The Mount Vernon Cultural District
The Basilica is a proud member of the Mt. Vernon Cultural District, which is a collaborative partnership among the cultural institutions in the Mt. Vernon area of Baltimore. The Mt. Vernon Cultural District provides unequaled and rich of cultural experience.
Since the founding of the Peabody Institute in 1857, Mt. Vernon has enjoyed a continuing association with the arts. Nineteenth century Philanthropist George Peabody’s vision of Baltimore’s citizens attending lectures, listening to music, viewing art, and using a well-stocked research library has been realized. Today, nationally and internationally renowned institutions – museums, theaters, opera and symphony halls, colleges, libraries, shrines – coexist in the Mt. Vernon Cultural District with newer institutions that add to the area’s vibrant mix of culture.
The cultural riches of the Mt. Vernon Cultural District are scattered throughout one of the most beautiful urban areas in the nation. George Washington benignly surveys the neighborhood from atop a 178-foot high marble pillar, the first monument to him in the nation (ca. 1815), the centerpiece of Mt. Vernon Place. Four elegant European style parks, filled with statuary, fountains and flowers, flank the monument. In turn, they are surrounded by beautiful 19th Century townhouses. Mt. Vernon has always been, and continues to be today, a very diverse community, home to all classes, races, and nationalities. For more information about the Mt. Vernon Cultural District, visit mountvernonbaltimore.org
The Walters Art Museum
The Walters Art Museum is internationally renowned for its collection of art, which was amassed substantially by two men, William and Henry Walters, and eventually bequeathed to the City of Baltimore. The collection presents an overview of world art from pre-dynastic Egypt to 20th-century Europe, and counts among its many treasures Greek sculpture and Roman sarcophagi; medieval ivories and Old Master paintings; Art Deco jewelry and 19th-century European and American masterpieces.
Enoch Pratt Free Library
Situated directly across the street from the Basilica, the Enoch Pratt Free Library is one of the oldest free public library systems in the United States. In January of 1882, Mr. Enoch Pratt offered a gift to the Mayor and City Council of Baltimore of a Central library, four branch libraries, and an endowment of $833,333.33. “My library,” said Mr. Pratt, “shall be for all, rich and poor without distinction of race or color, who, when properly accredited, can take out the books if they will handle them carefully and return them.” This central library, which opened in 1886, was located on Mulberry Street. The Cathedral Street building opened in 1933. The Pratt’s Mission: To provide equal access to information and services that support, empower, and enrich all who pursue knowledge, education, cultural enrichment, and lifelong learning.
Peabody Institute and George Peabody Library
The Peabody Institute was America’s first music academy, and founded in 1857 by George Peabody, who is considered by many to be America’s first philanthropist. As part of one of the nation’s leading universities, Johns Hopkins, the Peabody Institute trains musicians and dancers of every level, from small children to seasoned professionals, and dedicated amateurs to winners of international awards. Each year, Peabody stages more than 150 major concerts and performances, ranging from classical to contemporary to jazz, many of them free. As a testament to the vision of Mr. Peabody, the Institute will celebrate its 150th Anniversary in 2007. The George Peabody Library is a remarkable research library housed in an outstanding building that is a showcase of 19th Century architecture. Dating from the founding of the Peabody Institute, over 300,000 volumes are housed, largely from the 18th and 19th centuries.
Baltimore School for the Arts
The BSA is a national leader in preparing high school students for careers in the arts. BSA provides qualified students with intensive training in one of four disciplines: the visual arts, music, theatre, or dance. A further mission of the school is to serve as an arts resource to the Baltimore community by offering performances, educational workshops, and extensive after-school training in the arts to Baltimore.
Baltimore’s leading professional producing theater company for over forty years, is considered a pioneer in America’s regional theater movement. Smart, bold interpretations of both classic and contemporary plays, combined with exceptional production values, have earned a reputation for both innovation and excellence as well as the following of a loyal audience. Artistry – in service both to artists and the audience – is Centerstage’s top priority.
The Eubie Blake National Jazz Institute and Cultural Center
This unique site promotes the unique history and continuing legacy of African-American Art and culture in the City of Baltimore. Through exhibitions, programming, and educational activities, low and moderate-income residents have the opportunity to participate in the arts and culture. A special focus is made on extending the work of the Institute to encourage young people to participate and learn the discipline of the arts.
The Garrett Jacobs Mansion and Engineers’ Club
Located on West Mt. Vernon Place, the Mansion is a jewel in the crown of Baltimore’s most distinctive historic homes. A unique example of a building that combines the work of two of America’s most distinguished and influential architects: Stanford White and John Russell Pope, the mansion epitomizes nineteenth century Golden Age elegance and grandeur.
The Maryland Humanities Council
The MD Humanities Council is a non-profit educational organization that stimulates and promotes informed dialogue and civic engagement on issues critical to Marylanders. The Council encourages public dialogue that interprets the human experience, promotes cross-cultural understanding, explores human values, strengthens our community, and connects us to the wider world. The public humanities programs, both staff-initiated and grant-supported, help provide a bridge between the academic community and the general public.
Mick O’Shea’s Restaurant and Bar
Restaurante Tio Pepe
The Gallery Café serves standard café and deli fare; sandwiches, soups, and salads, as well as ice cream, coffee and espresso.
Sascha’s 527 Cafe
While you are in Baltimore, we encourage you to rediscover your Catholic roots by visiting other Catholic sites which will complement your visit to the Basilica.
Most of the sites below are within walking distance.
1. Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
2. St. Alphonsus 114 West Saratoga Street | Phone: 410-685-6090
St. John Neumann and Blessed Francis X. Seelos, C.Ss.R. have both served as Pastor of this historic Lithuanian parish.
3. St. Jude Shrine 308 North Paca Street | Phone: 410-685-6026
One of the only non-parish shrine churches in honor of St. Jude in the country.
4. Old St. Mary’s Chapel 600 North Paca Street | Phone: 410-728-6464
Founded in 1791, St. Mary’s was the first Seminary in the United States. The Chapel shares much in common with the Basilica. Construction also began in 1806; it was consecrated by Archbishop John Carroll; and the Chapel’s architect, Maximilian Godefoy, consulted the Basilica’s architect, Benjamin Henry Latrobe, on its design. St. Mary’s Chapel is also a National Historic Landmark.
5. Mother Seton House 600 North Paca Street | Phone: 410-523-3443
With the help of her friend, John Carroll, Elizabeth Ann Seton established a school for girls at St. Mary’s Seminary. While living at this house from 1808 to 1809, she took her religious vows at St. Mary’s Seminary Chapel and founded the religious order of the Daughters of Charity. Afterwards, she established a school for girls in Emmitsburg, Maryland, the first parochial school in America.
6. St. Ignatius 740 North Calvert Street | Phone: 410-727-3848
Originally built in 1856 to serve the students and families of Loyola College, the recently renovated Saint Ignatius Church provides regular liturgical and sacramental celebrations for its people.
7. St. Francis Xavier 1501 E. Oliver Street | Phone: 410-727-3103
The first African-American Catholic community in the United States.
8. Cathedral of Mary Our Queen 5200 N. Charles Street | Phone: 410-464-4000
Cathedral of Baltimore. Constructed from 1954-1959.
9. St. Vincent de Paul 120 North Front Street | Phone: 410-962-5078
Dedicated in 1841, St. Vincent’s is the oldest Catholic parish church in continuous use in Baltimore.
10. St. Leo the Great 227 South Exeter Street | Phone: 410-675-7275
Located in the heart of Baltimore’s Little Italy, this historically Italian parish opened in 1881.
11. Divine Mercy Shrine 408 South Chester Street | Phone: 410-732-3960
At Baltimore’s premier Polish-American Catholic church, Holy Rosary, the Divine Mercy Shrine is dedicated to Trusting in Jesus’ Love through the power of His Healing Mercy. Pilgrimages and tours of the Shrine and Church are available by appointment only.
12. Shrine of St. Anthony 12290 Folly Quarter Road | Phone: 410-531-2850
Located approximately one half hour from the Basilica, in historic Ellicott City, at the home of the Franciscan Friars, the Shrine houses a major relic of St. Anthony in its Chapel, which is open to the public.
Our Mt. Vernon Cultural District Partner Hotels
The Embassy Suites Baltimore-Inner Harbor
The Tremont Park Hotel
Hotel Revival Baltimore
Downtown/Inner Harbor and Other Hotels
Abacrombie Badger Bed & Breakfast
Baltimore Marriott Inner Harbor
Brookshire Inner Harbor Suite
Days Inn Inner Harbor
Hampton Inn & Suites Inner Harbor
Harbor Court Hotel
Holiday Inn Inner Harbor
Hyatt Regency Baltimore
Radisson Plaza Hotel Baltimore-Inner Harbor
Residence Inn by Marriott
Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace Hotel
Sheraton Inner Harbor Hotel
Springhill Suites by Marriott
The Sheraton Baltimore City Center
Inn at the Colonnade Doubletree by Hilton Baltimore
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