Baltimore, a city and seaport, and the metropolis of Maryland, U.S.A., the 7th city in population in the United States. It is at the head of tide-water on the Patapsco river and its middle and north-west branches where they form an estuary 12 m. from the entrance of their waters into Chesapeake Bay, in lat. 39° 17′ N. and long. 76° 37′ W., about 172 m. by water from the Atlantic Ocean, 40 m. by rail N.W. from Washington, 26 m. N. by W. from Annapolis, 97 m. S.W. from Philadelphia, and 184 m. from New York. Pop. (1890) 434,439; (1900) 508,957 of whom 79,258 were negroes, and 68,600 foreign-born (of these 33,208 were natives of Germany, 10,493 of Russia, 9690 of Ireland, 2841 of England, 2811 of Poland, 2321 of Bohemia and 2042 of Italy); (1910, census) 558,485. It is served by the Baltimore & Ohio, the Philadelphia, Baltimore & Washington (the Pennsylvania system), the Baltimore & Annapolis Short Line, the Baltimore, Chesapeake & Atlantic; the Northern Central; the Western Maryland and the Maryland & Pennsylvania railways; and by steamship lines running directly to all the more important ports on the Atlantic coast of the United States, to ports in the West Indies and Brazil, to London, Liverpool, Southampton, Bristol, Leith, Glasgow, Dublin, Belfast, Havre, Antwerp, Rotterdam, Bremen, Hamburg and other European ports.
The city extends nearly 6&FRAC12; m. from E. to W., and except on the W. side a little more than 5 m. from N. to S., covering an area of about 32 sq. m. The ground on which it is built is for the most part gently rolling; originally some portions were swampy and others were marked by precipitous heights, but the swamps have been drained and filled and the heights rounded off. Jones's Falls, a small stream shut in between granite walls several feet in height, crosses the N. boundary line a short distance W. of its middle, flows S.E. to the S.E. corner of the main business quarter, and there meets the north-west branch of the Patapsco, in which lies the harbour, defended at its entrance by the historic Fort McHenry, built at the S.E. extremity of Locust Point, an irregular peninsula extending S.E., on which are grain-elevators and a number of wharves, including those of the Baltimore & Ohio railway.
That part of the city which lies E. of Jones's Falls is known as East Baltimore, and is in turn nominally divided into Fells' Point to the S. and E., now a shipbuilding and manufacturing quarter, and Old Town to the N. and W. In the Old Town still remain a few specimens of eighteenth century architecture, including several old-fashioned post-houses, which used to furnish entertainment for travellers starting for the Middle West by way of the old Cumberland Road beginning at Fort Cumberland, and from Baltimore to Fort Cumberland by a much older turnpike. The more inviting portion of the modern city lies on the western side of Jones's Falls, and the principal residential districts are in the northern half of the city. A little S. from the centre of the city, Baltimore Street, running E. and W., and Charles Street, running N. and S., intersect; from this point buildings on these two streets are numbered N., S., E. and W., while buildings on other streets are numbered N. and S. from Baltimore Street and E. and W. from Charles Street. Baltimore Street is the chief business thoroughfare; S. of it as well as a little to the N. is the wholesale, financial and shipping district; while West Lexington Street, a short distance to the N., and North Howard and North Eutaw Streets, between Fayette and Franklin Streets, have numerous department and other retail stores.
In North Gay Street also, which runs N.E. through East Baltimore, there are many small but busy retail shops. North Charles Street, running through the district in which the more wealthy citizens live, is itself lined with many of the most substantial and imposing residences in the city. Mount Vernon Place and Washington Place, intersecting near the centre of the city, Eutaw Place farther N.W., and Broadway running N. and S. through the middle of East Baltimore, are good examples of wide streets, having squares in the middle, adorned with lawns, flower-beds and fountains.
The buildings of the principal business quarter have been erected since 1904, when a fire which broke out on Sunday the 7th of February destroyed all the old ones within an area of 150 acres. Within a year after the fire, however, 225 places of business were again occupied and 170 more were building. A city ordinance prohibited the erection of any building more than 185 ft. in height, and prescribed a uniform height for those in the same neighbourhood; a large portion of the new buildings are of either three or four storeys, but a few tall ones range from ten to sixteen. The principal materials of which they are built are limestone, granite, marble and bricks, and terra-cotta of various colours.
The city hall, the post-office and the court-house, standing in a row, and each occupying a separate block along E. Fayette Street in almost the exact centre of the city, are three of Baltimore's most imposing buildings, and all of them narrowly escaped destruction by the great fire. The city hall, completed in 1875, in the Renaissance style, consists of a centre structure of four storeys surmounted by an iron dome 260 ft. high, and two connecting wings of three storeys surmounted by a mansard roof; the entire outer facing is of white Maryland marble. The post-office, completed in 1890, is built of Maine granite. The court-house, completed in 1899, is of white marble, with mural paintings by La Farge, E. H. Blashfield and C. Y. Turner. Two of the principal library buildings - the Peabody and the Enoch Pratt - are faced with white marble. Among the churches may be mentioned the Roman Catholic cathedral, surmounted by a dome 125 ft. high - Baltimore being the seat of a Roman Catholic archbishopric, the highest in rank in the United States; the First Presbyterian church (decorated Gothic), with a spire 250 ft. high; the Grace Episcopal church - Baltimore being the seat of a Protestant Episcopal bishopric; the First Methodist Episcopal church; and the synagogues of the Baltimore Hebrew Congregation and the Oheb Shalom Congregation. Other notable buildings are the custom-house, the Masonic Temple, the Maryland Clubhouse, the Mount Royal station of the Baltimore & Ohio railway, and the buildings of the Johns Hopkins hospital.
There are several good bridges across Jones's Falls.
On an elevated site at the intersection of Washington Place - a continuation of N. Charles Street - with Mount Vernon Place stands a white marble monument in honour of George Washington, the eldest of the monuments in his honour in the United States. The corner-stone was laid in 1815 and the monument was completed in 1829. The base is 50 ft. sq. and 24 ft. high; on this stands a Doric column, 25 ft. in diameter at the base and 130 ft. high, which is surmounted by a statue of Washington 16 ft. high. A winding stairway in the interior leads to a parapet at the top. In the square by which the monument is surrounded are also statues of George Peabody by W. W. Story (a replica of the one in London), Roger Brooke Taney by W. H. Rinehart, and John Eager Howard by Emmanuel Frémiet; and bronze pieces representing Peace, War, Force and Order, and a figure of a lion by Antoine L. Barye. The Henry Walters collection of paintings, mostly by modern French artists, and of Chinese and Japanese bronzes, ivory carvings, enamels, porcelain and paintings is housed in the Walters Art Gallery at the S. end of Washington Place; at the south-east corner of the square is the Peabody Institute with its conservatory of music and collection of rare books, of American paintings, and of casts, including the Rinehart collection of the works of William H. Rinehart who was a native of Maryland. In Monument Square near the post-office and the court-house is the white marble Battle Monument, erected in 1815 to the memory of those who had fallen in defence of the city in the previous year; it is 52 ft. high, the column being in the form of a bundle of Roman fasces, upon the bands of which are inscribed the names of those whom it commemorates; and the whole is surmounted by a female figure, the emblematical genius of the city.
To this monument and the one in honour of Washington, Baltimore owes the name "The Monumental City," frequently applied to it. A small monument erected to the memory of Edgar Allan Poe stands in the Westminster Presbyterian churchyard, where he is buried; there is another monument to his memory in Druid Hill Park. In Greenmount Cemetery in the north central part of the city are the graves of Junius Brutus Booth, Mme Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte (1785-1879), the wife of Jerome Bonaparte, Johns Hopkins, John McDonogh and Sidney Lanier.
In 1908 there were in the city under the jurisdiction of the department of public parks and squares 13 parks of 10 acres or more each and 33 squares, and the total acreage of parks was 2188 acres and of squares 86.53 acres. Chief among the parks is Druid Hill Park in the N.W. containing 672.78 acres and famous for its natural beauty. Clifton Park, of 311.26 acres, 2 m. E. of Druid Hill and formerly a part of the Johns Hopkins estate, passed into the possession of the city in 1895. Patterson Park in the extreme S.E., of 125.79 acres, is a favourite resort for the inhabitants of East Baltimore.