Curiousities in the city of Baltimore

trismegistus

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I initially got attracted to this topic after a re-watch of the greatest television show ever made: The Wire. For those that don't know, it is a show just as much about the character drama of the drug war in Baltimore as it is the City of Baltimore itself. I happened to catch a sight of the courthouse and city hall in the show, and I knew I had to make a post about it. Get your Stolen History bingo boards out, there is High Strangeness abound!

Clarence M. Mitchell Jr. Courthouse
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For starters, there is no specific Wiki article on this building. In addition, I have found no data on who built the damn thing. Usually there is at least a poor facsimile of an architect listed for these great works of art and engineering. Apparently that doesn't raise an eyebrow to anyone, but I digress. Here's a blurb I was able to find (bold text added for emphasis):
The first courthouse in Baltimore Town was built in 1767 and also later housed briefly for a decade the new United States federal courts in the city, after the ratification and operation of the new Constitution in 1789. On July 28th, 1776/it was the site for the public reading of the Declaration of Independence, just previously approved by the Second Continental Congress on behalf of the Thirteen colonies, now United States of America, meeting at the old Pennsylvania State House (now Independence Hall) three weeks earlier in Philadelphia and read out loud to a gathering of Baltimore Town citizens. It was undercut in 1784 by local builder/contractor Leonard Harbaugh with a pair of arched stone/brick arched piers and raised stone foundation to permit extension of Calvert Street to the north by passing traffic underneath at a lower level. This town/county courts structure was torn down around 1800, leaving an empty small square for fifteen years.
A second city / county courthouse of Georgian and Federal style architecture in red brick and limestone trim with a cupola was constructed to the west of old Courthouse Square (later renamed Battle Monument Square in honor of the monument raised for remembering local casualties from the British attack in September 1814 during the Battle of Baltimore during the War of 1812). It was sited on the southwest corner of North Calvert and facing north towards East Lexington Street, completed in 1805. This second City/County Courthouse (which also served the small federal district court and judges chambers for 15 years until 1820, when they were relocated into one wing of the huge massive H-shaped Merchants Exchange building capped with a low dome at South Gay and East Lombard Streets, designed and completed that year by famous British-American architect Benjamin Latrobe) was partially burned on 13th February 1835 during a spate of mysterious arson fires in the city during the bank riots that year, but it was soon repaired. An adjacent Egyptian style masonry building to the west along Saint Paul Street was constructed for a Records Office. It was razed around 1896 along with the other structures on the block to its south and west.
So, as per usual, the city already had buildings for court as far back as the Revolutionary period. But for some reason or another, they decided to tear it all down and erect these massive "Roman Revival" structures. Well, that is until it was re-built after some fires.

There really isn't a lot out there on this building, I can usually sleuth around old newspapers and find evidence of the opening of these structures. Hell, I can't even find good pictures of the interior. While there are definitely exterior shots of this building in The Wire, I would have no real way of knowing if the interior shots of the court cases were actually filmed onsite or on a stage somewhere else.

From Baltimore Heritage:
In 1885, Baltimore City set out to build the most beautiful Courthouse in the country. Fifteen years, and $2.2 million later ($56 million adjusted for inflation), that goal was realized. On January 6, 1900, the Baltimore Sun reported that the City of Baltimore had built a “temple of justice, second to no other in the world.” The building, which is a magnificent exemplification of Renaissance Revival architecture, continues to stand as a monument to the progress of the great city of Baltimore, and to the importance of the rule of law.
Today, this main building in the Baltimore City Circuit Court complex is referred to as the Clarence M. Mitchell, Jr. Courthouse in honor of the local lawyer and nationally respected civil rights leader. Most of the original splendor of this massive building can still be enjoyed, including the granite foundation, marble facades, huge brass doors, mosaic tiled floors, mahogany paneling, two of the world’s most beautiful courtrooms, domed art skylights, gigantic marble columns, and beautifully painted murals. In addition, the Courthouse is home to one of the oldest private law libraries in the country, and to the Museum of Baltimore Legal History.
The exterior foundation of the Clarence M. Mitchell, Jr. Courthouse was built from granite quarried in Howard County, while the exterior walls are crafted from white marble quarried in Baltimore County. The Calvert Street exterior façade is especially outstanding, as it displays eight of the largest monolithic columns in the world, each weighing over 35 tons and measuring over 35 feet in height. The interior of the building is even more impressive. Among the many historic spaces, the Supreme Bench Courtroom is one of the finest. The circular courtroom is like no other in the world. It is surmounted by a coffered dome resting upon sixteen columns of Sienna marble from the Vatican Quarry in Rome. Inscribed upon the frieze around the base of the dome are the names of Maryland’s early legal legends.
Vatican marble, eh? That is about as big a clue as any that we are not looking at any ordinary 19th century Renaissance Revival building.

But I think I might be burying the lede here. For those of you who have been here a while, you may say "Hey hold up a minute, he's not going to mention that crazy monument!" Don't worry, I noticed it too.

The Battle Monument
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From Wiki:
The monument, designed by Baltimore architect J. Maximilian M. Godefroy (sculptor to the Court of Spain) and built in 1815-25, is 39 feet (11.9 m) tall. The base of the monument is an Egyptian Revival cenotaph. It is an unusually democratic monument for the time in that it records the names of all who died, regardless of rank. The eighteen layers of the marble base represent the eighteen states that made up the United States at the time of the war. A griffin is at each corner of the base. The column, carved as a Roman fasces, is bound with cords listing the names of soldiers who died during the battle, while the names of officers who died are at the top.
The monument is topped by an 8 feet tall 2,750 pound Carrara marble statue by Antonio Capellano of a female figure representing the City of Baltimore that wears a crown of victory and holds a laurel wreath in one hand and a ship's rudder in the other. It was hoisted to the top of the column during the middle of the period of construction on the eighth anniversary ceremonies, Defenders Day, September 12, 1822. Colloquially called Lady Baltimore, the statue was relocated to the Maryland Historical Society on October 5, 2013 in order to preserve it from further damage caused by time and nature. It was replaced by a concrete replica. The monument is the oldest stone monument and first public war memorial in the United States.
The monument is depicted on the seal of the City of Baltimore that was adopted in 1827 and the city's flag adopted in the early 20th century.
A fasces atop an Egyptian cenotaph adorned by Griffins? I think we've already got a bingo and we haven't even gotten that far into this topic. Not to mention that it was allegedly created to honor those who died during the War of 1812.

In addition, the reasons they replaced the statue by a concrete fake is an interesting one. I followed the Wiki crumbs to this article that states:
A replica of Lady Baltimore, made from a sturdy concrete mix, was erected Saturday in its old spot in front of the courthouse. Recreating the statue after such deterioration proved challenging, said Steven Tatti, a New York-based fine arts conservator who led the efforts.

Lady Baltimore was carved from marble imported from Carrara in northern Italy. Its structure had become "sugared," with grains of marble crumbling away.
Conservationists studied the style of Lady Baltimore's original sculptor to recreate its face because there were no good photographs that showed enough detail, Tatti said. He and his crew took pains to keep the look of the statute "a little rough" so it would blend in with weathered look of the Battle Monument....

...Its new home is on the second floor of the Maryland Historical Society in a glass pavilion, where it will be illuminated at night. The space will allow visitors to see Lady Baltimore's face close up for the first time since the statue was erected.
The society doesn't plan to try to restore the statue. Instead, it will be a teaching lesson about the preservation of statues and Baltimore history.
So they moved this statue to preserve it, but they aren't restoring it even if it is apparently disintegrating? And what is this about lack of pictures? Were the people tasked of recreating it not allowed to look at the original too closely? If the longevity of the monument was the reason for doing this, why did they replace it with a concrete statue? It will obviously last a lot less time than something made of marble. This whole area of the city seems to be made of marble, and for some reason this single statue is replaced?

If I had to warrant a guess, I would say that this statue was one of the items "added" by the post reset crowd. It was not made from the same materials as the rest of the older structures, and if anyone got too close to it who knew what they were doing they might find that the materials don't match up with the rest of it.

Also, the "architect" J. Maximillian M. Godefroy who created the Battle Monument seems to be barely more than a ghost. There isn't a single picture of painting of him to be found.
J. Maximilian M. Godefroy (1765 – circa 1838) was a French-American architect. Godefroy was born in France and educated as a geographical/civil engineer. During the French Revolution he fought briefly on the Royalist side. Later, as an anti-Bonaparte activist, he was imprisoned in the fortress of Bellegarde and Chateau D'if then released about 1805 and allowed to come to the United States, settling in Baltimore, Maryland, where he became an instructor in drawing, art and military science at St. Mary's College, the Sulpician Seminary. By 1808, Godefroy had married Eliza Crawford Anderson, editor of her own periodical, the Observer and the niece of a wealthy Baltimore merchant
No education history, no pictures, nothing more than a couple wiki blurbs. While I understand that this is not necessarily evidence of anything, (as I'm sure that there are many accomplished people in many lines of work who failed to have a painting or an article written about them in this time period) but when lumped in with the thesis I've been working on that these architects are likely manufactured whole-cloth it does start to add up.

Speaking of spooky architects, I've got another building that needs more investigation.

Baltimore City Hall
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Situated on a city block bounded by East Lexington Street on the north, Guilford Avenue (formerly North Street) on the west, East Fayette Street on the south and North Holliday Street with City Hall Plaza and the War Memorial Plaza to the east, the six-story structure was designed by the then 22-year-old new architect, George Aloysius Frederick (1842–1924) in the Second Empire style, a Baroque revival, with prominent Mansard roofs with richly-framed dormers, and two floors of a repeating Serlian window motif over an urbanely rusticated basement.

The building's cornerstone was laid on the southeastern corner of the new municipal structure (on the northwestern corner of Fayette and Holliday Streets) in October, 1867 (with a famous historical photograph taken of the ceremony) audience stands and crowds from overhead on East Fayette Street with the east side of Holliday Street visible behind the stands...

The site for the "new" building was selected and some designs were submitted before the American Civil War. The cornerstone for the building, under Frederick's new design, was not laid until 1867; construction was completed eight years later. At a cost of more than $2 million (in 1870s money), the Baltimore City Hall is built largely of many courses and rows of thicknesses of brick with the exterior walls faced with white marble. The marble alone, quarried in Baltimore and Baltimore County (famous "Beaver Dam" quarry), cost $957,000. The segmented dome capping the building is the work of Baltimore engineer Wendel Bollman, known for his iron railroad bridges. At the time of its construction, the cast iron roof was considered one of the largest structures of its kind.
First of all, can anyone find this "famous historical photograph"? I trawled some sites that keep copies of newspapers from that era, and I can't find a single damn thing about this historical opening of City Hall. I'm usually pretty good at sniffing this kind of stuff out, so it seems to be well hidden perhaps by accident or design.

From Cityscape photo:
With its mansard roofs, elegant dormers, elaborate dome topped with a choragic monument and gilded cupola, Frederick's design is unmistakably French Second Empire. The dome stands 227 feet high and sits over a 119 foot-high interior rotunda. Wendell Bollman, an engineer with the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, designed the wrought iron framework as well as the cast iron panels, a combined weight of over 130 tons.
Underneath the white marble facing, quarried from Beaver Dam in Baltimore County, are thick, load-bearing brick walls.
Topped with a what, now?

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The Choragic Monument of Lysicrates near the Acropolis of Athens was erected by the choregos Lysicrates, a wealthy patron of musical performances in the Theater of Dionysus, to commemorate the award of first prize in 335/334 BCE to one of the performances he had sponsored. The choregos was the sponsor who paid for and supervised the training of the dramatic dance-chorus.

In 1821 the convent, which had enclosed the monument, used as a storage for books, was burned by the Ottomans during the Greek War of Independence, and subsequently demolished, and the monument was inadvertently exposed to the weather. In 1829, the monks offered the structure to an Englishman on tour, but it proved to be too cumbersome to disassemble and ship. Lord Elgin negotiated unsuccessfully for the monument, by then an icon in the Greek Revival.
French archaeologists cleared the rubble from the half-buried monument and searched the area for missing architectural parts. In 1876–1887, the architects François Boulanger and E. Loviot supervised a restoration under the auspices of the French government.
So this thing was half-buried in rubble and in pieces right around the same time this building in Baltimore is being built. News of this event must have been massive, seeing as it made its way across the pond just in time for it to be integrated into the dome of this "city hall".

Also, we're working with yet another young Wunderkind architect, which this era of time seems to be lousy with. I mean come on, were there no good architects over the age of 35 in the 19th century? Of course, there could be a slightly more sinister explanation for why everyone that comes up in this era is very young...

George A. Frederick
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Born and educated in Baltimore, George A. Frederick began preparing for a career in architecture at the age of sixteen, entering the offices of Lind & Murdoch, one of Baltimore’s most prominent architectural firms, as a draftsman trainee. He also received training in the offices of Niernsee & Neilson. Among his first commissions following the establishment of his own practice in 1862 were the various structures in Druid Hill Park (Frederick would serve as architect to the Parks Board from 1863 to 1895). Also early in his career, he won a competition to design the new Baltimore City Hall and supervised its construction from 1866 to 1878. The monumental structure, considered the finest municipal building in the country at the time, was also one of the nation’s first buildings to employ fireproof construction techniques.
Maybe this is my 21st century bias showing, but it is hard to imagine a 20 year old opening his own architectural practice and designing such a building as this around the same time. I wonder what these firms saw in a 16 year old boy that let him skip formal education and go straight into training. Again, not necessarily evidence in itself, but I do find it odd that every time I look into an architect from the 1800s they all seem to have done master-level work before the age of 25.

From georgeafrederick.com:
The Building Committee appointed Frederick consulting architect in 1867 and as with many of his other projects, Frederick remained involved throughout the construction of his plans. On October 18th of that year the cornerstone was laid. Though an address by Hon. J.H.B. Latrobe and Masonic rituals provided a spectacle to draw the crowds to the cornerstone laying ceremony, The Sun believed that the small crowd of onlookers represented the populace's view that a new City Hall at $1,000,000 was an unnecessary expenditure when economic strains from the war still crippled the city. In the summer of 1868 The Sun's fears were realized. The entirety of the Building Committee was forced to resign after charges of fraud revealed that they did not choose the lowest bidding contractors for marble, brick, lumber, and cement. Frederick was partly to blame for the brick contract. He used the term "common red" brick on his list of materials needed for the structure, when in fact no red bricks were used. Not knowing this, the Building Committee paid $8,188 for unneeded red bricks. Construction went on despite this setback. The new Building Committee included three mechanics to provide expertise and prevent a similar mistake.
Oh geez, another Masonic parade to mark the laying of the cornerstone? I should mention I looked very long and hard for newspaper articles at the time when this was supposed to occur and I found nothing. If you follow the previous link, you'll see that I was easily able to find newspaper evidence of the Masonic parade to commemorate the Smithsonian, but there is nothing of the sort that I can see for City Hall.

I also find the speculation amusing that people were there in protest of the building, seeing as it is quite the project to be taking on if the city really was in dire straits. I also highly recommend clicking on the link in the quote above, as it is a PDF download of the pamphlet of the speech delivered on that day. Nothing in particular to note there, other than an interesting nugget for potential further research.

Lastly, I should mention that it was very fortuitous that this building was made to be fireproof, as it will come in handy in a few years...

The Great Baltimore Fire
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Nothing caps off a good stolen history bingo board like a nice cataclysmic fire. Look at that city hall, rising from the ashes! That George A Frederick sure did a great job!
The Great Baltimore Fire raged in Baltimore, Maryland, United States on Sunday, February 7 and Monday, February 8, 1904. 1,231 firefighters helped bring the blaze under control, both professional paid Truck and Engine companies from the Baltimore City Fire Department (B.C.F.D.) and volunteers from the surrounding counties and outlying towns of Maryland, as well as out-of-state units that arrived on the major railroads. It destroyed much of central Baltimore, including over 1,500 buildings covering an area of some 140 acres (57 ha). From North Howard Street in the west and southwest, the flames spread north through the retail shopping area as far as Fayette Street and began moving eastward, pushed along by the prevailing winds. Narrowly missing the new 1900 Circuit Courthouse (now Clarence M. Mitchell, Jr. Courthouse), fire passed the historic Battle Monument Square from 1815-27 at North Calvert Street, and the quarter-century old Baltimore City Hall (of 1875) on Holliday Street; and finally spread further east to the Jones Falls stream which divided the downtown business district from the old East Baltimore tightly-packed residential neighborhoods of Jonestown (also known as Old Town) and newly named "Little Italy". The fire's wide swath burned as far south as the wharves and piers lining the north side of the old "Basin" (today's "Inner Harbor") of the Northwest Branch of the Baltimore Harbor and Patapsco River facing along Pratt Street. It is considered historically the third worst conflagration in an American city, surpassed only by the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, and the San Francisco Earthquake and Fire of 1906. Other major urban disasters that were comparable (but not fires) were the Galveston Hurricane of 1900 and most recently, Hurricane Katrina that hit New Orleans and the Gulf of Mexico coast in August 2005.

In the aftermath, 35,000 people were left unemployed. Over $150 million (in 1904 USD) worth of damage was done, which is approximately $3.84 billion in 2014 dollars.

Most agreed that the Great Fire directly caused no deaths.
What? No deaths? Look at that aftermath. It should have read "no one lived." That fire looked like an absolute shelling with pulverized buildings and you're telling me not a single person died? I find this to be incredulous.

Admittedly, the Baltimore Fire could easily be its own post, and it may become one soon.

In Conclusion
This is another example of the ever growing list that myself and others on this forum have called a Grand Unified Architecture. A mix of Roman/Greek, Egyptian, and Gothic architecture that has made its way around the world, in just about any nook and cranny you can think of. The architects attributed are merely illusions, or were perhaps tasked with adding bits to these structures to make them appear more "American" for the future scholars who would examine these buildings and monuments and call them "Revival" styles of architecture. When it comes to the Stolen History bingo board, we pretty much hit all the highlights here, except for strange "weather vanes", or evidence of a potential aether-based power system. Oh wait...

Bromo Tower
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Don't worry folks, they removed the "bottle" in 1936 due to deterioration :sneaky:

 

KorbenDallas

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I love threads like this. Will have to revisit after the work weekend.
 

BStankman

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Great post. Baltimore, murder capitol U S A.

So much history. I would watch people like Dan Bell explore abandoned Baltimore for hours.

It looks like there are multiple statues of Lady Baltimore, with a castle on her head.

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Baltimore basilica
The Baltimore Basilica claims the title of "America's First Cathedral" because it was the first metropolitan cathedral constructed after the adoption of the U.S. Constitution. Construction began in 1806 and was finished in 1821.

The brickwork in the basement is very familiar.

During a 32-month restoration project completed in 2006, tons of sand were removed from the basement,

17681176821768317688
 

jd755

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No mention of sand on this page relating to how the architects went about their investigation. https://www.architectmagazine.com/project-gallery/americas-first-cathedral

The undercroft beneath the sanctuary, where Latrobe meant to place a chapel, helps tell the story of his exacting vision and the ways in which it was thwarted. Latrobe resigned once because the builders disregarded his specifications and didn't sink the foundation piers deeply enough. When Carroll persuaded him to return, he compensated with inverted brick arches, visible in the undercroft, to carry the massive dome's load, much as spread footings might today.

Latrobe resigned a second time when, again, his design was ignored and wood joists were installed to support the church floor instead of a vaulted brick ceiling in the undercroft; that time, Carroll ordered the work redone with Latrobe's vaults. Even so, the space became too shallow for a chapel. Waite's team was able to test the depth of the piers and foundation walls with radar and underpin them to deepen the undercroft. After they removed the old, intrusive mechanical systems that filled the space and placed them outside the building in a new vault dug beneath the north yard, they were able to create the forsaken chapel.


Builders cutting corners, colour me shocked!

Another thing is there an absolute dearth of old images of this building.
The architects commissioned to spend $32,000,000 on the two year restoration were JGWA Architects - Home
The builders doing the restoration in 2004-6 were Lewis Contractors | Construction Management Company Maryland, Contracting Company Maryland, Building Construction Company, Historic Restoration Contractor, Maryland
Where according to a description on this link the repaired the basilica after an earthquake.
And indeed it was baltimore basilica damaged by earthquake at DuckDuckGo

Strangely neither company goes into any great rapture about working on such a prestigious project.
 

BrokenAgate

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Frederick's design is unmistakably French Second Empire.
Unmistakably, huh? So why haven't I ever heard of it? And why did this genius architect use someone else's style rather than just make up his own? We see these names all the time--Gothic, Renaissance Revival, Greco-Roman, Colonial, etc.--and they all look the same. We'll be directed to look at some insignificant detail that, we are told, makes one style different from another, but these are all made-up names to hide the fact that it's all the same architecture.
 

BStankman

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"fire" in the 1800s can turn brick buildings into total rubble!!
They were putting out the fire with dynamite.
Baltimore - Great Fire 1904 - Demolition Crew with dynamite apparatus | Maryland Historical Society

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Baltimore - Great Fire 1904 - Demolition Crew with dynamite apparatus

The Great Baltimore Fire: Setting the Standards | Rawhide Fire Hose
As evening encroached upon the blazing city, the fire had spread to the heart of the district. The firefighters decided to fight fire with fire and broke out the dynamite to attempt to stop it from spreading.

Great Baltimore Fire of 1904
Monday, 12 Midnight
At 5 pm, it was decided to use dynamite as a means of stopping the spread of fire. Tons of explosives were brought in and operations began on targeted buildings. Dynamiting did not hinder the spread of fire and, in many instances, merely accelerated the fire’s spreading elsewhere.


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GNelke

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I'm starting to become more sure of the idea that is all leftover Atlantean architecture and maybe in some cases derivatives as most postulate and futher in some cases Lemurian architecture. It shouldn't be that hard to indulge this hypothesis considering the height of Atlantis/Poseidia was roughly 11,000 years ago which is about the time India started as a civilization. Lemuria was about 4000 years before that with Gobekli Tepe falling in between. Tartary, Etruscans, Ancient Greeks, Egyptians, China, and lesser others were just the survivors. The Indian Vedas talk about great weapons of mass destruction in the past that coincided with the time of Atlantis's fall.
 
OP
trismegistus

trismegistus

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At 5 pm, it was decided to use dynamite as a means of stopping the spread of fire. Tons of explosives were brought in and operations began on targeted buildings. Dynamiting did not hinder the spread of fire and, in many instances, merely accelerated the fire’s spreading elsewhere.
Putting out the fire....with gasoline!

Absolutely hilarious, and apparently the best historians have when explaining why a city looks like this after a "fire."
I would imagine if I were one of these gentleman I would have a much harder time standing around casually posing for a photo in front of absolute devastation. Who are these men? Insurance adjusters? 🤣

If it is true that "basically no one died" in this fire, then is there evidence of what they did with all of the survivors who lost their homes? Surely there must be some physical evidence, whether that is through photographs of temporary housing, or state/federal government record of all of the bureaucracy that must have been involved with an event like this.

I found a site with some more interesting pictures of the fire.

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This is a photograph? Look at that poor man's head, and those buildings in the background. This is a complete mockup, and was either the result of a very lazy person at the Baltimore Sun who can't tell the difference, or this is seriously passed off as photography.

Also, reading between the lines that sign is absolutely horrifying.


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This entire brick building was made so quickly that they hadn't even had time to tear down the wreckage next door? Also, that brick looks quite old. Very fortuitous that they either procured thousands of bricks for the job, or managed to salvage perfect bricks from the aftermath.

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There's a jet fuel melts steel beams joke here somewhere, but I digress. What was this fire, exactly?

From reference.com:
Iron has a melting point of 1535.0 degrees Celsius or 2795.0 degrees Fahrenheit. It has a boiling point of 2750.0 degrees Celsius or 4982.0 degrees Fahrenheit.
Different materials burn at different temperatures, so a log fire burning in a fireplace may only average about 600 degrees C, but a well-stoked wood fire can exceed 1,100 degrees C. The flame from an acetylene torch burns at about 2,200 degrees C.
Also, on that note...

Sun Iron Building
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Creator: Unknown

Description: Sun Iron Building, southeast corner Baltimore Street and South Street. First iron building completed in the U.S., finished in 1851.

Date of Original: ca. 1880-1890
Bonus question: Did Baltimore have tracks on the road for horse carriages or is that horse pulling an electric trolley with no cables? I can't tell if the rear carriage has horses or not.
 
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ScottFreeman

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They say that building went up after the fire? The blackening or smoke stains above the window holes begs to differ. I suppose you could say that is staining or age on the picture. But did stains cause some bricks to fall out of the upper right corner too?

At least three of the photos looked like the local constabulary was right on queue or in the photo itself. The cameras weren't small, did they have an escort (for their safety of course)?
 

asatiger1966

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I initially got attracted to this topic after a re-watch of the greatest television show ever made: The Wire. For those that don't know, it is a show just as much about the character drama of the drug war in Baltimore as it is the City of Baltimore itself. I happened to catch a sight of the courthouse and city hall in the show, and I knew I had to make a post about it. Get your Stolen History bingo boards out, there is High Strangeness abound!

For starters, there is no specific Wiki article on this building. In addition, I have found no data on who built the damn thing. Usually there is at least a poor facsimile of an architect listed for these great works of art and engineering. Apparently that doesn't raise an eyebrow to anyone, but I digress. Here's a blurb I was able to find (bold text added for emphasis):

So, as per usual, the city already had buildings for court as far back as the Revolutionary period. But for some reason or another, they decided to tear it all down and erect these massive "Roman Revival" structures. Well, that is until it was re-built after some fires.

There really isn't a lot out there on this building, I can usually sleuth around old newspapers and find evidence of the opening of these structures. Hell, I can't even find good pictures of the interior. While there are definitely exterior shots of this building in The Wire, I would have no real way of knowing if the interior shots of the court cases were actually filmed onsite or on a stage somewhere else.

From Baltimore Heritage:


Vatican marble, eh? That is about as big a clue as any that we are not looking at any ordinary 19th century Renaissance Revival building.

But I think I might be burying the lede here. For those of you who have been here a while, you may say "Hey hold up a minute, he's not going to mention that crazy monument!" Don't worry, I noticed it too.

From Wiki:

A fasces atop an Egyptian cenotaph adorned by Griffins? I think we've already got a bingo and we haven't even gotten that far into this topic. Not to mention that it was allegedly created to honor those who died during the War of 1812.

In addition, the reasons they replaced the statue by a concrete fake is an interesting one. I followed the Wiki crumbs to this article that states:

So they moved this statue to preserve it, but they aren't restoring it even if it is apparently disintegrating? And what is this about lack of pictures? Were the people tasked of recreating it not allowed to look at the original too closely? If the longevity of the monument was the reason for doing this, why did they replace it with a concrete statue? It will obviously last a lot less time than something made of marble. This whole area of the city seems to be made of marble, and for some reason this single statue is replaced?

If I had to warrant a guess, I would say that this statue was one of the items "added" by the post reset crowd. It was not made from the same materials as the rest of the older structures, and if anyone got too close to it who knew what they were doing they might find that the materials don't match up with the rest of it.

Also, the "architect" J. Maximillian M. Godefroy who created the Battle Monument seems to be barely more than a ghost. There isn't a single picture of painting of him to be found.
No education history, no pictures, nothing more than a couple wiki blurbs. While I understand that this is not necessarily evidence of anything, (as I'm sure that there are many accomplished people in many lines of work who failed to have a painting or an article written about them in this time period) but when lumped in with the thesis I've been working on that these architects are likely manufactured whole-cloth it does start to add up.

Speaking of spooky architects, I've got another building that needs more investigation.


First of all, can anyone find this "famous historical photograph"? I trawled some sites that keep copies of newspapers from that era, and I can't find a single damn thing about this historical opening of City Hall. I'm usually pretty good at sniffing this kind of stuff out, so it seems to be well hidden perhaps by accident or design.

From Cityscape photo:

Topped with a what, now?


So this thing was half-buried in rubble and in pieces right around the same time this building in Baltimore is being built. News of this event must have been massive, seeing as it made its way across the pond just in time for it to be integrated into the dome of this "city hall".

Also, we're working with yet another young Wunderkind architect, which this era of time seems to be lousy with. I mean come on, were there no good architects over the age of 35 in the 19th century? Of course, there could be a slightly more sinister explanation for why everyone that comes up in this era is very young...

George A. Frederick
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Maybe this is my 21st century bias showing, but it is hard to imagine a 20 year old opening his own architectural practice and designing such a building as this around the same time. I wonder what these firms saw in a 16 year old boy that let him skip formal education and go straight into training. Again, not necessarily evidence in itself, but I do find it odd that every time I look into an architect from the 1800s they all seem to have done master-level work before the age of 25.

From georgeafrederick.com:

Oh geez, another Masonic parade to mark the laying of the cornerstone? I should mention I looked very long and hard for newspaper articles at the time when this was supposed to occur and I found nothing. If you follow the previous link, you'll see that I was easily able to find newspaper evidence of the Masonic parade to commemorate the Smithsonian, but there is nothing of the sort that I can see for City Hall.

I also find the speculation amusing that people were there in protest of the building, seeing as it is quite the project to be taking on if the city really was in dire straits. I also highly recommend clicking on the link in the quote above, as it is a PDF download of the pamphlet of the speech delivered on that day. Nothing in particular to note there, other than an interesting nugget for potential further research.

Lastly, I should mention that it was very fortuitous that this building was made to be fireproof, as it will come in handy in a few years...

Nothing caps off a good stolen history bingo board like a nice cataclysmic fire. Look at that city hall, rising from the ashes! That George A Frederick sure did a great job!

What? No deaths? Look at that aftermath. It should have read "no one lived." That fire looked like an absolute shelling with pulverized buildings and you're telling me not a single person died? I find this to be incredulous.

Admittedly, the Baltimore Fire could easily be its own post, and it may become one soon.

In Conclusion
This is another example of the ever growing list that myself and others on this forum have called a Grand Unified Architecture. A mix of Roman/Greek, Egyptian, and Gothic architecture that has made its way around the world, in just about any nook and cranny you can think of. The architects attributed are merely illusions, or were perhaps tasked with adding bits to these structures to make them appear more "American" for the future scholars who would examine these buildings and monuments and call them "Revival" styles of architecture. When it comes to the Stolen History bingo board, we pretty much hit all the highlights here, except for strange "weather vanes", or evidence of a potential aether-based power system. Oh wait...

Don't worry folks, they removed the "bottle" in 1936 due to deterioration :sneaky:

Great research : Why are the electric poles still standing? Maybe they are iron and not wood electric poles?
But if iron , regardless of composition just the amount of debris flying around would knock them over?
This large fire would also have caused a tremendous updraft and wind.
 

BStankman

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It looks like there are multiple statues of Lady Baltimore, with a castle on her head.
It looks like lady Baltimore got her fashion inspiration from Diana Efesina

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18897742182_f1c41ae61b_b.jpg Diana efesina.jpg
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Not just the castle. Also the wreath and griffons.

This video is mildly interesting. It is the restoration artist for the entire city of Baltimore.
Italian marble only lasts 200 years, and is patched with geopolymer.

5 years old. Less than 350 views with zero comments.
Really kind of sad no one is interested why the US oldest statue of liberty commemorates the war of 1812
with a statue of Diana Efesina atop a giant fasces .

 
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ScottFreeman

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Another find courtesy of The Wire...

I'm guessing the earliest three badges are picturing the city’s Battle Monument, located on North Calvert Street between East Fayette and East Lexington Streets?

Screenshot(24).png


That is part of a pic from Samuel Smith of Baltimore

Also, why does the first badge show rays of light coming from whatever that is? Then we get the fasces (I can't tell if it's on the first one or if it's something else) then the light comes back in the 1862 version? Symbolism all over those, even the eagle clutching the shield, isn't that a possessive stance?

Thanks for the pic, even if I'm wrong on whats on them, Samuel Smith was a good read.

Short version (I can't vouch for any of it but it's still a good yarn about Baltimore during an interesting time)

"Just kidding. Smith liked to stay busy. According to the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, this is a rundown of his activities before, during, and after the War of 1812:

attended a private academy; engaged in mercantile pursuits; served in the Revolutionary War as captain, major, and lieutenant colonel; engaged in the shipping business; member, State house of delegates 1790-1792; at the time of the threatened war with France in 1794 was appointed brigadier general of militia and commanded Maryland’s quota during the Whisky Rebellion; during the War of 1812 served as major general of militia in the defense of Baltimore; elected to the Third and to the four succeeding Congresses (March 4, 1793-March 3, 1803); did not seek renomination in 1802, having become a candidate for Senator; chairman, Committee on Commerce and Manufactures (Fifth through Seventh Congresses); elected as a Democratic Republican to the United States Senate in 1802; reelected in 1808 and served from March 4, 1803, to March 3, 1815; served as President pro tempore of the Senate during the Ninth and Tenth Congresses; elected to the Fourteenth Congress to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Nicholas R. Moore; reelected to the Fifteenth, Sixteenth, and Seventeenth Congresses and served from January 31, 1816, to December 17, 1822, when he resigned, having been elected Senator; chairman, Committee on Expenditures in the Department of the Treasury (Fourteenth Congress), Committee on Ways and Means (Fifteenth through Seventeenth Congresses); elected in 1822 as a Democratic Republican (later Crawford Republican and Jacksonian) to the United States Senate to fill the vacancy caused by the death of William Pinkney; reelected in 1826 and served from December 17, 1822, to March 3, 1833; served as President pro tempore of the Senate during the Twentieth and Twenty-first Congresses; chairman, Committee on Finance (Eighteenth through Twenty-second Congresses); mayor of Baltimore, Md., 1835-1838; retired from public life; died in Baltimore, April 22, 1839; interment in the Old Westminster Burying Ground.

Even this fairly exhaustive summary of Smith's exploits fails to do him justice. What they don't mention here is Smith organized yet another militia effort in 1835, to help stop the Baltimore Bank Riots. He was 83 years old at the time, and he still did not put up with nonsense. He marched out of his house and took over as Mayor before the entire city government could succumb to an angry mob. After all, how can a simple mob intimidate you when you've been hit with a cannonball and survived?"
 

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