Inner Harbor East, Baltimore
Inner Harbor East
Harbor East viewed from the Inner Harbor to the west.
Inner Harbor East, now more recently referred to more commonly as simply as Harbor East, is a relatively new mixed-use development project in Baltimore, Maryland, United States along the northern shoreline of the Northwest Branch of the Patapsco River, which is the Baltimore Harbor, and its Inner Harbor (formerly known as "The Basin"). Major tenants of Harbor East include the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront Hotel on Aliceanna Street, between the Waterfront Promenade on the west and to the east is the President Street Boulevard and the Katryn Forest Massacre Memorial (monument) in the International Drive circle at the south end. (formerly originally planned as the Wyndham Hotel in the 1990s). Also, the new Legg Mason Tower, in which the famous financial services firm moved from the central downtown is located across the street. A Four Seasons Hotel opened in November 2011.
Baltimore’s eastern Inner Harbor waterfront at the mouth of the Jones Falls stream was filled with decaying warehouses from the industrial boom and construction following the Great Baltimore Fire of 1904 which devastated downtown to the west. Center of this waterfront industrial district was the landmark but sorely neglected, former passenger station, switching buildings, roundhouses, tracks and rail yards of the historic 1849-50 President Street Station of the former Philadelphia, Wilmington and Baltimore Railroad (which merged into the later, larger multi-state Pennsylvania Railroad in 1881). Located at the southeastern corner of narrow President Street and Canton Avenue (later renamed Fleet Street), The PSS's foundations were laid in May 1849, and was completed and occupied for business on February 18, 1850. The curved-roof, painted brick "head-house" was of Greek Revival-style and had a long wood and iron-beamed shed to the rear in the east, sheltering arriving and departing trains, with cars and locomotives. A famous early photograph, taken in the summer of 1849, from the summit of Federal Hill across the Northwest Branch of the Patapsco River, shows the dense group of houses, buildings and lumber piles along the waterfront, with the under-construction Station with the trusses of its roof showing. Beyond on the horizon, is the grassy meadow hills of future Washington Hill, Broadway and the site of the Johns Hopkins Hospital. It supplanted an earlier, simpler depot dating back to the late 1830s and the predecessor line, Baltimore and Port Deposit Railroad (1832-1838), that merged into the new P.W. & B. Railroad with three other connecting lines, providing a continuous route to the northeast, completed to the river by 1837, and through to the "City of Brotherly Love" by 1838, for a ticket price of $4.00 and a journey time of six hours, except for the steam ferry-boat crossing of the Susquehanna River by the railroad's ferry "Susquehanna", (the first in America of its type), later replaced in 1854 by the larger more commodius "Maryland", which with the "Harriet Lane" served until the bridge. This compared with a several days trip before by coach or horse-back. A tremendous, wood-beamed, iron-trussed bridge, on twelve stone and concrete piers; a major American industrial accomplishment, (ranking with the crossings of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers) was a project to span that wide tributary to the Chesapeake Bay, was not completed until November 26, 1866, from Havre de Grace to Perryville, after a delay caused by a vicious windstorm/tornado, blew portions of the un-completed span into the river, the previous July.
Originally the valley through which the Jones Falls ran, south from Pennsylvania filled with various small dams, aqueducts, water mill-races and mills such as Worthington's and Pennington's as illustrated in some early drawings, prints and paintings, showing a bucolic, tree-lined, bubbly-brook pastoral scene with picturesque houses and barns along the stream's banks. Several wealthy estates and mansions were erected on hills overlooking the stream such as By the late 1800s, the Falls had become an industrial sewer, subject to frequent and disastrous floods and by the Throughout the 1850s, and the rest of the 19th Century, this part of eastern downtown and old East Baltimore was a teeming, busy, densely populated part of the city with neighborhoods of Jonestown, Baltimore/Old Town, Fells Point, Baltimore, Canton and soon, the later renamed "Little Italy" filled with different waves of European immigrants and in some smaller alley streets in between, were Afro-American residents spread throughout the neighborhoods, rather than the later 19th Century pattern of only certain communities attracting large numbers of former slaves, freedmen, and Free Blacks or "people of color". with many of its small Federal-era rowhouses of 2-1/2 stories and peaked roofs with dormer windows and some of the newer Italianate-style with a gently sloping back roof and elaborate top cornices on the front façade with the appearance of the soon-to-be-traditional white marble steps and lower front bases and stained-glass transom windows (with house numbers etched in) over the doors with a large front window with a rounded top or two narrow front windows. Later the painted-brick of the fronts of these houses were often painted red (to preserve the softer masonry & brick underneath) and had a grid of white mortar lines painted on. Green painted shutters on all the windows and brown and yellow painted wood frames and trim using a comb in the wet finish, simulating a tree's wood-grain were a traditional feature of the typical East and West Baltimore workers' houses with a painted white top fancy grooved and carved cornice and closely placed with the larger nearby several-story industrial commercial and manufacturing structures
Because of a city ordnance, that refused to allow smoking locomotives to travel within the limits of the city, passengers and cargo were transferred by horses attached to pulling rail cars up north on President Street, then west on Pratt Street along the harbor waterfront to the recently completed 1857 center-section of the Camden Street Station of the older Baltimore and Ohio Railroad to continue on further west to Harpers Ferry, (then in Virginia), and Cumberland, Maryland and on to Ohio or southwest to Washington, D.C. and all points further South. Other cars were pulled to the Bolton Station (site of the future Fifth Regiment Armory for the state militia on North Howard Street) or the Calvert Station, site of the future Baltimore Sun building of the present, to travel north to Harrisburg and Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania, on the Northern Central Railroad line.
After surviving without much bloodshed, on Thursday, April 18, 1861, the transferral of several companies of regular U.S. Army, Artillery Corps troops marching through the city south on Howard Street from the Northern Central line's Bolton Station, then southeast to Fort McHenry in South Baltimore, accompanied by some unarmed Pennsylvania state militia regiments from the Pottstown area (totalling about 600) which were escorted and protected by the new Baltimore City police force. The Regulars were passing through coincidentally on a previous schedule but the Pennsylvaians had responded quickly and arrived only a few days after newly inaugurated President Abraham Lincoln's proclamation and call to all the states for the call-up and recruitment of 75,000 troops to suppress the impending Rebellion, after state troops from newly seceded South Carolina, now under the command of a newly organized Confederate States Army upon the Federal Fort Sumter in Charleston harbor, on the previous Friday, April 12, 1861, Although harassed and heckled by southern-sympathizing Baltimoreans, and throwing some rocks and bottles with one soldier's servant injured, the locals were caught a bit unaware and the "Keystone State" troops arrived in the Capital later that night. But war appeared imminent, the city was in an upheaval, and Northerners rushed to enlist and send their first newly organized local militia south to be first to defend the National Capital, Washington, D.C.
The Station and the surrounding streets of downtown and old East Baltimore, were the site of the famous "Pratt Street Riot" on the next day, Friday, April 19, 1861 when transferring state militia troops of about 2,000 from the Sixth Massachusetts Regiment (northeastern towns of Lowell, Lawrence, Methuen, Stoneham, and others) joined by the "Washington Brigade" from Philadelphia of Pennsylvania state militia were attacked by southern-sympathizing mobs of civilians as they traveled first in nine horse-drawn yellow rail-cars up President Street and west, across Pratt Street to the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad's Camden Street Station (current site nearby of the Oriole Park baseball stadium and pro football's Ravens Stadium) led by newly appointed Baltimore City Police Marshal George P. Kane and newly elected, Reform-minded Mayor, George William Brown, with a contingent of newly organized and trained, uniformed city police, brandishing revolvers as escorts. After blocking the tracks with debris and sand piles, the troops on the tenth car, joined by the rest of the companies of soldiers following later from back at the President Street Station began marching in close order west along narrow cobble-stone paved Pratt Street, with its tightly packed alleys and buildings (unlike the modern, wide and open concrete boulevard) heading for the B. & O. depot. Some companies got through to Camden, but when pelted with rocks, bottles and debris and hearing gunshots, the rear guards were forced to wheel about and fire into the crowds and fight their way through. Four soldiers from the North were killed and several more civilians, possibly twelve and many were injured. This was considered "The First Bloodshed of the Civil War" and was quickly telegraphed throughout the war-fevered nation and the Massachusetts men became instant martyrs. (since during the attack by Confederates on Fort Sumter, in Charleston harbor, South Carolina, no one was killed in the opening artillery fire and cannonade). The Station is also considered the oldest surviving, big-city railroad depot and also is a significant point of American architectural history because of its unique first-use of a special "Howe" roof-truss for support. In addition, noted 19th Century abolitionist and civil rights leader Frederick Douglass escaped to freedom by hailing and jumping aboard, a Philadelphia-bound P.W. & B. Railroad train on this line near Canton from the smaller, previous station around 1838, (as documented in his memoirs) and there are several other instances of the rail line being used as a route to freedom on the famous "Underground Railroad" for escaping slaves.
By the 1870s, most of the northeast-bound passenger traffic was being routed to a newer "Union Station" for several lines in north Baltimore, on Mount Royal Avenue (between North Charles and Calvert Streets) which was replaced in 1911 by the present Pennsylvania Station. Freight continued to be hauled out of President Street and offices were maintained there until World War II. South and west of the tightly packed small alley-like streets of "Little Italy" which acquired its rather recent name after Italian immigrants replaced earlier waves of incoming residents around World War I. In April 1997, after a long-decade battle to preserve the historic crumbling station, a Baltimore Civil War Museum was opened under the sponsorship of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Museum at Mount Clare and the supporters group of the Friends of the President Street Station.
Further to the north and east was the old colonial village of Jonestown, which later acquired the name of "Old Town" in the 19th Century as it filled with first German, and later East European Jews from the 1830s to just after World War II, when more-affluent Jews joined the Post-War stampede to the suburbs and gradually moved to the northwestern parts of the city and county around Forest Park, Park Heights, Pimlico, Pikesville and Owings Mills. Old "Corned Beef Row" along East Lombard Street (between Albemarle Street and Central Avenue) was filled with delitectessans, butcheries, and other food markets and shops up until the 1980s. A variety of cultural and educational institutions also filled the crowded neighborhoods. Remembering all this heritage at Lloyd and Watson Streets (between East Baltimore and Lombard Streets) are the historic synagogues (Lloyd Street and B'nai Israel) and the exhibition halls/galleries and offices of the Jewish Museum of Maryland, (the former Jewish Historical Society of Maryland), which relocated there in 1985.
The surrounding cobble-stoned and rail-lined streets of inner Old East Baltimore (on the east bank of the Jones Falls), were filled with small two-and-half story, peaked-roof rowhouses from the 1820s to 1840s, and low, brick industrial buildings, with several taller canneries, warehouses, and lumber yards which narrowly missed being consumed by the Great Baltimore Fire of February 1904, which pushed by prevailing winds moving to the east was stopped short at the Jones Falls.
In 1983, Baltimore city officials hired a planning team for the "Inner Harbor East" renewal area; this planning team included Stan Eckstut of Cooper Eckstut Associates. Three years later, in 1986, John Paterakis of the long-time local H & S Bakery Company on Central Avenue was approached by Governor William Donald Schaefer to purchase a piece of land. Schaefer had instructed Paterakis to buy the land for 11.4 million dollars from Michael Silver with the idea that the city would re-purchase the land from him within the year at an interest and tax-adjusted price of $13.4 million.
The initial plan stressed both sidewalks and streets to connect residents and visitors to the waterfront. “The public space system was highlighted by a 2,000-foot (610 m) waterfront promenade that acts as a link to the Inner Harbor and to other nearby residential areas; bikers, joggers, and leisurely strollers bustle along this waterfront space."
The idea was to decrease the height of the buildings near the waterfront to create views of both the waterfront and the city, incorporated aspects of Mount Vernon Place with those of the Fells Point and Little Italy neighborhoods.
Inner Harbor East today features several high-rise hotels, apartments, and office buildings in a walking neighborhood. Retail tenants include a Whole Foods Market, high-end retailers such as Urban Chic, a movie theater, and several restaurants. Legg Mason has moved their headquarters from the tallest building in Baltimore to Harbor East. The new Legg Mason tower is located directly next to the Four Seasons. The Four Seasons was initially expected to include 20 floors of condominiums above the hotel, however that was put off indefinitely due to lack of high end residential demand in Baltimore.
“The development of Inner Harbor East maximizes the existing history, culture, tradition, and economic health of the Inner Harbor. The dense urban development uses less land, is more pedestrian-oriented, and creates more value for the existing area."
- "Harbor East Directory". Retrieved 2010-08-18.
- "Four Seasons Baltimore offers luxury, boost for tourism". Baltimore Sun. 2011-11-14. Retrieved 2011-12-23.
- Paterakis, John. Personal interview. 7 July 2008.
- The American Institute of Architects. 2000. AIA. 1 July 2008 .”
- "Inner Harbor East Baltimore, MD." The American Institute of Architects. 2000. AIA. 1 July 2008 .