Inner Harbor


Inner Harbor

The Inner Harbor is a historic seaport, tourist attraction, and iconic landmark of the City of Baltimore, Maryland. The harbor itself is actually the end of the Northwest Branch of the Patapsco River and includes any water west of a line drawn between the National Aquarium in Baltimore and the Rusty Scupper restaurant. The term "Inner Harbor" is used not just for the water but for the surrounding area of the city, with approximate street boundaries of President Street, Lombard Sreet, Light Sreet, and Key Highway. The harbor is within walking distance of Oriole Park at Camden Yards and M&T Bank Stadium and has a water taxi that connects the Inner Harbor to Fells Point, Canton, and Fort McHenry.

History

While Baltimore has been a major U.S. seaport since the 1700s, the historically shallow water of the Inner Harbor (prior to manipulation through dredging) was not conducive to large ships or heavy industry, most of which was concentrated in Locust Point, Fell's Point, and Canton. The Inner Harbor was chiefly a light freight commercial port and passenger port until the 1950s, when economic shifts ended both the freight and passenger use of the Inner Harbor, such as the Old Bay Line's steamers. Rotting warehouses and piers were eventually torn down and replaced by open, grass-covered parkland that was used for recreational purposes and occasional large events, such as city fairs and the significant 1976 bicentennial visit of tall ships. This initial renewal of the harbor area and its continued transformation into a major cultural and economic area of the city was spearheaded by Baltimore Mayor William Donald Schaefer (1971-1987). Harborplace, the waterfront festival marketplace, officially opened on July 1 1980. Since being reincarnated as a cultural hub, the Inner Harbor has become the home to many tourist attractions. The two anchor attractions, in addition to Harborplace, are the National Aquarium in Baltimore and the Maryland Science Center.

In recent years, the area along the waterfront to the east of the Inner Harbor (in the direction of Fells Point and Little Italy) has been developed with condominiums, retail space, restaurants, and hotels; this ongoing project is known as Inner Harbor East (or simply HarborEast).

While little development-appropriate land remains around the Inner Harbor, what land is available has attracted much interest and many plans, many of which have never been realized. In recent years, there has been a decided push by developers to construct projects on the remaining parcels. The ongoing, proposed, and recently completed projects include many mixed-use developments incorporating office space, street-level retail, and condominiums as well as some hotel projects.

Recent or proposed projects of note include Lockwood Place, a mixed-use project on Pratt St. between Market Pl. and Gay St. featuring Best Buy, Filene's Basement, Panera Bread, Famous Footwear, and P.F. Chang's; the Ritz Carlton Residences, a condominium project on Key Hwy. at the southeast corner of the Inner Harbor; and 10 Inner Harbor, a proposed mixed-use project at southwest corner of Light and Conway Sts. that includes a 59-story tower, which would be the tallest building in Baltimore (a title currently held by the Legg Mason Building).

In September 2003, the Inner Harbor area was flooded by Hurricane Isabel. The Baltimore World Trade Center remained closed for a month.

On March 6, 2004, a water taxi on the "Seaport Taxi" service operated by the Living Classrooms Foundation capsized during a storm on the Northwest Branch of the Patapsco River near Fort McHenry. A total of 5 passengers died in the accident, which the National Transportation Safety Board determined was caused by insufficient stability when the small pontoon-style vessel encountered strong winds and waves. While occurring over a mile downstream of the Inner Harbor, it nonetheless was associated with the Inner Harbor by news reports and casual observers. The company no longer operates water taxi vessels in the harbor. cite web | url = http://www.marinelink.com/Story/NTSB:++Insufficient+Stability+Caused+Passenger+Vessel+to+Capsize-202310.html | title = Insufficient Stability Caused Passenger Vessel to Capsize | publisher = MarineLink.com | accessdate = July 26 | accessyear = 2007]

Attractions

Museums

*American Visionary Art Museum
*Baltimore Museum of Industry
*Geppi's Entertainment Museum (opened September 2006)
*Jewish Museum of Maryland
*Civil War Museum
*Port Discovery Children's Museum (on the site of the historic Baltimore Fishmarket and the 1988-1989 Fishmarket dance/music complex)

hips

*SS|John W. Brown - one of two Liberty ships afloat
*Baltimore Maritime Museum:
**USCGC|Taney|WHEC-37|6 - last fighting ship still afloat that survived the attack on Pearl Harbor
**USS|Torsk|SS-423|6 - "Tench"-class submarine; last ship to sink enemy vessel in World War II
**Lightship "Chesapeake"
**Seven Foot Knoll Lighthouse
*USS|Constellation|1854|6 - last Civil War-era ship still afloat

*Vessels on active/reserve status:
** USNS|Comfort|T-AH-20|6 - US Navy hospital ship
** SS|Wright|T-AVB-3|6 - US Navy Aviation Logistics Support (roll-on/roll-off) container ship

Entertainment venues

ports

*Camden Yards Sports Complex
**Oriole Park at Camden Yards (home of the Baltimore Orioles)
**M&T Bank Stadium (home of the Baltimore Ravens; formerly known as PSINet Stadium and then as Ravens Stadium)
**Sports Legends at Camden Yards
**Babe Ruth birthplace and museum

Concert halls and arenas

*Baltimore Convention Center
*1st Mariner Arena (formerly known as the Baltimore Arena)
*Pier 6 Concert Pavilion
*Power Plant Live! (a collection of bars and clubs that includes Rams Head Live!)

Notable architecture

* Bnai Israel - Moorish Revival synagogue now open as a museum

Other attractions

*National Aquarium in Baltimore
*Harborplace and the Gallery
*Maryland Science Center
*The "Power Plant" (containing Barnes & Noble, Hard Rock Cafe, and the world's first ESPN Zone, among other offerings; in the late 1980s, contained an indoor Victorian era "fun house"-themed Six Flags amusement park)
*World Trade Center Baltimore
*Holocaust Memorial
*Columbus Center, home of the University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute
*Lockwood Place
*Baltimore Visitors Center
*Lloyd Street Synagogue, the third-oldest synagogue in the United States

References

External links

* [http://www.baltimore.to/baltimore.html Baltimore Inner Harbor Website]
* [http://www.harborplace.com Official Harbor Place Website]
* [http://www.baltomaritimemuseum.org Baltimore Maritime Museum]
* [http://www.thebmi.org Baltimore Museum of Industry]
* [http://www.walkbaltimore.com Baltimore Walking Tours]


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