410-547-9000 | Website


Mysteries of the Star-Spangled Banner Manuscript
Thursday, September 11, 2014, 6-7 PM
Enter the museum through Centre Street

Did you know that the written text of the Star-Spangled Banner once traveled the entire United States on a train? Or that it was used as an attraction to sell War Bonds? Or that it was once on daily view at the Walters Art Museum? Francis Scott Key would never have imagined the mileage that his lyrics would accumulate, nor would he have any idea of the efforts made by generations of dedicated individuals to preserve the single sheet of paper.

The mysteries of the Star Spangled Banner manuscript, now in the collection of the Maryland Historical Society, are the topic of a lecture given by Elissa O’Loughlin, former senior paper conservator at the Walters Art Museum and the National Archives and Records Administration. Her studies of the document began in 1995, and subsequent work on the document in 2001 led to its current state-of-the-art housing and display at the MdHS. Hear a presentation of the history, travels, and preservation of this iconic document.

Click here for more information.



The list of Star-Spangled Spectacular events is as big as our city – from the Blue Angels flying overhead to Tall Ships in the Inner Harbor to a phenomenal Pier 6 concert featuring Peabody Institute faculty member and soloist Denyce Graves; a world-class fireworks display; contemporary ‘remixes’ of the National Anthem; and more! For a complete list of Star-Spangled Spectacular events, see the Star Spangled 200’s website.


Other September Events
Presented in Chronological Order


Baltimore School For the Arts
712 Cathedral Street | Phone: 443-642-5167 | Website




Center Stage
700 North Calvert Street | Phone: 410-332-0033 | Website



By Peter Shaffer
September 10 – October 12

In 18th century Vienna, music is the currency of power. And Court Composer Antonio Salieri is the toast of the town. That is, until a young prodigy by the name of Mozart comes on the scene. Reeling from the realization of his own mediocrity in the face of true genius, Salieri swears vengeance on the God that gifted Mozart’s breathtaking talent. Swells of music and madness stir through Center Stage’s epic new revival of the Tony Award-winning drama that raises the question: how far would you go to secure your legacy?

Tickets start at $19. Click here to purchase.

The Maryland Humanities Council
108 West Centre Street | Phone: 410-685-0095 | Website


Reyna Grande
Reyna Grande, courtesy Imran Chaudhry

MHC September Programs (Baltimore City)

The Maryland Humanities Council grant-supported exhibition, “Making Music: The Banjo in Baltimore and Beyond,” exploring the banjo’s role in local business and why Baltimore was at the epicenter of one of America’s first popular music crazes, runs now through October 18 at the Baltimore Museum of Industry.Programs and discussions surrounding this year’s One Maryland One Book, “The Distance Between Us” by Reyna Grande, are happening all over Baltimore City in September, from the Pratt Library Central Branch on September 6, to the Pennsylvania Avenue Branch onSept 13, the Light Street Branch on September 15, Hampden and Hamilton Branches on September 18, Forrest Park on September 24, and at the Govan’s Library on September 25. Grande will speak, take questions, and sign books at the Baltimore Book Festival on September 28 at 1pm in the Festival’s Literary Salon.

Click here for more information.


Peabody Institute
1 East Mount Vernon Place | Phone: 410-234-4500 | Website


Mariana Prjevalskaya

Peabody Symphony Orchestra
September 27, 8 PM
Hajime Teri Murai, Music Director
Mariana Prjevalskaya, Piano
Yale Gordon Concerto Competition Winner

Shafer Mahoney: Sparkle
 Johannes Brahms: Piano Concerto No. 1 in D minor, Op. 15
 Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 4 in F minor, Op. 36

Tickets: $15 Adults, $10 Seniors, $5 Students

Location: Miriam A. Friedberg Concert Hall, 17 E Mt Vernon Place, Baltimore, Peabody Institute

For tickets, visit the website or call 410-234-4800.


Spotlighters Theatre
1817 Saint Paul Street | Phone: 410-752-1225 | Website


Game Show

By Jeffrey Finn and Bob Walton
Based on an idea by Jeffrey Finn
Theme song and incidental music by Bob Walton
Director: Kristen Cooley
Performances: September 12 – October 5, 2014

Join us for a live broadcast of the long-running TV game show, GAME SHOW. You could be our next contestant to play the trivia-based game and win actual prizes. In addition to watching and playing during the broadcast – where anything can and will happen – the audience also witnesses all the backstage, back-stabbing, hilarity-ensuing antics “behind the scenes” that go on during the commercial breaks of GAME SHOW.

 Presented by arrangement with Theatrical Rights Worldwide.

 Performance Dates: Sept 12, 13, 14; Sept 18, 19, 20, 21; Sept 26, 27, 28; Oct 3, 4, 5.

 Ten Spot Thursday – ALL TICKETS JUST $10:
Thursday, Sept 18, 2014 at 8 PM – no other discounts apply

 Talk Back with Cast & Director: Sunday, Sept 28, 2014 immediately following the performance.


Tickets: $20 Adults, $18 Seniors, $16 Students & Military. Click here to purchase.

Fall After-School Academy
Late Sept – Mid Nov

Check out the exciting classes offered for the Fall Semester of the After-School Academy! Classes for students in grades K – 4; 5-8 and 6-8!

 Fees for the classes will range from $125 to $175.

Click here for more information and class listings/descriptions.

Trivia Time!
Congratulations abound to everyone who correctly answered last month’s question!

H.L. Mencken, ‘Sage of Baltimore’ was something of a foodie. According to The Baltimore Sun, he dined at many restaurants — the most famous may have been Mason Marconi, which was located here in Mount Vernon. Famed for its lamb chops, its address was 106 W. Saratoga St. The restaurant lasted 84 years until closing in 2004. 

Ready for this month’s question? It requires a field trip!

Question:The Hotel Rennert was a ‘see and be seen’ place in the Baltimore of yesteryear. It was located here in Mount Vernon, at Saratoga and Liberty Streets.

Name a famous guest of the hotel, and the business presently about to open in its lobby.

Email me your answer, and you could win a prize!


 Laura Rodini
 Executive Director, The Mount Vernon Cultural District

The Mount Vernon Cultural District Is
A Proud Partner of Downtown Partnership of Baltimore and Visit Baltimore

Why Baltimore’s
Mount Vernon Matters!

August, 2014 Volume 2, Issue 8

Editor’s Note: This month’s feature is written by Burt Kummerow, President of the Maryland Historical Society

Dear Reader,

Monument Early Design
An early design for the Washington Monument, by Robert Mills, submitted for the Washington Monument drawing competition, 1813. MdHS, MS876

Have you traveled up Charles Street from the Inner Harbor lately? As you head up the busy narrow corridor, the Washington Monument dominates the view ahead as it has for almost 200 years. Passing the many restaurants, shops and city landmarks, you are soon veering left or right and entering the cobblestones and monuments of Mount Vernon Place.

Welcome to Baltimore’s iconic Washington Monument, a full twenty years older than its Washington, DC counterpart. With aging stone and mortar, it is presently in intensive care, completely enshrouded in scaffolding and decorated with a large banner. The Monumental City is looking both to the past and future as it is “Restoring Mount Vernon Place.” A dedicated and public-spirited Mount Vernon Place Conservancy is again bringing much needed attention and resources to one of America’s memorable neighborhoods.

It all started with the Battle of Baltimore, 200 years ago this September. A year later, in 1815, Baltimore defenders were intent on raising monuments to their success.

As the War of 1812 ended, thousands marched in solemn procession to two locations. Downtown, near the courthouse, they laid the cornerstone for a Battle Monument dedicated to the dead in the recent battle. They picked a spot overlooking the city for the second monument. Howard’s Park was a sylvan retreat with a winding path to Revolutionary war hero John Eager Howard’s Belvedere country mansion. Howard eagerly donated some of his land for an impressive monument dedicated to the first president. A public lottery collected funding to erect a statue-topped obelisk that was an architectural marvel in its day. A decade later, visiting President John Quincy Adams declared the bustling port a “Monumental City.”

As Baltimore grew, the Washington Monument attracted a new, fashionable suburb. By the 1850s, the Mount Vernon neighborhood featured fine houses and imposing churches. An urban park surrounded the monument for a block in all four directions.

Peabody Library
George Peabody Library, image by Matthew Petroff

The late 19th and early 20th century brought cultural institutions that helped define a maturing America. The Walters, father and son, created a great, nationally recognized art museum on the square. Nearby, George Peabody built a remarkable library. Enoch Pratt, a hardware tycoon and long-time Mount Vernon resident, put together a pioneering public library a few blocks away. The original Johns Hopkins University campus spent decades developing in the neighborhood and Baltimore City College, among America’s oldest public high schools, prospered nearby until relocating uptown in the 1920s. The Maryland Historical Society, another time-honored organization, moved into the Enoch Pratt House after the First World War.

The Mount Vernon Neighborhood emanating out from the Washington Monument has influenced American history and culture far beyond the limits of Baltimore and Maryland. In recent decades, urban energy has successfully renewed a rundown Inner Harbor, but the city’s soul remains in its many neighborhoods. Mount Vernon tops that list with a potpourri of thriving restaurants, hotels, retail stores, museums, historic churches, concert halls and theaters. The University of Baltimore, the Meyerhoff, MICA and Station North anchor the north, and the Bromo Seltzer Arts District with the west end attractions bolster the south. Apartment dwellers are arriving in droves, taking advantage of this increasingly livable urban area.

In the center of it all, ringing the monument, is a world of civic activity worthy of a European capital. Fueled by dynamic public and private partnerships, including the Mount Vernon Place Conservancy, Downtown Partnership, Mount Vernon Belvedere Association and our own Mount Vernon Cultural District, the neighborhood is working with city and citizens to restore its historic luster, building by building and block by block.

The construction traffic snarls will soon disappear and the festivals will return as early as this December when the Washington Monument is lit anew for the holidays. We invite you to leave your car during these bicentennial years and start exploring a special place on foot. You will soon be joining the chorus, “Restoring Mount Vernon Place,” one of Baltimore and America’s matchless neighborhoods.

Burt Kummerow, President and CEO
Maryland Historical Society


It’s Baltimore Restaurant Week!



It’s that time – that magical week when Baltimore’s finest restaurants roll out their red carpets and shine their nicest silverware: It’s Summer Restaurant Week!

Now thru August 10, 2014, participating restaurants are offering three-course prix-fixe dinner menus for just $30.

Lucky for us, many of these excellent restaurants are located right here in Mount Vernon. So I had to bring you the juicy details — just in time for dinner.

Esquire Magazine says that the Prime Rib serves one of the 20 Best Steaks in America — and it’s located right here in Mount Vernon!

For just $30, you can enjoy your choice of soup or salad, entrees ranging from their special cut of Prime Rib (pictured), Imperial crab, salmon or a pork chop, served with creamed spinach and mashed potatoes. The chocolate mousse pie makes for the perfect finish.


The Helmand celebrates restaurant week with four, three-course menu options to choose from, including their delectable lamb simmered with apricots and chili peppers.

The Helmand, named among CityPaper‘s Dining Hall of Fame, has been serving outstanding meals in Mount Vernon since 1989. See for yourself why Richard Gorelick of the Baltimore Sun says it “still entices and delights.”

And for all the mouth-watering Restaurant Week details, and to make your reservation, click here.


August Events In Mount Vernon
Presented in Chronological Order


Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
1212 Cathedral Street | Phone: 410-783-8000 | Website


Jerry Garcia Symphonic

Jerry Garcia Symphonic Celebration
featuring Warren Haynes
Fri, August 8, 2014 at 8 PM (Pier Six)

Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and Rams Head Promotions partner to present the Jerry Garcia Symphonic Celebration featuring Warren Haynes and members of the BSO on Friday August 8, 2014.

This ground-breaking orchestral program – curated by the Garcia Family – features Jerry Garcia’s original compositions, as well as classic interpretations of his timeless standards that were hallmarks of Garcia and the Grateful Dead’s shows. Collaborating with a full symphony orchestra, renowned vocalist/guitarist Warren Haynes (Allman Brothers Band, Gov’t Mule, The Dead) lends his soul-soaked, introspective blend of rock, blues, R&B and jazz to Garcia’s masterworks.

Tickets start at $35
Visit www.ticketfly.com


Maryland Historical Society
201 W. Monument Street | Phone 410-685-3750 | Website


Baltimore: Birthplace of the American Bicycle?
An ‘Old Timey Bike Fest’ and Cycling Conference

Bike Fest

Baltimore is known as a “city of firsts,” but few know that Charm City gave birth to the first American bicycle! We’re launching a new campaign to win national recognition for Baltimore’s unique place in the history of American bicycling. Working in partnership with Baltimore Heritage, we are hosting a special-one day exhibition, American Wheels to the Front: The Involution of American Bicycles (1868-today), as well as celebrating our cycling past and present at the ‘Old Timey Bike Fest’ and happy hour on Thursday August 7, 2014.

  • From 10:00 AM – 7:30 PM, you can enjoy FREE admission to the Maryland Historical Society to experience American Wheels to the Front: The Involution of American Bicycles (1868-today)
  • There will be a FREE Young Defenders First Thursday Happy Hour in the Courtyard from 5:00 – 7:30 PM
  • On hand will be local food trucks, including The Green Bowl and GrrChe, and local beer and wine at a cash bar: $3/beer; $5/wine
  • Demonstrations of historic bicycles by modern high-wheel men starting at 6:00 PM
  • A celebratory bike ride led by Baltimore Heritage departing MdHS at 7:30 PM

What is a Velocipede?

High Wheel Men

Invented in Germany in 1816, the velocipede was an early ancestor of the modern “safety” bicycle. The velocipede caught on quickly among reckless urban “dandies” in France and England. Growing interest in the United States prompted a writer in the Baltimore Morning Chronicle to remark acidly, “Every species of transatlantic nonsense, it would seem, is capable of exciting curiosity, no matter how ridiculous.” Where some only saw a chance for ridicule, Baltimore piano-maker James Stewart saw an opportunity. In late 1818, Stewart crafted the first velocipede manufactured in the United States and, in February 1819, put it on display downtown at the Concert Hall (built around 1813 on South Charles Street).

A polarizing debate followed. The Federal Republican and Baltimore Telegraph sneered: “A curious two-wheeled vehicle called the Velocipede has been invented, which is propelled by Jack-asses instead of horses.” 80 year old Charles Wilson Peale stopped by to see the velocipede on his way back to Philadelphia after painting portraits of President James Monroe, Henry Clay and black freeman Yarrow Mamout. The velocipede quickly won Peale’s heart and when he arrived home in Philadelphia he commissioned a local blacksmith to make him one of his own. Stewart’s invention led to the Dandy-operated velocipedes that terrorized many a society lady throughout the late 19th century as well as the road bikes citizens of today use to get to work or just enjoy the fresh air.

About the International Cycling History Conference

Wood Trike

Also taking place from August 6-9, 2014 at the Maryland Historical Society is the 25th Annual International Cycling History Conference. The Conference has been notable for bringing together academics, curators, collectors, and enthusiasts to debate and present new knowledge on all aspects of cycling history. The Conference has a notable track record in bringing to light critical, interesting, and previously unappreciated stories from the history of cycling. Examples include such diverse subjects as exposing the fraudulent ‘Leonardo’ claims to invention of the bicycle, to the role of Col. Albert A. Pope in formation of the bicycle monopoly in 1899, to discussion of the role of cycling in women’s liberation.For more details and to register, click here.

For a complete list of August events at The Maryland Historical Society, click here.


The Maryland Humanities Council
108 West Centre Street | Phone: 410-685-0095 | Website


Literary Walking Tour of Mt. Vernon
Sat, August 16, 2014 at 11 AM

Owl Bar

Take this guided 90 minute walking tour with the Maryland Humanities Council, past Mount Vernon’s elegant mansions and majestic cultural institutions. Follow in the footsteps of the many famous authors, poets, and editors who sojourned in Baltimore’s cultural hub. Tour goers will also receive a 10% coupon for lunch at the Owl Bar at the Historic Belvedere Hotel. Registration is required for this free tour. Space is limited.

Tour starts at the Enoch Pratt Free Library, 400 Cathedral Street, Baltimore, MD 21201

More info: Click here or call Michele Alexander at 410-685-4186

Music of the War of 1812
Thur, August 21, 2014 at 11 AM

David Hildebrand
David Hildebrand

The War of 1812 spawned a huge variety of songs in America. From the early stirrings of party politics under President Adams, the traumatic effect of Jefferson’s Embargo in 1807, through the triumph at Fort McHenry and the last battle in New Orleans, Americans took pen to paper to tear at political opponents, to dramatize the great sea battles between huge frigates in full sail and to laud battle heroes like Hull and Perry. In addition, songs of ridicule, sentimental ballads of love and separation and songs encouraging enlistments were sung at home, on the streets and in theaters. This program climaxes in the true telling of the birth of the Star-Spangled Banner in September, 1814, dispelling several lingering myths along the way. Live musical selections accompanied by appropriate images (if projector and screen available). Adult and high school audiences. David Hildebrand teaches American music history at the Peabody Conservatory, and he is finishing a history of music in Maryland for The Johns Hopkins University Press. He and his wife Ginger Hildebrand have been performing professionally for museums, historical societies, schools, colleges, and universities throughout the country since 1980, focusing on American music. Dr. Hildebrand received his Ph.D. in Musicology from Catholic University of America, his M.A. in Musicology from George Washington University, and his B.A. in Music from Dickinson College.

Tour starts at Symphony Manor Assisted Living, 4301 Roland Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21210

More info: Call Lynsey Ricci at 410-235-4301


Mount Vernon Place Conservancy
817 St. Paul Street | Phone: 410-752-1225 | Website

FREE outdoor movie series in the West MVP square at8:30 PM, yoga, walking tour and harp performance – ALL FREE.

FREE Outdoor movies (on 16′ inflatable screen)
8:30 PM, WestMVP Square
Wed, August 6: The Monuments Men (2014)
Wed, August 13: The Lego Movie (2014)
Wed, August 20: The Great Gatsby (2013)

FREE Walking Tour:
“The Cultural Tour: Mount Vernon Place to the Inner Harbor”
Sat, August 23, 10 AM, West MVP Square, (don’t forget to bring water!)
Co-sponsored by the Conservancy and the Baltimore National Heritage Area.

FREE Harp Performance
Wed, August 27, 7 PM, West MVP Square

FREE Maryland Historical Society Re-enactments of the
War of 1812
Wed, September 3, 7 PM, West MVP Square

FREE YOGA (year-round)*
Every Saturday 8:30 AM in the East MVP Square
*BeginningSeptember 6, the class will move inside to the Belvedere (1 East Chase Street)


Peabody Institute
1 East Mount Vernon Place | Phone: 410-234-4500 | Website


Summer Intensive

Paul Taylor Dance Company Summer Intensive at Peabody

For nearly three decades, the Taylor Intensives have been a premier training ground for modern dance technique and the best way to study Taylor style and repertoire. The Intensives have achieved distinction by virtue of outstanding faculty members – distinguished Taylor dancers and alumni – and the exceptional personal attention given to each student. With Taylor dances now in the repertoire of many renowned companies around the world, in addition to those of the Paul Taylor Dance Company and Taylor 2, it is vital for dancers seeking a place in today’s dance world to know Taylor style and repertoire. The Intensives provide that opportunity – students learn from the masters here at Peabody Dance!

Studio Showings: Fri, August 8 and Fri, August 15, 4-5 PM
Location: Peabody Dance Studios, 17 E. Mt. Vernon Place
Reservations: 410-234-4626


Spotlighters Theatre
1221 North Calvert Street | Phone: 410-962-5070 | Website

Auditions for Rocky Horror Show
Sun, August 3-6 PM
Sat, August 9-1 PM
Sun, August 10-5 PM

Girls and Boys of Summer

Auditions for The Man Who Came to Dinner
Sat, August 16, 1 PM
Sun, August 17, 6 PM

More Info: Click here

Summer Cabaret – The Girls (and Boys) of Summer
Featuring Beth Weber, Christine Thomas-O’Meally, Dyanna Neal Jim Knost, and Stephen Lampredi
Sat, August 23, 8 PM

An evening of music and laughter!

Tickets: $20 (adults), $18 (seniors) and $16 (students & military)
More Info: click here.

The Walters Art Museum
600 N. Charles Street | Phone: 410-547-9000 | Website


Super Thursday Party: Here and Now 2
Thursday, August 14, 2014, 5-9 PM
Enter the museum through Centre Street

Here and Now 2

Party at the Walters!

See The Janet and Walter Sondheim Artscape Prize Exhibition in its final days, tour the Walter’s collection and enjoy music in the galleries of the Walters Art Museum courtesy of DJ Paul Labelle, host of “Save Your Soul” at Baltimore’s Lithuanian Dance Hall and noted jazz violinist, David Schulman.

Baltimore’s own Union Craft Brewery will offer libations and lite fare will be on sale in Café Q.

Admission: Free
Register here for a free drink.
Super Thursday Party: Here and Now 2 is sponsored by Constellation Energy

Trivia Time!

The spectacular Tiffany Dome at the Garrett-Jacobs Mansion

Congratulations abound to everyone who correctly answered last month’s question!

Mount Vernon is home to many Tiffany windows – we are quite fortunate! You can find them at:

  • Emmanuel Episcopal Church
  • Garrett-Jacobs Mansion
  • Grace and St. Peter’s
  • Mount Vernon Place United Methodist Church
  • And Old Saint Paul’s

Ready for this month’s question?

Question:H.L. Mencken, the ‘Sage of Baltimore’ was also something of a foodie. The Baltimore Sun has published a handful of articles listing some of his favorite dining spots, most of which are here in Mount Vernon. While the buildings have been lost to Time, their names live on in Memory. (And they’re making me hungry.) Name one of Mencken’s favorite dining rooms!

Email me your answer, and you could win a prize!


Laura Rodini
Executive Director, The Mount Vernon Cultural District

The Mount Vernon Cultural District Is
A Proud Partner of Downtown Partnership of Baltimore and Visit Baltimore

New Neighbors

July, 2014     Volume 2, Issue 7

Dear Reader,

Hoschild Kohn Building
The old Hochschild Kohn building on Park Ave, courtesy Department Store Museum

We’re extending a warm welcome to our new neighbors on the western side of the Mount Vernon Cultural District – the 520 Park Ave. Apartments!

The building, managed by WPM Real Estate, once served as the main warehouse for the Hochschild Kohn department store chain. Founded in 1897 and known simply as Hochschild’s, it was Baltimore’s largest department store for most of the 20th century. The warehouse building on Park Avenue also housed the company’s furniture department.

Co-founder Louis B. Kohn was ahead of his time when he opened a Hochschild’s out in Edmonson Village in 1947. The store later expanded to other suburban outposts in Woodlawn and Columbia to keep up with retail demand from newly opened shopping malls.

After a long run – Hochschild Kohn’s went out of business in 1983 – the building next housed the Bank of Baltimore and then Aegon insurance before it moved downtown in October, 2011.

Today, WPM Management is committed to preserving 520 Park’s past while adding all the modern conveniences befitting a luxury apartment building.

A view of the interior courtyard,
courtesy WPM Management

For example, the center of the building has undergone renovations that enabled its builders, Kinsey Construction, to create a central courtyard. “Think of the building like a pineapple,” says Regional Property Manager Karen Houston, “It has been cored in the middle.” This move added beautiful indoor/outdoor living space for residents as well as additional light. Designers also retained historical architectural elements, such as the concrete structural support pylon pictured at center. Old photographs of Hochschild Kohn line the walls of the building’s common areas, and the floor plans are named after area streets and landmarks, such as Belvedere, Eutaw, and Howard.

Careful consideration has been taken into the building’s environmental impact, as well. 520 Park has been built to LEED Silver standards, which means it uses high efficiency heating and cooling systems, energy efficient appliances, hot water heating, and efficient lighting, just to name a few.

“520 Park Avenue represents a modern rehab of a historic building that will link Mount Vernon to Seton Hill and Downtown’s West Side,” developer Mark Caplan tells Baltimore CityBizList. “When complete, this redevelopment will offer the kind of sprawling views and first-rate amenities that are spurring residential growth throughout downtown Baltimore.”

A Peek Inside

We were fortunate enough to tour of the building, which is nearly completed. Each of the 171 unique apartment homes features 13-foot ceilings, hardwood floors, granite countertops and modern kitchens with stainless steel appliances.

A view of the 1-bedroom apartment,
courtesy WPM Management

There will be retail space on the first floor of the building, and as reported by The Baltimore Business Journal, a fitness center or restaurant is a likely occupant of about 3,000 square feet. The rest of the space – about 15,000 square feet – will function as a marketplace with room for 15 vendors. (Think a smaller Belvedere Square). You’ll be able to shop at a gourmet charcuterie stand, one that specializes in pickles, and another serving fresh oysters.

Perhaps best of all, the building’s 200+ new residents will have easy access to area universities such as University of Maryland, Johns Hopkins, University of Baltimore and the Peabody Institute. Students already comprise the bulk of the building’s leasees, and we couldn’t be happier to be adding so many young professionals to our neighborhood.

520 Park welcomed its first new tenants in late June, with its official grand opening set for October, 2014. For more information about the 520 Park Ave. Apartments, click here.


Coming Soon to Mount Vernon…
Howard’s Park Dog Park


Dog Park

Nearby the 520 Park Ave. Apartments, the city of Baltimore is building a dog park, scheduled to open in the coming months. Plans include enclosing Howard’s Park with a fence and moving the existing statue of Revolutionary War hero John Eager Howard closer to the light-rail stop to create more open space. The dog park will include a water fountain, landscaped gardens, and benches for owners to enjoy.

Although the construction of the park has yet to be complete, Mount Vernon dog lovers are already taking advantage of the space. “We have a fantastic community for our furry four legged best friends to play in unconstrained by leases,” says Geoffrey Hart, Howard’s Park Coordinator, “It is simply impossible to remain in a negative state of mind watching some of dogs run around the park chasing or being chased by one another.  We have an established social hour every Saturday from 10 am until whenever, but during the nicer weather people tend to come out all day long.  Our Facebook page is a great resource to learn about park activities and general information about the going ons at the park.

Look for updates about Howard’s Park in coming issues of our Mount Vernon Newsletter!


Now at the Walters: the Janet & Walter Sondheim Artscape Prize Finalists


Sondheim Finalists

See spellbinding contemporary art from up-and-coming artists at The Walters Art Museum in a new exhibition from The Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts and the Walters Art Museum.

The competition awards a $25,000 fellowship to assist in furthering the career of a visual artist living and working in the Greater Baltimore region. M&T Charitable Foundation provides a $2,500 honorarium for each of the remaining finalists not selected for the fellowship.

“We love having contemporary art here at The Walters,” says Julia Marciari-Alexander, Director of the Walters Art Museum. “This was at one time a contemporary art museum. Henry and William Walters were great collectors of contemporary art as well as art of the past.”

Lauren Frances Adams
‘Chinoiserie: Labor Protest Histories,’
By Lauren Frances Adams

Finalists include Lauren Frances Adams, whose work is dedicated to justice, social inequality and untold stories.

In ‘Chinoiserie': Labor Protest Histories,’ Adams recreates wall paper that can be found at George Washington’s Mount Vernon, adding evidence of slavery. “It’s an active way to learn about history,” she says, “by being aware of a lack of agency. Here I combined evidence of a seat of power with evidence of slavery. These are precarious prototypes.”

Another finalist, Kyle Tata, is an instructor of photography at the Baltimore School for the Arts. Using contemporary and historical photographic processes, Tata’s work examines the lingering ghost that haunts America’s urban landscape.

Kyle Tata
‘Parking Garage,’ by Kyle Tata

“Something I always think about in East Coast contemporary cities, is a handful of European architects, and their influence,” Tata says, “Their effects on design are cold and austere, which resonates with the underlying feeling people have.” He uses regular office items, including florescent lights, in a new way in his search for ‘utopian undercurrents of every day life.’

You can view all 7 finalists’ work at the Walters Art Museum now through Sunday, August 17. After a review of the installed art and an interview with each finalist by the jurors, the winner of the competition is selected from the exhibition. An award ceremony announcing the winner will take place at the Walters on Saturday, July 12, 2014 at 7pm. Tickets are free. Click here to register.

The Walters Art Museum is located at 600 N. Charles Street in Mount Vernon. Phone 410-547-9000.


A Great Annual Meeting!


Thank You

I want to thank everyone for coming to our first Annual Meeting, and a big thank you to Mona Rock at the Walters Art Museum for the lovely venue, and Trinacria for lunch! We discussed our latest plans with the Mount Vernon Conservancy to celebrate the restoration of the Washington Monument next July 4 (2015), action items on member advocacy and our launch into the social media sphere — next week! For more details, email me for a copy of our Annual Meeting Summary.


A New Member Welcome


Grace & St. Peters
The interior of Grace & St. Peter’s Church

I’d also like to take a moment and welcome Grace & St. Peter’s to our Mount Vernon Cultural District! This beautiful Episcopalian church was constructed in 1852 as the first brownstone building in Baltimore. It was also the first church built of stone in the city. Its choir and organist are renowned. You’ll hear more about Grace & St. Peter’s in upcoming issues of the Mount Vernon newsletter.


July Events In Mount Vernon
Presented in Chronological Order


Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
1212 Cathedral Street | Phone: 410-783-8000 | Website


Wild and Happy

The Ben Folds
Orchestra Experience
Eric Jacobsen, conductor
Thursday, July 17 at 7:30 PM

With the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Ben Folds performs his new concerto and fan-favorites from his celebrated albums.

Tickets start at $45
For complete details and to buy tickets,
click here.


Center Stage
700 North Calvert Street | Phone: 410-332-0033 | Website


Come to Camp Center Stage!

Camp Center Stage

Camp Center Stage has officially begun! Over 160 students from all across Maryland will join us to spend their summer learning about performing arts and cultivate their acting skill set.

Registration is still open for our *newly added* Session for Grades 1-6 (June 23rd to July 3rd) and for our 7th to 12th grade Session (July 21st to Aug 1st), so if you are looking to find a fun, enriching summer camp, you can click here to learn more and register.


Maryland Historical Society
201 W. Monument Street | Phone 410-685-3750 | Website


Descendants of Joshua Barney Visit MdHS!

Barney Family Barney Wallet
John Helm, Andrea Helm, Mogan Helm, Bennett Helm, Anne Halm Galvin, Tom Galvin, Jack Galvin, Mason Galvin, Sarah Hardy Lower, Gavin Lower, Ian Lower, Archibald Hardy IV, Mary Stuart Hardy, Lancoln Hardy, Archibald Mct Hardy, Mason B. Hardy, Michelle Hardy, Sarah Anne Hardy, Mary Heward Hardy Late 18th century-early 19th century Leather with gilt, polychrome highlights. Collection of Anne Helm Gavin, John B. Helm, Sarah B. Hardy, Archibald Hardy and Mason B. Hardy, descendants of Joshua Barney

The Maryland Historical Society was honored to have descendants of War of 1812 hero Commodore Joshua Barney at the museum in June! Barney commanded the Chesapeake Bay Flotilla and was renowned for his military prowess and exceptional bravery. The Barney family is loaning the museum truly awe-inspiring objects that belonged to Barney himself – such as the leather bill fold or wallet, pictured above, which belonged to Barney during the War of 1812.

The wallet is divided into sections labeled by the month. When it arrived at the museum, letters and documents written by Barney had long been stored in this wallet. Their contents, much of which date to the period of the War of 1812, will broaden our understanding of Barney’s activities between 1812 and 1814 as well as his relationship with his family.

You can view the entire collection currently on display in the In Full Glory Reflected: Maryland During the War of 1812 exhibit at the Maryland Historical Society. It even includes Barney’s pistol and spyglass! Many thanks to the Barney descendants for their generous loan.

Other Events at the Maryland Historical Society

War of 1812: Beyond the Battlefield
Summer Lecture Series

The Maryland Historical Society is partnering with Fort McHenry National Historic Shrine to present a summer lecture series, War of 1812: Beyond the Battlefield. The events will take place Thursday evenings at MdHS, from 6-8 PM, with lectures beginning at 6:30 PM. Light refreshments will be served.

Pricing: $10/person.

War of 1812 Cover

Forgotten Conflict: Why the War of 1812 Matters Today
Presented by Don Hickey, Ph.D.
Thursday, July 17

The War of 1812 shaped the United States and Canada and influenced how Great Britain related to the two nations to the end of the 19th century and beyond. Based on its profound and lasting impact, the “forgotten conflict” deserves a higher profile in the living memory today. Hickey will explore the role of the War of 1812 in the current public imagination.

Pricing: $10/person.

To register, click here, send us an email, or call 410-685-3750 x377.

For a complete list of July events at The Maryland Historical Society, visit  www.mdhs.org.


The Maryland Humanities Council
108 West Centre Street | Phone: 410-685-0095 | Website


2014 Chautauqua Summer Series
Creative Women: Breaking the Mold

Emily Dickinson, Frida Kahlo and Georgia O’Keeffe, illustrations by Tom Chalkley. All Rights Reserved.

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to hear famous historical figures talk about their experiences and accomplishments… in real life? Join the Maryland Humanities Council at our annual Chautauqua and meet celebrated figures from our nation’s past, then talk with them about their lives, ideas, and impact.

Since 1995, when Maryland’s Chautauqua began at Garrett College, this summer event has spread to six locations, providing free programs for communities in every region of the state. Chautauqua combines scholarship and performance to present an interactive program that engages thousands of Marylanders in thoughtful dialogue.(Illustrations pictured are by artist Tom Chalkley. All Rights Reserved.)

Mark your calendars! Click here to access a schedule of Chautauqua performances.

Featured Historical Figures:

Emily Dickinson

Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)
Access a list of Dickinson’s work
Visit the Emily Dickinson Museum online

Emily Dickinson was an American poet whose works are considered among the finest in the English language. From her family home in Amherst, Massachusetts, she exchanged spirited, engaging letters with family and friends, exploring events of her day and addressing intellectual and artistic topics of the time. Although she was a prolific poet, only a dozen of her works were published during her lifetime, with nearly 1,800 published for the first time after her death. Playful yet mysterious, highly independent in her beliefs, and always ready with her own brand of charming wit, Dickinson captures the imaginations of people world-wide. Glimpse the secrets of Emily’s brilliant heart and join in a farewell tea during a visit in Washington, DC, with her father, a member of the United States Congress.

Mimi Zannino

MiMi Zannino, who portrays Dickinson, is a published poet and teaching artist who facilitates creative writing and memoir-writing classes throughout Maryland in schools, hospitals, and retirement communities. She has served the Maryland State Arts Council as a poet-in-residence since 1989 and has also coordinated the National Endowment for the Arts “Poetry Out Loud Program” in Maryland. She is the author of books for children and adults, and her articles and poetry have appeared in numerous publications. A graduate of the Johns Hopkins University, Towson University, and the Teaching Artist Institute programs, Zannino researched, wrote and performs “Time Travel with Emily Dickinson” throughout the mid-Atlantic region.

Frida Kahlo

Frida Kahlo (1907-1954)
View Frida Kahlo’s work
Access the Frida Kahlo Museum Online

Frida Kahlo was a Mexican artist best known for her self-portraits painted in vibrant colors. Kahlo suffered lifelong health problems resulting from childhood polio and injuries from a bus accident, and she endured a troubled marriage with the famous muralist Diego Rivera. These physical and emotional wounds are reflected in her paintings. Although her work was not widely known during her lifetime, she is now recognized internationally for her complex images that inspire the viewer to ponder the mix of psychological, political, social, and cultural elements of her work.

Marian Licha

Marian Licha is known for her one-woman show Frida Vice-Versa, which she co-authored with R. Dennis Green and produced. In addition to her work in theatre, she has extensive experience in radio, television and film. She is a bilingual voice-over talent specializing in commercials, narrations, film, and corporate communications. A recipient of a 2000 MCAC Theatre Fellowship Award and an Individual Artist Award for Solo Performance from the Maryland State Arts Council in 2010, Licha holds a bachelor’s degree in theatre from George Washington University and a master’s degree in Educational Theatre from New York University. She has also received training at The Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute and The Second Studio for Actors. Frida Vice-Versa was directed by Jessica Lefkow.

Georgia O'Keeffe

Georgia O’Keeffe (1887-1986)
View Georgia O’Keeffe’s work
Access the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum Online

Georgia O’Keeffe is considered the first woman in the American Modern Art movement and is best known for her striking paintings of flowers, bones, and landscapes. New York photographer and gallery owner Alfred Stieglitz, whom O’Keeffe later married, brought her to the attention of the American public, and she became part of an influential circle of early modernist painters and critics. An extended visit to New Mexico in 1929 had a profound effect on O’Keeffe’s work, sparking a new period that resulted in her celebrated Southwestern paintings. She settled permanently near Santa Fe in 1949 and died there at the age of 98, leaving a rich legacy of American images.

Kelley Rouse

Kelley Rouse is an award winning broadcast journalist and former news anchor at WBOC-TV in Salisbury. She teaches media writing in the Communication Arts Department at Salisbury University, and leads book discussions at the Worcester County Public Library and Somerset County Public Library. Certified by the Teaching Artist Institute, she shares her love of storytelling and writing in workshops for young people. Rouse’s first one-woman show was about Montana’s Jeannette Rankin, the first woman elected to Congress. She has been appearing as Georgia O’Keeffe since 2002 in a one-woman play written by Martha Furey.


Peabody Institute
1 East Mount Vernon Place | Phone: 410-234-4500 | Website


Bassoon Week

Celebrate Bassoon Week!

With Phillip Kolker, Artist faculty and Chair of Orchestral Instruments
Retired Principal Bassoon of Baltimore Symphony Orchestra

Faculty ConcertFree Event

Saturday, July 19 at 2:00 pm
Cohen-Davison Family Theatre

Closing Concert – Free Event

Saturday, July 26 at 3:00 pm
Leith Symington Griswold Hall

For more information, visit the Peabody’s website by clicking here.


Spotlighters Theatre
817 St. Paul Street | Phone: 410-752-1225 | Website


Spotlighters Young Actors

Young Actors Academy
A summer theatre intensive for ages K-12.
Monday, July 7 thru Friday, Aug 1, 2014
9 AM – 4 PM

The Academic/Conservatory program for young actors that want to take their skills to the next level.

Four one week modules are designed to provide an approach to acting, play writing, and the general craft of storytelling; students come away with notions of dramatic structure, character development, monologue and scene work, and more. Register for one session or for all four.

For more information, click here.
Scholarship funds available – inquire by email.

God of Carnage

God of Carnage
By Yasmina Reza
Translated by Christopher Hampton
Directed by Greg Bell
July 4 – July 27, 2014
Fri, Sat 8 PM; Sun 2 PM

A dark voyeuristic pleasure: watching the verbal battle which unfolds during Yasmina Reza’s God of Carnage.

We get to watch the characters’ unravel their dark sides, despite their diplomatic intentions. We get to behold adults who act like rude, petulant children. However, if we watch closely, we might see a bit of ourselves.

Tickets: $20 (adults), $18 (seniors) and $16 (students & military)
More Info: click here.

The Walters Art Museum
600 N. Charles Street | Phone: 410-547-9000 | Website


Bonneau Caprece Jazz Series and WEAA 88.9 FM present Jazz @ The Walters
Thursday, July 24, 2014 | Doors at 6 PM

Carlos Johnson Zone 1 Jazz Band: Hear legendary saxophone player and bandleader Carlos Johnson as he performs a double-set at the Walters. Johnson thrived as a professional musician during his teens and performed at popular jazz clubs during the golden era of Baltimore’s historic Pennsylvania Avenue. He has shared the stage with a host of iconic talent, including Count Basie, Ella Fitzgerald, Ray Charles, and Damita Jo.

Craft beer and wine will be on sale, and the Walters Museum Store will be open (with special discounts for concert attendees).

Tickets: $25 (20% off for members of the Walters or WEAA 88.9 FM). Click here to purchase.

Seeing Music in Medieval Manuscripts
Saturday, June 28, 2014 thru Sunday, October 12, 2014 | 10 AM – 5 PM

Medieval Manuscript

Medieval painters often filled their manuscripts with scenes of everyday life that included charming illuminations of people and animals playing musical instruments and dancing. Many of these images, however, functioned as sophisticated symbols that conveyed a complex understanding of man’s relationship with the order of the universe. Musical harmony and dissonance were thought to mirror the perfection of heaven as well as the disorder of evil. This exhibition, composed of approximately twenty manuscripts and objects, will explore music in its relationship with philosophy, religion, and the arts during the Middle Ages.

Click here for more information.

Trivia Time!

E. Bonaparte

Congratulations abound to everyone who correctly answered last month’s question!

Known as the ‘most beautiful woman in 1812 America,’ Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte grew up in town and caught the eye of Napoleon’s brother, Jerome, launching an international drama.

Elizabeth lived well into her nineties and could be seen walking around Mount Vernon, collecting rents on the many properties she owned in the area. She died in a boarding house that today is one of the neighborhood’s most favorite coffee houses: Milk & Honey.

Ready for this month’s question?

Question: There are at least two Tiffany stained-glass windows in Baltimore’s Mount Vernon neighborhood, located in distinct, and transcendent, places.

Name at least one building that is home to a Tiffany window.

Email me your answer, and you could win a prize!


Laura Rodini
Executive Director, The Mount Vernon Cultural District

The Mount Vernon Cultural District Is
A Proud Partner of Downtown Partnership of Baltimore and Visit Baltimore

‘Making a Difference:’ Enoch Pratt And The Civil Rights Movement

June, 2014  Volume 2, Issue 6

Dear Reader,

When Enoch Pratt gave the city of Baltimore a $1 million endowment to build a library, his gift came with one caveat: “my library shall be for all, rich and poor without distinction of race or color, who… can take out the books if they will handle them carefully and return them.”

The Enoch Pratt Central Library was praised as the country’s first free, no-fee lending library, but it was ahead of its time in other ways, too. 1882 was the year the library was founded, less than 20 years after the Civil War. Slaves had been emancipated, but America remained segregated.

Thanks to Pratt’s inclusiveness, the library was the country’s first to issue borrowers cards to African Americans. In 1886, Harry S. Cummings of 935 North Eutaw Street became the first African American to obtain a Pratt Library card.

The Pratt library continued to uphold Pratt’s mandate, welcoming all through its doors for the next hundred-plus years.

“Even when the country was segregated, the Pratt Library wasn’t,” says marketing director Roswell Encina.

Today the Pratt Library has 22 branches throughout Baltimore. Its Central Library is right here in Mount Vernon, and more than two million people pass through its iron doors each year. The library continues to serve all through its career center, e-reader lending program, author events, and exhibits.

Making a Difference

The Pratt Library is well regarded for its Eddie and Sylvia Brown African American Collection, which is also a part of the Maryland State Library Resources. With more than 45,000 books, a digital collection that examines slave documents and African American life in Maryland, historic newspapers, anti-slavery pamphlets, personal journals, slave narratives, and photographs, it is Maryland’s premier resource for African American historical and genealogical research.

The Pratt’s newest exhibit, Making A Difference: African American Women and the Civil Rights Movement, showcases photographic images and stories of African American women who were instrumental in shaping the modern Civil Rights Movement from the 1950s-1960s. Many of the photographs are from the Pratt’s collection. The exhibit opens June 9 and runs through October 5, 2014.

Shedding Light on Women’s Role in the Civil Rights Movement

Historians have recently acknowledged that African American women were the ‘unsung heroes’ of the Civil Rights movement; for example, even after Rosa Parks made her revolutionary refusal to give up her seat on the bus in Montgomery, AL, she had to let men speak for her at public events.

“Making A Difference: African American Women and the Civil Rights Movement” seeks to shed light on their important contributions, both in Baltimore and around the country. Dozens of photographs will be on display.

Like the rest of the Pratt Library, this exhibit is free and open to the public.


Other Pratt Happenings in June


The Book Sale Is Back!

Book Sale
A happy shopper at last year’s Book Sale, courtesy Baltimore Sun

The Pratt usually holds its popular Book Sale around the holiday season, but due to winter snow closings, we get a summertime treat! Its Book Sale is taking place now through Saturday, June 7.

You’ll be able to sort through tens of thousands of old library books and donated books and CD’s in the Pratt’s central atrium. Hardcover books are $1 and paperbacks are 50 cents, so you can really stock up.

Notable Author Event

Jennifer Weiner

On Wednesday, June 18 at 7pm, the Pratt Library welcomes Jennifer Weiner, the New York Times bestselling author of 11 books, including Good in Bed, In Her Shoes (which was made into a major motion picture starring Cameron Diaz) and The Next Best Thing.

Her newest book, All Fall Down, is the story of a woman’s slide into addiction and struggle to find her way back again. With a sparkling comedic touch and tender, true-to-life characterizations, this tale of empowerment and redemption is Jennifer Weiner’s most poignant, timely, and triumphant story yet.

To reserve a seat, click here or call 410-396-5494.

Especially For Kids

Fizz Boom Read

And since it’s the summer, the Pratt introduces Fizz, Boom, Read, a program for children —  where you can actually win prizes for reading!

Simply sign up at the library and receive an activity log to fill out. Then start reading. For every day that you read a book or share a literacy activity together, you can check off or color in your activity log.

Prizes are awarded for 7 days of reading, 35 days, 49 days, and each week thereafter. And these prizes are good! They range from Orioles games to National Aquarium tickets. For more information, click here.

The Enoch Pratt Free Library is located at 300 Cathedral Street in Baltimore. Phone 410-396-5430. For a complete list of June events at The Pratt, visit www.prattlibrary.org.


Our Annual Meeting!



Our Annual Meeting will take place on Monday, June 9 at the Walters Art Museum! We’ll discuss our plans for the coming year – including our first ad campaign. We’ll also have a delectable lunch from Trinacria, and a presentation about the new 520 Park Ave. apartments. If you are already a member of our Mount Vernon Cultural District, email me if you’d like to attend! And if you are interested in being part of our illustrious group, but have yet to join, what are you waiting for? Contact me today.


June Events In Mount Vernon
Presented in Chronological Order


Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
1212 Cathedral Street | Phone: 410-783-8000 | Website

All events will occur at the Meyerhoff, unless otherwise noted.

Beethoven's Ninth

Beethoven’s Ninth
Thursday, June 5
Friday, June 6
Sunday, June 8

A not-to-be-missed concert experience. Hear the epic, timeless message of humanity and brotherhood when Marin Alsop leads the BSO, Baltimore Choral Arts Society and guest soloists in Beethoven’s inspiring Ninth Symphony. Marin Alsop, conductor
Angela Meade, soprano
Jennifer Johnson-Cano, mezzo-soprano
Dimitri Pittas, tenor
James Morris, bass-baritone
Baltimore Choral Arts Society
Peabody Children’s Chorus



Movie and Music
Thursday, June 12
Friday, June 13


One of the greatest films of all time accompanied by your world-class BSO. Starring Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman and Paul Henreid, this classic film brings hope and heartache to the big screen while the orchestra performs Max Steiner’s famous soundtrack.A celebrated American film deserves a classic American cocktail! Read more.

Emil de Cou, conductor



Movin’ and Groovin’
Saturday, June 14, 10AM
Saturday, June 14, 11:30AM

A brass quintet will perform the swinging tunes of Joplin and sparkling music by Handel to celebrate what makes summertime great: sunshine, the beach, ice cream, swimming and more!The Music Box Series is a unique music program for young children ages 6 months to three years old and their families. Each performance features pre-concert activities hosted 30 minutes prior to the show by the BSO and partner organization Ready-at-Five, a non-profit that works to ensure that all Maryland children are ready to learn by age five. The wide range of pre-concert activities will encourage literacy, creative play and musical skills.

Attendees of all ages are required to have a ticket.

Maria Broom, narrator



Center Stage
700 North Calvert Street | Phone: 410-332-0033 | Website


Wild and Happy

Wild with Happy
By Colman Domingo
Directed by Jeremy B. Cohen
Through June 29

“Absurdly amusing!” - Variety
“A freewheeling, witty, and heartfelt new play” - AM New York

Grief is a funny thing. Gil’s boyfriend has left him, his acting career isn’t exactly taking off, and his mother just passed away. He’s not taking it all very well. But luckily his boisterous Aunt Glo, a sensitive funeral director, and his outrageous best friend may be exactly what he needs. Colman Domingo’s new comedy, a recent smash hit at New York’s Public Theater, is a wild ride through love, loss, and, just maybe, The Most Magical Place on Earth.

Tickets start at $19
Call 410.332.0033 or visit www.centerstage.org

Global Sister Cities

Global Sister Cities
By Colman Domingo
Directed by Jeremy B. Cohen
Through June 29

Global Sister Cities is a video installation at Center Stage that connects Baltimore audiences with five peer cities across the world: Durban, Glasgow, Ho Chi Minh City, Detroit, and Reykjavik. Exploring the role of art in public discourse Global Sister Cities asks artists and communities “How is your city responding to today’s challenges, and what is the role of art in shaping new ideas and solutions?” The installation is free and will be on display through June 29 in Center Stage’s Deering Lobby. For more info,  click here.


Play Lab: The Show-Off
By George Kelly
New Adaptation by Jerry Patch
June 6 – 8

Nothing has prepared Philadelphia’s Fisher family for their daughter’s new beau, the totally irrepressible and utterly irresponsible Aubrey Piper. Bold braggart and charming chump, Aubrey’s the ultimate self-made man-and the biggest challenge a mother-in-law ever confronted.

Originally written in 1924, and immediately hailed as “the best comedy [yet] written by an American,” this landmark laugher gets a fresh new adaptation and a first hearing in our final Play Lab of the season.

Come early for the ever-popular Toast Bar, then stay after to share your thoughts and responses.

Tickets $10 | $5 for Members
Call 410.332.0033 or visit www.centerstage.org

Fri, June 6 at 8 pm
Sat, June 7 at 8 pm*
Sun, June 8 at 2 pm
5th floor Jay Andrus Rehearsal Hall

* There will also be a free open rehearsal at 2:30 pm on Saturday, June 7. Patrons interested in attending should contact the Box Office at rsvp@centerstage.org. Please arrive 10-15 minutes prior to the start time.


Maryland Historical Society
201 W. Monument Street | Phone 410-685-3750 | Website


Opening Soon! BEARINGS of Baltimore, Circa 1815

General Wayne Inn
A rendering of the General Wayne Inn by the
UMBC Imaging Research Center.

Researchers and exhibition staff are putting the final touches on the new street-view scene of 1815 Baltimore, which will open to the public on Thursday, June 19.

The exhibit is called the Bird’s Eye Annotated Representational Image/Navigable Gigapixel Scene (BEARINGS) of Baltimore, Circa 1815. Combining historical research with cutting-edge effects technology, BEARINGS of Baltimore, Circa 1815 provides a detailed rendition of the burgeoning city and conveys Baltimore’s prominence as a seaport and a commercial hub for the young country.

BEARINGS of Baltimore, Circa 1815 is comprised of over 2.5 billion pixels and nearly 50,000 tiles that are generated from a 3D model of the city. The model itself contains millions of individual elements, including structures like buildings and boats which are individually placed by hand, and vegetation that is randomly generated across portions of the terrain. It is quite a beautiful site.

How Did They Do It?

Researchers at the University of Maryland Baltimore County’s Imaging Research Center studied early maps of downtown Baltimore, historical newspapers, first-hand accounts, insurance policies, legal code, and topographical images to recreate in painstaking detail an image of Baltimore as it looked shortly after the bombardment of Fort McHenry.

They created 3D models of Baltimore row houses and other buildings that made up the early Baltimore scene. Check out the level of detail that was applied to this project: In designing the General Wayne Hotel (pictured), located on the corner of Paca and Baltimore (also known as Market) Streets, researchers consulted the Sanborn Fire Insurance Map, which listed the building’s construction materials. The hotel as it appeared in early photographs was also carefully reviewed. Using a library of authentic textures, its 3D brick exterior was created. A historically accurate paint scheme was used for the shutters. Notice how the shutters were louvered on the upper floors – their purpose was for ventilation from the hot, dusty street below. On the first floor, the shutters were paneled, for privacy from passersby. A hand-painted sign, a replica of what hung outside the hotel, was the final touch.

And that’s just one building!

Technical Considerations

BEARINGS of Baltimore, Circa 1815 is so large that it could not be displayed by a regular computer; in fact, if you wanted to view the whole image at once without shrinking it, you would need about 1,200 HDTVs.

The installation includes two screens: 46″ HD touch screen and a 75″ HD screen for projection. The super-fine quality resolution is HD (1920×1080). Its infrared technologies allow you to move to a point on the image without actually touching the screen.

By visiting the Maryland Historical Society, you can enjoy BEARINGS of Baltimore, Circa 1815 simply by placing your hand over the screen. Hover over a particular spot, and you can zoom in on historically accurate city streets. Or, you can select one of the interactive “Hotspots,” that, for the very first time, allow you to see significant buildings as they would have appeared in 1815. These arresting visual images are supplemented with primary source material from the Maryland Historical Society’s collection.

On Thursday, June 19 the installation will be open to the general public. It will serve as the gateway to the Maryland Historical Society’s exhibit In Full Glory Reflected: Maryland During the War of 1812 and will be on view indefinitely.

The Maryland Historical Society wishes to thank Project Director Dan Bailey, Researcher and Artist Tamara Peters, Technical Director Ryan Zuber, CUERE Environmental Data manager Joshua Cole and the students at the Imaging Research Center for their outstanding work. The Maryland Historical Society also thanks the Maryland War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission and the Robert W. Deutsch Foundation for their funding support.

For a complete list of June events at The Maryland Historical Society, visit  www.mdhs.org.


The Maryland Humanities Council
108 West Centre Street | Phone: 410-685-0095 | Website


Rosalie Calvert and the War of 1812
June 5, 2014 at 11:00am
Symphony Manor Assisted Living
4301 Roland Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21218

Actress Mary Ann Jung portrays the life of Rosalie Calvert of Riversdale Plantation in this costumed living history presentation. Audience members relive the drama of life during the War of 1812 as Rosalie describes the Battle of Bladensburg, the burning of Washington, and the creation of The Star-Spangled Banner. The presentation also explores the fascinating day-to-day details of running a plantation in Maryland.

Contact Lynsey Ricci at 410-235-4301 for more information.

Walking Tour

Literary Walking Tour
of Mt. Vernon
June 21, 2014 at 11:00am
Tour starts at 400 Cathedral Street, Baltimore, MD 21201

Take this guided 90 minute walking tour with the Maryland Humanities Council, past Mount Vernon’s elegant mansions and majestic cultural institutions. Follow in the footsteps of the many famous authors, poets, and editors who sojourned in Baltimore’s cultural hub.

Registration is required for this free tour. Register here or call (410) 685-4186.

Maryland Humanities Council Spring Grant Awards Support Three Baltimore City Projects

Recently the Maryland Humanities Council (MHC) awarded support for three Baltimore City porjects in their most recent Major Grants Cycle. The PEN/Faulkner Foundation was awarded funds to bring their Writers in Schools program to Baltimore City Schools. In the 2014-15 school year, PEN/Faulkner Foundation will host 45 author visits, working with 14 teachers and 550 students in Baltimore City Public Schools. PEN/Faulkner will donate books to participating students/schools, conduct training with teachers in how to use their toolkit of lesson plans and other resources, and bring authors to the schools for author visits. MHC also provided support to the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University for a traveling exhibition on the history of Peabody Dance within the context of dance in Baltimore and around the state, major historical dance figures, and national dance movements. The exhibition is entitled “Moving History: Stepping Down the Path of Peabody Dance through 100 Years of Maryland History” and is part of a larger centennial celebration of Peabody Dance. The nonprofit organization Wide Angle Youth Media received support for their “International Engagement Radio and Video” project, which consists of an international radio workshop for Baltimore city teens where they will Skype with peers working with the Children’s Radio Foundation in Cape Town, South Africa. For more information about MHC Grant programs, click here.


Spotlighters Theatre
817 St. Paul Street | Phone: 410-752-1225 | Website


Edward II

Edward II
By Christopher Marlowe
Adapted by Jonas David Grey
Directed by Brad Norris
May 30 – June 22, 2014

In a time of civil strife and growing political unrest, the fate of an English king is threatened not by war, but by the prejudice of his own court against the man he loves. Marlowe’s play illustrates the romance between Edward and his beloved Gaveston with surprising candor, and reveals that not even the Crown is safe against the crushing intolerance of Church and State.

Tickets: Adults $20, Seniors $18, Students $16. Visit www.spotlighters.org or call 410-752-1225.


The Walters Art Museum
600 N. Charles Street | Phone: 410-547-9000 | Website


Edward II

The Janet & Walter Sondheim Artscape Prize 2014 Finalists
June 21, 2014 – August 17, 2014
10 AM – 5 PM

Presented by the Walters and the Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts, this exhibition will show the work of the finalists for the 2014 Janet & Walter Sondheim Artscape Prize. Artists will compete for top honors and a $25,000 fellowship in the Greater Baltimore area’s most prestigious arts competition. The prize assists in furthering the career of a visual artist or visual artist collaborators living and working in this region. Held in conjunction with Artscape, America’s largest free arts festival, the semifinalist and finalist exhibitions will be presented in partnership with the Walters and the Maryland Institute College of Art. The competition winner will be announced at the awards ceremony at the Walters on July 12. Artscape will be July 18-20, 2014.

2014 Sondheim Artscape Prize Awards Ceremony
July 12, 2014 | 6 PM – 10 PM

The Walters Art Museum and the Baltimore Office of Promotion and The Arts present the Sondheim Artscape Prize: 2014 Finalists. Artists compete for top honors and a $25,000 fellowship in the greater Baltimore area’s most prestigious arts competition. The prize assists in furthering the career of a visual artist or visual artist collaborators living and working in this region.

Super Thursday
August 14, 2014 | 5 PM – 9 PM

Save the date for our next Super Thursday party which will celebrate the closing of The Janet & Walters Sondheim Artscape Prize 2014 Finalists Exhibition. Enjoy music and drinks on the sculpture court, explore the museum, and see the work of the greatest contemporary artists in the area. This event is free and open to the public. Please enter through Centre Street.

Trivia Time!

Congratulations abound to everyone who correctly answered last month’s question!

Back when The Owl Bar was a Prohibition-era speakeasy, one had a recite a short poem to be allowed inside. Just what was that four-line poem?

Answer: “A wise old owl sat on an oak/ The more he saw the less he spoke/ The less he spoke the more he heard . . ./ Now wasn’t that a wise old bird? ”

Ready for this month’s question? The answer may surprise even the biggest of Baltimore’s history buffs.

Portrait of Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte, George D'Almaine after Gilbert Stuart, 1856, Maryland Historical Society, Gift of Mrs. Charles Joseph Bonaparte, xx.5.78
Portrait of Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte, George D’Almaine after Gilbert Stuart, 1856, Maryland Historical Society, Gift of Mrs. Charles Joseph Bonaparte, xx.5.78

Question: Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte was known as the ‘most beautiful woman in 1812 America.’ The daughter of wealthy Baltimore merchant William Patterson, she grew up in town and caught the eye of Napoleon’s brother, Jerome, launching an international drama.

Elizabeth lived well into her nineties and could be seen walking around Mount Vernon, collecting rents on the many properties she owned in the area. She died in a boarding house that today is one of the neighborhood’s most favorite coffee houses: Name that building, and which coffee house inhabits it, today.

Email me your answer, and you could win a prize!


Laura Rodini
Executive Director, The Mount Vernon Cultural District

The Mount Vernon Cultural District Is
A Proud Partner of Downtown Partnership of Baltimore and Visit Baltimore