Beauties of Baltimore: Five of the city’s most impressive buildings
The most populous city in the state of Maryland, Baltimore lives up to its nickname the “Charm City” with its sea of exquisite buildings and imposing architecture. Founded in 1729, Baltimore has an eclectic mix of both historic and modern buildings. Indeed, nearly one-third of the city’s buildings are designated as historic in the National Register. But, just which five stand out?
In the spate of traditional architecture, a modern building does make it through. The Horseshoe Casino is two-stories, with a 122,000 square-foot gaming floor. Built-in just 2014, the Casino is an impressive complex, demonstrating that the land-based betting industry in the US is well underway. Whilst the boom of online gambling sites like Robin Hood Bingo, this Casino is proving that brick-and-mortar establishments can still compete.
Outside, you are met by a multimillion-dollar facility, whilst inside, video lottery terminals, table games and even a World Series of Poker room greet you, giving you adequate opportunity to make a dime or two.
City Hall has been standing since 1875 after it took eight years to build. But, incredibly, a 22-year-old was the architect – George Aloysius Frederick. It truly is a work of art; a splendid Second Empire building featuring a high cast-iron dome and a gilded roofed-lantern adorned on top.
Its decoration in white marble makes City Hall even more striking and, following its renovation in the 1970s, looks incredibly clean and effortless. One of the oldest and most intact buildings of the Second Empire era.
Mount Vernon Place United Methodist Church
Completed in 1872, Mount Vernon Place United Methodist Church didn’t exactly make an inconspicuous entrance. Its tallest steeple looked down over neighboring buildings whilst the amalgamation of bold red for its main doors and the green serpentine stone seemed a world away from the unimaginative color scheme paraded in the buildings around.
The Church is of a Norman-Gothic structure with a multitude of arches, buttresses and a tower that perform little purpose except to make it look even better than it originally did. Truly an elegant sight to witness.
The Graham-Hughes House
Situated near to the Mount Vernon Place United Methodist Church is the equally superb Graham-Hughes House. Designed by a local architect in a French chateau-style mansion, the structure was completed in 1888 for the Graham family. The family’s daughter Isabella, married a Mr. Hughes, hence the name, and lived there until her death in 1977.
With not just a brilliant history backing it up, the House is adorned with white marble, offering a stark contrast to the red-bricked buildings surrounding it. It’s something that you would need to see to believe, it’s that unbelievable.
Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
A mouthful in name, but the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary is a beautiful architectural success. Completed in 1821, the Baltimore Basilica was designed a National Shrine in 1993 after being declared a National Historic Landmark in 1971.
And, is there any wonder why? An appealing exterior of silvery gneiss is complemented by a wooden double-shell dome and two cylindrical towers – a neo-classical success.