2019 City as Text

City as Text refers to structured explorations of environments and ecosystems. Designed as on-going laboratories through which small teams investigate contested areas and issues in urban environments, or competing forces in natural ones, these exercises foster critical inquiry and integrative learning across disciplines. Please note that these are NOT guided tours. Students will be given instructions, maps, and reflection questions to consider when exploring different areas of Baltimore.

As we get closer to the conference, look on the NRHC website to find more information that corresponds with your chosen excursion and potential entrance fees and public transportation costs associated with each excursion. On Friday April 12th, we will gather for the City as Text Orientation, divide into destination groups, receive assignments, maps, and suggestions for where to eat. The larger cohorts will be grouped into teams of 4-5. Please note that some of these destinations (denoted by *) involve entrance fees, depending on what you choose to do in each of the neighborhoods. You will need to purchase your lunch on your excursion. You should come to the CAT Orientation Session promptly at 9:00 am, wearing good walking shoes, dressed appropriately for the weather, and armed with exact change for public transportation if needed. Depending on distance of route, public transportation may not be necessary and easily walked within a 3 mile radius.

City as text Schedule Friday, April 12th :

•              9:00am: City as Text Orientation and Keynote Address

•              10am-3:00pm: City as Text Excursions

•              3:30pm-4:30pm: Wrap-Up and Reflection

“Defending and Developing American Democracy”

“When you see wrong or inequality or injustice, speak out, because this is your country. This is your democracy. Make it. Protect it. Pass it on.”

            –Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall

With the founding of the United States, Baltimore became a key point in the fight for freedom and democracy.  From the Revolutionary War to the Civil War and Reconstruction, to the World Wars, and the fights for civil rights, the city has held an important place in military, political, and cultural battles amongst both external and internal actors that defined and developed American institutions, American civil rights, and American sovereignty.  This strand follows Justice Marshall’s edict and takes you through this journey of American political and social development by showing you unique artifacts of the Revolutionary War, exploring Baltimore’s defense of the United States in the War of 1812, and engaging in critical thinking on the evolution of justice and civil rights. 

Places to Visit:

Maryland Historical Society – 201 West Monument Street. The City-as-Text exploration begins with a special group tour of the, which includes one of only three remaining Revolutionary War officer’s uniforms in America, seven portrait paintings by Joshua Johnson, the first professional African American portrait painter in America, the oldest known manuscript of Francis Scott Key’s “The Star-Spangled Banner,” and a unique exhibit of Baltimore’s civil rights era by Paul Henderson. http://www.mdhs.org/museum/collections; http://www.mdhs.org/museum/exhibitions/current#paulhenderson

Following the tour, participants will enjoy a special lecture and discussion with the Honorable Robert Bell, Chief Judge of the Maryland Court of Appeals, the highest court in the state, from 1996 to 2013. He was the first African American to hold this position.


Mount Vernon Marketplace – 520 Park Avenue. It is a food hall with several different vendor and serves everything from oysters, to burgers, to tacos, and Korean food. This is a great place to grab lunch. While you are there stop by to see the local art on display on the back of the hall. Note the placement, whether it is for sale and its prices, and any information that may be available about the artist. http://mtvernonmarketplace.com

Fort McHenry (from land and sea) – 2400 East Fort Ave.Fort McHenry is best known for its Battle of Baltimore during the War of 1812, where American troops successfully fought a British attack. This particular battle then inspired Francis Scott Key to compose the national anthem we know today as the “The Star Spangled Banner.” McHenry also served as a military prison and was designated as a national park in 1925. https://www.nps.gov/fomc/index.htm

Return to Hotel – take the water taxi back (yellow line) to the Inner Harbor (stop 2) and return to the hotel. Alternatively, you can take the Charm City Circulator bus, Banner (blue) route, which has a stop on Key Highway just outside of the museum back to the hotel in the Inner harbor. https://www.nps.gov/fomc/index.htm

Reflection Questions:

· Did Baltimore have a special role in the fight for American independence, both in the early Revolutionary War and the War of 1812? If so, describe this role. If not, what did you expect to be different? Why?

· Which photos in the Henderson exhibit spoke to you regarding civil rights battles of the 20th century? Why? What insights did the visuals provide?

· What are the three most important points about the American justice system that you gained for Judge Bell’s remarks? Do you think that American democracy would be different without these? Why/how? From his remarks, what are key points that we must: protect, make, and pass on?

· What images of the War of 1812 does standing at Fort McHenry bring? Do you think that the Fort continues to be an important part of American history? Why?

“Arts in Baltimore: Influence and Power”

Across the world and throughout history, the arts play a central role in the identification, definition, and demonstration of power. In some cases, artistic creations suggest imbalance or dominance related to power, while in others they indicate balanced relationships. These implications of power extend to the collection and display of art, from well-known objects purchased and exhibited by industrial magnates to the anonymous artists who pursue their craft in public spaces. Every community has a relationship to art, and this City as Text experience invites you to consider the ways power and influence expressed through art across the city of Baltimore.

Places to Visit:

Walters Art Museum – 600 North “Charles Street. Philanthropist Henry Walters shared his family’s extensive art collection with an endowment to the city of Baltimore, “for the benefit of the public.” His father, William T. Walters, primarily collected European and Asian art. Henry continued to expand the collection, with a goal of creating an encyclopedic museum based on the tastes of his time—he acquired manuscripts, arms and armor, and Islamic, Russian, and ancient Near East art. Thus, the Walters Art Gallery is an exemplary sampling of art with over 36,000 objects. https://thewalters.org

Washington Monument – 699 North Charles Street. This is the first U.S. heroic and civic monument dedicated to George Washington was designed by Robert Mills who later also designed the Washington Monument in DC. The monument was restored by the Mount Vernon Place Conservancy and reopened on its bicentennial, July 4, 2015. The Monument’s gallery with interactive exhibits is free, but climbing to the top needs to be booked in advance. http://mvpconservancy.org/the-monument/

Mount Vernon Place – find the blank pedestal north of Washington Monument.

Mount Vernon Marketplace – 520 Park Avenue. It is a food hall with several different vendor and serves everything from oysters, to burgers, to tacos, and Korean food. This is a great place to grab lunch. While you are there stop by to see the local art on display on the back of the hall. Note the placement, whether it is for sale and its prices, and any information that may be available about the artist. http://mtvernonmarketplace.com

American Visionary Arts Museum – 800 Key Highway. This unique institution describes itself as “America’s official national museum and education center for intuitive, self-taught artistry” (web site). Be prepared to see art in new ways.  http://www.avam.org/stuff-everyone-asks/hours-and-directions.shtml#admission

 Reflection Questions:

· Look closely at works on display at each gallery, and compare them with other works on display elsewhere. How might these works indicate power (of the subject, artist, patron, owner, etc.)? Are those displays of power consistent in art from different eras and parts of the world?

· What is the role of powerful and influential patrons of the arts in influencing the visual arts culture of city?

· Discuss how perceptions of art can change overtime.

· How does the environment of the art display influence how you are conditioned to view/perceive it? How might your opinion of a work change if you imagine it displayed in a completely different environment?

· Can art influence the way a community thinks? Acts? If so, how? Can a community influence how artists think and how art is created?

· Is there a relationship between institutions that display art and the communities in which they are located?

“Generating Power: Struggle for Black Freedom in Baltimore”

Frederick Douglass was born a slave on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. At different times he was sent to Baltimore to work. Here he learned to read, became a ship caulker, and later escaped to freedom in the North. As an abolitionist, Douglass sought to generate support to end slavery.  He learned that “Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.”

This City as Text strand will allow you to explore how the black community in Baltimore was a source of power in the struggle for freedom. As home to the nation’s largest free-black population in the 1850s, Baltimore offered opportunities and support for abolitionism. Local activists later mobilized the community and teamed with NAACP lawyers Charles Houston and Thurgood Marshall (Baltimore native) to challenge segregation, with Murray v. Pearson (1935) becoming the first step on the road to the Brown decision in 1954. The 1930s activists became civil rights movement leaders and then supported students in the 1960s as the freedom struggle evolved.

Places to Visit:

Reginald F. Lewis Museum (MD African-American History & Culture) – 830 Pratt Street.

You will want to see everything is this excellent museum, but focus on getting an overview of black life in Maryland over the centuries. For example, the Lines Connect Gallery explores how slavery sometimes destroyed and broke family and community bonds for African Americans in Maryland. However, with self-determination Black Marylanders were able to survive and reestablish these bonds. http://www.lewismuseum.org/

Black Soldiers Statue – 100 North Holliday Street. Artist and Morgan State University professor James E. Lewis designed this nine-foot bronze statue to commemorate the role of African American soldiers in every American military conflict. Notice the statue’s placement within its surroundings. https://baltimore.org/ultimate-guide/statues-monuments-and-murals

Clarence M. Mitchell, Jr. Courthouse – 100 North Calvert Street. The courthouse was built on January 6, 1900, and later renamed to honor respected civil rights leader, Clarence Mitchell, who was known as the 101st Senator for his lobbying efforts for the NAACP and the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The courthouse incorporates Renaissance Revival architecture and is beautifully designed with granite foundation, marble facades, domed art skylights, murals and more. It also houses the Museum of Baltimore Legal History as well as one of the oldest private law libraries in the country. It now serves as the main building in the Baltimore City Circuit Court.


Lillie Carroll Jackson Museum – 1320 Eutaw Place. Lillie M. Carroll Jackson was an important civil rights leader as the President of the Baltimore chapter of the NAACP. When she died in 1975, she left her house to serve as a civil rights museum. Morgan State University now manages the site, which tells of Jackson’s leadership as well as the role this home played in residential desegregation. https://www.lilliecarrolljacksonmuseum.org/

Thurgood Marshall Statue – Hopkins Place and West Pratt Street (U.S. Court House). Segregation prevented Baltimore native Thurgood from attending the state law school. He established legal precedents in Maryland and elsewhere before leading the NAACP team that took down legal segregation in the Brown decision (1954). He later became the first African American to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court. Unfortunately, the site is under construction until 2020. See this link for an image and description of the statue: http://monumentcity.net/2009/02/20/thurgood-marshall-statue-baltimore-md/

Reflection Questions:

· In what ways have blacks in Baltimore been able to generate power to challenge the racial status quo?

· What impact have black Baltimoreans had in improving race relations?

· How have the ideals and values displayed by Thurgood Marshall, Frederick Douglas, and Lillie Carroll Jackson endured over the last 100+ years?

· How does the public memory of the civil rights struggle in Baltimore mesh with what is taught in your textbooks and classes?

 “Maritime Power: Military Innovation and the Defense of America”

Baltimore has been at the forefront of military innovation from the country’s founding through the first third of the nineteenth century. With virtually no effective naval force, the new United States government, by the Naval Act of 1794, ordered the construction of six top-of-the-line frigates to compete with France and Britain as well as aggressively fight the pirates in the Mediterranean Sea. As a result, the U.S.S. Constellation was constructed in Charm City. But Maryland’s claim to fame militarily has be Fort McHenry. Built between 1798 and 1800, Ft. McHenry is well known for defeating the British in the War of 1812 and the location where Francis Scott Key’s penned the Star Spangled Banner. With success of the Battle of Baltimore, the United States government authorized construction of forts to guard major ports along the Atlantic coast and the Gulf of Mexico. Many of these forts later were significant in the Civil War.

The Inner Harbor also showcases the 7 Foot Knoll Lighthouse (the first screwpile lighthouse erected in Maryland), the U.S.C.G.C. Taney (the last serviceable warship that fought at Pearl Harbor), U.S.S. Torsk (using the newly invented Mark 27 torpedo, this submarine was credited with sinking the last enemy ship in World War II), and the Lightship Chesapeake.

Places to Visit:

U.S.S. Constellation – Inner Harbor.Using a small amount of material salvaged from the frigate USS, the USS Constellation was built in 1854. It is a warship designed by the US Navy that is now preserved as a museum ship in Baltimore, Maryland. https://www.nps.gov/thingstodo/board-the-uss-constellation.htm 

U.S.C.G.C. Taney http://www.historicships.org/taney.html

U.S.S. Torsk http://www.historicships.org/torsk.html

Lightship Chesapeake http://www.historicships.org/chesapeake.html

Seven Foot Knoll Lighthouse – Inner Harbor.The Seven Foot Knoll Light is the oldest screw-pile lighthouse in Maryland. It was built in 1855 and was located in the Chesapeake Bay until it was relocated to Baltimore’s Inner Harbor in 1977. It is now a museum exhibit at the Historic Ships in Baltimore museum. http://www.historicships.org/knoll-lighthouse.html

Fort McHenry (from land and sea) – 2400 East Fort Ave.Fort McHenry is best known for its Battle of Baltimore during the War of 1812, where American troops successfully fought a British attack. This particular battle then inspired Francis Scott Key to compose the national anthem we know today as the “The Star Spangled Banner.” McHenry also served as a military prison and was designated as a national park in 1925. https://www.nps.gov/fomc/index.htm

Return to Hotel – take the water taxi back (yellow line) to the Inner Harbor (stop 2) and return to the hotel. Alternatively, you can take the Charm City Circulator bus, Banner (blue) route, which has a stop on Key Highway just outside of the museum back to the hotel in the Inner harbor.

Reflection Questions:

· Why was Baltimore of such strategic military significance through the Civil War?  Did that significance wane?

· Why would America be so concerned about having a strong navy when it was a country struggling with creating a new government and probably could not compete with the world powers anyway?

· What conclusions could one draw from the City/State’s contributions to the defense of the United States?

“Maryland Religious History”

“The church must be reminded that it is not the master or the servant of the state, but rather the conscience of the state.”

–  Martin Luther King, Jr.

Almost from the moment of its founding in the seventeenth century, Maryland has played a significant role in the religious history of the United States. For instance, with the passage of the Maryland Toleration Act (also known as the Act Concerning Religion) in 1649, Maryland became only the second English colony in America to grant religious toleration to Trinitarian Christians. The Act protected Roman Catholics and other religious groups who did not conform to the dominant Anglican Church. This milestone was followed by the building of the first Roman Catholic Cathedral in the United States, the Baltimore Basilica, in the early 1800s.

As demonstrated by Maryland’s own history, religion is a dynamic force that can conjure powerful images of belief, community, conflict, and redemption; and can motivate individuals and societies to perform acts of unbelievable grace as well as unimaginable cruelty. Using Baltimore as its canvas of exploration, this Strand will examine how religion has shaped – and continues to influence – the evolution of the city and the state.

Places to Visit:

Sharp Street Memorial United Methodist Church – 1206 Etting Street. Tours available. Religion was a major force in the lives of Maryland’s African American population, as exemplified by venerable institutions like the Sharp Street Memorial United Methodist Church, first organized in 1787. Known as the “Mother Church” of Black Methodism in Maryland, the Sharp Street Church was a major force in the anti-slavery movement in antebellum America, and in the restoration of the African American community in Baltimore after the abolition of slavery.  Among the many achievements of the Sharp Street Church was its role as the meeting place for the clergymen who founded, in 1867, the institution that eventually became Morgan State University. Later, the church inspired Lillie Carroll Jackson and others to engage in civil rights activism. https://explore.baltimoreheritage.org/items/show/520

Orchard Street Church – 512 Orchard Street. [View exterior only.] The Orchard Street Church, then known as the Orchard Chapel had its first congregation in 1837. It was established by Trueman Pratt, an African American who was born into slavery and later bought his freedom. By 1839 Pratt along with Cyrus Moore and Basil Hall leased their first location and continued to grow their congregation from there. It quickly became an important figure in the civil rights movement and many people in the African American community held meetings and conferences there. However, after a fire and constant vandalism, the city wanted to demolish the Church. Fortunately, groups such as the Maryland Commission on Negro History and Culture, saw it necessary to preserve the building and continued the fight until in 1992. The Baltimore Urban League relocated their offices to Orchard Street and began funding the restoration of the Church to what it is today. https://explore.baltimoreheritage.org/items/show/167; http://www.gbul.org/orchard-street-church.html; Video about Renovation of Building: https://youtu.be/doljLAqrGHg

Saint Mary’s Seminary/Mother Seton House – 600 North Pace Street.[Take tour of Mother Seton house, visit Knott Library at Seminary.] Elizabeth Ann Seton (1774-1821) and her three daughters came to Baltimore from New York City to set up a boarding school for girls. During her time there she took the vows of a Daughter of Charity and grew deeper in her faith. Mother Seton’s House, now known as the St. Mary’s Spiritual Center was the first seminary in America in 1808. Seton later became the first native-born American to be canonized as a saint. Her national shrine is located in Emmitsburg, Maryland. http://stmaryspacast.org/mother-seton-house/; https://explore.baltimoreheritage.org/items/show/38; http://www.stmarys.edu/the-knott-library/

Basilica of the National Shrine – 409 Cathedral Street. [Tour the Basilica, catacombs, and tombs of the Nation’s First Archdiocese John Carrol.] The Basilica of the National Shrine is the first Roman Catholic Cathedral built from 1806 to 1821 in the United States. During that time it was a strong symbol of America’s newfound religious freedom. https://www.americasfirstcathedral.org/

National Shrine of St. Alphonsus Liguori – 114 Saratoga Street. [Tours available.] The National Shrine of St. Alphonsus Liguori is known as Baltimore’s Powerhouse of Prayer. It has also gained the nickname, “Where saints have prayed,” because of the many rectors who became saints such as Saint John Neumann and Saint Francis Xavier Seelos. https://www.stalphonsusbalt.org/

Old Otterbein United Methodist Church – 112 West Conway Street. [Outside view only.] The Old Otterbein Church was built in 1785 and is one of the oldest churches in Baltimore. When a group of Baltimoreans chose a temporary chapel to house the German Evangelical Reformed Church, they hired Pastor Otterbein. Otterbein who was from originally from Germany, served at the Church for 39 years and lived the rest of his life in Baltimore. http://www.oldotterbeinumc.org/home

Reflection Questions:

· Analyze how different houses of worship reflect their neighborhoods, parishioners, and historic relevance to Baltimore. How does Religion exude power?

· How are the churches similar or not in their architecture? Is there a dominate church? Why? Do you think that this church may have inspired the building of others or similar or different faiths, why/why not?

· In your tour was there one artifact or relic that you were drawn to more than others? Why? How did it differ from other faiths?

“Shifting Power: Then and Now, Changes in the Urban Landscape”

The land use of a city both reflects and influences the changing dynamics of economic, political and social power structures.  As a port city Baltimore quickly became an important center for manufacturing, and the Inner Harbor area was heavily industrialized for much of the city’s history.  However, beginning in the 1950s, and greatly accelerating in the 1970s, land use around the Inner Harbor basin shifted towards recreational and commercial interests. This strand will help you discover the profound implications of these changes for the city and its inhabitants.

Places to Visit:

McCormick Spice Factory – corner of Light and Conway Streets. This was the location of two-acre that provided a powerful aroma (changing daily) to the Inner Harbor until the late 1980s. Survey the buildings around the site now. What are the primary uses of these structures? Whom do they serve, and who works there? http://www.thebmi.org/portfolio/mccormick-company/

B & O Warehouse – continue west on Conway Street. At one time this was the largest warehouse on the East Coast. Who occupies the building now? What are its uses?  https://explore.baltimoreheritage.org/items/show/324

Sonneborn Clothing Factory – walk north on Eutaw Street and then one block west on Pratt until you reach the corner of Pratt and Paca Streets. The northwest corner of Pratt and Paca was the home of a major textile factory. What is located there now? What elements of the original building remain, and how have they been repurposed?

https://baltmusindustry.pastperfectonline.com/photo/BACBB6E8-037B-4A5A-85C9-681521786988;  http://www.mdhs.org/digitalimage/sonneborn-factory-interior-women 

Brigham, Hopkins & Co. – continue north on Paca Street until you reach W. Redwood Street. This was once the site of one of the largest straw hat manufacturers in the country. Again what types of businesses are located in this area now? http://www.davidjrusso.com/architecture/brigham/buildings/AddressSummary.php?id=13600059762318

Baltimore Gas and Electric – continue east on Redwood Street and then south on Eutaw until you reach Lombard Street. Head east on Lombard all the way to Market Place (about a 10-12 block walk). Go south on Market Place for one block and then west for one block on Pratt Street. You should now see a large building on Pier 4 with a Power Plant sign. This is the old Baltimore Gas and Electric power plant that, like several buildings on this walk, is on the National Registry of Historical Places. It originally supplied the power for the Baltimore streetcar system before becoming a steam-generating plant used to power business downtown. Tour the building and its current occupants to see how it is being used now.

https://baltmusindustry.pastperfectonline.com/photo/DE7DE473-0AC0-4FEC-A0BB-143674658880; https://libraetd.lib.virginia.edu/public_view/pv63g037h 

Phoenix Shot Tower – head further east on Pratt and turn north on President Street. Continue about four blocks north to East Baltimore Street. Then take a right and go one block east to Front Street, where you will see the Phoenix Shot Tower. This building is also on the National Registry of Historical Places. What evidence exists of the building’s original purpose, and how does that compare with its function today?

https://baltmusindustry.pastperfectonline.com/photo/F6DDF032-F449-4AC9-9DE9-512521650186; https://www.nps.gov/nr/travel/baltimore/b29.htm

To Water Taxi via Little Italy Neighborhood – work your way south on Albermarle Street to Fleet Street. In the process, you will pass by the edge of Baltimore’s “Little Italy” neighborhood. Vaccaro’s is a very nice pastry shop at the corner of Albermarle and Stiles where you might want to get something to eat! Head west by turning right on Fleet and South President and continue until you hit Aliceanna Street. Go west (to the right) and you will find the Harbor East water taxi stop #7.

Baltimore Museum of Industry – take the water taxi to Anthem House (stop #9). Visit the Baltimore Museum of Industry, which provides an excellent and entertaining overview of the historical significance of various industries to the city. http://www.thebmi.org/

Return to Hotel – take the water taxi back (yellow line) to the Inner Harbor (stop 2) and return to the hotel. Alternatively, you can take the Charm City Circulator bus, Banner (blue) route, which has a stop on Key Highway just outside of the museum back to the hotel in the Inner Harbor. If you take the water taxi back, be sure to note the land usage all along the harbor basin. The links below are to images showing what the area looked like in the past.

h https://baltmusindustry.pastperfectonline.com/photo/D0F8F0CE-6DBD-46CF-A3A7-291533221799ttps://baltmusindustry.pastperfectonline.com/photo/7571376C-1281-474D-9807-993939261424




Reflection Questions:

· In general, what types of economic activity have replaced the manufacturing that used to take place around the harbor?

· What were the forces that drove this transition?

· Who might have had the most to gain or lose from the kinds of changes that have occurred?

· What aspects of the changes do you consider to be good and most advantageous to the city and its people? Why?

· What aspects of the changes do you find troubling or consider to be potentially problematic for the city and its people? Why?