Baltimore, Maryland

Baltimore, situated in north-central Maryland, is positioned along the Patapsco River near its confluence with the Chesapeake Bay. The city straddles the fall line that separates the Piedmont Plateau and the Atlantic coastal plain, dividing it into distinct lower city and upper city areas. The elevation of Baltimore varies from sea level at its harbor to 480 feet (150 m) in the northwest corner near Pimlico. As per the 2010 census, Baltimore’s Demographics covers a total area of 92.1 square miles (239 km2), with 80.9 sq mi (210 km2) being land and 11.1 sq mi (29 km2) being water, making up about 12.1 percent of its total area. Although almost enclosed by Baltimore County, Baltimore operates independently from it and shares a border with Anne Arundel County to the south.

Baltimore’s streets are laid out in a grid and spoke pattern, flanked by numerous rowhouses. The unique appearance of these rowhouses is due to the variety of materials used on their facades, such as brick and formstone, a material patented by Albert Knight in 1937. Formstone was humorously likened to the polyester of brick by John Waters in his documentary film, Little Castles: A Formstone Phenomenon. According to Mary Ellen Hayward and Charles Belfoure in their book The Baltimore Rowhouse, these rowhouses are what define Baltimore as a city unlike any other in America. By the mid-1790s, developers had begun constructing entire neighborhoods of these British-style rowhouses, which quickly became the predominant housing type in the city during the early 19th century.

Oriole Park at Camden Yards is a retro-style Major League Baseball park that opened its doors in 1992. Together with the National Aquarium, Camden Yards has played a key role in revitalizing the Inner Harbor area from its previous identity as an industrial district filled with run-down warehouses into a lively commercial hub teeming with bars, restaurants, and retail establishments.

The University of Baltimore School of Law granted the German firm Behnisch Architekten the top prize in an international competition for their design of the school’s new building. Following its completion in 2013, the design received further recognition, including an ENR National Best of the Best Award. Additionally, Everyman Theatre in Baltimore was acknowledged by Baltimore Heritage at the 2013 Preservation Awards Celebration and will be presented with an Adaptive Reuse and Compatible Design Award. Baltimore Heritage, a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving and promoting historic buildings and neighborhoods in Baltimore, bestowed this honor as part of their historic preservation awards ceremony.

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