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Difference between revisions of "Washington Monument (Baltimore, MD)"

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The '''Washington Monument (Baltimore)''' is the centerpiece of an urban [[park]] with four radiating [[square]]s in the Mount Vernon neighborhood of Baltimore, Maryland. It is the earliest major commemorative structure planned in honor of [[George Washington]], commander-in-chief of the Continental Army and first president of the United States. When completed, the 165-foot pedestal, [[column/pillar|column]], and base constituted the tallest columnar structure in the world. <ref> Pamela Scott, "Robert Mills and American Monuments," in ''Robert Mills, Architect,'' ed. John M. Bryan (Washington, D.C.: American Institute of Architects Press, 1989), 150, [https://www.zotero.org/groups/54737/items/itemKey/E2TP47UJ view on Zotero]. </ref> The monument’s fame attracted tourists, wealthy residents, and cultural institutions to Mount Vernon Place and initiated a wave of commemorative projects that led President [[John Quincy Adams]] to dub Baltimore “The Monumental City” during a visit in 1827. <ref> "Baltimore, October 17," ''Salem [Massachusetts] Gazette'' (October 23, 1827), 2, cited in "Baltimore," ''Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia'', http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Baltimore&oldid=640828638 (accessed January 13, 2015).</ref>
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{{Place
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|Established Present=No
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|Established Date=1813
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|Established Circa=No
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|Established Concurrence=Exact
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|Established Questionable=No
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|Established HasEndDate=No
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|Established Present End=No
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|Established Circa End=No
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|Established Questionable End=No
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|Through Present=Yes
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|Through Circa=No
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|Through Concurrence=Exact
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|Through Questionable=No
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|Through HasEndDate=No
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|Through Present End=No
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|Through Circa End=No
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|Through Questionable End=No
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|Location=Baltimore, MD
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|Coordinates=39.29912, -76.6159
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|Geolocation link=coordinates
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|Condition=Extant
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|Keywords=Arch; Column/Pillar; Fence; Gate/Gateway; Promenade; Square; Statue; Walk; Yard
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|Site owners={{Site owner
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|Name=City of Baltimore (managed by the non-profit Mount Vernon Place Conservancy)
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|Owned Present=No
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|Owned Circa=No
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|Owned Concurrence=Exact
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|Owned Questionable=No
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|Owned HasEndDate=No
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|Owned Present End=No
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|Owned Circa End=No
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|Owned Questionable End=No
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}}
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|Associated people={{Associated person
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|Name=Robert Mills
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|Role=Architect
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|From Present=No
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|From Circa=No
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|From Concurrence=Exact
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|From Questionable=No
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|From HasEndDate=No
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|From Present End=No
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|From Circa End=No
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|From Questionable End=No
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|End Present=No
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|End Circa=No
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|End Concurrence=Exact
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|End Questionable=No
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|End HasEndDate=No
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|End Present End=No
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|End Circa End=No
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|End Questionable End=No
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}}
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|Other resources={{ExternalLink
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|External link URL=http://id.loc.gov/authorities/subjects/sh2001006472
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|External link text=LOC
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}}{{ExternalLink
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|External link URL=http://vocab.getty.edu/page/tgn/1102521
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|External link text=Getty TGN
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}}{{ExternalLink
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|External link URL=http://mvpconservancy.org/history/
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|External link text=Mount Vernon Place Conservancy
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}}
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}}
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The '''Washington Monument (Baltimore)''' is the centerpiece of an urban [[park]] with four radiating [[square]]s in the Mount Vernon neighborhood of Baltimore, Maryland. It is the earliest major commemorative structure planned in honor of George Washington (1732&ndash;1799), commander-in-chief of the Continental Army and first president of the United States. When completed, the 165-foot pedestal, [[column]], and base constituted the tallest columnar structure in the world.<ref>Pamela Scott, “Robert Mills and American Monuments,in ''Robert Mills, Architect,'' ed. John M. Bryan (Washington, DC: American Institute of Architects Press, 1989), 150, [https://www.zotero.org/groups/54737/items/itemKey/E2TP47UJ view on Zotero].</ref> The monument’s fame attracted tourists, wealthy residents, and cultural institutions to Mount Vernon Place and initiated a wave of commemorative projects that led President John Quincy Adams (1767&ndash;1848) to dub Baltimore “The Monumental City” during a visit in 1827.<ref>Hezekiah Niles, “The President of the United States,''Niles’ Weekly Register'' 9, no. 8 (October 20, 1827): 114, [https://www.zotero.org/groups/54737/items/itemKey/E3SHQKG3 view on Zotero].</ref>
  
==Overview==
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<hr>
'''Alternate Names:'''
 
  
'''Site Dates:'''1813-1838
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==History==
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[[File:0829.jpg|thumb|left|Fig. 1, Robert Mills, ''Elevation of the Principal Fronts'', Washington Monument, Baltimore, 1814.]]
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In 1810 a group of Baltimore citizens began raising funds by lottery for a monument in Washington's honor. At the request of the managers of the Baltimore Washington Monument Society, the French architect Maximilian Godefroy (1765&ndash;c. 1838) submitted a variety of design possibilities, including an equestrian [[statue]] framed by a triumphal [[arch]]; a [[fountain]] within a rotunda; and a public [[square]] containing a [[statue]] of Washington surrounded by trophies.<ref>J. Jefferson Miller, “The Designs for the Washington Monument in Baltimore,” ''Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians'' 23 (1964): 19&ndash;21, [https://www.zotero.org/groups/54737/items/itemKey/5VX37FEW view on Zotero].</ref> None of these plans was adopted, and in 1813 the managers opened an international design competition that attracted entries from non-American artists, including the French neoclassical architect and landscape architect Joseph-Jacques Ramée (1764&ndash;1842) [Fig. 2]. The committee preferred not to give the commission to a foreigner, however, expressing the wish that “American artists will evince by their production that there will be no occasion to resort to any other country for a monument to the memory of their illustrious Fellow citizen.”<ref>Rhodri Windsor Liscombe, ''Altogether American : Robert Mills, Architect and Engineer, 1781&ndash;1855'' (New York: Oxford University Press, 1994), 63, [https://www.zotero.org/groups/54737/items/itemKey/NGNZ65WN view on Zotero].</ref>
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[[File:0974.jpg|thumb|Fig. 2, Joseph-Jacques Ramée, ''Monument to the memory of general George Washington, to be erected at Baltimore'', design for the Washington Monument, 1813.]]
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In 1814 the committee awarded the commission to the American architect [[Robert Mills]], who had drawn up a number of structurally and iconographically complex designs before settling on a massive pedestal resembling a Roman triumphal [[arch]] as the base for a 120-foot Doric [[column]] surmounted by a sculpture of Washington in a quadriga guided by a personification of Victory [Fig. 1]. <span id="Mills_solidity_cite"></span>[[Robert Mills|Mills]] observed that the Doric proportions “possess solidity, and simplicity of character, emblematic of that of the illustrious personage to whose memory it is dedicated, and harmonising with the spirit of our Government” ([[#Mills_solidity|view text]]). Despite his emphasis on simplicity, [[Robert Mills|Mills]] devised an elaborate decorative scheme for the [[column]] and its base to reinforce the monument’s memorial and didactic functions. Six ironwork balconies were to divide the [[column]] at graduated intervals so that visitors climbing the internal stairway could pass outside to examine the bands of inscriptions and relief sculptures memorializing Washington's accomplishments and other events in America’s revolutionary history. A viewing platform at the top of the [[column]] would provide [[vista]]s of the surrounding scenery.<ref>John M. Bryan, ''Robert Mills: America’s First Architect'' (Princeton, NJ: Princeton Architectural Press, 2001), 105&ndash;17, [https://www.zotero.org/groups/54737/items/itemKey/P55UM5XC view on Zotero]; Miller 1964, 22&ndash;27, [https://www.zotero.org/groups/54737/items/itemKey/5VX37FEW view on Zotero]; William D. Hoyt Jr., “Robert Mills and the Washington Monument in Baltimore” [Part One], ''Maryland Historical Magazine'' 34 (1939): 155&ndash;57, [https://www.zotero.org/groups/54737/items/itemKey/DC2JN4I5 view on Zotero].</ref> The monument was to be located on a summit to the north of the city on land that had been part of [[Belvedere]], the estate of former Maryland governor and state senator, Col. John Eager Howard (1752&ndash;1827).<ref>Lance Humphries, “Baltimore and the City Beautiful: Carrère & Hastings Reshape an American City,” in ''Modernism and Landscape Architecture, 1890&ndash;1940,'' ed. Therese O’Malley and Joachim Wolschke-Bulmahn, Studies in the History of Art, Center for Advanced Studies in the Visual Arts, Symposium Papers, LV (Washington, DC: National Gallery of Art, 2015), 250, [https://www.zotero.org/groups/54737/items/itemKey/X29RH4U4 view on Zotero].</ref>
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Aesthetic concerns and lack of funding led to the radical simplification of [[Robert Mills|Mills's]] design.<ref>Scott 1989, 146&ndash;54, [https://www.zotero.org/groups/54737/items/itemKey/E2TP47UJ view on Zotero].</ref> The monument ultimately took the form of an unadorned Doric [[column]] on a simple rectilinear base surmounted by a [[statue]] of Washington resigning his military commission to the President of the Maryland Congress. The Italian sculptor Enrico Causici (1790&ndash;1833) won the competition to create the 14-foot marble [[statue]], which was set in place in 1829.<ref> Bryan 2001, 208, 210&ndash;12, [https://www.zotero.org/groups/54737/items/itemKey/P55UM5XC view on Zotero].</ref> Many of the ornamental motifs that [[Robert Mills|Mills]] had meticulously researched for the [[column]] and base were never added, despite his insistence that from a pedestrian’s perspective, they were “essentially requisite to give interest to the near view of the design, as without them there would be too great a degree of plain surface.”<ref>Catherine C. Lavoie, ''Washington Monument, Mount Vernon Place'' (Baltimore: Historic American Buildings Survey, 2005), 13&ndash;14, [https://www.zotero.org/groups/54737/items/itemKey/ZPR3HPVW view on Zotero].</ref> From 1830 to 1838, [[Robert Mills|Mills]] designed and oversaw the production of a cast-iron [[fence]] enclosure. It incorporated a number of symbolic elements originally intended for the monument, including distinctly Federal motifs such as stars, ribbon-bound fasces, and battle-axes.<ref>Robert L. Alexander, ''The Architecture of Maximilian Godefroy'' (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1974), 180&ndash;82, [https://www.zotero.org/groups/54737/items/itemKey/K83SXMJP view on Zotero].</ref>
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From the beginning, [[Robert Mills|Mills]] was concerned with the relationship of the monument to its surroundings, and his attention to the viewer’s experience of the site as a whole resulted in the development of a larger [[park]] setting than originally planned. In his proposal, [[Robert Mills|Mills]] had expressed the opinion that “Monuments isolated, or in the open air, should be towering, and commanding in their elevation, especially when they are encircled by a City, otherwise its popular intention is frustrated.”<ref>Hoyt 1939, 154, [https://www.zotero.org/groups/54737/items/itemKey/DC2JN4I5 view on Zotero].</ref> The initial proposal included a description of the monument’s immediate surroundings, calling for a gravel [[walk]], eleven feet wide, enclosed by a white picket [[fence]] in an octagonal configuration, with an ornamental shade tree at each angle.<ref>Hoyt 1939, 146, [https://www.zotero.org/groups/54737/items/itemKey/DC2JN4I5 view on Zotero].</ref> In 1820 [[Robert Mills|Mills]] reiterated his concern that “some place for a [[promenade]] for the public should be provided,”<ref>Lavoie 2005, 27, [https://www.zotero.org/groups/54737/items/itemKey/ZPR3HPVW view on Zotero].</ref> and during the 1830s, as the land around the monument was being divided into house lots, he urged widening the streets leading to the monument as well as the circular green space surrounding the base. <span id="Mills_lots_cite"></span>“It would be a pity to have the space about the Mon[umen]t cramped,” he wrote in 1836. “Ample room here will be found not only ornamental but useful for many purposes, for the parade of troops, for great public meetings, etc.” ([[#Mills_lots|view text]]).
  
'''Site Owner(s):'''<br/>
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A description published in 1848 documents many of the improvements requested by Mills and alludes to the undeveloped state of the four public [[square]]s that flanked the monument. The writer predicted: “When these spaces can be adorned with appropriate rows of trees, as well as embellished with marble [[fountain]]s or [[basin]]s, and other ornaments . . . it will become one of the most delightful [[promenade]]s on this continent.”<ref>Lavoie 2005, 15, [https://www.zotero.org/groups/54737/items/itemKey/ZPR3HPVW view on Zotero].</ref> Shade trees, [[shrubbery]], sidewalks, and additional ornamental iron [[fence|fencing]] in keeping with that designed by [[Robert Mills|Mills]] were finally installed following passage of a city ordinance in 1850.<ref> Humphries 2015, 251, [https://www.zotero.org/groups/54737/items/itemKey/X29RH4U4 view on Zotero]; Lavoie 2005, 29, [https://www.zotero.org/groups/54737/items/itemKey/ZPR3HPVW view on Zotero].</ref>
Managed by the non-profit Mount Vernon Place Conservancy in partnership with the City of Baltimore.<br/>
 
  
'''Site Designer(s):''' Robert Mills
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''Robyn Asleson''
  
'''Location:''' Baltimore, Md. <br/>
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<hr>
[https://www.google.com/maps/place/Washington+Monument+%26+Museum/@39.2991161,-76.6158953,16z/data=!4m2!3m1!1s0x0:0x3e8f35de099a189d View on Google maps]
 
  
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==Texts==
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*[[Robert Mills|Mills, Robert]], November 1813, initial proposal for the Washington Monument, Baltimore, MD (quoted in Hoyt 1939: 145&ndash;46)<ref name="Hoyt_1939"> Hoyt 1939, [https://www.zotero.org/groups/54737/items/itemKey/DC2JN4I5 view on Zotero].</ref>
  
==History==
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:“To the memory of General Washington, to be erected in the city of Baltimore, of octagonal form from the base to the top. . . .
  
[[File:0829.jpg|thumb|left|252px|Fig. 1, [[Robert Mills]], “Elevation of the Principal Fronts,” Washington Monument, Baltimore, 1814.]]
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:“From the base upwards to the first offset of the [[column]] eight feet, to be wrought at each angle the half of an octagonal [[pillar]], cut diagonally nine inches diameter & both at the base and eight feet distant at the offset to be formed from angle to angle a cornice in the Tuscan order. . . .  
  
In 1810 a group of Baltimore citizens began raising funds by lottery for a monument in [[George Washington|Washington]]’s honor. At the request of the managers of the Baltimore Washington Monument Society, the French architect Maximilian Godefroy (1765-c.1838) submitted a variety of design possibilities, including an equestrian [[statue]] framed by a triumphal [[arch]]; a [[fountain]] within a rotunda; and a public [[square]] containing a [[statue]] of [[George Washington|Washington]] surrounded by trophies. <ref> J. Jefferson Miller, "The Designs for the Washington Monument in Baltimore," ''Journal of the Society of Architectural Historian'', 23 (1964): 19-21, [https://www.zotero.org/groups/54737/items/itemKey/5VX37FEW view on Zotero]. </ref> None of these plans was adopted, and in 1813 the managers opened an international design competition that attracted entries from non-American artists, including the French neo-classical architect and landscape architect Joseph-Jacques Ramée (1764-1842). The committee preferred not to give the commission to a foreigner, however, expressing the wish that “American artists will evince by their production that there will be no occasion to resort to any other country for a monument to the memory of their illustrious Fellow citizen.”<ref> Rhodri Windsor Liscombe, ''Altogether American : Robert Mills, Architect and Engineer, 1781-1855'' (New York: Oxford University Press, 1994), 63, [https://www.zotero.org/groups/54737/items/itemKey/NGNZ65WN view on Zotero]. </ref>
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:“The space or [[yard]] contiguous to the base of the [[column]] to be of diagonal 42 2/3 feet diameter, corresponding with the angles of the monument. . . .
  
In 1814 the committee awarded the commission to the American architect [[Robert Mills]], who had drawn up a number of structurally and iconographically complex designs before settling on a massive pedestal resembling a Roman triumphal [[arch]] as the base for a 120-foot Doric [[column/pillar|column]] surmounted by a sculpture of [[George Washington|Washington]] in a quadriga guided by a personification of Victory [Fig. 1]. [[Robert Mills|Mills]] observed that the Doric proportions “possess solidity, and simplicity of character, emblematic of that of the illustrious personage to whose memory it is dedicated, and harmonizing with the spirit of our Government.”<ref> William D. Hoyt, Jr., "Robert Mills and the Washington Monument in Baltimore" [Part One], ''Maryland Historical Magazine'', 35 (1940): 155 [https://www.zotero.org/groups/54737/items/itemKey/DC2JN4I5 view on Zotero]. </ref> Despite his emphasis on simplicity, [[Robert Mills|Mills]] devised an elaborate decorative scheme for the [[column/pillar|column]] and its base to reinforce the monument’s memorial and didactic functions. Six ironwork balconies were to divide the [[column/pillar|column]] at graduated intervals so that visitors climbing the internal stairway could pass outside to examine the bands of inscriptions and relief sculptures memorializing [[George Washington|Washington]]’s accomplishments and other events in America’s revolutionary history. A viewing platform at the top of the [[column/pillar|column]] would provide [[view/vista|vistas]] of the surrounding scenery. <ref> John M. Bryan, ''Robert Mills: America’s First Architect'' (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton Architectural Press, 2001), 105-17 [https://www.zotero.org/groups/54737/items/itemKey/P55UM5XC view on Zotero]; Miller, 1964, 22-27, [https://www.zotero.org/groups/54737/items/itemKey/5VX37FEW view on Zotero]; Hoyt, 155-57, [https://www.zotero.org/groups/54737/items/itemKey/DC2JN4I5 view on Zotero]. </ref> The monument was to be located on a summit to the north of the city on land that had been part of [[Belvedere]], the estate of former Maryland governor and state senator, Col. John Eager Howard (1752-1827). <ref> Lance Humphries, "Baltimore and the City Beautiful: Carrère & Hastings Reshapes an American City," in ''Modernism and Landscape Architecture, 1890-1940,'' ed. Therese O’Malley and Joachim Wolschke-Bulmahn, Studies in the History of Art, Center for Advanced Studies in the Visual Arts, Symposium Papers, LV (Washington, D.C.: National Gallery of Art, 2015), 250, [https://www.zotero.org/groups/54737/items/itemKey/X29RH4U4 view on Zotero]. </ref>
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:“On the Est, West, North and South of the monument to be placed two [[gate]] posts with a [[gate]]. Over the [[gateway|gate way]] to be suspended an elegant [[arch]], consisting of white marble, the two ends resting on the to posts of each [[gate]], bearing over the centre of each [[gate]] on the front of the [[arch]] the arms of the United States. All around the [[yard]], which incloses the monument, to be formed a gravel [[walk]], eleven feet in width, surrounded by an open [[fence]] of wooden posts and &railing, painted white with vacant spaces for entrance, opposite the [[gate]]s.
  
Aesthetic concerns and lack of funding led to the radical simplification of [[Robert Mills|Mills]]’s design. <ref> Scott, 1989, 146-54, [https://www.zotero.org/groups/54737/items/itemKey/E2TP47UJ view on Zotero]. </ref> The monument ultimately took the form of an unadorned Doric [[column/pillar|column]] on a simple rectilinear base surmounted by a [[statue]] of [[George Washington|Washington]] resigning his military commission to the President of the Maryland Congress. The Italian sculptor Enrico Causici (1790-1833) won the competition to create the 14-foot marble [[statue]], which was set in place in 1829. <ref> Bryan, 2001, 208, 210-12, [https://www.zotero.org/groups/54737/items/itemKey/P55UM5XC view on Zotero]. </ref> Many of the ornamental motifs that [[Robert Mills|Mills]] had meticulously researched for the [[column/pillar|column]] and base were never added, despite his insistence that from a pedestrian’s perspective, they were “essentially requisite to give interest to the near view of the design, as without them there would be too great a degree of plain surface.” <ref> Catherine C. Lavoie, ''Washington Monument, Mount Vernon Place,'' Historic American Buildings Survey. Baltimore, Md., 2005, 13-14, [https://www.zotero.org/groups/54737/items/itemKey/ZPR3HPVW view on Zotero]. </ref> From 1830 to 1838, [[Robert Mills|Mills]] designed and oversaw the production of a cast-iron [[fence]] enclosure. It incorporated a number of symbolic elements originally intended for the monument, including distinctly Federal motifs such as stars, ribbon-bound fasces, and battle-axes. <ref> Robert L. Alexander, ''The Architecture of Maximilian Godefroy'' (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1974), 180-82, [https://www.zotero.org/groups/54737/items/itemKey/K83SXMJP view on Zotero]. </ref>
 
  
From the beginning, [[Robert Mills|Mills]] was concerned with the relationship of the monument to its surroundings, and his attention to the viewer’s experience of the site as a whole resulted in the development of a larger [[park]] setting than originally planned. In his initial proposal of 1813, [[Robert Mills|Mills]] had expressed the opinion that “Monuments isolated, or in the open air, should be towering, and commanding in their elevation, especially when they are encircled by a City, otherwise its popular intention is frustrated.” <ref> Hoyt, 1940, 154,[https://www.zotero.org/groups/54737/items/itemKey/DC2JN4I5 view on Zotero]. </ref> The 1813 proposal included a description of the monument’s immediate surroundings, calling for a gravel [[walk]], eleven feet wide, enclosed by a white picket [[fence]] in an octagonal configuration, with an ornamental shade tree at each angle. <ref> Hoyt, 1940, 46, [https://www.zotero.org/groups/54737/items/itemKey/DC2JN4I5 view on Zotero]. </ref> In 1820 [[Robert Mills|Mills]] reiterated his concern that “some place for a [[promenade]] for the public should be provided,” and during the 1830s, as the land around the monument was being divided into house lots, he urged widening the streets leading to the monument as well as the circular green space surrounding the base. “It would be a pity to have the space about the Mon[umen]t cramped,” he wrote in 1836. “Ample room here will be found not only ornamental but useful for many purposes, for the parade of troops, for great public meetings, etc.”<ref> Lavoie, 2005, 28, [https://www.zotero.org/groups/54737/items/itemKey/ZPR3HPVW view on Zotero]. </ref>
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[[File:1985.jpg|thumb|Fig. 3, W. H. Bartlett, “Washington’s Monument, Baltimore,in Nathaniel Parker Willis, ''American Scenery'' (1840), vol. 2, pl. 47.]]
 +
*<div id="Mills_solidity"></div>[[Robert Mills|Mills, Robert]], 1814, formal statement of his plan for the Washington Monument, Baltimore, MD (quoted in Hoyt 1939: 154&ndash;55)<ref name="Hoyt_1939"></ref>
  
A description published in 1848 documents many of the improvements requested by Mills and alludes to the undeveloped state of the four public [[squares]] that flanked the monument. The writer predicted: “When these spaces can be adorned with appropriate rows of trees, as well as embellished with marble [[fountains]] or [[basins]], and other ornaments…it will become one of the most delightful [[promenade]]s on this continent.” <ref> Lavoie, 2005, 15, [https://www.zotero.org/groups/54737/items/itemKey/ZPR3HPVW view on Zotero]. </ref> Shade trees, [[shrubbery]], sidewalks, and additional ornamental iron [[fence|fencing]] in keeping with that designed by [[Robert Mills|Mills]] were finally installed following passage of a city ordinance in 1850. <ref> Humphries, 2015, 251, https://www.zotero.org/groups/54737/items/itemKey/X29RH4U4 view on Zotero]; Lavoie, 2005, 29, [https://www.zotero.org/groups/54737/items/itemKey/ZPR3HPVW view on Zotero]. </ref>
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:“In laying the designs herewith submitted, before you, I would beg leave to make a few remarks upon ''Monuments'' in general, before I proceed to describe the one I have the honor now to present.
  
--''Robyn Asleson''
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:“The ''character'' that ought to designate all ''Monuments'' should be, solidity, simplicity, and that degree of cheerfulness which should tempt the contemplation of the mind. . . Monuments ''isolated'', or in the open air, should be ''towering'', and commanding in their elevation, especially when they are encircled by a City, otherwise its ''popular'' intention is frustrated. . . Permit me now to draw your attention to the ''description'' of the design in question:&mdash;The ''Mass'', presents the appearance of a ''Greek'' [[Column]], elevated on a grand ''pedestal''; the [[column]] assumes the ''doric'' proportions, which possess solidity, and simplicity of character, emblematic of that of the illustrious ''personage'' to whose memory it is dedicated, and harmonising with the spirit of our Government. . .
  
==Resources==
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:“Arrived at the ''platform'' which crowns this pedestal, and which is inclosed by a balustrade, we see the commencement of the ''great [[Column]]''. The diameter of this is more than 20 feet and its elevation above 120 ft. divided in its heigh by Six iron railed ''galleries'', which encircle it like bands, presenting ''[[promenade]]s'' to accommodate the reading of those ''historical'' inscriptions recorded on the shaft of the ''[[column]]''.” [[#Mills_solidity_cite|back up to History]]
[http://mvpconservancy.org/history/ Mount Vernon Place Conservancy website]
 
  
==Images==
 
<span id="roundabout_img"></span>
 
<gallery widths="170px" heights="170px" perrow="7">
 
  
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*<div id="Mills_lots"></div>[[Robert Mills|Mills, Robert]], 1836, arguing to increase the area around the Washington Monument, Baltimore, MD (quoted in Lavoie 2005: 28)<ref name="Lavoie_2005"> Lavoie 2005, [https://www.zotero.org/groups/54737/items/itemKey/ZPR3HPVW view on Zotero].</ref>
  
Image:0974.jpg|[[Joseph Jacques Ramée]], "Monument to the memory of general George Washington, to be erected at Baltimore," 1813.  
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:“It would be a pity to have the space about the Mont [monument] cramped, after making the sacrifices that have been made&mdash;ample room here will be found not only ornamental but useful for many purposes, for the parade of troops, for great public meetings, etc.” [[#Mills_lots_cite|back up to History]]
  
Image:0829.jpg|[[Robert Mills]], "Elevation of the Principal Fronts," Washington Monument, Baltimore, 1814.
 
  
Image:2000.jpg|Robert Cary Long, Jr., Washington Monument and Howard's Park, c. 1829.  
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*Willis, Nathaniel Parker, 1840, ''American Scenery'' (1840: 2:92)<ref>Nathaniel Parker Willis, ''American Scenery, or Land, Lake and River Illustrations of Transatlantic Nature'', 2 vols. (Barre, MA: Imprint Society, 1971), [https://www.zotero.org/groups/54737/items/itemKey/T5CMW67U view on Zotero.]</ref>
  
Image:1801.jpg|[[Thomas Kelah Wharton]], Washington Monument, Baltimore, 1833.  
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:“This fine monument stands at the end of a long street, forming an ascending perspective; and it base crowns the summit of a considerable hill, it is fully relieved against the sky, and shows very nobly. The [[square]] which immediately surrounds it is newly divided into building-lots. . .
  
Image:1985.jpg|[[W. H. Bartlett]], "Washington's Monument, Baltimore," in [[Nathaniel Parker Willis]], ''American Scenery'', Vol II (1840), pl. 47.
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:“The monument is a Doric [[column]] upon a square base, surmounted by a pedestal, upon which is placed a colossal [[statue]] of Washington. The base is fifty feet square, and is elevated twenty feet; the [[column]], to the feet of the [[statue]], is one hundred and sixty feet, and the [[statue]] is thirteen feet in height. The [[statue]] is the work of Causici, an Italian, and represents Washington at the instant when he resigned his commission after the Revolution.” [Fig. 3]
  
Image:0491.jpg|Edward Sachse, "Baltimore," 1850.
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==Images==
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<gallery widths="170px" heights="170px" perrow="7">
  
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Image:0974.jpg|Joseph-Jacques Ramée, ''Monument to the memory of general George Washington, to be erected at Baltimore'', design for the Washington Monument, 1813.
  
==Texts==
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Image:0829.jpg|Robert Mills, ''Elevation of the Principal Fronts'', Washington Monument, Baltimore, 1814.
  
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Image:2000.jpg|Robert Cary Long Jr., Washington Monument and Howard’s Park, c. 1829.
  
==Other Resources==
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Image:1801.jpg|Thomas Kelah Wharton, ''Washington’s Monument, Baltimore'', 1833.
[http://mvpconservancy.org/history/ Washington Place Conservancy]
 
  
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Image:1985.jpg|W. H. Bartlett, “Washington’s Monument, Baltimore,” in Nathaniel Parker Willis, ''American Scenery'' (1840), vol. 2, pl. 47.
  
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Image:0491.jpg|Edward Sachse, ''Baltimore'', 1850.
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</gallery>
  
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==Notes==
 
==Notes==
 
<references/>
 
<references/>
  
[[Category: Sites]] [[Category: Objects]]
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[[Category: Places]]

Latest revision as of 19:52, August 30, 2021

Overview

Site Dates: 1813–present

Site Owner(s): City of Baltimore (managed by the non-profit Mount Vernon Place Conservancy);

Associated People: Robert Mills, architect;

Location: Baltimore, MD · 39° 17' 56.83" N, 76° 36' 57.24" W

Condition: Extant

Keywords: Arch; Column/Pillar; Fence; Gate/Gateway; Promenade; Square; Statue; Walk; Yard

Other Resources: LOC; Getty TGN; Mount Vernon Place Conservancy;

The Washington Monument (Baltimore) is the centerpiece of an urban park with four radiating squares in the Mount Vernon neighborhood of Baltimore, Maryland. It is the earliest major commemorative structure planned in honor of George Washington (1732–1799), commander-in-chief of the Continental Army and first president of the United States. When completed, the 165-foot pedestal, column, and base constituted the tallest columnar structure in the world.[1] The monument’s fame attracted tourists, wealthy residents, and cultural institutions to Mount Vernon Place and initiated a wave of commemorative projects that led President John Quincy Adams (1767–1848) to dub Baltimore “The Monumental City” during a visit in 1827.[2]


History

Fig. 1, Robert Mills, Elevation of the Principal Fronts, Washington Monument, Baltimore, 1814.

In 1810 a group of Baltimore citizens began raising funds by lottery for a monument in Washington's honor. At the request of the managers of the Baltimore Washington Monument Society, the French architect Maximilian Godefroy (1765–c. 1838) submitted a variety of design possibilities, including an equestrian statue framed by a triumphal arch; a fountain within a rotunda; and a public square containing a statue of Washington surrounded by trophies.[3] None of these plans was adopted, and in 1813 the managers opened an international design competition that attracted entries from non-American artists, including the French neoclassical architect and landscape architect Joseph-Jacques Ramée (1764–1842) [Fig. 2]. The committee preferred not to give the commission to a foreigner, however, expressing the wish that “American artists will evince by their production that there will be no occasion to resort to any other country for a monument to the memory of their illustrious Fellow citizen.”[4]

Fig. 2, Joseph-Jacques Ramée, Monument to the memory of general George Washington, to be erected at Baltimore, design for the Washington Monument, 1813.

In 1814 the committee awarded the commission to the American architect Robert Mills, who had drawn up a number of structurally and iconographically complex designs before settling on a massive pedestal resembling a Roman triumphal arch as the base for a 120-foot Doric column surmounted by a sculpture of Washington in a quadriga guided by a personification of Victory [Fig. 1]. Mills observed that the Doric proportions “possess solidity, and simplicity of character, emblematic of that of the illustrious personage to whose memory it is dedicated, and harmonising with the spirit of our Government” (view text). Despite his emphasis on simplicity, Mills devised an elaborate decorative scheme for the column and its base to reinforce the monument’s memorial and didactic functions. Six ironwork balconies were to divide the column at graduated intervals so that visitors climbing the internal stairway could pass outside to examine the bands of inscriptions and relief sculptures memorializing Washington's accomplishments and other events in America’s revolutionary history. A viewing platform at the top of the column would provide vistas of the surrounding scenery.[5] The monument was to be located on a summit to the north of the city on land that had been part of Belvedere, the estate of former Maryland governor and state senator, Col. John Eager Howard (1752–1827).[6]

Aesthetic concerns and lack of funding led to the radical simplification of Mills's design.[7] The monument ultimately took the form of an unadorned Doric column on a simple rectilinear base surmounted by a statue of Washington resigning his military commission to the President of the Maryland Congress. The Italian sculptor Enrico Causici (1790–1833) won the competition to create the 14-foot marble statue, which was set in place in 1829.[8] Many of the ornamental motifs that Mills had meticulously researched for the column and base were never added, despite his insistence that from a pedestrian’s perspective, they were “essentially requisite to give interest to the near view of the design, as without them there would be too great a degree of plain surface.”[9] From 1830 to 1838, Mills designed and oversaw the production of a cast-iron fence enclosure. It incorporated a number of symbolic elements originally intended for the monument, including distinctly Federal motifs such as stars, ribbon-bound fasces, and battle-axes.[10]

From the beginning, Mills was concerned with the relationship of the monument to its surroundings, and his attention to the viewer’s experience of the site as a whole resulted in the development of a larger park setting than originally planned. In his proposal, Mills had expressed the opinion that “Monuments isolated, or in the open air, should be towering, and commanding in their elevation, especially when they are encircled by a City, otherwise its popular intention is frustrated.”[11] The initial proposal included a description of the monument’s immediate surroundings, calling for a gravel walk, eleven feet wide, enclosed by a white picket fence in an octagonal configuration, with an ornamental shade tree at each angle.[12] In 1820 Mills reiterated his concern that “some place for a promenade for the public should be provided,”[13] and during the 1830s, as the land around the monument was being divided into house lots, he urged widening the streets leading to the monument as well as the circular green space surrounding the base. “It would be a pity to have the space about the Mon[umen]t cramped,” he wrote in 1836. “Ample room here will be found not only ornamental but useful for many purposes, for the parade of troops, for great public meetings, etc.” (view text).

A description published in 1848 documents many of the improvements requested by Mills and alludes to the undeveloped state of the four public squares that flanked the monument. The writer predicted: “When these spaces can be adorned with appropriate rows of trees, as well as embellished with marble fountains or basins, and other ornaments . . . it will become one of the most delightful promenades on this continent.”[14] Shade trees, shrubbery, sidewalks, and additional ornamental iron fencing in keeping with that designed by Mills were finally installed following passage of a city ordinance in 1850.[15]

Robyn Asleson


Texts

  • Mills, Robert, November 1813, initial proposal for the Washington Monument, Baltimore, MD (quoted in Hoyt 1939: 145–46)[16]
“To the memory of General Washington, to be erected in the city of Baltimore, of octagonal form from the base to the top. . . .
“From the base upwards to the first offset of the column eight feet, to be wrought at each angle the half of an octagonal pillar, cut diagonally nine inches diameter & both at the base and eight feet distant at the offset to be formed from angle to angle a cornice in the Tuscan order. . . .
“The space or yard contiguous to the base of the column to be of diagonal 42 2/3 feet diameter, corresponding with the angles of the monument. . . .
“On the Est, West, North and South of the monument to be placed two gate posts with a gate. Over the gate way to be suspended an elegant arch, consisting of white marble, the two ends resting on the to posts of each gate, bearing over the centre of each gate on the front of the arch the arms of the United States. All around the yard, which incloses the monument, to be formed a gravel walk, eleven feet in width, surrounded by an open fence of wooden posts and &railing, painted white with vacant spaces for entrance, opposite the gates.”


Fig. 3, W. H. Bartlett, “Washington’s Monument, Baltimore,” in Nathaniel Parker Willis, American Scenery (1840), vol. 2, pl. 47.
  • Mills, Robert, 1814, formal statement of his plan for the Washington Monument, Baltimore, MD (quoted in Hoyt 1939: 154–55)[16]
“In laying the designs herewith submitted, before you, I would beg leave to make a few remarks upon Monuments in general, before I proceed to describe the one I have the honor now to present.
“The character that ought to designate all Monuments should be, solidity, simplicity, and that degree of cheerfulness which should tempt the contemplation of the mind. . . Monuments isolated, or in the open air, should be towering, and commanding in their elevation, especially when they are encircled by a City, otherwise its popular intention is frustrated. . . Permit me now to draw your attention to the description of the design in question:—The Mass, presents the appearance of a Greek Column, elevated on a grand pedestal; the column assumes the doric proportions, which possess solidity, and simplicity of character, emblematic of that of the illustrious personage to whose memory it is dedicated, and harmonising with the spirit of our Government. . .
“Arrived at the platform which crowns this pedestal, and which is inclosed by a balustrade, we see the commencement of the great Column. The diameter of this is more than 20 feet and its elevation above 120 ft. divided in its heigh by Six iron railed galleries, which encircle it like bands, presenting promenades to accommodate the reading of those historical inscriptions recorded on the shaft of the column.” back up to History


  • Mills, Robert, 1836, arguing to increase the area around the Washington Monument, Baltimore, MD (quoted in Lavoie 2005: 28)[17]
“It would be a pity to have the space about the Mont [monument] cramped, after making the sacrifices that have been made—ample room here will be found not only ornamental but useful for many purposes, for the parade of troops, for great public meetings, etc.” back up to History


  • Willis, Nathaniel Parker, 1840, American Scenery (1840: 2:92)[18]
“This fine monument stands at the end of a long street, forming an ascending perspective; and it base crowns the summit of a considerable hill, it is fully relieved against the sky, and shows very nobly. The square which immediately surrounds it is newly divided into building-lots. . .
“The monument is a Doric column upon a square base, surmounted by a pedestal, upon which is placed a colossal statue of Washington. The base is fifty feet square, and is elevated twenty feet; the column, to the feet of the statue, is one hundred and sixty feet, and the statue is thirteen feet in height. The statue is the work of Causici, an Italian, and represents Washington at the instant when he resigned his commission after the Revolution.” [Fig. 3]

Images


Notes

  1. Pamela Scott, “Robert Mills and American Monuments,” in Robert Mills, Architect, ed. John M. Bryan (Washington, DC: American Institute of Architects Press, 1989), 150, view on Zotero.
  2. Hezekiah Niles, “The President of the United States,” Niles’ Weekly Register 9, no. 8 (October 20, 1827): 114, view on Zotero.
  3. J. Jefferson Miller, “The Designs for the Washington Monument in Baltimore,” Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians 23 (1964): 19–21, view on Zotero.
  4. Rhodri Windsor Liscombe, Altogether American : Robert Mills, Architect and Engineer, 1781–1855 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1994), 63, view on Zotero.
  5. John M. Bryan, Robert Mills: America’s First Architect (Princeton, NJ: Princeton Architectural Press, 2001), 105–17, view on Zotero; Miller 1964, 22–27, view on Zotero; William D. Hoyt Jr., “Robert Mills and the Washington Monument in Baltimore” [Part One], Maryland Historical Magazine 34 (1939): 155–57, view on Zotero.
  6. Lance Humphries, “Baltimore and the City Beautiful: Carrère & Hastings Reshape an American City,” in Modernism and Landscape Architecture, 1890–1940, ed. Therese O’Malley and Joachim Wolschke-Bulmahn, Studies in the History of Art, Center for Advanced Studies in the Visual Arts, Symposium Papers, LV (Washington, DC: National Gallery of Art, 2015), 250, view on Zotero.
  7. Scott 1989, 146–54, view on Zotero.
  8. Bryan 2001, 208, 210–12, view on Zotero.
  9. Catherine C. Lavoie, Washington Monument, Mount Vernon Place (Baltimore: Historic American Buildings Survey, 2005), 13–14, view on Zotero.
  10. Robert L. Alexander, The Architecture of Maximilian Godefroy (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1974), 180–82, view on Zotero.
  11. Hoyt 1939, 154, view on Zotero.
  12. Hoyt 1939, 146, view on Zotero.
  13. Lavoie 2005, 27, view on Zotero.
  14. Lavoie 2005, 15, view on Zotero.
  15. Humphries 2015, 251, view on Zotero; Lavoie 2005, 29, view on Zotero.
  16. 16.0 16.1 Hoyt 1939, view on Zotero.
  17. Lavoie 2005, view on Zotero.
  18. Nathaniel Parker Willis, American Scenery, or Land, Lake and River Illustrations of Transatlantic Nature, 2 vols. (Barre, MA: Imprint Society, 1971), view on Zotero.

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History of Early American Landscape Design contributors, "Washington Monument (Baltimore, MD)," History of Early American Landscape Design, , https://heald.nga.gov/mediawiki/index.php?title=Washington_Monument_(Baltimore,_MD)&oldid=41800 (accessed September 26, 2021).

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